Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Resident Evil Zero/ GameCube


I could be very harsh by saying something along the lines of Resident Evil 0 out of 10, as a way of beginning what isn't going to be a pleasant review to write....Oh! I just did.
It isn't the worst of the main series games and it certainly is better than most of the spin offs, but it just doesn't cut the mustard today in terms of re-playability, so I cannot figure out why Capcom would remake it ahead of Resident Evil 2? Sure it is the prequel to RE1, which was given a new generation console remake recently (which is fantastic), but for those who haven't yet played the original release and are about to invest in the remake, there may be disappointment ahead. Plus in terms of the old releases, RE2 came after RE1, not RE0.
I will still be buying it too though in true hypocrite fashion.

I do not just want to write reviews that give nothing but props to good games that I have played, so this is about to become my most critical review up to date....As you may already have figured if you have gotten this far.

The Plot

Can you remember the ill fated Bravo team who appeared in RE1? There are moments when playing as Chris in this title that you will come across one of the main protagonists from RE0, Rebecca Chambers. Rebecca in RE0 unwilling (at first) partners up with escaped convict Billy Coen (after some smooth talk), for what becomes another running around a mansion/basement, puzzle based, killing zombies fest. 

That is basically it. The purpose of this game, is to delve into the story behind why, S.T.A.R.S Alpha team ended up in a mansion full of nutters back in 1998 searching for the Bravo team. Unbeknown to both squads, they had been set up by the very naughty boy, Brian...Sorry Albert Wesker. Along the way we also begin to find out the truth about the t-virus and the early experiments conducted on animals by the slightly crazed Dr. James Marcus.

Gameplay

Boring and easy to play, even on hard setting.

Its survival horror in the style of the first three main Resident Evil titles; it has that much going for it. Originally it was only released for the Nintendo Game Cube after development for the N64 came to an end when it was realised that the game would not fit onto a single cartridge.

No item box
It's difficult to get away from the fact that you are basically playing RE1 all over again. The characters may be different this time around, but the setting is pretty much the same once you get off of the train at the beginning of the game. There are no item boxes to store items and weapons that you collect along the way, which quite frankly gets on my tits, as it fucks with my OCD having to leave things scattered all over the floor. It is a pain to have to drop something and then venture back for it later on if needed and there are times when progressing in the game that you might lose an item that you want because you are no longer able to go back to pick it up. You cannot reload your gun unless you empty out the clip or barrel, depending on what you are using, which slows down play as it is often the better option to enter the inventory screen to reload from there. You fight a lot more animal and insect enemies and bosses this time around. This is to show the original virus subjects prior to human test subjects, but it sucks, they look comical if not scary. The music is basically RE1 music and the graphics updated, but outdated on a modern TV screen. I do remember it looking crisp though back when the UK population had big ass silver TV's. The environment is a little less static, with weather effects sometimes rustling up a leave or two, but overall it is similar looking to RE1, 2 and 3. The characters move a little better, with a quick turn added to the controls, but the voice acting is as cheesy as ever (a plus if you like old school zombie flicks) and the cut scenes surprisingly a let down. I say a let down, because this game was in development for a long time, but appears rushed.
 However, it is not all doom and gloom. You get to play as two main characters throughout the game, something that was unique at the time that the game was first released. You can have full control of a character of choice and limited control of the other, which allows you to move them out of the way should they happen to get in front of you to ask if their ass looks big. This is a plus for me, as I have been annoyed over and over again with on screen characters who get in the way of the main character you are controlling for many years; an issue that was almost solved in RE0 and then completely forgotten about in RE5 & RE6. Each character also has their own abilities which can help combined to solve puzzles or alone to create all sorts of tea and biscuit discussions for feminists and the like, as Billy, typically the male, is stronger and can move heavy objects, leaving Rebecca to use her brains. You can randomly switch between the two whenever they are close by or opt to go exploring as one on a solo mission. There are times throughout that a split will be forced and you will find yourself tediously transferring items up and down an elevator hatch. Seriously, at one point, I must of spent about half an hour doing this. Hopefully come release day of the remake some or all of the above have been taken care of and the new game is much more enjoyable than the first outing. It's probably the only main series game that requires gameplay tweaking and extras added.

So to sum up my experience of playing through this game a second time after playing first a few years ago. It was enjoyable first time around because I am a huge Resident Evil fan, but playing today I can see how much of a let down this game is to the main titles in the series. If you haven't yet played RE0, then my advice would be to wait for the new version in the hope that it is going to be fantastic and forget that there was ever another version made.

Back in the day I would of scored this game a 5 out of 10. 
Today it gets a generous 4 out of 10.

As soon as the new version is in my possession I will give an updated review. 



Feel free to leave a comment either about this review or your experiences of this game.