Resident Evil 2

Review by Matt Paprocki


Survival Horror

Graphics: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3.5

It's really hard to get excited about ANY game in today's industry. Let's face it, as gamers, we've pretty much seen it all. There is that occasional game that just makes you scream "WOW" when you first see it in a magazine or on a web site (and it had better be the one you're reading... you don't go anywhere else, right?). Resident Evil 2 for the was one of those games, simply because of the hardware it's running on. Then, you play it.

This port of the ludicrously popular Playstation game follows the story of Leon Kennedy, a cop fighting for survival in Raccoon City. Leon is the only character you'll control unlike the PS One version which had intertwined stories with Claire Redfield. It's presented in the same style with static backdrops and animated sprites. Even all the sound effects have been stripped right off the CD and digitized into the cart. It looks great, it sounds great, and then you need to move.

You'll begin the game standing on a city street with a zombie to your left. Unless you're prepared to walk quickly to the right, you're pretty much dead. Leon's movements are atrociously slow and plodding, but the zombies move at about the same clip. Makes sense for the zombies, zero sense for Leon. Yes, you can run, but with the choppiness of the gameplay, you'll likely get lost in those situations which require the technique. It's bad enough you can hardly toss the zombies off when they decide to chow down on your neck, but when you can't get away before they get the chance, it's asinine. It's better if the Lickers are not even brought up.

You're not able to walk everywhere as each screen has three planes of movement: Front, center, and back. Hardcore Saturn devotees will be able to remember that the underrated classic Guardian Heroes used the same technique... but this isn't Guardian Heroes. You'll have to line up your sites with a zombie either just below you or right next to you. You're unable to aim/shoot at angles. The response time of the controls doesn't exactly make this situation any more tolerable. It probably can be attributed to the monotonous pace of the animation, but the overall feel isn't there like it should be.

Mercifully, this game is much shorter than the one on which it is based, but it still requires numerous save points done in the same manner. Note that the instruction book mentions a save point, not that fact that you need to find a typewriter to actually access it. Oh, and the sound effects mentioned above? That's pretty much all you'll ever hear through the entire game. Hardly any music makes is present. Even when it does, it's nothing worth writing about.

Die-hards will like some of the touches tossed in like the door opening cinemas when entering a room, but that's surely not a reason to play this one. Things only get worse when you finally finish this one and realize the so called "ending" is a screen which says "the end," nothing more. Not even a misspelled "congratulating!" This could've been a better overall package if some time was spent programming it. The simple lack of speed, absence of decent/responsive controls, and minimal sounds bury this one alive.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 09:12 AM