I can hear you scoffing right now.
"Never beaten Resident Evil 2 before?...You call yourself a gamer and sat-out on an
industry legend, up till now?...Scoff!...Scoff!" It is true. This reviewer has not
always enjoyed Capcom's zombie-fests. Too much tedium. Too little action. Too much time
spent browsing walkthroughs to solve illogical puzzles. My esteem for the venerated,
survival-horror genre has only began blossoming with the advent of such overwhelming
titles as RE: Code Veronica and Dino Crisis 2 - two examples of gaming perfection, in my
book. Not having played RE 2 on PlayStation, N64 or PC then, duty falls to rate this game,
as it stands on its own merits, as a $20 Dreamcast action game.
The DC has a rather
large lineup of games that offer zombie-killing, bladder-control problems. D2, Carrier,
the aforementioned Code Veronica and Sega's own entries: The House of the Dead 2 arcade
gun-game and Zombie Revenge. These newer games offer some incredible graphics and gameplay
that varies from just 'OK' to outstanding. What RE2 offers is two-fold: nostalgia and
great story telling. The fun of playing an older game like this is to see the gameplay
elements and devices that have helped to shape one of the biggest markets in gaming today.
The tedium and illogic, mentioned before, are very-much a staple of this game and are
either something that the player will find very novel and challenging (in the way that
MYST is challenging) or something that will drive you crazy. Survival Horror is moving
much more toward the idea of games that make sense, and are therefore more immersive. RE2
offers the Dreamcast owner a view into an old vision of gaming that is fading. The other
serious plus, as stated earlier, for this game is that it is, within the context of its
design, very well thought-out. A two-disc game, one offers the story from the side of
Claire Redfield, who later appears in Code Veronica, and the other offers the experiences
of a rookie cop named Leon Kennedy.
adventures take them though a massive police headquarters in the town of Raccoon City,
near the location of the events of the first Resident Evil game. The level-design, while
very strange and unrealistic, is the perfect battleground for our heroes and those
infected by the killer T-Virus. A room that has value to Claire, in her story, might be
meaningless to Leon in his more action-oriented path. In terms of the type of thinking
that makes a game truly fun and successful, RE2 has it. The zombie models are duplicated a
little too often, but many of the tougher badies and their animations are simply awesome.
The dialog, while pretty pathetic, is very well suited to the type of terror (B-movie
style) that RE2 offers.
The graphics are pretty poor, by Dreamcast standards. The characters do not exhibit
aliasing or screen "crawling", but do have very noticeable pixelation. Compared
to the PlayStation's own Dino Crisis 2, flames look extremely pixely and the backgrounds
are very low-rez. These things do not affect the fun of the game, but can make items
difficult to spot. Load times are just long enough to make the player glance over up at
the machine, occasionally. The sound effects are sometimes repetitive, but combine with
spot-on controller-rumble to make the most of every surprise. It is also nice to hear
classy touches like varying footstep-sounds on different types of ground.
package is completed by crisp, entertaining CG cutscenes, multiple endings (adding
immensely to replay value), a cutscene theatre mode, two hidden characters to play
alternately - in connection with the storylines, assault action mini-games, a 3D-character
model gallery, and concept art gallery. RE2 is in no way a breath of fresh air, or
innovative, but it is a very solid game, with a ton of extras, that showcase the glory of
yesterday at a fair price.
If you don't mind dated-graphics, the bizarre puzzles and occasional aimless wondering
around, there is a lot of fun to be found in this game and an excellent tribute to a
classic gaming experience.