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by Capcom

scrn01-01.jpg (3703 bytes)Much like the nefarious Umbrella Corporation itself, Capcom is raising classic titles from the dead and unleashing them upon a community of hungry Dreamcast owners. No, it isn’t another Street Fighter clone, Capcom is reacting to the positive response generated by Resident Evil: Code Veronica by buffing up the old guard of the survival horror genre for release on the Dreamcast. One of the first in line is Resident Evil 3 Nemesis.

scrn02-01.jpg (4816 bytes)For those of you who came in late, let me summarize: the aforementioned Umbrella Corporation devised a compound called the "T-Virus" that mutates living bodies and turns dead ones into zombies. They have released this compound onto the unsuspecting population of Raccoon City. A team of special operatives, operating under the acronym S.T.A.R.S., discovered Umbrella Corp’s diabolical plot and has since been trying to stop it. RE3 begins with retired operative Jill Valentine simply trying to get the hell out of Raccoon City and away from the hordes of mutants and zombie dogs and giant worms that has taken it over. Not a bad decision if you ask me. But escape won’t be easy, especially with the nigh-unstoppable Nemesis hunting you down.

scrn03-01.jpg (4432 bytes)When RE3 was released on the PSX a year ago, it updated the control system by adding a 180-degree spin, a dodge move, and a more versatile menu screen. It made the story line more interactive by introducing "live selections." Live selections are in-game events that prompt the player to make a choice that will influence the course of the story, such as choosing whether to fight or flee the first time you encounter Nemesis. And the relentless Nemesis was a nice touch as well, giving the game kind of a "Night of the Living Dead" meets "Friday the 13th" feel. (For a more in-depth review of RE3, see our PSX review on this site.) In its current Dreamcast form, Capcom has enhanced RE3 by giving it a facelift and making eight costume choices and the "Mercenaries" mini game available from the start.

scrn04-01.jpg (3000 bytes)The graphics are noticeably improved. The character models are tighter, smoother, the polygons less obvious, and the textures more intricate. The same goes for the backgrounds. On the whole, everything is crisper, clearer, more vivid and colorful. But this in no way lives up to the capabilities of the Dreamcast, or other titles currently available for it. This is most obvious in the lighting effects and FMV’s. They haven’t been improved at all, as far as I can tell. Can you imagine how much scarier this game would feel if it were rendered with more dynamic, contrasted light and shadow, and more cinematic FMV’s? Of course you can, they did it in RE: CV. RE3 doesn’t even match some of the other PSX ports. To look at the PSX and Dreamcast versions of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, you would hardly think you were looking at the same game. It was amazing, and it actually made a difference in your appreciation for the game. In comparison, RE3 just looks as if they added a new coat of wax to the same old car.

scrn05-01.jpg (4654 bytes)In terms of options, the change of outfits is nice; it stretches further than you might think, mostly because they have included such a hot variety of wardrobes—a stylish white business suit, a police uniform, even a Hollywood hooker outfit and Regina and Lara Croft rip-offs. The "Mercenaries" mini game is wonderful. Designed as a RE Quickie of sorts, all of the excitement without the baggage of a complex story line. You choose one of three possible characters, and are dropped into the thick of zombie-ville with a bomb strapped to your body that will explode unless you get to the destination in time. How’s that for tension?

scrn06-01.jpg (3657 bytes)So, what does this all add up to? Well, RE3 is still the same game we gave 5 stars to a year ago, and this is the best version of RE3 available. But one year is a long time when translated to video game years. RE: CV was the title that was supposed to launch the RE franchise onto the next generation consoles, and it did its job well, taking the PSX engine and making it perform better than ever. But at a time when the Dreamcast is entering its second generation of games, the PS2 is up and running, and innovative survival horror games like Devil May Cry (from Capcom, no less) are on the horizon, this just seems like a huge step backwards. And what is the next RE title we have to look forward to? A revamp of RE2! With only a slight improvement in graphics and a couple of nifty options, the true replay value of this game comes from what was already there: solid game play, intense difficulty, and branching story lines. If you have the PSX version, then you already have this. I can only recommend this game for newcomers to the title, and for RE zealots who simply must have every version they can get their hands on.

Jeremy Kauffman

Snapshot

Ups: Touched-up graphics; costumes and Mercenary open from start.

Downs: No major changes; lighting and FMVs could have been reworked for DC power.

System Reqs:
Sega Dreamcast

 

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