Reviews: Jill, staring down at an obvious pool of blood: ?What is it?? Barry, wondering if Jill really is the master of unlocking: ?It's blood?I hope this is not Chris' blood??
Despite Capcom's decision to move the Resident Evil series over to Nintendo's GameCube, the series will always be remembered for the original PlayStation version ? released during a time when mature games were still making headway and at a time when Sony desperately needed a 3rd party killer-app, with the release of the Nintendo 64 that fall. RE easily became that killer-app, with a mature & creepy theme, and a creative gameplay system (for its time). Say what you will now about how little the RE series hasn't changed in 6 years, the fact remains that Resident Evil ushered in a whole new genre of Horror, and single-handedly helped Sony PlayStation become the dominant console in the 32/64 bit era.
Of course, this original rendition of RE shows its age: The graphics are well below par, looking like the 1st generation PlayStation graphics they indeed were. And while subsequent Resident Evil sequels succeeded in much improved voice acting, the original RE boasts such horrible voices that it seems on purpose. Besides that, both RE and the Director's Cut rehash prove that like other great games of the past - challenging and unique gameplay age much, much better than eye-candy.
The original RE was released in March 1996 in America, and featured some good old American censorship within, removing a few scenes of more ?violent? violence & one shot of Chris Redfield enjoying a cigarette. The uproar was enough for Capcom to decide to release a ?Director's Cut? version of the original. This Director's Cut was released in fall of 1997. However due to a blunder and a bit if miscommunication between Capcom USA and Capcom Japan suits led to that same censored version that was released being packed into the so-called "uncensored" edition. Swift, eh? Please note that all those uncensored scenes are viewable on the Wesker's Report DVD you may have received with your pre-order of Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X last year.
Besides the little snafu with the re-release, RE:DC featured the original rendition of the 1996 game, as well as a bonus "arranged" version, where a good share of the items are in different places, giving a fresh outlook to the same mansion. It also mixed in extra difficulty level for those who had some trouble with the rather difficult gameplay that RE had.
The story begins in Raccoon City - people have been reporting some weird events in a nearby mountain range, in the area of a large mansion. Those weird events involved people being killed and eaten by other people, or attacked by strange dogs (if you're grossed out..you might wanna move on). The Raccoon City Police send in the S.T.A.R.S teams to investigate and figure out what's going on. Of course, everything goes haywire and the only known survivors are Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, and Albert Wesker (the leader of the unit). From there the story unfolds inside the mansion (where numerous Umbrella, Inc. employees live and research) and outlying areas of it. The team finds much more than they bargained for - in the form of mutated dogs, zombies, and many other screwed up creations. Like any good story, there are twists, turns, and surprises as well.
Before you can play you must pick between 2 characters: Chris or Jill. Both of them have the same quest in a roundabout way, however each takes a different path to get to the same places. Jill is helped out by the love-struck Barry (c'mon it's obvious!), while Chris is saved from his own meathead tendencies by the other survivor, Rebecca Chambers. Having 2 separate stories and gameplay adds great replay value - both have the same endings really (and there are multiple endings depending on certain events), but the means to getting there are much different.
At the time of release, Resident Evil had very unique gameplay - instead of using the weapons of destruction to blast through, sometimes you need to conserve ammunition and run and "survive" to live. Besides that, RE contained many a puzzle to solve: some are quite strange, yet others are quite ordinary. Most do involve some backtracking, but for the most part they're straightforward and rather simple. The weirdest puzzle has to be the passcode/pool table one: trying to read the placement of the cues was frustrating, and actually incredibly obscure. Then there's the creation of the special medicine that you need to help knock off a certain boss. For your own health, RE introduced the herb system. Mixing herbs creates more effects to cure not only injuries, but in some cases poisonings as well. Or if you're truly desperate you can use a first aid spray, which affects your final score in a negative way. Saving is done through numerous typewriters, which require an ink ribbon to save. Some typewriters are placed in strange places, but most are well spread out more reasonably. The item box idea also was shoved into RE - instead of carrying everything at one time, you're allowed to dump off items or weapons you don't need, and save them for a later time. The items inside transfer to any item box, not just the one you deposited them in. Realism is out, yes.