|I can finally get my DUAL SHOCK on!|
|Just seeing this picture puts me on edge|
Back in the mid 1990's all the cool kids wanted Playstation. In 1996 things were still fresh and new for the PS1 and most of the titles were the standard racers, platformers, and a few fighting games. Nothing could have prepared me and my neighborhood friends for Resident Evil. I still remember borrowing it from my neighbor and being totally blown away by the FMV cut scene in the beginning. Even better than Night Trap! It took all the things I loved about B-horror movies and put them into a game. Plus terrible tank controls! It's easy to look back now and laugh about the hilariously bad dialogue, the frustrating difficulty, and highly trained soldiers who could only spin in circles, but back in the day RE scared the daylights out of me. It was also the first time I can remember being truly terrified by a video game in the same way as a movie. Nothing will ever eclipse those dogs crashing through the hallway windows of Spencer Mansion. I probably jumped five feet across my living room floor. Resident Evil stands as a historical archetype of how to make a player feel helpless and always low on ammunition, and was groundbreaking at the time for having different narrative events depending on whether you chose to play as Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield.
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 upped the ante in so many ways. Better visuals and sound, hugely expanded game areas, and a bold move introducing two completely new protagonists. This was our first outing with Claire and Leon, as they unraveled the horrific mystery befalling the now infamous Raccoon City. From the first moments of Leon fighting his way through burning cars in the streets, I knew this was going to be an intense game. Able to see the story from the perspective of either character, RE2 kept you constantly on edge as you worked your way through the city fighting the abominations unleashed by the Umbrella Corp. Wandering around afraid that something could jump out and kill you at any moment is a formula that modern titles like Dark Souls have made a living off of, but Resident Evil 2 was spinning that jam back in 1998. Oh, and don't forget the lickers. How many video games have ripped off that same scene panning up to find a hideous creature ready to pounce?
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
|Why so many giant spiders in Raccoon City?!?|
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
|DAMNIT! MORE SPIDERS!|
Resident Evil (Gamecube remake)
In 2002 someone at Capcom got the bright idea to re-create the original RE with a magnificent graphical upgrade containing gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds, and a variety of new gameplay and subplots. This game was a huge achievement for the series and the console. It also introduced Lisa Trevor who was one of the most sympathetic villains in Resident Evil history. I honestly would love to see Capcom do another reboot of this for the 20th anniversary coming up in a few years.
Resident Evil Zero
Resident Evil 4
|Leon's hip haircut gave him away as an outsider|
Resident Evil 4? YES PLEASE!
Easily one of the best entries by a long shot. RE4 breathed new life back into the series after anyone who didn't own a Gamecube felt left out in the cold. I remember being overjoyed to hear it was being released for PS2 when they announced it. No more waiting for my neighbors to get home from work to order pizza and shoot Los Ganados! There are SO many reasons this game was great. It not only innovated the franchise, but 3rd person action titles in general. It pioneered proper use of the "zoom over the shoulder" mechanic, set a new standard in console action games for inventory management with items taking up various slots in a pack, and shifted RE towards much smoother action mechanics. All that and a giant salamander! I'll also argue it has one of THE greatest opening sequences in a video game, ever. Having to hold out against a bunch of Spaniards going totally bonkers was absolutely terrifying. If I have a complaint about Resident Evil 4 it's that Capcom did too many things right in one game, essentially setting the bar too high for future installments.
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil: Revelations
|We're gonna need a bigger boat|
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
|Yes, please put this game out of its misery|
Resident Evil 6
|When does "cover" become "too much cover"?|
We've arrived at the present, and the future isn't looking too bright. Resident Evil 6 is polarizing. On one hand, it's an absolutely massive action game that gives you diverging story arcs featuring multiple characters as the franchise tries to once again re-invent itself. On the other hand, its got clunky controls, varying graphic quality, and they committed one of Terrorphoria's cardinal sins. Zombies that use guns. Guys, I don't care how much you love Day of The Dead, zombies do NOT USE GUNS! RE6 was just a big pile of "meh" for me. Capcom could easily be accused of selling out (I hate using that term, but it's apt) and trying to make Gears of Evil while not having the skill to translate one of their flagships into anything resembling Epic's cover-based juggernaut. I am hoping that the less-than-positive reception and sales will help them right the ship and for the next major installment put out something more like Revelations. If you can get this either for free or damn cheap, give it a shot. There's at least a lot of game for your money on the disc.
|NO! NOT KENNETH! HE WAS SO YOUNG!|
That was quite a list. I know you hardcore folks out there are gonna say "Dude, what about Resident Evil:Dead Aim, Resident Evil GAIDEN, and all those totally sweet on-rails shooters like Resident Evil:The Umbrella Chronicles???" To you I say "I've only got two hands!"
But seriously folks, Resident Evil kicks ass. It's the biggest and arguably best survival horror franchise in the world, beloved by tons of horror fans, and it keeps Mila Jovovich from going past third notice on her electric bill each month. If you're just crawling out from the cave you found in 1995, I suggest you make every effort to start catching up now and playing some of these great titles.
Now it's your turn. Which Resident Evil is your favorite? What are some of your favorite moments from the games? Let me know down below in the comments because I'd love to hear what you think about this classic series!