Survival of Horror: Resident Evil (2002)

Discussion of anything can turn highly contentious when the phrase “best ever” is thrown into the ring. It’s a spark that can ignite a hot debate, especially on the internet where filters are so often missing. Not only does it demand a stark agree/disagree dichotomy, but in turn it splinters one argument into several. If the subject of the discussion is not the best ever, then what is? Why is it better than the original thing? It’s a powerful little set of words that can set off a lot of people, especially when a disagreement crops up. Goodness knows I’ve fallen victim to it several times.

In 1996, Shinji Mikami directed the original Resident Evil for the Playstation. Maybe you heard about it from somewhere or someone in particular! If you’ve been following the series thus far, you’ll know that it was a smash success, instantly becoming one of the platform’s must-have titles. After a blockbuster sequel and an experimental threequel, we got the Dreamcast exclusive CODE: Veronica. Four games in four years! Rather impressive, to say the least. All this time, though, Mikami had a feeling that he hadn’t been able to make the game he really wanted.

The original game was fantastic, but Mikami felt like it could be so much more. There was a decent amount of content cut from the game for various reasons, including cost, Playstation hardware and time. Thankfully, the Dreamcast marked the start of the next generation, so at least one of those problems was about to disappear entirely. Soon after, Sony, Nintendo and newcomer Microsoft entered the ring with the Playstation 2, Gamecube and Xbox.

Of the three consoles, Mikami set his sights on the Nintendo Gamecube. He knew that he could use its power to craft a definitive version of his directorial debut. A simple Director’s Cut with some additions simply would not do; a head-to-toe remake was in order. With his own work as a foundation this time and that same creative spirit that drove the first game’s development, Mikami and his team set out to (RE)make a classic. Obviously, the game was a huge success!

I sense a connection to this screenshot and what I’m about to say, for some reason…

…Eventually. Unfortunately, various circumstances led to Resident Evil not setting the world on fire when it first released as a Gamecube exclusive, chief among them being the Gamecube itself. The console sold a modest 21.74 million units, which isn’t too bad compared to the Xbox’s 24 million. So why was it considered a failure? Well, perhaps you’ve heard of this little console called the Playstation 2. Sony’s second attempt at a console resulted in sales that, as of today, topped 155 million units sold. It was a console that sucked the hype from its competitors right out of the room when it entered. It was an unstoppable beast that had so much momentum that, regardless of how many good games they had, the other two consoles could barely keep up.

This would hurt software sales, including those for Resident Evil. However, the game would remain exclusive to Nintendo for a whopping 13 years! It wasn’t until 2015 that Resident Evil released on platforms that weren’t the Gamecube or Wii, and when that happened, the game finally saw the success Capcom had wanted for it. It became the fastest-selling digital title on the Playstation Store at the time, it hit several Capcom milestones, and many people finally got to enjoy the game for the first time. Sadly, this was long after Mikami left the company, but I hope he’s happy with how it turned out financially.

Critically, however, Resident Evil has been lauded almost universally ever since its release. Almost anyone who plays this game loves it, and its fanbase has always been vocal about its quality even when said base was rather small. Some even call it the “best horror game ever” or the “best remake ever”. We all know how that discussion can go, so let’s be responsible and… dive right into it! Let’s see what Mikami envisioned for his game originally and how the game has held up 18 years later. It’s time to enter the survival horror yet again…

This is part of an on-going series. Be sure to check out the other entries in Survival of Horror!

Resident Evil — March 22, 2002 (GC, Wii, PC, X360, PS3, PS4, X1, Switch)

Version used for review: Resident Evil HD Remaster, 2015

Story

“Not quite your ordinary house, that’s for sure.”

As I stated before, Resident Evil’s remake (often referred to simply as REmake by fans) sought to build upon the foundations of the original title. As such, not much seems to have changed when you first start the game. You have the grisly murders in Raccoon City, you have S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team left behind by their wuss pilot, and you have a split story that never quite syncs up as one whole no matter who you play as.

However, three things have changed with REmake’s story. Firstly, the writing has seen a considerable boost across the board. All the lines you recall from the original are smoothed over, though often lovingly referred to in the game’s dialogue. The localization this time around is much better, which helps much more in drawing the player into the twisted world of the T-Virus.

Secondly, and partly enhanced by the better writing, is the tone of the game. The original Resident Evil is peak B-movie horror due to various factors (including the aforementioned writing). The general tone of the game’s story was very campy, which I need to stress is not a bad thing! After all, it’s still praised as a stone-cold classic for a reason! That being said, REmake is a far more grounded and serious take on the story. There are still moments of campy B-movie influence throughout, but in general this game takes itself far more seriously. Personally, I adore this change! It allows you to feel the gravity of Umbrella’s actions and mistakes. It makes betrayals hurt more and makes victories more triumphant, since the writing isn’t so terrible.

Finally, REmake does a lot to improve its story by slotting in many additions. It includes an entire subplot that was originally slated for the original game. Mikami wanted to tell the story of the Trevor family, whose patriarch George Trevor built the very mansion that the S.T.A.R.S. escape into. Unfortunately, this never made it into the original Resident Evil, but Mikami brought it back and fleshed it out a lot for the remake. The tale of the Trevor family is tragic, including more betrayals and even horrendous experiments on a child. We’ll get to that in a bit, but to say it’s heartbreaking is an understatement. The Trevor family was robbed of anything resembling a happy ending to their story, and I hate experiencing the injustice of their plotline every time I play the game. It’s fantastic in how cruel it is, and how effortlessly it puts Umbrella’s twisted schemes in a more personal perspective.

You and me both, brother. Preach.

In terms of the ability to mesh properly, this all fits in perfectly with the narrative from the original. After all, as I mentioned before, the whole Trevor subplot was intended for the original Resident Evil to begin with. It only serves to heighten the atmosphere of the Spencer Estate and its menacing backstory. The rest of the story remains roughly the same, though! You uncover the sinister misgivings of the pharmaceutical giant Umbrella, and you end up being betrayed by your squad captain, Albert Wesker. If you’ve played the original, none of this is going to come as a surprise to you. Nevertheless, it remains as entertaining as the first time around and the additions only make it more gripping. I found myself slowly reading through every file to really take in the lore, which I admit I didn’t really stop to do often before this go-around. This, to me, is the definitive Resident Evil 1 story, and certainly one of the best in the series in my opinion. It’s a true highlight in the survival horror world.

Graphics

“Looking at its current state, it’s difficult to imagine its original appearance.”

I promise you that my next statement is not hyperbole. REmake could pass for a current-generation title. Now everyone calm down, I don’t say things like that lightly! And no, I don’t mean the HD remaster could pass for a current-generation game. I mean the original Gamecube REmake looks so good that it could pass for an Xbox One or Playstation 4 title. Allow me to explain!

For starters, at the onset of REmake you may realize that the series seems to have regressed. After the freedom afforded by the fully 3D environments of CODE: Veronica, you would think that returning to completely static camera angles would feel restrictive. Thankfully, this is not the case. Instead of following the Dreamcast and crafting 3D versions of the original game’s environments, Mikami decided to stick to pre-rendered backgrounds for REmake. In doing so, he freed up tons of the Gamecube’s hefty amounts of resources to put them elsewhere, such as into the models of characters and monsters.

And the monsters. Did I mention the monsters? YOU HAVE TOO MANY FACES, WOMAN.

This turned out to be the right choice, as such characters and models are stunningly high-detail. They are so high-detail, in fact, that years later in Resident Evil 5’s side mode The Mercenaries Reunion, Barry and Rebecca were playable. These models are simply the same models used in REmake. No touch-ups for an HD game, no extra details, just the same models used eight years prior for a standard definition console and they fit right in. The use of pre-rendered backgrounds allowed for HD detail on an SD console. Isn’t that wild?

Speaking of HD detail, the backgrounds themselves are well and truly stunning. Each frame of REmake is practically flooded with detail that simply wasn’t possible with traditional rendering back in the early 2000s. Comparing the lightning and detail in each screen to the original is almost insulting to the remake; the new version makes the Spencer Estate out to be an unsettling mix of opulent and moody. It feels far more lived-in and grand than the original game. Dust cakes everything, and yet there’s an air of elegance and excess. Time hasn’t been kind to this place, but you can see an image of an eccentric and rich past. I’m so drawn into this mansion that I almost forget that it’s all just a front for a giant company’s evil lab experiments. Environmental storytelling is in full effect here, with most areas telling a grim and grotesque tale to the observant player.

A standout example of this is the humble abode of Lisa Trevor in the underground area of the estate. Her “room” is a half-flooded tunnel at the bottom of a well, with a bed, blankets and candles strewn about. Mangled dolls line the walls of one half of the room, while the other half seems strangely… cozy? Perhaps that’s the wrong word, but there’s a strange feeling of civilized behavior, which is horrifying once you piece things together regarding Lisa Trevor. It’s only through these gorgeous environments that you’re able to connect the dots on this and other little stories.

This is the basement of a horrible monster girl or a serial killer. I’ll let you guess.

Seriously, it’s hard to describe even in pictures how pretty this game is. You really have to see it in motion, and then remember that it was released 18 years ago. REmake set a standard for the series that was sky high. It’s a testament to Mikami’s team that they were able to make a game that, from models to backgrounds, could pass for a current-gen game after nearly two decades. If that’s not impressive, I simply don’t know what is.

Sound

“A noise I heard brought me down here, but… I didn’t expect to find a place like this.”

As with everything that REmake updated from the original, the soundtrack and voice acting are both completely overhauled as well. In fact, perhaps more than any other element, these two changes are what set the tone for the game. I mentioned in the story section that REmake feels like a more serious version of the original game’s plot, but this may well be the main reason why.

To start, the voice acting is fantastic. This time around, the localization team was far better at producing workable dialogue, but it’s the performances that bring the words to life. There’s still camp in REmake, but it’s much more reserved and sparse than in the 1996 original. With how legendary the voice acting had become even back then, the writers and voice actors ensured that some of the funny charm stayed intact. Plenty of references to the older lines are peppered in, but all in all, the game retains its serious tone.

It may not sound like much, but I would argue that the voice acting is a major part of the game keeping its darker tone. Perhaps as much as the atmosphere built with graphics, the characters in REmake sell the illusion of a highly tense, creepy adventure. It’s no longer played for the B-movie aesthetic; this time around, the acting invokes a true sense of credibility to the plight of our cast.

Mostly.

Speaking of which, I would like to make special mention of the leading protagonists. While both Chris and Jill (and… everyone, basically) sound like Body Snatchers in the original game, these two characters fit in amazingly well with their new performances. The character and personality that is pumped into the voice acting makes these two feel much more cohesive with their later games. The original Jill, I had trouble seeing her transformation from this to Resident Evil 3. However, this time around, she has flashes of her no-nonsense attitude that she puts on full display a couple months later. Hearing “Start. Talking. Don’t lie to me!” was the moment I thought to myself “This is the same Jill that can give someone S.T.A.R.S.” It’s a small thing, but nonetheless I adore the attention to each character’s continuity that REmake offers.

In addition to the characters, the music has seen a do-over as well. This time, composer Shusaku Uchiyama takes the reins. Uchiyama worked on Resident Evil 2 under Masami Ueda, but this is his first time being the lead composer on a Resident Evil title. These are big shoes to fill, as Uchiyama has to both redo Ueda’s classics and make some new tracks that fit with the atmosphere of REmake. How did it go?

Pretty well, I’d say. Unlike the original game’s first floor theme, REmake offers up its own track for the dining room at the start of the game. Also unlike the original, this creepy new track is far more immediately ominous. It’s upfront in how menacing it feels, warning the player that things are going to be more aggressive and terrifying than they may remember. The addition of the ticking clock in the background as ambiance gives it just the extra layer of keeping time on the player’s mind. Every second they waste is a second they’re still trapped in what they’re about to discover is a nightmare.

“Macabre Hallway” is Shusaku Uchiyama’s version of Ueda’s theme for the mansion’s second floor. While there is clearly more instrumentation in general, Uchiyama’s take on the piece is… for lack of a better term, more macabre. This is supposed to be a much darker and more serious edition of the original game. To reflect that, this string piece becomes a far more sinister sound, with deep bass and reverb to simulate an echo through the long, twisting halls of the mansion. It’s much more haunting than the original game’s rendition and fits nicely with the more atmospheric version of the Spencer Estate.

If there were ever a track to emulate the tremendously horrific tragedy of Lisa Trevor, it’s her theme for her underground lair. This poor girl has endured unbelievable hardship with how Umbrella treated her family. Worse than that, arguably, is how they treated her, pumping her so full of lab experiments that she’s essentially an undying monstrosity. The desolate sound of the piece constantly circling back around, fading out then back in, is emblematic of her unending suffering. Naturally, to make any piece creepier, you can throw in some choir as well, which “Lisa’s Lair” uses to fabulous effect intermittently in the background to enhance the track just enough without being overbearing.

There are many more tracks, but suffice to say that Uchiyama does a fantastic job in REmake. Masami Ueda created many of these iconic tracks, but Uchiyama faithfully transfers them to the remake while still making sure they fit into the tone of the new game. It’s quite impressive how well they slot in with the new ambience. Speaking of which, Uchiyama has created various new tracks as well that fit side by side with the mixes of the original game’s tracks. Between the much-improved VA and the captivatingly unnerving OST, REmake sounds the best the series has to date.

Gameplay

“If there’s anyone alive, contact me now or just give me a sign!”

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: REmake takes the mechanics of the original and fine-tunes them while adding more. Maybe I’ve said it, oh… ten times this review? I keep hammering it home because it keeps being true. The gameplay is no different in this regard, with various additions and changes to keep things both fresh and engaging throughout your time with the game.

Much like the original game, REmake has you take control of two protagonists: Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. Each one has their own version of the story to play through, and each character has their own specialties. This much is the same as before, with each protagonist having their own unique obstacles, items and weapons. However, in the spirit of making things different and more exciting for returning players, many of these aspects have been shuffled around and remixed!

For starters, Chris’s Old Keys that he needs in place of Jill’s lockpick are necessary for progression now. Instead of opening a couple optional drawers, he needs these keys to unlock areas with key items. It forces you to be smarter about his already-limited inventory space, which is honestly a welcome addition. On the flip side, Jill can no longer open sword key doors with her lockpick. She has to use the Sword Key the same as Chris does, which throws a little wrinkle her way starting off. The character-specific differences aren’t too wildly changed from the original, but in general things are way different for both!

You think I would forget a giant spinny-murder-sword-spike-death-statue?

How you receive most of the different keys has changed, the puzzles are often remixed or changed outright to something more challenging, there are new areas with new smartly-designed shortcuts, items and weapons are in different places (the magnum in particular threw me off), even key items are entirely swapped around and changed. The important thing to note about this is that things don’t just feel shuffled around for the sake of being different from the original. They feel placed and replaced very deliberately to make more sense in the (admittedly strange) mansion’s game world and to surprise newcomers and veterans alike.

This leads me to the beauty of the game’s level and objective design, much like the original. If there’s one thing Mikami should be lauded for above all else, it’s his impeccable ability to pace a game. REmake celebrates the more open-objective design offered in the original game and builds upon those foundations, allowing the player a bunch of freedom to get lost in the giant puzzle box that is the Spencer Estate. The game gets marginally more linear in the later third or so of the game, but that’s fine with me as a change of pace after the magnificently open mansion. There are four or five different things you must get in order to leave the mansion for the next area, and the game allows you to do them in basically any order you wish. It allows the player to familiarize themselves with the layout of the estate by not forcing them down one linear path, thus allowing players to wander and cement the layout in their memory.

There are almost always two or more ways to get to a destination so you never feel trapped and you can find the most optimal route. However, this can come with its own terrible consequences if you’re not prepared well. See, this time around, REmake introduces quite the wrinkle into your navigation plans: Crimson Heads. Zombies no longer immediately die and disappear when you finish them off. If their head explodes, you’re fine, things work as intended. If their head is intact, however, you’d best have a lighter and kerosene handy.

You can fill a bottle with two uses of kerosene, which is a limited resource scattered throughout the game. By using both kerosene and the lighter (two item slots used as Jill!), you can burn a body and permanently kill them off. “So what?”, I hear you muttering at your screen. “If they get back up, I just shoot them again.” If it were so simple, I wouldn’t even be talking about this. Not only are zombies resilient as is, but when they aren’t burned, after a certain amount of time they return as vicious Crimson Heads. The T-Virus mutates them to have feral claws and they can now outrun you. You can kill them in this state and they will remain dead, but they’re even more resistant than normal zombies. The first time I saw one of these guys, I can’t describe how hard my heart jumped into my throat. It was the new “dog jumps through window” jumpscare moment for me.

I can’t tell you how many people just pissed themselves right now.

Crimson Heads aren’t the only new enemy this time around, though. Remember when I mentioned the Trevor family plotline? That wasn’t just for story; their sad tale has terrible gameplay implications too. George’s young daughter Lisa was a testbed for many horrible and grotesque experiments, including exposure to various viruses over the years since her capture. She’s now a horrific creature who has torn off peoples’ faces and attached them to her body. Now, she seems to mindlessly roam the grounds of the estate and assault anyone she comes across, including you! It’s equally heartbreaking and terrifying to see this little girl grow to be a mangled and awful monster. It’s even more soul-crushing when you learn, through gameplay and files, that she’s not nearly as mindless as you think she is. She’s at least cognizant enough to write letters and try to get into her mother’s sealed coffin. When you help her do this, she takes her mother’s skull and throws herself over a pit, clearly hoping to finally die and be free. Like I said before, the Trevor family tale is just so sad.

With all the new additions seeming to be stacked against the player, it’s nice to know that there are also certain elements and tweaks in the player’s favor too. For instance, in the original, Richard is doomed no matter how fast you get him serum for his snake venom. You can get a radio, but that’s about it. If you manage to save him in REmake though, you end up receiving a better shotgun than the one you have! It fires faster, deals more damage and can hold more shells. Pretty neat!

I wonder how I get it. He must just give it to me, right?

Another minor addition is the different run speed of your character. If you absolutely need to book it through an area, you can make Chris and Jill run faster by equipping the knife or by being unarmed. Essentially, you trade safety for speed, as it takes a moment to equip a new weapon with which to defend yourself. Yes, this is still technically a tradeoff with risk, but having the ability to run faster can mean the difference between escaping and taking damage.

However, the most useful new items in Jill and Chris’s arsenals are the defense weapons. These are essentially “get out of bite free” cards. Any time you get grabbed by a monster from the front, you can automatically or manually use one of these disposable items to escape damage. Both characters can pick up special daggers that they plunge into monsters to stop them, but Chris and Jill also get unique secondary defense items. Chris gets flash grenades, which he stuffs into monsters’ mouths. You can then shoot them or wait a few seconds and the flashbang explodes, instantly killing the enemy. Jill, meanwhile, receives batteries for her taser. She can electrocute many enemies when they grab her, dealing tons of damage. It doesn’t permanently kill zombies like the flash grenade, but it’s still incredibly useful in a pinch.

As a side note, they put so much thought into the defense items that you can even retrieve some of them after use, specifically the daggers. Each character has a small percentage chance of getting a critical headshot and blowing up a zombie’s head with their pistol. This is already a neat addition on its own, but say you use a weapon after stabbing a zombie with a defense dagger and it blows up their head. You can then pick up the dropped dagger and use it again! Keep in mind this doesn’t work for every enemy and if the zombie dies, then that’s it, no getting your dagger back. However, it adds just one more layer of strategy to the combat. Do you waste resources on going for headshots so you get another free escape from damage, or do you just cut your losses? The depth added to REmake’s relatively simple combat is fantastic.

Simple pleasures for a simple plan like me. Feels so good.

That’s all I pretty much have for REmake’s gameplay. It takes the original game’s level design, combat, puzzles, everything, and turns it on its head in some way or another. The addition of new enemies such as Lisa Trevor and the Crimson Heads will keep even the most hardened veteran of the original game on their toes, as it means that you have to weigh various options each time you venture through some of the game’s hallways. The level design allows for multiple routes to a destination, but with the need to plot out the least dangerous route. In addition, areas are redesigned to have more obstacles for the player to overcome, forcing them to engage more with these combat and risk/reward systems. This game is a pure delight to play.

Extras/Replay Value

“Eventually I’ll get what’s coming to me, though. There’s no way to escape from this nut house.”

Over the years, the original Resident Evil got plenty of various extras across many versions. There were costumes added, weapons, entire modes, just a lot of stuff in general. By that same metric, it’s surprising that REmake simply hasn’t added as much over the many years it’s existed. However, that’s not to say there isn’t anything there at all, since it comes with many more features in the initial package.

Yes, there is indeed the Infinite Rocket Launcher, for starters. Beat the game in under three hours, and you net yourself a sweet weapon. However, there’s also a new reward for beating the game in under five hours: the Infinite Samurai Edge. This weapon is an infinite ammo burst-fire handgun that feels so good to use, but it’s not wildly overpowered like the rocket launcher. It doesn’t automatically pop heads or burn bodies, so there’s still a little strategy involved. However, it’s nice to have a little bonus that doesn’t just split the game wide open.

Hooo baby this gun is hot.

There are also various costumes for each character. Jill can unlock an army fatigues outfit as well as her Resident Evil 3 attire! Chris, meanwhile, gets street clothes that make him look a little too thug for my taste. However, he also gets to wear his outfit from CODE: Veronica, so that’s cool as well. Beat each character’s campaign once for one outfit, and twice for the other. The Resident Evil HD Remaster even included two other bonus outfits: each character’s Resident Evil 5 model. It’s not much, but more costumes and skins are always welcome!

Now, where other versions of Resident Evil added fun little bonus modes or minigames, REmake decides to test the player. In addition to the various difficulty levels, three of the new modes are meant to push your skill to the limit. Firstly is the Real Survival mode. A mode created before the first Resident Evil was even finalized, Real Survival mode plays as normal, with one minor exception: item boxes are not linked. That means exactly what you think it does; items are not shared between boxes, so you have to remember where you leave things and then navigate through the dangers of the Spencer Estate if you ever need them again. This isn’t too bad if you have a strong knowledge of the game’s layout, which REmake does teach you quite well. It’s easy to trip up if you misplace a key item, though, so be careful!

Another mode, or rather addition, is One Dangerous Zombie. By beating both Chris and Jill’s campaigns on Normal or harder in the HD remaster, or by beating each campaign twice in the Gamecube and Wii versions, you unlock this threat. Forest, a S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team member, will chase you at Crimson Head speeds throughout various rooms of the mansion. Sounds dangerous, right? Well, what makes him a serious threat is that he’s got grenades all over his body. If you shoot him or hit him with any defense items, you immediately explode and get a game over! Thankfully, this isn’t used too extensively. After a while, Forest will disappear for good. However, it’s a great way to keep players on their toes after going through the game several times.

Speaking of keeping on your toes…

Finally, the hardest of the modes is also the one that’s the most self-explanatory: Invisible Enemy mode. Auto-aim is turned off and you have to navigate the game without being able to see any monsters and enemies coming your way. This is by far the most difficult bonus mode, but that isn’t to say you can’t help tip the scales in your favor a little bit. Sound will be a big aid here, as you can hear enemies while they shamble or run around, so you can predict when they’re getting close to you.

Another limited, but helpful tool are mirrors. In any room with a mirror, you can see enemies in the reflection. There aren’t too many of these throughout the game, but it can still help you when they’re available. The last helpful tool is the age of the mansion itself. It’s dusty and hasn’t been cleaned in ages! This means that when zombies or monsters are walking, little dust clouds will puff up at their feet in various rooms. This all but tells you exactly where an enemy is, which makes it the most useful by far. I really enjoyed this mode, but I would only recommend it when you have a rock-solid understanding of the game’s enemy placements.

To be honest, that’s all that there is for REmake in terms of extras. It’s a bit sparse in comparison to the original game, but you have to remember that Resident Evil got tons of extra ports over ten or so years in order to get all the content it has. From 2002 until 2015, REmake was exclusive to Gamecube and a straight Gamecube re-release on Wii. Thankfully, the base game has more than enough content and extras to keep you playing several times over, so it still isn’t a problem. These different modes are tough, but rewarding and fun. Overall, I’d say REmake’s replay value is very high.

Conclusion

“Whoever did this is definitely a professional.”

I love this game. I love REmake so much. It’s a great survival horror game, it’s a fun and tense adventure game and I just enjoy every opportunity to go through it again. The story has additions that don’t feel tacked on, with the Trevor subplot in particular being a standout in family tragedy. The game is gorgeous, with incredibly high-detail models and backgrounds that look stunning even today and create an eerie, moody atmosphere. There’s haunting music and voice acting that improves from the original while still being able to pay homage to it often. The level design is nothing short of spectacular, and it manages to keep the open-objective design of the original while expanding on it with new wrinkles and obstacles to keep newcomers and veterans alike guessing. There are various new modes to try out after you manage to escape the mansion the first time or two, keeping you on the Spencer Estate even longer.

Truly, I consider REmake to be one of the best games of all time. It’s not just a remake of a classic game, but a standout title all on its own. Mikami thought that he could do better than what the Playstation could offer, and by all accounts he was correct. He took his first ever directed game and gave it a stellar do-over! You might be shocked to hear that REmake didn’t come after years and years of experience in the industry; it was only his third game as director ever. Yes, the only thing between Resident Evil and REmake was Dino Crisis. That’s it! In six years, he directed three games, one of which was a remake of his original.

Despite that, Mikami and his team knocked it out of the park. REmake is a delightful treasure that you would be remiss not to play. I can’t recommend it enough. Thankfully, it’s on nearly every platform you can imagine now, so hunting down a copy no longer requires a Gamecube. That said, if you have a CRT TV and a Gamecube lying around, it’s one of the better ways to experience this masterpiece. However you get your hands on it, though, make sure you do set aside time for, yes, one of the best games of all time.

You can give me the shaft any time, REmake.

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Connor Foss

Just a writer who loves games and specifically survival horror!