Can I just say real quick that survival/horror games have certainly come a long way? I mean, they really have. By today’s standards, Resident Evil seems like a forgotten relic, especially when compared to the “scared crapless” games we’re coming across these days. That said, it still has its own goofy charm and enjoyable (to a point) gameplay, so I can understand Capcom opting to give it a reasonable HD transfer – even though it wasn’t entirely to my liking.
Well, the port hit it off, because here we are again with another HD treatment of a Resident Evil game, this time in the form of the previous GameCube release Resident Evil 0. This time around, you’re teaming up with a younger Rebecca Chambers and a stylish cohort in Billy Cohen, taking on zombies left and right as you continue to dig into the truth of the Umbrella Corporation.
But like before, I couldn’t help but think that, despite the polish, the gameplay just hasn’t evolved enough. Now, those of you that grew up with Resident Evil and respect its old-school roots will no doubt be in heaven here, whether they go with the asinine tank-like controls or real-time movement (both are options here). However, I found tedium to set in, even during some of the game’s bigger battles – and if there’s something a survival/horror game doesn’t need these days, it’s tedium.
Part of it is due to the gameplay not really pushing forward. Yes, the new control style is nice, but the enemies haven’t really been given a jolt in today’s standards. They still move like they’re stuck in time in the year 2000, especially a giant scorpion who, I dunno, might act a bit more aggressively over being shot. Alas, no. Also, the gameplay still feels repetitive, even with the power weapons you’ll eventually get your hands on.
Oh, and the item management system? Still not fixed. Slightly improved now, as you can drop items anywhere instead of having to find a special spot to manage everything, but still kind of broken when it comes to putting all your goods in the right place. The save system is also problematic, when it should have been a little more instant. Perhaps Capcom was trying to make everything just a wee bit too old-school, but, c’mon, given today’s standards, it wouldn’t have hurt to throw a bone, would it?
As if the gameplay not evolving wasn’t enough of a disappointment, the presentation also seems to be a bit stuck in the past. Some of the new HD models are impressive, yes, but the limited locale doesn’t really do the designers any favors, and there’s only so much “ooh” and “ahh” to go through, especially with all these awkward camera angles. The enemies don’t look that much better, outside of a couple of bosses that do have some slick designs. But this is more like a partial remaster than the real deal, and considering the price tag, that may leave a few of you feeling slightly turned off. Well, okay, maybe not slightly.
As for the audio, it’s mostly unchanged. Some of the themes still sound great, but the voice acting is still cheese layered upon cheese (shut up, Billy), and the sound effects haven’t been given much of an increase at all. Again, dated in the past, and while some fans may be happy with that, there could’ve been so much more done with this remaster.
I suppose there’s a few of you out there who won’t mind covering this territory again – heck, feel free, because that’s exactly who Resident Evil 0 HD Remastered caters too. Everyone else, though, will probably find the experience much too dated, and opting to go with something far more contemporary. Like Resident Evil 7…wherever it is.