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Resident Evil Review - Gamecube

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Nintendo has always been regarded as kids gaming machine with a deluge of brilliantly crafted platform and adventure titles. As they entered the next-gen console war, gamers wondered whether they'd shake off the kiddie tag and finally release some games aimed at an older audience. The first title to really show a change in direction for Nintendo is a remake of the old Playstation classic, Resident Evil. And just when I'd stopped having nightmares about that damn mansion too...


Resident Evil's plot should be well and truly known by now, but for those of you who have never played or read about the game, here's a brief run-down: You are a member of S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team, a special task force group, sent to investigate lost contact with S.T.A.R.S Bravo Team, who were patrolling an area where a number of people have been reported missing. Your team discovers the downed helicopter and sets out to find out what happened. Upon landing your team is set upon by rapid dogs, as members of your team are taken out one by one, a few manage to flee to a nearby mansion. It is your duty as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine to try and make contact with any surviving team members and get out of that mansion alive. Of course, the mansion is over-run by evil and there are plenty of zombies, mutant snakes and large arachnids to get in your way!

Viewed in 3rd person, you search the massive mansion solving puzzles and avoiding/killing zombies along the way. You soon realise that it's probably best to avoid, as ammo is very scarce. There is a limit to the amount of gear you can carry and this creates tension and frustration at the same time. Throughout the game you will come across save rooms where you can dump any unwanted gear in a massive trunk that can then be accessed in any other save room throughout the mansion. Unfortunately you can't just drop items anywhere. So there are plenty of times when your backpack is full, you are low on health and with a couple of zombies on your tail, that you wish you could drop an item and pick up some health to cure yourself. It is made even more frustrating by the fact that each character is limited to 6 (Chris) and 8 (Jill) items to carry.
The puzzles found in the game are actually quite tough- and actually require a bit of thought. A lot of items that are picked up need to be examine in order to reveal it's true worth. Notes and books are littered throughout which give clues, but even then they are quite abstract- finally a title where you feel a sense of accomplishment when you do something.

Of course, there are the monsters to tend to as well. Your initially equipped with a knife and it doesn't take you long to realise you're not going to get ... (continued next page)