September 27, 2001
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X - Review
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The backgrounds are all real-time.
The Resident Evil series has finally arrived on the Playstation2 with a brand new adventure (unless you're a Dreamcast owner) called Resident Evil Code: Veronica X. Capcom spent several years developing the Dreamcast version, and then over a year porting it to Playstation 2. But this isn't just a straight port of the game as the company has added over 10 more minutes of high quality computer graphics and several other touches. Australian gamers have been waiting for this title for quite some time now, but it has been more then worth the wait. Resident Evil Code: Veronica X is a superb game that should be in every PS2 owners collection.

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One of the hideous bosses.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X is the continuation of the hit PSOne series. This game follows Claire Redfield's attempts to discover what happened to her brother, Chris, several months before in Raccoon City. The game actually takes place around 3 months after Resident Evil 2, but it's not imperative to have played previous games in the series. This journey leads Claire to Europe where she spends time hunting for clues about the Umbrella Corporation. She is soon captured by guards and placed in a prison on a remote island which is where the game starts, and the action begins.

Playstation 2 owners should be very happy with RECVX. It's brilliant. Many people have bought a PS2 believing that Capcom would continue to bring new Resident Evil games to the system, starting with Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately Capcom recently announced RE4 as a Gamecube exclusive, as well as Resident Evil 0 and remakes of the first 3 PSOne games. Sadly, PS2 owners are going to have to wait for quite a while for another Resident Evil game.
Gameplay in RECVX remains faithful to previous games in the series. Items can be equipped, there is a limit to the number of items to carry and the game can only be saved with a ribbon at a typewriter. Fighting enemies is pretty much the same as in previous versions of the game. Aiming a weapon is done by holding down one button and moving the direction control while another button is pressed to fire the weapon. One of the most exciting features in RECVX is the ability to carry one gun in each hand so you can shoot at multiple enemies at the same time. About 30 minutes into the game you will find a pair for machine guns, which can be held in each hand. Pressing the aim button will have the computer lock onto two separate enemies in the room so you can fire on both at once.

While everything may sound great there are a couple of minor niggles with the game. The first problem is the familiarity of the game. Everything seems to have that "been there, done that" sensation which, after three previous games, isn't really a surprise. Although Resident Evil: Code Veronica contains some first person elements the majority of the game has a familiar 3rd person feel to it. Perhaps Capcom need to re-invent some new features for new games. Controlling the characters, which has always been a hotly debated topic due to Capcom's refusal to change the setup, is still the same as in the past. The left and right buttons are used to rotate the character while up and down to moves them forward or backwards. While people may complain about the system I found it easy enough to get used to, although it's still a little sluggish in frantic battles.

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It's common to take on 5 enemies.
Another minor niggle is the fact that you can't throw items away from your inventory. On too many occasions I found something I need to pick up to find my inventory full with items I don't need, but couldn't discard. Fortunately, you can now eat the herbs for additional health without putting them in your inventory. But these are only minor niggles in an ultimately superb game.

To say that Resident Evil: Code Veronica X is a great looking game is an understatement. It's awesome. The in-game graphics, including the real-time backgrounds, are as impressive as the pre-rendered graphics from the PSOne games. The developers have also added in a dynamic camera that will swing around to show you what's happening when you walk behind walls etc. It's not quite used enough in the game, but it's definitely an improvement over nothing. However, it's not just the quality of the graphics that are so impressive, it's the small incidental details. Within the first few minutes Claire enters is in a corridor that has several cockroaches scattering around. It adds so much more to the gritty and realistic look of the game. The explosions are also excellent, and zombies catch on fire if caught in the blast while fogging effects have never looked as good. You'll also be amazed in the first few minutes when Claire uses the cigarette lighter to light up the jail cells. The lighting throughout the game is stunning.

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This game has some great scares.
RECVX's in-game cut-scenes are also absolutely brilliant. The graphics are a mixture of rendered and pre-rendered graphics with more shocks and surprises then all the previous games combined. If only more companies would take a leaf out of Capcom's book, the gaming community would be so much better off. But the cut-scenes aren't just there to distract from the game, but each adds a great deal to the overall story.

If you've ever played Resident Evil in the past you will know exactly how much atmosphere the sound adds to the game. Hearing the noises of an approaching zombie can be nerve wracking, especially if you health is critical and you are almost out of ammo. The sound effects are great with each weapon having a distinctive sound. The music is also atmospheric although it still annoys me that the music that starts when you are being attacked stops as soon as the last zombie is killed. Keeping this action music going a little longer would retain more suspense for the player.

As an added bonus THQ and Capcom are bundling a demo of Devil May Cry with this game. This demo is almost worth the price of the game itself, it's tremendous fun and will give you a taste of one of the big titles this Christmas.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica is another must have title on the Playstation2. Capcom have gone all out to make this the best, and quite easily the longest, game in the series so far and it doesn't disappoint. The story, gameplay, graphics, sound and atmosphere all combine to make this the best game in the series to date. I plead with you to run, not walk, to the shops to pick this one up. Oh if you don't have a Playstation 2 yet, go and grab the bundle with GT3 and have a blast...

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