Friday, July 9, 2010

VGR Resident Evil ZERO

And with this Resident Evil episode, we're off the ones on Sega systems, onto the "modern" RE series (which can be seen with the new logo; the old one was red and written in capital letters) and the more serious/less cheesy ones!

Is it any good? Is it a good RE or just a good game?
Find out this and more in this new VGR!

VGR: Resident Evil 0: Zero
From Capcom
Played on Gamecube
Also available on Wii

Type Survival Horror
Year 2002/3

Resident Evil Zero!
Now, that's a game that was under a lot of pressure and expectations from both fans and developers alike!

Resident Evil Zero started out as spinoff game and evolved into a full-fledged main episode sequel/prequel, not really different from the evolution of Resident Evil Nemesis into RE3.
It was first a Nintendo 64 game around 1999/2000 and was even shown in that form at the Tokyo Game Show '00.

Capcom wanted to use the cartridge format in its full glory and take good use of the lack of loading times (compared to disc-based games). To offer an original gameplay using two characters simultaneously, being able to go forth and through between those two and having at whole times the whole background/level layout/objects/enemies in the console's Ram memory.
But then, the Gamecube arrived on the scene, the development was almost stopped, then fortunately moved to the Gamecube...

STARS sure knows how to pick 'em! Poor Becky, her day is about to get from worse to even worse!!

RE0 is a prequel to the original Resident Evil game.
You play as Rebecca Chambers, from the BRAVO team. While the team arrives in the Arklay mountains to find out about the "monster sightnings near the forrest", Billy Coen, a convict prisoner of bad circumstance, escapes from the military transport vehicle that was bringing him to his execution.

The STARS member start to disperse in the mountains... lose contact with each other... and find some very strange creatures... everything goes nuts then!

Rebecca meets Billy. They are forced to team up to survive on board of an abandoned train... things get from bad to worse at that point~

RE0 tells the story of the BRAVO team before Chris and Jill laid their feet in the mansion of the now cult classic RE1.

Leeches...more leeches... and even more leeches!!

The gameplay is pretty much the same as before. Even more tight and precise.
By RE0, most of the issues were adjusted and corrected. All the little improvements, such as RE3 quick turn/RECV double aim/the weapon ameliorations/etc.., have been imported to Zero.

Resident Evil ditches the magical boxes, the ones that could store most of your items and made them accessible from any other box along the game. Now you'll have to be pretty smart with your item gestion. You can leave guns, ammo and objects on the floor of any room, making the places you'll often go to or near to save points (good ol' typewriters) very messy with objects on the ground.

The game is a very nice depart from the classic formula with the use of the dual-characters!
To improve and change things a bit, Capcom didn't denature its game but try to evolve things a bit.

Controlling both Billy and Becky is the big evolution here!
You can assign a command to the other character (follow, stay,..), control him/her with the the Yellow-stick of the gamecube pad and switch back and forth pretty fast!

Capcom's team did a very impressive work here, I should mention it!
Providing a loading-less experience where you can switch between both characters at any moments (well, there's a minor delay, but nothing relevant..) with effort and at any time and between any place. You can play with only Billy for a long time, going back to Becky instantaneously and all the enemies situation and objects won't be forgotten by the game!

Wesker, still as badass as ever.

Story-wise, making this game a prequel does affect the design and elements of this game.
For one, the player knows how things will end beforehand. Most of the BRAVO team will be killed, Becky will live to see the day, etc..

But this allows some nice twists as well.

The big motif/plot of the game is telling us how Umbrella was established (which was the main focus of Code Veronica as well) and how they got the T-Virus. For this objective, the game uses a vengeance-story with the one who created the virus. James Marcus, the big main bad guy of RE0.
Sadly it explicitly explains and reveals the more mysterious parts of the saga as well. With a very disturbing tale of leeches, paranoia, progenitor virus and tyrant strain.

This time the plot will also reveal the goings-in of both Albert Wesker and William Birkin (the crazy scientist or RE2) and their side of the story alongside the original arrival of STARS.

Some parts of the story are pretty far-fetched, your usual RE-weirdness, others explain to you pretty straighforward the more mysterious parts...almost making the whole story a bit bland...

Like usual, there's a bunch of stuff to unlock in this game.

Resident Evil 0 is a very nice mix of classic RE and new direction.

There's a lot of content in here!
The game runs across two Gamecube-discs and will take any RE-expert plenty-o time!
It is also the most difficult RE I've played! There's your usual Easy modes, but playing directly the harder setting, I can tell you it was a pretty hardcore experiecne!
There's not a lot of items to heal you, not a lot of ammo to defeat the monsters and a ton of very vicious creatures (including the terrifying almost-unkillable leech monsters!!). This one get where you'll get stuck, not because of the puzzles but for its general difficulty.

The game makes also a pretty nice use of its two main stars. Many puzzles will have you stwitch and use both Billy and Becky! You'll revisit most of the game places through the whole game.

There's a lot to unlock, from special weapons, costumes to the new mode replacing the usual Mercenary from other RE games, the Leech Hunter mode. Yep. More leeches! To collect and confront!

All in all it's a pretty complete and dense Resident Evil to explore.
The music is atmospheric, even if a bit silent in most parts, the graphics are great and very impressive! I'm just sad it doesn't bring back the 3D backgrounds from Code Veronica entirely. (only used here and there in some special occasions)

Overall, it's a fantastic experience!
I really loved the game, myself.

Resident Evil 0 is sadly a bit overlooked in the bigger franchise.
I found this episode very original with the use of two characters. But it is a very difficult Resident Evil and in no way a good starting point for newcomers!! (This may put some gamers off)
It's like, it assumes you've played and are able to master older Resident Evil games!
Specially with the more dangerous and faster enemies, the very few items that you'll find and the fact that since you'll control two characters you'll have to divide everything by two (items, health objects, ammo, weapons...)

The negative points would be that it reveals too much and demystifies most of the Umbrella/T-Virus aspect of the franchise... And the whole plot with James Marcus is kinda far fetched, even by "RE standards."

Anyway, it's amongst my fav' Resident Evil for its difficulty, replay value and long experience it offers!

I give it:

 2.5 / 3 Quacks!


  1. Do you think those costumes were just added in because of how they appealed to the programmers and gamers? ... Nah! That's too far-fetched of a theory to believe~!

    Sure looks like an interesting game. If only the general theme of the game didn't scare me so much. (Damn it, I wanna play them!!!)

  2. Afraid of some little zombies? Then, I guess RE4 might interest you! (you'll hear A LOT of it from me in a future review...)

    Anyway, be careful, like I said in this one here! RE0 is the most difficult and harder RE! Few ammo, more monsters, less health...and you gotta take count of both characters!!
    (play at least two RE before this one! and not on easy!)

    I gotta admit I had big problems in the early parts of this game (the mansion after the train) and got stuck for over a week or two!
    Because of both insane puzzles and monsters waiting for me in the dark corners...and since I didn't check walkthroughs... I couldn't move on, and tried every 2 days or 3 to continue, but it was so difficult...

    (later parts were a bit easier when I got "the machine running"..)

  3. Oh wow didn't realise it was so much better then what I've heard from the internetz. Loved the graphics to these Resi games on the GC. And good point, why does Wesker have to stupidly leave traps and puzzles around rather then shooting the guys there and then? Must have taking evil lessons from Bowser : B

  4. It's definitively in my own "Top 3" Resident Evil games!
    Great, fun, long and difficult!

    That Wesker! Always playin' jokes on us XD

  5. I liked this game as well, actually it is my favorite Resident Evil, right in front of REmake. Too bad most people tend to reject it :/ Your review was awesome, the rating you gave it is pretty much what it deserves.

  6. Thanks for checkin' the review ;)
    I did some other RE reviews that you can find using the button-links above if you want to see 'em!

    Zero's my favorite with Code Veronica^^