Review by Shady

"Don't click here."

The first time I played Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, I hated it. I thought it was one of the most overrated games that I had ever laid my eyes upon. I didn't bother to play the game for another three months after my initial experience. It was just recently that I decided to actually play through RE3 once to see if it got better as the game went on. It took a little while to get used to how the game played, but a short time after I started I became hooked. This is one of those cases where you have to put a little effort into the game before it starts to get good....the sad thing is that it took me three months to realize what a great game Resident Evil 3 was.

The Resident Evil series can be classified into a genre with a relatively small game library - the survival horror. There aren't many survival horror games out right now, but the genre is rapidly growing, and the RE series is a big reason why.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes place somewhere in the middle of RE1 and RE2. Raccoon City has once again become infected with the deadly T-Virus that killed so many others when it plagued the city for the first time. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocent civilians are turned into zombies because of the virus - even animals are infected. Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos is Jill Valentine, a S.T.A.R.S. (special tactics and rescue service) member. Jill needs to escape this cesspool of a city and she needs to do it fast! Otherwise, she too will become a zombie. To be honest, I don't think the story is as good as everyone says, but it is an involving one nonetheless.

Gore. Blood. Violence. There are copious amounts of each in RE3. The game involves a lot of killing, which leads to the seemingly endless blood and gore. Blasting a zombie's head off with your trusty shotgun (or handgun, grenade launcher, and an assortment of other weapons) is commonplace. Zombies are found everywhere, so naturally you will have to kill them if they are in your way. Zombies aren't the only enemies in the game, however, other unique and absurd monsters can be found such as gigantic spiders and headless mutants. The others aren't as common as the zombies, which seem to be everywhere. Each enemy is gruesomely detailed, making it all the more fun to mutilate them.

Don't get the idea that the game is all about mindless violence - it's not. In fact, most of the game is centered around puzzles. The puzzles are what will prevent you from going to the next area unless you know how to solve them. Most puzzles are simple if you think about them, but some can still be quite difficult. It seems like all of them can be solved with the 'trial and error' method, which is what I would always use if stuck. Some will lead to a lot of backtracking, as most require you finding keys to get to the new areas. The other most common type of puzzle is pushing switches to open or unlock something. They slow down the game a lot, but the survival horror genre does not need to be fast paced anyway.

Resident Evil 3 has many characteristics that set it apart from similar games. The idea of combining items is one of those characteristics. For example, if you combine a green herb (the healing item of the game) with a red herb, it will produce a mixed herb that is much stronger than what the green one would have been if taken by itself. Gun powder can also be combined to form ammo for the various guns throughout the game.

Another unique characteristic is the saving system. There are various save rooms scattered throughout the game, each of which has a typewriter and a box in. The box is used to store items that you don't want to currently have in your inventory - you can give and take items in the box in any save room. The typewriter is used to save the game, but it requires an ink ribbon. Ink ribbons aren't hard to find and all you need is one anyway.

New to RE3 are a few things (there may be more) - the quick 180 degree turn, the live selections, and Nemesis. The quick 180 degree turn is self explanatory and it can be quite useful in crowded and dangerous situations. The live selections are very cool - it allows you to decide how you want to fend off the recurring Nemesis, who I will explain in a little bit. Making a good selection is a vital part of the game as otherwise you may face a quick death.

At last we come to Nemesis. Nemesis is a badass - a severely mutated badass, at that. This beast will follow you around throughout the game and you will definitely encounter it many times. The big guy has a very impressive aura around him - you know there's going to be hell to pay if you aren't prepared for a fight with him. Even if you do 'kill' him in the early goings, it will still come back again and again to get a taste of your S.T.A.R.S. ass. He/it leads to some memorable and very intense moments in the game. Nemesis is really a thing to be seen.

I have never played the original RE3 for the Playstation, but I did some researching to see what the differences were between that and the Dreamcast version. Apparently, everything is already unlocked in the DC version. The mercenary mini-game is unlocked, as well as the ability to choose a different outfit for Jill at the beginning of the game. The latter option is irrelevant, but the former is not bad. In the mercenary mode, you select from one of three or four mercenaries that have to make a destination in under two minutes or else they will be blown up into smithereens. There are various obstacles along the way, but for every good thing you do (kill a zombie, dodge an attack, etc.) you will get time added back to the clock. The mode is a nice diversion from the main game, but not much else.

While it was nice of Capcom to have everything already unlocked for previous RE3 players, it leaves the game with little to no replay value. There is no real incentive to play through the game more than once. That right there is probably the game's biggest fault. Most will go through the game once and then put it aside with all of the other completed games in their collection. Still, the experience is a great one.

The entire atmosphere of Resident Evil 3 is amazing - it is a great experience. The backgrounds are full of remarkable detail - little objects of interest such as flys buzzing around a street light can be seen in the backgrounds. Raccoon City is just one big disaster area and it really looks like one, too. Broken glass is all over the ground Jill walks on, as well as various other ruined objects. The characters are also detailed quite nicely, but there is some clipping during certain areas. Still, the textures look much smoother and cleaner than what the Playstation is capable of, as do the rest of the visuals.

The music in the game adds even more to the eerie atmosphere. The music itself is just that - eerie. When Nemesis enters the room you're in, you will know it just because of the music (and his constant muttering of the word ''S.T.A.R.S.''). The music as a whole is good, with only one problem being that the save room music is a bit repetitive since there are many such rooms in the game. The sound effects are great, with one exception - the annoying high pitched sound while you are scrolling through the items in a save box. Everything else is realistic and very well done.

The controls are still the same 'RE-Style' controls found in previous editions of the series. They definitely take some time to get used to, but they fit this sort of game. Each button on the Dreamcast controller has a function in the game. For example, the L and R triggers are used to draw a weapon and the A button is used to cancel an option. I'm used to the control setup of other DC games in which the A button is used to choose an option, so it also took a while to get used to that. As a whole, the controls work well but require patience to get used to them.

Overall, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is a great game, much better than I originally thought. If anything, the game made me a fan of the survival horror genre. I am looking to pick up the previous games in the series, as well as other games in the genre like Silent Hill. I definitely recommend buying this version of RE3, but be warned of two very important things that may turn off some buyers - there is little replay value and the controls take a while to get used to. If you can look past those problems, you will probably enjoy RE3 as much as I did.

Final Analysis:
Graphics 8/10 - extraordinary detail, smooth textures, some clipping
Sound 7/10 - eerie music, great sound effects, some repetitive
Gameplay 8/10 - a blast to play through, awesome experience, little replay value
Control 6/10 - strange control setup, takes a while to get used to
Overall 8/10

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The author apologizes for getting long-winded with this review. RE3 has a lot to write about, thus the reason the review went longer than originally intended.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/24/01, Updated 09/24/01


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