Review by Minesweeper
"You'll probably only want to play this if you're a Resident Evil fanatic"
I'm a pretty big fan of the Resident Evil series. I will buy any game, no matter how awful it is, if it's got Resident Evil in the title. It was the same reason I purchased this game even though I heard many warnings about it from other reviews. What I discovered was a decent but flawed game that's good if you've got a long car trip or something like that ahead of you.
Gameplay - 5/10
The gameplay has pretty much the same idea as most of the other Resident Evil games: battle zombies, conserve ammo, solve puzzles, and race against the clock to escape the deathtrap before you get killed.
What's different is the way you battle against zombies. Instead of just shooting them on sight, you now have to enter a ''battle mode,'' like in an RPG. You do this by getting touched by a zombie, or targeting them with a weapon while wandering around in overhead view. In battle mode, you'll go into a first person camera angle. A little box moves across a bar at the bottom of the screen. The zombies have white bars beneath them on the bar.
To attack the zombie, you have to click when the box moves over the white bars. While you CAN run from battles, the zombies will suddenly get more aggressive and attack more often. That means it's not a smart idea to run from a battle, even if you're heavily wounded and have no ammo. This is a silly way to play out battles in my opinion. Capcom should have just made it so that you can fight and run around in overhead view the whole time.
Like most other Resident Evil games, there is the issue of ammo conservation. You simply don't have enough bullets to kill everything. Now, I like the ammo conservation concept in the Resident Evil series, but I think Capcom took it way too far this time. You get so little ammo in this game that you have to use the knife at least half the time you're fighting enemies. You have to do this if you want a hope of having enough bullets to get out in the end. I really don't like having to save ammo that much just to barely make it out.
Puzzles are much more simplistic in this game than in the other Resident Evil games. Just about all of them are ''Get this item here, take it there to access something else.'' If you check items, most of the time you'll be told exactly where you need them. Your map is a very big help in this game. To indicate where you're supposed to go next, you'll see a room indicated in bright red on your map. I guess they had to make the puzzles easy in this game to balance out the need to conserve ammo so much.
Graphics - 6/10
The graphics are pretty good for a Game Boy Color game. Zombies look the way they should, both in battle mode and in overhead view. The backgrounds are simplistic, but they're varied enough so that I can tell where I am in the ship. That's a big plus when you're trying to navigate. I don't mind the simple graphics, because this is the Game Boy Color and not the Playstation. I do enjoy looking at the cut scenes. They're quite detailed, though they're static for the most part.
Unfortunately, all the graphics have one big flaw: The colors are much too dark. I know this is Resident Evil and the areas should be dark to provide a creepy feel, but they shouldn't be THIS dark. Half the time I'm playing I have to adjust to an uncomfortable position so that the light is hitting the screen properly. If I don't do that, I can't see anything except a few faint lines and the character in an otherwise black screen. The graphic score would have been 8/10 if it wasn't for this problem.
Sound - 7/10
The sound's not bad. I actually like keeping the volume up, unlike most other Game Boy Color games when I turn the sound off. There's only several different songs in this game. They're decent for Game Boy Color, but they can get redundant. The only voice you hear in this game is the one saying ''Resident Evil'' at the start of the game. All other talking is done via captions beneath pictures of the cut scenes. They managed to get the zombie groans from Resident Evil 2 into this game, and they sound pretty good. The guns don't sound loud enough.
Story - 6/10
An anti-Umbrella organization has been formed to stop the Umbrella Corporation from creating any more bio weapons like the ones in the previous games. However, a B.O.W. (Bio-Organic Weapon) has escaped from an Umbrella lab, and has hidden itself in its human form among the passengers of a cruise ship called the Starlight. Ex-Raccoon City cop Leon Kennedy has been sent from the anti-Umbrella organization to track down the B.O.W., but he's gone missing. Now, former S.T.A.R.S. member Barry Burton has been sent to the Starlight to track down Leon and kill the B.O.W. This is where you take over. To reveal anything more would be a spoiler.
I enjoyed the story because I'm a Resident Evil fanatic and will play any game that will add onto the Resident Evil plot. But if you're just playing this game first and not checking out any of the previous games, you won't know much of what's going on. That can detract from the experience quite a bit. I would at least check out Resident Evil 1 and 2 before playing this game.
Re-playability - 3/10
After you beat the game, there's not really much left to do. You don't get any new guns or anything if you beat from the game, and that detracts from the score. The only thing there really is to do once you beat the game is to try to find weapons and items you missed on your first run.
Overall - 6/10
This would be a solid RE game if Capcom brightened the graphics, put something in to unlock after you beat the game, and gave you some more ammo. Heck, I'd probably be content if just the graphics were brighter and I didn't have to squint most of the time while playing. The score increases one point from 5/10, because this game is portable. Increase the overall score to 7/10 if you love the Resident Evil series.
Buy or Rent? - Rent
After you beat the game, there's not really anything left to do except find items you missed on the first run.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 08/04/02, Updated 08/04/02
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