Review by JMcKeenan

"I know he's here..."

I started on the Resident Evil series when it hit number 2. So I wasn't what you would call a veteran. It was supposed to be a horror game. Instead, I just found relief in destroying zombies. So I'm doing fine, I'm not scared. And I absolutely can't wait for the next game. Here it is, and I can tell you, Capcom scared the bejeezus outta me this time.

No, not with the zombies. OK, there are more situations where you're outnumbered by zombies. But what ices the cake is a single man. They call him Nemesis. He's big, he's ugly, he's strong, he's fast, and he carries a rocket launcher.

Not to worry, he only hunts down S.T.A.R.S members. Wait a minute...who do you play? That's right, Jill Valentine, a S.T.A.R.S mem...oh, crud. RUN FOR IT!

I'll delve deeper into that later. Right now, let's get the other stuff out of the way.

Control: Responsive, useful functions...that's doable. If you want dodging to work, though, you have to stay cool (dodging is all about timing), and you can't be in the red. Of course, Nemesis is always a life drainer, so you will panic. Especially when you see this friggin guy. (9)

Graphics: I've seen better in Dino Crisis, but if the graphics were like Dino Crisis, it just wouldn't be Resident Evil. For REish graphics, they're the best damn graphics I have ever seen. It's sharp, clean, crisp, and the shapes of characters seem less flat. (10)

Sound: This is one of those things where you wish would get an 11. The acting's much improved, and the characters sound more believeable. The gunshots sound spectacular, the footsteps sound the way they should, and don't get me started about the music. Hook your PSX up to SurroundSound Stereo. I triple-dog dare you. You will know the meaning of fear just by listening to the music. (10)

Replay Value: How would you like to find out what happened to the stars of RE2? Seriously, I picked up the fact that beating it on normal gives you some Easter Eggs, AKA FMV sequences of the RE2 Characters and what happened to them. Of course, you have to beat the game to get them all...8 TIMES. There's not much to come back to afterwards, except on Halloween. (It's a short game, if you're good you can beat it in five hours, seven tops.)

Gameplay: I was talking about this at the beginning of the review. I'll continue from there. Nemesis has a habit of busting in on you at the least convient times. When you least expect it, there it is. And yes, you WILL have to fight it at one point or another. Luckily, though, you can dodge the Nemesis fight scenes sometimes. It's called Live Selection.

Live Selection is simple. It doesn't slow down the game at all. In fact, it adds more tension. What happens is that you're given two options. Let's use this situation: You're about to enter the RPD when you meet up with Nemesis. He whacks a friend of yours, and then walks toward you, simply muttering "STARS..." in a creepy, low voice. You can fight him and possibly not have to deal with him again, or you can run for your life, and possibly have to fight him later. What do you do?

Here's what happens: As the problem is shown, right afterwards, the screen turns B&W. Your two choices are placed in front of you for a moment. Then the screen turns to normal, and you make your choice while Nemesis walks toward you. You have no control over your character during live selection. You have to make your choice before Nemesis catches up to you, otherwise, a desicon will be made for you. Not one you would like, either.

Now you know how the characters in the horror movies felt when they froze in fear.

Even better: The choice you make could affect you in the long term sense. So you have to think carefully, as well as fast. Crazy, right?

Oh, yeah, the plot. It takes place 24 hours before and 24 hours after RE2. You're Jill, and, as usual, you have to save the world from Umbrella. But this time, the twist is that you have to get out of Racoon City first. And you'll have to deal with a more diverse amount of locales this time around. You'll find yourself back at the RPD, at the Hospital, a spooky Clocktower, the Park, and the city itself. And there's Nemesis, who, as I mentioned, is hell-bent on finding S.T.A.R.S members. And while you've retired, do you think IT knows that? Well, you have a special task force watching your back (more specifically, a rookie named Carlos), but not even that could help you, as you will see very soon. It's a wild plot, but I should mention that you should pick up Resident Evil 2 (or the original if you don't know what the word "Tyrant" means), and get a feel of the world and enviroment of the game beore you go out and play this one. I guarentee you, if you don't do that, you will be Zombie meat within 30 seconds. (10)

Overall: This is the greatest game I ever had the pleasure of playing. However, it's difficult, as well as scary, so if you're a beginner, consider yourself dead. (10)

Check out this game if you said Yes to all of these questions:

Do you own a Playstation?
Do you like scary movies?
Are you over the age of 16?
Can you handle mass amounts of blood and gore?
Do you rarely, if at all, have nightmares?
Have you played and enjoyed Resident Evil 1 and/or 2?

Happy playing. And look out for the windows. There has been countless acts of vandalisim in Racoon City these days, especially in the Police Station.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/25/99, Updated 11/25/99

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