Monday, October 27, 2014

"Ada! Wait!"

The year is 1998. Fans are eagerly awaiting for the sequel to Resident Evil. Capcom held fans at bay with Resident Evil: Director's Cut, which offered new modes, new costumes, music, and a mostly uncensored intro sequence while Resident Evil 2 was nearing completion. Hopes were incredibly high, especially after screenshots were released, showing a more modern, urban setting. Zombies were now in the streets of Raccoon City, and more dangerous than ever.

Yeah... until it got scrapped.

Resident Evil 2 was almost ready to hit shelves, when Capcom said, "Fuck this game. This is garbage, and this isn't what we wanted. Let's fucking re-do the whole thing." And they did. In less than a year, Capcom completely overhauled Resident Evil 2 into something spectacular.

Resident Evil 2 - PlayStation/Nintendo 64 - 1998 - Not Just Another Zombie Game!

Resident Evil 2 is so fucking good, that fans have been hounding Capcom to remake it in HD, like the Gamecube release of Resident Evil. It's no wonder why either! Resident Evil 2 not only boasted higher production values in every single department, it absolutely eclipsed the original is every single fucking category.
Well, mostly. The voice acting is still sub-par, but it's much better than the original. The story this time around is much better as well, introducing us to some memorable characters like Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, sister to Chris Redfield from the first game. Umbrella is shown in a much more sinister way this time around, and have much more involvement in the events that unfold. They're still up to no good, but now they've infected the entire city with the new G-Virus. Talk about going from bad to fucking bat shit crazy. It wouldn't be as bad if they, you know, didn't own everything. Think of Umbrella as the Wal-Mart of the gaming world. You go to them for literally everything; medicines, clothing, even the fucking bullets you'll be blasting zombies with.

What sets this apart from its predecessor is the Hollywood production. Resident Evil 2 feels more like a big budget movie. There's a lot of action, a lot of drama, and a lot of fuckery going on. The set pieces are great, and the game moves at a rapid pace. A lot of things happen in Resident Evil 2, and they're all pretty important and make Raccoon City feel like a real place, and THAT is scary. Could you imagine an outbreak like that happening in the U.S.? A real one I mean... not this Ebola shit.

Did you know there's a cure now? That's a whole other argument though...
Right then... let's get to the cast:

Leon S. Kennedy - "ADA! FUCKING WAIT!!!"

Leon is rather unlucky. He had to show up for an outbreak on his first day on the job. Poor guy probably didn't even get to eat his first donut yet. He's quite the badass though... taking bullets for bitches and shit...

Claire Redfield - The best step mom ever.

Oh Claire... I wonder if Chris played a prank on you since, you know, he's not in a city infested with zombies. Claire takes care of business. I bet she's great in bed too. She seems to connect with Sherry.

Sherry Birkin - Her parents fucking suck.

Poor Sherry. Her father created the G-Virus and turned everyone into monsters, and her mother is too preoccupied with shooting people, looking for William, and dying. Someone call Child Protective Services. Despite all the chaos, Sherry is quite brave. She also has the G-Virus sample everyone is after, and doesn't even know it. Ba-zinga!

William Birkin - THE MAN WHO SEES ALL.

That's a terrible joke. The creator of the G-Virus, and overall dipshit. After being shot to near death, he injects himself with the G-Virus, and tries to kill everyone. If only he didn't knock that container over...

Annette Birkin - Not so devoted mother.

For real. She cares more about William than she does Sherry. William is a fucking monster now. Get your shit together, you have a daughter to protect. She makes things really hard for everyone along the way. She's just a huge bitch in general.

Ada Wong - The best fake death you've ever seen.

If you go with the canon, she dies a horrific death. If you don't, she still dies a horrific death. How the fuck she lived to see Resident Evil 4 is beyond me. She falls in love with Leon, or maybe that's just another trick. Women are good at that one.
Brian Irons - Crooked cop extraordinaire.

The chief of the Raccoon Police Department, who's in cahoots with Umbrella. Pretty sinister guy he is, until William plants an embryo inside him and it escapes in the goriest way possible. Guess you get what you deserve, dick.

Ben - The pen is extremely inferior to the sword.

Ben is a reporter, who finds out about Umbrella's secrets and is on his way to expose them. You know, until the whole city decides to be turned into zombies. He hides in a jail cell because that's always fucking safe right? Suffers the same fate as Irons.

Kendo Gun Shop Owner - "I ain't got no clue darlin!"

Is it ironic that the owner of a gun shop doesn't kill a single fucking zombie? He doesn't know why the city is infested with zombies, and apparently can't see them breaking through the front window. He leaves a shotgun behind for Leon, or the pathetic bow gun for Claire.

Marvin gives us our first keycard of the game, and then turns into a zombie right in front of your face. Blow his head off. He seemed like a cool guy too...
Hunk - The 4th Survivor

Somehow survives William's fury in the sewers. He's there to take the G-Virus back to Umbrella. He's playable through a bonus scenario, and it's fucking hard.

Truck Driver - "GUY'S A MANIAC! WHY'D HE BITE ME?!"

Apparently doesn't recognize a crazed zombie in front of his face. Gets bitten, turns into a zombie, crashes his truck, and separates Claire and Leon. That bastard.

As you can see, Resident Evil 2 has quite the colorful cast. My favorite is Leon, because like Barry Burton in the first game, he has a certain stupid charm. He's overly serious, and for the right reasons. I mean, there's only a viral outbreak going on after all. He tells Ada to wait so many times that it borders on hilarity. She probably faked her death to get away from him.

Just like the first game, we also have our selection of targets to shoot up:

Zombies - A household name!

Still deadly, but more common place. At this point it would be weird to not have zombies in the world. They still love flesh, and they're still dead.
Zombie Dogs - All bark and no bite.

There's like 6 dogs in the game. Still a pain in the ass, but easily out ran. Someone fill the dog dish up and spare the humans for Christ's sake.
Lickers - One hell of an ice cream eater.

Boasting quite a large tongue, these fuckers are deadly. Thought the Hunters from the first game were hard? These things mutate later on in the game, and get much stronger. They can lob your head off with one strike as well. Could probably eat a lollipop like a champ.

B.O.W.s - Not your average crop killer.

Seen later in the game, these guys like to spit poison and slap you around with their tentacles. Like any plant though, they don't stand a chance against flames. Light em up with flame rounds, or pop em with the magnum. Or go for the can of Raid.
William Offspring Monster - Because what else can you call it?

Started as an embryo, and ended up as a hulking monster. Likes to puke up baby offspring monsters that crawl on you.
Giant Alligator - Nuff said.

How this thing lives in the raccoon city sewers is beyond me... Can eat the player whole if you're not careful. He loves to eat canisters, so shoot it when he gobbles it down and his head will turn to mush.
Mr. X - Tyrant in a fucking trench coat.

Remember the Tyrant you killed in the first game? Yeah, Umbrella made a few more and sent them after you. These guys are strong. Thank God you only have to face one of them. Sports TWO giant mutated claws at the end, and is MUCH faster than the first Tyrant. He still hates rocket launchers though.

Resident Evil 2 is vastly different from the first game in numerous ways. The best change is the scenario system. For example, if you beat the game with Leon, you can load it up after and play Claire's B scenario. The events of the game unfold in a totally different way. This led fans to figure out which pair of scenarios are canon, and as it turns out, Leon B and Claire A are the canon scenarios. Either way you go though, the game is quite entertaining. You're still solving absurd puzzles and killing monsters. There's a lot of dramatic scenes, and a lot of intense action sequences.

One of the other awesome additions are the weapons. Like the first game, Claire and Leon both get their own weapons to use, with slightly better results. Leon can collect custom parts to upgrade his shotgun and magnum, while Claire has the grenade launcher with 3 different ammo types to use, each being more effective depending on the type of enemy. B.O.W.s are weak against flame, while zombies and lickers are weak against acid type rounds. Leon's weapons get insanely powerful, and this time around, ammo is much more plentiful. You can live off the magnum near the end of the game, and you can use the shotty as soon as you get it. The pistol becomes useless after getting it. Claire isn't so lucky however. Sure she gets the grenade launcher, and you'll be using it the whole game pretty much, but her alternative is the shitty bow gun. It shoots in a spread pattern, does pitiful damage, and the ammo is fucking scarce. Claire can get the submachine gun, and the spark gun, but both are very limited in use, and subtract points from your overall rank.

Yes, the ranking system is back, and it's even more strict. If you want an A rank, you better avoid the submachine gun AND the spark gun. This makes Claire's scenarios kind of shallow, since Leon can upgrade both of his better weapons without penalty, but that just means Claire's scenarios are much harder to complete. Not that the game is very hard, seeing as how it throws ludicrous amounts of healing herbs at you, but you still get penalized for healing too much.

The graphics this time around are a touch better. The presentation is slick, and the FMVs are awesome, especially this one. The voice acting is much better, but is still laughable at times, namely Leon's interactions with Ada. He's such a ham. The soundtrack is also famous in its own right. It's excellent, and filled with hauntingly catchy tunes. The save room music is enough to get you into it. Then there's Ada's Theme. It's absolutely beautiful. It fits so perfectly with Ada and Leon's relationship in the game.

Along with the scenario system, you also get two bonus scenarios you can unlock. There's The 4th Survivor, which shows Hunk's side after retrieving the G-Virus. It's fucking hard as shit to complete, due to having no items to pick up. What he has in his inventory is what you get. It's fun, but goddamn is it hard. However, it has nothing on the Tofu scenario.

Silly? Yes. Hard? You bet your fucking ass it is.
Tofu is a concept character Capcom created to test hitboxes in Resident Evil 2. But did they leave him out of the game? Nooooooooooooooo.... He's playable after you beat each scenario 3 times. Why is Tofu's scenario so hard? He doesn't get anything. He doesn't get a single healing item. He doesn't even start off with a fucking gun. He gets the knife, and that's it. It's the ultimate challenge for players, and it doesn't get any harder than this. If you can beat this you deserve a fucking medal.

On top of those two modes, if you're playing the Dual Shock version, you can also unlock Extreme Battle mode. Jesus how many fucking extras did they cram into this game? It's a cool mode though. Various locales from the game act as levels, and you just have to survive. Ada, and even Chris Redfield is playable in this mode. Chris is cool because he sports his outfit from the first game, and even the same weapons. However, he's the hardest person to use due to his low damage tolerance. It's still a really cool extra though.

All in all, Resident Evil 2 is the ultimate package. Not only is the story excellent AND with great pacing, but all the features it added, the soundtrack, the better graphics... it's just gaming at its finest. The replay value this game offers is incredible, so you won't be bored anytime soon with it. It's so shocking too. I wonder how the scrapped project would have been if it had actually been finished and released. Apparently, copies of it exist on the internet, and can be played with an emulator, but I haven't tried it myself. Maybe one day I'll try it. For now, anyone who is a fan of the RE series and hasn't played this... FUCKING PLAY IT. It's great. It's fantastic. It's so good that fans are remaking it ON THEIR OWN.

And now, without further adieu, I leave you with this:

Next post, I look at Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and we discuss one of the most menacing enemies ever made! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

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