The second of these five minute fanboy articles and we’re still knee-deep in dead. As the excellent 3DS title Resident Evil: Revelations has been given a slightly strange but not unwelcome release on home consoles, I’ve been given an excuse to create a guide to convince the entire internet that you are the absolute authority on Resident Evil. So, if you’ve gotten into an argument in the comments section of a YouTube video, instead of stepping away from the computer and taking a long, hard look at yourself, realising the monster you have become, read this article and drop the mother of all knowledge bombs on those amateur hour fanboys.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4, for my money, is the best game ever made. Survival horror on the whole was right in the mud and legendary series creator Shinji Mikami rolled back into town to show everyone how it should be done. It really does have everything. Tension, action, German suplexes - the lot. Even the ITEM MENU is fun to use! It also was the first game to popularise the ‘over-the-shoulder’ camera angle for action games, which means that it basically has influenced every title of this generation, if we’re allowed to over-exaggerate for a second. Why aren’t you playing it right now?
It’s £15 on Xbox Live Arcade or PSN. The best fifteen quid you’ll spend all day. It is a port of the Wii version too, which brings us nicely to...
The Wii version! The best version! It had all the extra stuff from the PS2 release but had all the technical and graphical clout that was present on the GameCube. Even the remote aiming was excellent.
The PC version, however, was a right stinker. A poor port of the worst iteration. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Not even some dedicated modders can truly salvage it.
“Didn’t I say all of this last month? Are you even listening?!”
Classic Resident Evil games are all excellent, slow burning adventure experiences. Admittedly they eventually begin to outstay their welcome, but the first three are stone cold classics. The mansion from the original, the destroyed city and police department of the second and, of course, the ‘Terminator’-esque constant threat of the Nemesis in... well, Nemesis remain iconic throughout the industry. They inspired a bunch of largely rubbish clones and did become incredibly stale themselves, before Resident Evil 4 showed up and started this whole cycle once again. Nice one, Capcom! Three cheers for running good things RIGHT into the dirt!
The remake of Resident Evil for the GameCube is absolutely incredible. Far better than the original and bloody close to being the best of the lot. It is a real shame they never did any of the others in the same style.
The first thing I ever wrote on the Internet was about a game called ‘Sweet Home’, an RPG where you were trapped in a mansion full of traps and other horrible things that were trying to kill you. It was a massive influence on Shinji Mikami and the inspiration for the first Resident Evil game. It even coined the term ‘Survival Horror’, way back in 1989.
Resident Evil was allegedly built upon the codebase from Shinji Mikami’s previous game Goof Troop for the SNES. Yes, the one about Goofy and his family.
“Some people do say that Code Veronica is pretty good but it is ultimately a really average title with a couple of frustrating, game breaking moments held in a position of revery by tragic nerds who are unable to let the death of the Dreamcast go. Trust me, I can smell my own.”
Tell everyone you have played Resident Evil: Outbreak online
The two Outbreak games are under appreciated gems in the Resident Evil series. Four players each play as radically different characters with unique abilities and have to work together to get through the various scenarios. For instance, the cop is a kind of all-rounder, whereas the schoolgirl cannot use any weapons at all, but has a backpack allowing her to carry twice as many items as anyone else. That can be absolutely crucial. My favourite remains Jim, the subway station employee who can play dead so enemies ignore him and go after all your teammates instead. When he’s not doing that, he periodically shouts out “My life is shit!” A true hero.
PRO TIP - In the UK, the first Outbreak game had the online mode removed from it, so trying to convince anyone you played it that way isn’t recommended.
The servers have been switched off for an age, so do a bit of research into the timeframe before you try and hustle.
In Outbreak: File 2 there’s a level where you’re chased by a giant zombified elephant called Oscar. That should be enough to get you interested.
The Resident Evil series has some fascinating games that either didn’t see the light of day, or if they did, they were in a very different form to what Capcom originally had in mind. Have a look at the 'fog' version of Resident Evil 4, for instance. Leon was still the protagonist, but you’re running around an Umbrella lab, rather than rural Spain, and instead of the Ganados, you’re battling against weird ghost things, creepy living dolls and a dude with a giant hook.
Then there’s the story of 'Resident Evil 1.5'. Nearly finished and ready to be the franchise's second installment, it was abandoned and started over a good way into development. So far, in fact, that a bunch of enterprising fans of the series have taken to finishing it off. They recently released their progress.
My favourite, though, is the GameBoy Colour port of the original Resident Evil game. What little footage that’s available - click here for a sample - seems to indicate the developers had a bloody good crack at it given the obvious hardware limitations, but alas, the powers that be said that they were "not confident the product would have made both consumers and Capcom happy.” Shame.
With its hook man and living dolls, the word is the 'fog' version of Resident Evil 4 was actually a much scarier game than the one we ended up with. It got canned for being a bit too 'ghosty', which would’ve been daft even by Resident Evil standards.
You can play Resident Evil 1.5 right now if you’ve got a PSOne emulator and a bit of free time. It’s broken and not particularly good, though.
In the shit-canned Game Boy Resident Evil port, Barry Burton was the same sprite they used for Chris Redfield, they just slapped a beard on him. Brilliant!
“Oh, I totally donated some money to that fund to buy the alleged Game Boy Colour code off of one of the developers!”
The man. The myth. The legend. That beard. Barry Burton is the perma-confused Arn Anderson lookalike that bumbled his way through the first Resident Evil talking utter rubbish and being manipulated by ultra-badguy and Billy Idol impersonator Albert Wesker. Favourite Barry moments include him sending you off into a mansion full of zombies while he examines a puddle of blood (Examine with what?! His portable blood testing kit?), turning up too late to actually be of any help and the bit at the end when he mashes his stupid hands against a computer terminal and releases the ultimate bio-weapon - The Tyrant - from its holding cell. Despite his constant mistakes and inability to comprehend what ANYTHING is, Barry is universally loved by fans of the series. The rubbish, brilliant Barry Burton.
He had his own game once - Resident Evil Gaiden on the Game Boy Colour. It was crap, and is one of the few things that has been completely stricken from the Resident Evil canon.
He’s paid DLC for Resident Evil 5’s mercenaries mode and you bet your life I paid up to play as him. He has his trademark custom Magnum and everything.
Barry hasn’t appeared in the Resident Evil storyline since Resi 3. We all eagerly await his return. Honestly, I might bloody cry tears of joy if he turns up in Resident Evil 7.
Choice Quotes (from the man himself)
"What is it?"
"What IS it?!"
"What is this?"
"What? What is this?"
"Whoa! This hall is dangerous!"
"That was too close! You were almost a Jill sandwich!"
This article is about turning you, the clueless person on the internet, into Johnny Effin’ Resident Evil. I want you to be hurled, Mr. X style, into a room full of rabid fans of the series and pass as one of them. All of the above information, if memorised, will go far to convincing that this is the case, but the mere mention of even the slightest enjoyment towards the Resident Evil movie series will have you rumbled immediately. Have you ever been to a theme park where they have that 3D 'ride' which asks you to put on some glasses and balls bounce towards you out of the screen? That is literally the level these are operating on. Barely existent plot and ropey special effects combine to create some pointless 'thrill ride' of a film that seems to serve the one purpose of keeping Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife Mila Jovovich in work, and in the case of the latter, skimpy outfits.
Where do they find these actors? Poor Barry Burton looks like David Gest!
You might be bloody sitting there agreeing with me, thinking “Right on, Andi. You’re the man!” but some of you must be guilty of watching these things. The franchise has nearly made ONE BILLION DOLLARS worldwide.
So, apparently, there’s a part at the end of the first Resident Evil movie where Mila Jovovich falls out of a bath and, supposedly, if you freeze frame it at exactly the right time, you’re treated to quite an eyeful. A mate told me. Allegedly.
“Anyone who knows anything knows that the best Resident Evil 'film' is the live action intro to the first game. Less wooden acting, too.”