In my humble opinion, the 2002 GameCube remake of the original Resident Evil ’96 is arguably the pinnacle of the survival horror sub-genre of action adventure games, especially of the old-school survival horror gameplay style that the first Resident Evil 1 established and popularized in the mid-90s.
Resident Evil Remake is a modern game with amazing graphical fidelity (detail in particular) yet sticks to the classic, retro gameplay style of the genre established in the original 1996 Resident Evil 1 game (PS1/Saturn/PC/DS as Deadly Silence version/PSN).
But how does this GameCube remake (also available for Wii) stack up in the year 2012?
Is the game scary? Is Resident Evil Remake still worth playing given the girth of amazing modern masterpieces available for game systems like the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and PS Vita?
Should you play the GameCube Resident Evil remake even if you’ve already played the PS1 version? Is Resident Evil Remake the best “classic-style” Resident Evil game or the best in the series? Does the game look good given it’s 10 year-old age and given the extremely detailed high-definition graphics of modern titles? Should you pick up the Wii version or the GameCube version of RE Remake?
Keep reading to find out the answer to all these questions and more! As I take a very in-depth look at one of my top 5 favorite games of all time. :)
GameCube (Playable on Wii)
GameCube Release Dates
America: April 30 2002 Europe: September 13 2002 Japan: March 22 2002
Wii Version Release Dates (Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil)
America: June 23 2009 Europe: June 26 2009 Australia: June 25 2009 Japan: December 25 2008
Original Resident Evil ’96 PS1 Release Date
America: March 30 1996 Europe: August 1 1996 Japan: March 22 1996
Survival Horror (Static Camera 3rd Person Action Adventure)
1 (No Multiplayer)
GCN – GameCube controller only. Wii Version – Supports Wii Remote & Nunchuck, Classic Controller and GameCube Controller.
Requires 1 free Block on a GameCube Memory Card (required to play, even if playing the GCN version on Wii). You can only save in five slots per Memory Card (artificial limitations SUCK!). Game does not save automatically, instead you must find an Ink Ribbon and use it at a Type Writer in order to save.
The Wii Version however gives you as many Save Files as will fit, and does not require a GCN Memory Card as the game was built for play specifically on Wii and saves to the Wii’s System Memory or an SD Card.
M for Mature (Contains Violence and Blood & Gore). The game also includes words like “sh*t”, “damn” and “son of a b*tch”, although cussing is sparse. Even though adult language is in the game, it is not officially rated for “Language” for some odd reason.
2 GameCube Discs on the GCN version (you’ll be asked to switch discs near the end of the game). Wii version is on one Wii disc.
ACB: MA15+, CERO: D, PEGI: 16+
Download Version Available?
No. This game is only available in hardcopy form. A digital re-release is not likely, although may eventually hit other systems at some future date. Most likely for the Nintendo Wii U.
There are no special editions of Resident Evil Remake for GameCube or Wii, although the game was re-released in 2004 for GameCube as part of the “Pure Evil 2-Pack”.
This set included both Resident Evil Remake and Resident Evil 0 (alongside a demo of Resident Evil 4), bundled together for the first time. It contains a new cardboard box holder with unique artwork (featuring Rebecca and Billy from Resident Evil Zero), along with each game in its original case. Both cases then slide into the cardbox box holder, similar to the “Devil May Cry – 5th Anniversary Edition” set for PS2. The “Pure Evil 2-Pack” versions of both games are exactly the same as their prior individual releases.
Both games were then re-released again for GameCube in 2006 as part of the “Resident Evil 10th Anniversary Collection” which included a cardboard box holder featuring Resident Evil 4 artwork. This release bundled Resident Evil Remake and Resident Evil 0 with the full game of Resident Evil 4. All three games are packed in their original GameCube cases but have new yellow borders and are marked as “Player’s Choice” versions.
Both of these re-release compilation packs are rare and fetch a very high price, especially sealed. Only spring for them if you are a collector or manage to come across them in this state for cheap. The Wii version is the best and easiest way to play Resident Evil Remake in its best version for cheap.
Capcom in conjunction with Nintendo.
Creator and Director
Shusaku Uchiyama, Makoto Tomozawa, Misao Senbongi
As of August 15, 2012, you can get the buy Resident Evil Remake new on Amazon for $60. Average ebay price is about $20 for a used copy. You can buy the Wii Resident Evil Remake (Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil) for $20 new on Amazon. Although the games are cheap now, they will surely go up in price the longer you wait as GameCube games become sparser.
Resident Evil Remake begins much like the original 1996 version of the game, however the live-action movie scenes (including the intro with actual actors) have been replaced by a much-cooler, and much changed, CG intro that is a lot creepier than the original version with less camp. This immediately sets the mood and gives you a good idea of the fear and tone that the game is setting out to establish from the get-go.
The plot of Resident Evil Remake involves a series of grisly murders that have occurred in the forests outside of Raccoon City. There are reports of victims being attacked and eaten by small groups of people. The Raccoon City Police Department sends out two teams to investigate the murders, but the first team, called the Bravo Team, loses contact in the vast forest. Due to these circumstances, the Raccoon City Police Department sends in its elite Alpha team to rescue them and discover the mystery as to what happened to the Bravo Team and the origins of the horrible murders taking place in the forest.
Of course, the rabbit hole goes much deeper than that, and you’ll eventually discover the origins of the T-Virus that has birthed the zombie outbreak, how it intertwines with your group of S.T.A.R.S. operatives, what the Umbrella Corporation has to do with this bad scene, the true intentions of your fellow team members, and the real reason for the Mansion’s existence.
The plot is deep and involved, and Resident Evil Remake takes strides to tie this game to later games in the series, while cleaning up the original script, spoken dialogue and writing to sound more serious in tone, along with a more professional translation… Sadly the voice acting still leaves something to be desired and is not top quality.
Given that, some people still prefer the extremely campy tone and quirky spoken lines of the original Resident Evil ’96, which have been altered, or completely removed, in this version of the game.
The Alpha Team is made up of Chris Redfield, the leader of the group. Jill Valentine is the agile and smart female member. Barry Burton is the firearms and mechanics expert. Joseph Frost, the maintenance supervisor (the guy with the bandana). Bringing up the rear of the team are Brad Vickers, the Helicopter Pilot who drops the team off, and Albert Wesker, the Team Captain and Division Leader who oversees the operation and gives orders to the rest of the team.
During the intro, you will witness how the team comes across the dead Bravo Team pilot and their crashed helicopter, and how they end up at the “haunted” Mansion that the series is known-for.
*minor spoiler alert*
As they are exploring the forest area around the Bravo Team’s wrecked chopper, a group of vicious zombie dogs attacks the team, who flees in the chaos to a looming, nearby mansion in the distance; Narrowly escaping the group of vicious canines following the killing of Joseph in a gruesome mauling.
This is where the game begins… “enter the survival horror”.
Sadly, the cool Character Introduction from the original Resident Evil ’96 is removed from this version of the game. The original introduced each character and the actor that played them, announcing their name in red flaming letters and cool movie-trailer-style voice overs. Including the characters “Chris Redfield”, “Jill Valentine”, “Barry Burton”, “Rebecca Chambers” (of the STARS Bravo Team, their medic and the partner character you encounter in Chris’ quest) and “Albert Wesker”.
It’s not a negative that the Character Intro is missing and you won’t even notice if you’ve never played the original game. And soon after the game starts you won’t even care that the Character Intro is gone.
Even still, I think it would’ve added a lot to the game by giving players an official introduction to the major characters, which I think establishes a stronger connection to the characters you will soon be seeing throughout the game. And I think it would’ve been really cool to see how they remastered the Character Intro for Remake.
Resident Evil Remake plays like a typical oldschool Survival Horror game. In the minute-to-minute gameplay, you are tasked with exploring the environment around you, the current room you are in and the doors that lead to other rooms. Many of which will be locked.
At the start you choose one of two characters to play as, Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine.
Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Chris is stronger (can take more attacks before dying) and uses Grenades as a Defense Item (if you get attacked, he’ll stuff a Flash Grenade in their mouth, shoot it and it’ll blow their head off in one go). Chris starts off with the Lighter which is used to solve a few puzzles.
His big downsides are huge ones. You can only carry six items due to only having SIX Item Slots. This is very few considering that the ammo and weapon each take up their own item slot. Another HUGE negative is the fact that Chris must use Small Keys to open many important doors that are locked. Chris must find the Small Key in a separate area. The latter two features to Chris make his quest MUCH harder and I do NOT recommend newbies play as Chris.
Jill on the other hand can hold up to 8 Items due to her greater number of Item Slots, meaning she can more easily carry more items. A GREAT benefit and this makes the game much easier. Allowing you to easily carry an extra healing item, Quest item, Key or ammo without too many problems. Her other HUGE benefit is the fact that she comes with the Lockpick instead of the Lighter.
This means that you can unlock all of those “Simple Locks” that Chris is required to find the Small Keys to open; quickly and easily giving her greater access to the a larger section of the mansion. And opening up many shortcuts and alternate routes that allow you to avoid deadly enemies and giving you easier access to health items and the like.
So if it is your first time playing the game, definitely select Jill as opposed to Chris. She does die quicker because she is supposedly weaker and slower, but I have never noticed these things. Her Defense Item is an Tazer, which you find batteries for, and it will stun enemies.
Before you start the game, you will select a Difficulty, “Hiking” is “Easy” while “Mountain Climbing” is “Normal”. Hard won’t be unlocked until you beat the game at least once on.
Each environment or room you are in can be explored by walking up to a section of the room and pressing the A Button (Action Button), which will give you a description of what is in front of you. This seemingly little and seemingly insignificant feature is arguably the reason I love the Resident Evil series the most.
These cool, interesting little descriptions, often multiple of them in one room, really bring the environments to life because it is ensures that the backgrounds and the details IN the backgrounds MATTER and have a POINT. Games without the ability to check background details irk me infinitely, because it ensures that all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into developing the environments is virtually wasted, as the player will simply run through them since there is no actual POINT.
In Resident Evil, half the fun of exploring the games many extremely detailed environments is checking the environment to see what it says about that object in front of you. And this is enhanced infinitely in Resident Evil Remake because the environments are SOOOO detailed. It really is mindboggling and it makes the game that much funner to slowly explore as you take in the amazing graphics and check every part of the room.
As you make your way through the environment, you’ll come across items you can pick up. These include Keys, Quest Items, Weapons, Ammunition, Health Items, Ink Ribbons (required to save), Note Files and more. These Items are specifically made to stand out from the background so that you will recognize which ones are items you can pick up and which are part of the background.
Items go into your inventory, which you can access with a press of the Y Button. You then have the option to Use an Item, Examine an Item (zoom in, rotate it, and find peculiar aspects of the item that are required to proceed, such as a button that opens a Mystery Box up) or Combine the item. Items like Weapons and Ammo must be combined, or Health Items.
On the Inventory screen you can also view the state of your Health (Green: Fine, Yellow: Caution, Light Red: Hurt, Deep Red – Danger: Almost Dead), as well as access tabs at the top that lead to your Map of the area and the Files you have picked up, which you can read with the A Button.
You can also access your Map by pressing the Z Button. You can tell what areas you’ve explored and which still have an item to be found in them (exploring), and can switch the map to new areas by pressing right or left (to switch from say the Courtyard to the Mansion). Lastly you can switch floors by pressing Up or Down. You can also get information on the doors in the mansion, Red doors are locked, gray doors are barred, etc. If you haven’t found an actual map of the area you’re in, then you can only see areas you’ve already visited on your map.
As you are exploring the environments, you’ll come across enemies. Obviously the main enemy you’ll encounter are zombies, as everyone at this point knows by now. Zombies however are the “default” enemy and the easiest you will find.
You’ll also come across a number of other more deadly enemies as you are exploring the many rooms of the huge Mansion and its connected environments. Although there is very little diversity in the enemies you face throughout the game, but that isn’t something you really notice as the game is pretty well paced. And you will face a few different variety of zombies that look different from each other.
Resident Evil is a “Item-fetch” style of game, which basically means you spend most of the game taking one item and using it at another location. This is a good example of the “classic”, retro style of the game. Which hasn’t been changed for Resident Evil Remake.
As such, Resident Evil Remake is really an acquired taste, and the game is really difficult to get into for a lot of people. Especially first time players.
Resident Evil Remake is very slow-paced, this not a game meant to be played quickly (unless you are a master, as the game does keep track of how quickly you finish it and how many times you save) and that can be a major turn off for a lot of gamers.
Resident Evil is also a very difficult game with little hand-holding making it really tough on first-timers. It is very easy to die and somewhat confusing if you don’t know what you are doing. As you will not know where to go or what to do. But, like all things, learning comes with experience and time. Eventually you’ll learn all these things.
The Mansion environment that you explore for a vast majority of the game is almost like a character in itself. And the Mansion has been enhanced in this version as a lightning and thunder flash and roar as you are exploring, something that was not in the original version. It was added back into Remake to make it much more ominous as you explore the large and detailed rooms.
The Mansion is memorable, in part because of the awesome cinematography. Resident Evil sticks to the Survival Horror conventions of the classic style it invented, where the whole game is presented via static camera angels. Some people hate this style, although I think it immeasurably adds to the drippingly cool style of the game.
The “cinematography” as I call it is simply outstanding, and quite beautiful. The different camera angels really add to the mystic and the aura of horror that the environments are supposed to convey, and they do so quite well at that.
Especially when you compare it to the original game, the awesome environmental effects and the placement of the camera angles really enhance the mood. You’ll notice this from the jump too, as the grand hall of the Mansion is so well designed and looks so beautiful.
Especially when you notice the extreme amount of detail in the environments and the way the placement of the candles and their placement in the scene, along with other light fixtures, really adds to the graphical flourish.
The graphics in Resident Evil Remake, even today in 2012, are still quite extraordinary and still look pretty awe-inspiring, especially particular areas and environments which look stunning. The main hall of the mansion, the graveyard, the forest outside the Mansion, and most definitely the Sewers; all environments that are either completely new to Resident Evil Remake and/or are increased 100 fold in graphical fidelity over the original game. Enough that you will be amazed at the amount of detail that’s packed into each and every screen.
Buzzing flies and crawling insects, dusty floors and sweeping fog, tons and tons of unique photos that decorate every wall, books and trinkets that line every shelf, bookcase, desk and table in every room, puddles of water and mirrors that perfectly reflect the environments and your character… even your character themselves are highly detailed. You can see the individual stitchings on their outfits, where they keep their Defense Items on their person and can even read the words printed on their costumes if the camera is close enough.
And like with all Resident Evil games, the RE staple of an upclose cutscene slowly showing each door opening takes place every time you enter a room. This is cool because its unique, and you don’t really see it in many games, especially these days (although after Resident Evil it became a convention of its own, especially in other Survival Horror games, particularly from Capcom).
Even though its unique and cool, and adds to the slow pace and the tension of the horror, it does also become quite annoying and will grate on your nerves after a while. Some people can’t stand the door-opening sequences, even though there’s lots of variety in the type of doors that open, from gates to mechanical doors to double-doors, fancy doors, painted doors, old-fashioned doors, creaking doors, etc.
What becomes particularly annoying though is when you forget an item or you accidentally go into the wrong room and have to turn back around to go through the door again… and are thus forced to sit through the door-opening sequence again.
There’s even been times when I accidentally went through the wrong door and had to turn back around and go through the same door again, only to realize I was mistaken and it was the right room, meaning I had to go through the door once again.
That’s when these door sequences really start to bug you. I wish you could skip them… especially given that they were originally designed to hide the loading times between scenes of the original PS1 version and thus are probably not necessary in the GameCube remake. Thus they should be skippable. But alas, they come with the territory so you’ll just have to learn to deal with them.
…. Track my progress as I finish the review. I plan to have it fully posted as soon as possible.
More Videogame Reviews:
5. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64) [Posted: January 31 2013]
4. Resident Evil: Code Veronica Review (Dreamcast) [Posted: October 5 2012]
3. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PS1, GameCube) [Posted: September 18th 2012]
2. Resident Evil 2 (GameCube) [Posted: September 3rd 2012]
1. Resident Evil Remake (GameCube) [Posted: August 14 2012]
Music Album Reviews
9. Between Here & Lost By Love And Death (helmed by Brian “Head” Welch Former Korn Lead Guitarist) [Posted: January 25 2013]
8. I AM By Becoming the Archetype (Posted: September 14th 2012)
7. Find Your Worth Come Home By To Speak of Wolves (Posted: May 25, 2012)
6. Celestial Progression (Remix Album) By Becoming the Archetype (Posted: May 21, 2012)
5 Return to Life By War of Ages (Posted: April 28, 2012)
4. Thousand Foot Krutch – The End Is Where We Begin (Posted: April 20, 2012)
3. KJ-52 – Dangerous (Posted: April 16, 2012)
2. Manafest – Fighter (Posted: April 15, 2012)
1. Demon Hunter – True Defiance (Posted: April 10, 2012)
Gilmore Girls Reviews
4. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 4 – The Deer Hunters
3. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 3 – Kill Me Now
2. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 2 – The Lorelais’ First Day At Chilton Review
1. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 1 – Pilot Review
3. The Amazing Spider-Man [Posted: December 1 2012]
2. Prometheus (Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequel) [Posted On: November 25 2012]
1. Warhorse (By Steven Spielberg) [Posted On: November 11 2012]
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 0 Part 6
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 0 Part 5
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 0 Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast Part 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast. RE0 Intro (Part 1)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Finale (Part 7)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Parts 5 and 6
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Podcast Part 1
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Finale (Part 5)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Parts 2 And 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Part 1
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 2 Podcast Final Master Run (Claire Redfield)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 2 Podcast (Leon Scenario A On Normal)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Remake Real Survival Mode Chris
* ListenToMePlay Super Metroid Podcast
* ListenToMePlay Super Metroid Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Oblivion “Through A Virgin’s Eyes” Podcast Part 1 – Guest Mr. Z
* ListenToMePlay Oblivion Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay The Witcher 2 Podcast Part 1 – Guest: RedWinged Angel
* ListenToMePlay The Witcher 2 Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Remake Podcast – Guest: MyDad
WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Let’s Play Videos
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 7 – Empty Bottle GET! Deku Palace And Magic Beans
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 6 – Granny Robbin For Blast Mask And Kamaro Dance
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 5 – The Thief And the Curiosity Shop Dealer
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 4 – Bomb Bag, Bremen Mask, Scarecrow’s Song
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 3 – Bomber’s Notebook
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 2 – Repeating Yesterday
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 1 – Intro and Opening