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Resident Evil 2 (GCN)
Publisher:  Capcom Developer:  Capcom Production Studio 3
Genre:  Third-Person Action Adventure Release Date:  01/15/2003
ESRB:  Mature More Info on this Game
By Brian Davis | Jan. 31, 2003
If you haven't played RE 2, pick this up ... but you might want to wait for a price drop.
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Pros Cons
Quick load times; comes on one disc (instead of two); cool storyline. Nearly full price for an old game; straight port; nothing new added.

A month and a half has passed since the incident at the Spencer Mansion, where S.T.A.R.S. Bravo and Alpha team met (and fought) pure evil head on. The T-Virus case -- a virus released in the mansion that turned any living thing into a flesh-eating creature -- was eventually closed, but the nearby town of Raccoon City is about to get its own taste. William Birkin, an obsessive Umbrella Corp. researcher has secretly developed a new virus -- the G-Virus -- which has advanced mutative capabilities and is able create the ultimate biological weapon.

After an assassination attempt by Umbrella, Birkin, at the brink of death, injects himself with the G-Virus -- thus potentially freeing the virus on the world. The outbreak is much more severe than previously expected, and now the virus has been unleashed in Raccoon City. The city now runs rampant with blood-thirsty zombies and other, more terrifying creatures besides.

Back in 2001, Capcom signed a deal with Nintendo to keep the Resident Evil series exclusive to the GameCube. This deal included a complete remake of RE 1, RE 0, RE 4, and ports of RE 2, RE 3 and RE Code: Veronica. With the hope of new and exclusive extras to the aforementioned ports and being a big fan of the series, I was itching to get the chance to playing it all again on my sleek Indigo GameCube. But, when Resident Evil 2 shipped with a $39.99 price tag and nothing new beyond the Dreamcast and PlayStation versions, I was fairly disappointed. That's right -- if you were expecting to get the same ultimate update the original title got, then be ready for instant disappointment.

The GameCube version of Resident Evil 2 is a straight port of the PlayStation game that came out in 1998, but with higher-resolution character models and a few minor voice updates. The Dreamcast (god rest its soul) received a similar port of the game during its short lifespan. When you compare the two versions, they're the exact same product, with exception of the GameCube version being on a single disc. However, in 2003, RE 2 will cost you forty dollars -- a whole twenty dollars more than the Dreamcast version. A title that is simply a port of a five-year-old game doesn't warrant such a high price tag.

Upset as I am towards Capcom for the price hike, and putting the cosmetics rant aside, Resident Evil 2 is still one of my favorites in the series. RE 2 introduces both Leon Kennedy, a rookie police officer, and Claire Redfield, who is in search of her missing brother Chris. Each character has a separate horror adventure in the game. One of the best features in the game would have to be "2nd Mission," where you start out as one character, finish the game, then start an alternate storyline as the other character -- in order to complete the game (and reveal the real ending) you must finish both stories.

As mentioned before, RE 2 didn't receive the ultimate treatment that it deserves. Capcom did improve the character models a bit, but they still suffer from clipping issues. However, the load times are speedy compared to the original, which is a welcome bonus. One of the most notable features added to both RE and Zero was the quick-turn move -- which allowed you to easily strike down flesh-eaters with your weapon. This feature is missing in RE 2 and brought back many bad memories of the tank-like controls that the original games had. However, getting used to the controls is well-worth it as the storyline was still deep enough to keep me coming back.

For hardcore RE fans that played through the Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil 2, the EX Files -- files that brought in some extra backstory to the game -- are missing in action in this instance. However, extra modes like "4th Survivor" mode and the whacky hidden character Tofu are present for replay value.

If you haven't enjoyed Resident Evil 2 before (and you don't own a Dreamcast), or maybe you're just a hardcore fan of the series and must have it in your collection, then by all means grab the new GameCube port. Those looking for a newly polished RE experience should probably hang on and wait for RE 4 on GameCube later this year.



Game Information

Reviewer System Specifications
GameCube, Memory Card 59, Standard Controller.


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