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LONG BLOG

Traveller In Playtime – Resident Evil Code Veronica X

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Resident Evil: Code Veronica X is a rerelease of the fourth and final Resident Evil game in the classic style with a bit of extra content. It stars the returning Redfield siblings Claire & Chris in their continued battle against the madmen of Umbrella, this time on a prison island.

Featuring Dante From The Devil May Cry Series!

 

Plot Structure & Villains

I think it was in Code Veronica where the the story finally ventured from boring camp into fun camp. The acting is better (with one exception, you know the one), the lines are aren't as dumb and there seems to have been an effort made to cut back on people introduced 5 minutes before they die.

It's just so much better structure-wise, especially thanks to the villains. We have 3 of them, but they flow in and out of the story at a good pace. Alfred is the highlight, since he's such a nutcase and sets up Alexia later.

HD Screenshot with new lighting.

Wesker's presence was a bit random in the first release, so X added a few cutscenes to introduce him better and give him a nice and ridiculous fight scene at the end.

Claire and Chris are a bit plain, but they get some nice moments.

I also like what little symbolism we get with the insects throughout the game. It's nothing amazing, but it feels like someone cared and wanted to get the most out of them.

Some might mourn the loss of alternate endings, but I'm not one of them. They can be fun, but not for me when they're obtuse or don't add much. What I am mourning is the lack of subtitles, that's always a bummer.

 

Realtime Rendering & Camera

CV was unique in the main series, since it could achieve realtime 3d rendering thanks to the Dreamcast. This change meant that the pretty prerendered backgrounds had to go, along with the static camera.

This means that the game isn't as pretty in some aspects, but it also meant that they could make the enviroments more animated. I think it's a net gain, since the enviroments look good enough.

The best thing to come out of this is the camera. It can move and rotate with the player's movements, making the sudden camera cuts less common. It's not perfect, but I think you could do some really cool stuff with properly thought out level designs and this kind of moving camera. I'd like to see a whole game that uses shots like the u-boat bay in CV or the alley at the start of the first Silent Hill.

 

Atmosphere & The Action/Horror Balance

Resident Evil gave us the name Survival Horror and was the big progenitor of the genre. But I haven't found much of the series scary, save for select parts of RE4, Revelaitons Revelations and Revelations 2. 7 might have fixed that, but I've yet to get to it. The demo was pretty scary though.

But the series still has a great atmosphere and CV is no different. My favorite part is the staircase leading to Alfred's room with all the bats. The few times where you can get away with using the lighter instead of a weapon are really nice.

The lighting is ok, but looks even better in the HD port, which Capcom has yet to port to PC for some reason. They have the capacity to do so much good, but they rarely act upon these oppurtunities. Gives me conniptions.

HD Screenshot with new lighting.

Sadly, the rendering fog does get in the way of some good camera shots, which makes the game look muddy. It's even worse in Antarctica, where it's so bright, making it look like there's steam in the air.

The action scenes are properly spaced out and well animated. I think this is about as far as you should take it for a classic Resi game, lest it dilute the action like the latter games do. Some of the setpieces are really inventive and the rest are at least decent, if a bit silly, like the intro.

 

Combat & Exploration

Classic Resi combat is difficult to talk about. It's obtuse on purpose and very limited. Let's start with movement. I don't mind tank controls, they're kind of needed with this camera. It does feel weird with an analog stick, but that might be me.

I don't have the whole game in my head, but I have no major complaints about the structure of the game and how you progress. Going around solving puzzles while looking for shinies is quite tense, thanks to the enemies. I think Survival Horror is at its best when you prepare for an encounter, screw up and have swap to a limited stronger weapon in order to get out safely. Provided these kinds of encounters don't happen too often, of course.

I'm not content with just running around enemies in order to evade them. It works fine for zombies, but as soon as you get to the faster foes, it's just a matter of who gets the first blood. That's fine for one kind of enemy, but it gets old. I want movement to matter when possible.

Resi 3 had a dodge and Revelations had one too. I'm not sure if an iframe dodge or a parry would be the best solution for a classic game. You can run and dodge in Resi 4 thanks to the larger areas, but it doesn't work well here. I just want some way to avoid damage if I know it's coming. I suppose they want you to just shoot, but then we're back to the plain first blood thing.

The knife is actually decent in this game, but I just want the one in Resi 4 that's always equipped. In fact, I want access to all the guns, no matter what. Limited inventory is fine with me if it's not as bad as in classic Resident Evil.

If you had, say 4 gun slots, no limit on key items and limited space for herbs and ammo, I think the game would be much better. That way, you'd not have to backtrack as much and you'd probably have the means of dealing with an enemy when you run into them. Much of the game would have to be restructured and overall ammo would need to be lower, but I think it would work.

If there were even more enemies with special weaknesses, imagine how much you'd want to run if you hadn't found that gun yet and how fun it'd be to figure out the weakness by thinking and experimenting a bit. I think it could work, but feel free to disagree.

 

Steve

You know, I've never played a game who's major problem is so easily identifiable and in possession of such a punchable face. Steve is the worst!

A face only a dropkick could love.

He's acted poorly, does idiotic things all the time and adds nothing but displeasure to the experience. And the fact that the game thinks him as a love interest to Claire disgusts me. I feel like he could be cut and the game would only be improved. Give Claire some voiced narration if the cutscenes get quiet or something.

And if that wasn't enough, he's also part of the worst setpiece in the game! When he transforms, he chases you down a bit. Nothing wrong on paper, except he does heavy unavoidable damage to you. No herbs left? Fuck you, restart!

It's an awful design decision, well deserving of Steve Burnside (sic).

 

Bosses

As if Steve wasn't bad enough, I consider every boss in CV except for the first form of Alexia to be hot trash. And she has an instakill!

They are either pathetic monsters that you can just avoid or awful bastards that do not feel built for the combat system. The Tyrant and Nosferatu get points for concept, but shit for execution. They are exceedingly brutal and hard to avoid. It's the game's biggest sin for sure.

HD Screenshot with new lighting.

 

Poison

I'm not a fan of poison in regular gameplay in the series. It's cool for the little sidequest for serum, but it's just a drag otherwise. And CV is one of the worst offenders. And that's because of the damn moth hallway.

It's tiny and you need to traverse it many times, so of course they stuffed it full of moths that are hard to avoid and lay poisoned eggs in your neck. And in order to cure it, you need to go back to the hallway and snort from the everlasting Blue Herb pot.

It's just annoying and should have been cut. And who thought poisoned Hunters were a good idea!?

 

Connections To Devil May Cry

It's no secret that Resident Evil and Devil May Cry share some history. CV has a rather weak connection, but I still find it interesting that it basically has the same ending as DMC1.

In both endings, the two heroes escape a prerendered explosion in a plane whilst being really corny. It might be lazy, but I kinda love it.

My copy of CV also came with a demo disc of DMC1, which was a fun diversion. I haven't experienced that many games being bundled with extras, so I'm glad whenever it happens. It's not really fiscally viable to print an extra disc these days, but I wish there was an effort made to do so outside of collector's editions. Stuff like manuals with nice artwork and maps (or manuals that are maps, looking at you, Jak and Daxter).

Is this just me being greedy or publishers being lame? You decide!

 

Final Judgement

GOOD

- Welcome to my world, Enjoy your stay, But always remember, There is no return.


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About Kerrik52one of us since 3:12 AM on 02.28.2016

Greetings, one and all. I'm known as Kerrik52 around these parts and I think I'm pretty swell, for a Swedish dude.

I love all games, except the bad ones. I play games when possible, thinking I'll eventually break into heaven. I'm currently studying computer science.

I have written some blogs here exploring old games by From Software with more to come later. Not to mention my salty bitch series on the Souls-games.

I also have a little Youtube channel bearing my name that mostly contains videos related to my blogs.

I some games I love are:

Dark Souls
God Hand
Resident Evil 4
Tales of Eternia
Kingdom Hearts
Jak & Daxter
King's Field
Devil May Cry
Legacy of Kain
Shadow Hearts
Spyro
Ys
Shin Megami Tensei
Resistance
Patapon
Legend of Heroes
Yakuza
Locoroco
Ape Escape

I have a very low standard for movies, but I have some favorites. These include:

Coraline
Tintin
The Secret Life of Walter Witty
Pooh's Grand Adventure
Scott Pilgrim VS the World

The last TV shows I watched were House, Mythbusters and Fringe.

Anime on the other hand, is something I watch often. I like:

Symphogear
Jojo
Gonna Be the Twintail
Nichijou
WIXOSS
Black Rock Shooter
Nobunagun
Airmaster
Fist of the Northstar

I don't read very much anymore, but I like Asimov and Lovecraft.

Music-wise I'm an apostle of Dio and the German power metal scene. Other favorites include:

Gamma Ray
Iron Savior
Freedom Call
Dreamtale
Axel Rudi Pell
Edguy
Avantasia

Go ahead and share a piece of your world with me and I'll pay back in kind. Don't be deterred if I answer you in a wall of text though. I despise unfulfilling writing and will do all it takes to make my points.