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Resident Evil Code: Veronica X
Preview By: Siou Choy
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  Capcom
Genre:  Survival Horror
# of Players:  1
Est. Release:  Fall 2001
Posted:  4-16-01

If you've read my feature article on the Resident Evil series for the Playstation, you already know my feelings (both positive and negative) in that regard, so there's no point in repeating myself here. Therefore, in the interest of brevity and conciseness, I'm going to do things a bit backwards this time, and get to the point right away. And the point? Simply this: if you liked Resident Evil Code: Veronica on the Dreamcast, you will most likely love the PS2 version.

Much like the Director's Cut version of RE1, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X adds some new footage to the proceedings (about 10 minutes worth), bringing to light both further insight into the existing plot and a few new subplots not revealed in the Dreamcast version. A few teasers? Apparently, the Wesker character (last seen in RE1) will play a part. Leon, from RE2, is rumoured to be in the game as well. The cinemas also are getting a facelift. More polygons will be added, "to show more emotion in the characters". The environments are no longer pre-rendered, Capcom having opted for a currently more fashionable polygon based real-time environment. More significantly, given one of the more irritating characteristics of the PS2, RE:CVX has not fallen victim to the jagged, anti-aliased edges common to most PS2 releases. If the literature (and the few promotional screenshots provided) offer any indication, RE:CVX on the PS2 will look just as clean (or perhaps more accurately, given the game's overuse of surprisingly non-atmospheric fogging, muddy) as it did on the Dreamcast.

The storyline for Resident Evil Code: Veronica X remains essentially unchanged from the Dreamcast version. Three months after leaving Raccoon City, Claire Redfield is still looking for her brother Chris. In the process, she is captured by the evil Umbrella Corporation, soon finding herself a prisoner on the Rockfort Island compound. And this, of course, is where the game begins.

Longtime fans of the series will not be disappointed in that the designers made sure to include the usual assortment of puzzles. More notably for those who misplaced their membership card to the legions of the braindead, many of RE:CVX's puzzles are somewhat more logical than usual. To wit, the puzzles and their missing pieces or "solutions" are far more proximate than usual, reducing if not eliminating the RE series standard of being forced to run half way to the other side of the compound and back again (often up to three times over).

Taking a cue from Hong Kong action cinema, Claire can now do the famous two gun maneuver made popular by the inimitable Chow Yun-Fat. This should (hopefully) make dealing with zombies and other mutations significantly easier, not to mention quicker. Two welcome additions to the game are the 180 degree quick turn, made popular by Resident Evil 3 and Dino Crisis, and the long-delayed system overhaul regarding "B game" character switching: in RE:CVX the gamer is no longer forced to repeat the game from scratch, re-solving the same "puzzles" completed earlier. Instead, the game is presented in a more linear, unified fashion, with gameplay continuing directly despite the change in charater.

One of the more interesting tweaks Capcom added during the RE:CV to RE:CVX overhaul is the game's use of odd camera angles and close-ups (to elicit a more cinematic feel). Hopefully, this is where the gamer will be able to see just how much the extra polygons add to the look and feel of the game, since they should aid in showing more expression and emotion than is usually found in the more static character designs of the RE series.

All this being said, for those who already own RE:CV for the Dreamcast, the operative phrase will be: "don't expect much". From what I've seen and heard, it's not all that much of an improvement over the original, amounting to little more than some extra garnish on the plate. Unless some good evidence arises to the contrary, it seems that "X" is a somewhat simplified, modernized rephrasing of RE's standard "Dual Shock Version" (or at best, "Director's Cut") designation. And while it may make for clever repackaging of an existing product, that's just not enough to justify the requisite expenditures of finances or time.


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