Review By: Christopher
sense, this is a typical Resident Evil game. Some readers will
read this and think "that's exactly what I was hoping for,
more great chills and thrills." But my advice would be to
take what I wrote with a grain of salt. Apart from being a much
better looking game, there is nothing new here. As in: no
improvements to an aging style of gameplay. And quite frankly,
the graphics are NOT good enough to carry this game.
various tricks that's programmers can use to 'fake' better
graphics. Even gamers not familiar with the technology behind
graphics have seen the signs: darkness and fogging are the two
most frequently used of these techniques. By making the levels
darker, less detail can be seen, and the characters and
environments don't need to be drawn as impressively as ones set
in the open (if you want to see truly impressive environments,
check out the upcoming game ICO) Second is fogging. By using
fog, and fogging in general programmers can lower the 'scope' of
the levels. Because of the dark, cramped environments that
naturally come with games in the horror genre, Veronica X has
these techniques by default. And for that reason, I say that the
graphics are not very impressive. They are certainly better than
those of the previous RE games, but they are nowhere close to
what the PS2 is capable of. Given that all of the levels and
environments were dark and foggy, the extra processor power
should have been put to use in other ways: character animations
or textures for example.
character animations; is there no way to fix the 'sliding'
problem? I'm talking about what happens when, while standing
still, you attempt to turn the character in another direction.
Instead of any form of natural motion, the character simply
pivots. The entire body spins without the feet moving. I could
put up with this sort of thing back while I was playing various
NES games. But that was countless software 'generations' ago,
and it's unacceptable now. The new generations of consoles are
powerful enough to fix this unnaturalism, and to clean up the
small details that we have overlooked in the past.
myself a number of perplexing questions while playing this game.
Most of them sounded familiar, and something along the lines of
"couldn't they have fixed that problem this time
around?" I've addressed a lot of those problems already in
this review. But one of the biggest problems that fans of the RE
series have lamented about throughout each new game is the
camera angle problem. "Why am I being attacked by something
that I can't see?" Veronica X is a 'full 3D' game. All of
the environments are fully rendered. Some of the camera angles
work well, and are very cinematic. But, would it be SO hard to
have programmed in a 'look' function? I know this was originally
a Dreamcast game, and that system suffered from a lack of
available buttons. But shouldn't this PS2 port of the game be an
improvement? Certainly Capcom doesn't want to end up the same
way the Dreamcast has (as in useless and outdated.) Then, I
finished the game. Subsequently unlocked the 'battle mode'
where, to my surprise, there was a first person option. Lo and
behold, the programmers actually DID include the function. So
why didn't they put it into the game? It would have improved
things tenfold. The fact that they didn't just seems plain
stupid to me.
the RE 'style of play': Third Person perspective (with fixed
camera angles and no 'look' function), slow pace and shallow
puzzles, those damn door-opening shots, and that ridiculous
storage system. I think it's time to re-think the series. All
these things are argued to add suspense. And, of course, that's
what horror games are all about right? Problem is, it's 'false'
suspense. I don't get chills waiting to see what is behind the
next door, especially the hundredth time I see a door opening
sequence. And the only time I worry about going around the next
corner and being hit by a zombie is when I have next to zero
health and no one has bothered to program in any health
power-ups or save points in the last hour of play. SO, if I do
die I know I'll have to go back a repeat all that madness again.
That's annoying, not suspenseful.
saying that the entire series is without merit. OR even that the
'tried and true' RE style should be thrown away. But it should
be overhauled, drastically. Other games have used third person,
fixed cameras effectively (MGS). I still think any third person
game should adopt Nintendo's 'look' function and 'Z-Target'
system found in the Zelda series. Speaking of Nintendo, they've
even managed to use door-opening sequences in such a way that
they ARE suspenseful, and not annoying: in the upcoming Luigi's
Mansion (yes, I've played it). So, it can be done.
issue I have is the storage system. Maybe the designers are
trying to add some semblance of realism by not allowing
characters to carry around an unlimited number of weapons. And
yes, it is ridiculous that in most FPS you can carry, and
quickly switch between a mounted rail-gun, and a rocket launcher
("I was keeping it in my back pocket.") But if the
only alternative is this lame storage system, I'll take the
enormous back pocket any day. I found it incredible annoying
when I came across an item I desperately needed, only to be
forced to leave it behind because I couldn't carry anymore. And
yet, you can't drop any items you're already carrying. How
realistic is that? How about a simple discard function? Throw
out those 3 leftover bullets and pick up the damn shotgun! Is
that so difficult? And really, how realistic is it that any
storage box at any point in the game has ALL of the items you've
stored? It's just trading one unrealistic option for another.
talk about the voice acting. This is an area constantly harped
on in almost any game. The thing is, unlike in a Disney
cartoons, game characters are not usually lip-sinked to the
voices. There are very little facial expression in most cases.
For these reasons, voice acting in games often seems over the
top. It's not that the voice actors are over acting, it just
seems that way because the voices are not in sink with what we
are seeing on screen. Taking that in mind, I enjoyed the
cut-scenes and character acting. And I'm not just saying that
because I'm Canadian, and it is very obvious, very early on that
the actors are as well (especially Steve and his "I'm Sow-ry"'s)
If you're a
fan of the series you'll probably love this game. And as a fan,
you've somehow managed to get over all the problems plaguing
these games, and still find them enjoyable. I can respect that.
Some people think I have bad taste in movies. But I say, if
Veronica X is one of your favorite games, you have bad taste in
length of play
- best of
- same old
crappy control scheme
deaths, annoying puzzles
Take out the
cut-scenes, and the travel time between puzzle areas and what
you're left with is, well, a whole lot of walking around,
slowly. There isn't much actual gameplay here. The game DOES
takes about 10 or 12 hours of gametime to complete, which is a
good length (about as long as Metal Gear Solid.) Fans of the
series might be rejoicing this game as the best yet, but I'm not
really a fan, and this game did nothing to turn me into one. The
style of play is outdated. There are so many annoying features
that getting past them becomes a chore, not fun. In the end,
above all else, a game should be fun to play, not just fun to