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Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil (Wii) Review

Review for Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The original Resident Evil has been ported and remade several times since its initial inception on the PlayStation back in 1996, with the GameCube seeing a visually spruced-up edition and even the humble Game Boy Advance getting in on the survival horror action. It is the last generation GC edition that is the source material for this latest Wii scare-fest, though, with almost no additions being made. Can a mere port of a 2002 remake be enough to entice Wii owners that missed out first time round to dip their toes into the bloody waters, now at a reasonable budget price?

There will undoubtedly be those out there that have yet to sample the original Resident Evil, or at least will not have tried out the GameCube remake that had something like 70%+ extra content thrown in to make it worth the purchase. Of course, since the GameCube did not fare quite as well as the PlayStation 2 or Xbox, you can kind of see why Capcom is giving this another airing on the far more popular Wii. Justification over. As for the story behind this gruesome game, the date is July 1998 and the setting is Raccoon City, a mid-western US town controlled by a pharmaceutical company by the name of Umbrella, Inc., that has been having some trouble with cannibalism near its forest. Rather than the local police checking out the situation, though, an elite group called the 'Special Tactics and Rescue Service' (S.T.A.R.S for short) is sent in, with its Alpha team staying back whilst the Bravo team head off to find out why there are zombies on the loose. After losing contact with Bravo, Alpha - including the likes of now well-known names such as Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and Chris Redfield - lands nearby, only to be attacked by rabid dogs that seem impervious to gun fire. Entering what appears to be an abandoned mansion, the fear-filled adventure begins.

Screenshot for Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

To start with, players choose whether to play through as Jill or Chris. Choosing the female lead gives a slightly simpler scenario to play through, with her carrying capacity being larger and certain extra items being made available, although her strength levels are much lower than Chris'. Whilst being able to carry more items may not seem like a massive advantage, it definitely plays a large factor in your survival since items can only be stored in special boxes found around the mansion, and cannot simply be dropped on the floor and collected later. With so much to discover on your travels, your inventory will soon be filled completely, which becomes somewhat of a nightmare when your ammunition bank runs out or health is getting quite low and there are supplies sat there right in front of you that cannot be picked up as there is no space left! Logically in real life you would put the new bullet cartridge straight in the empty gun, or use the First Aid spray to boost energy. Yet in Resident Evil such logic goes straight out the window. That is point of contention number one.

The second major issue stems from the awful control system, for two reasons. Rather than rework the set-up to take full advantage of the Wii console's infra-red pointing ability, Capcom has merely put a waggle effect in that makes Jill or Chris raise their fire-arm. However, it proves to be a highly frustrating mechanic due to its temperamental, twitchy nature leading to many instances of death in ever the simplest of situations. The best bet is to go with the other control options available - use the Wii Remote on its side, plug in a GameCube pad or use the Classic Controller attachment.

Screenshot for Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Now comes the other control-related bug-bear: the return of the tank-like movement. Resident Evil 4 was almost perfectly streamlined, with fluid movement and intelligent camera movement. However, back when Resident Evil was first conceived, pre-rendered backgrounds had to be used to instil a sense of foreboding and atmosphere that could only be achieved by using graphical prowess beyond the capability of the current platforms at that time. So the game consists of numerous gorgeously crafted static areas, where your character can awkwardly move around in (up and down move you forwards and backwards, whilst left and right slowly spin Jill or Chris on the spot in either direction) and once reaching a specific part of the screen, the camera will simply jump to the next pre-set image, totally messing up your perception and changing your characters orientation, leading to the player having to readjust how they were moving the character around. In instances where there is no intense action going on, then all is fine and dandy. Throw in a couple of blood-sucking zombies and then all hell lets loose, with unnecessary deaths caused by the total disorientation and times when you cannot even see what is coming at you as the enemy is out of the current camera angle coverage.

Thankfully the overall experience is such an enjoyable one that these two potentially game-breaking issues tend to fritter away into the background as the whole experience grips you tightly and does not let go until both campaigns have been completed. With impressive cut-scenes, general visuals that still rise above most of the third party drivel that plagues Wii, strong voice work that carries the story along nicely, as well as sound effects and music that will have you jumping out of your skin in many moments, there is absolutely no doubting how well presented this Capcom classic truly is.

Screenshot for Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As well as Resident Evil being an out-and-out survival horror title (unlike the more action-oriented Resident Evil 5 that left several fans with a strange taste in their mouths), players must bring their brains along for the ride, since there are some cunning puzzles draped across your path, many of which will have you scratching your head in puzzlement until something clicks and it all falls into place. These segments make for a nice change of pace from the blood-curdling cries of zombies lurching towards you, the seriously scary moments where enemies jump out at you unexpectedly or the adrenaline-filled times when facing off against a ridiculously tough boss character.

So all-in-all, Resident Evil Archives shows that the extra content and aesthetic improvements added to the GameCube remake of the original PSone classic were more than enough to keep its inner quality from shining through and overcoming the control and inventory flaws. If you are one of those that missed out on the GameCube version, then definitely check this out at its low price for a true taste of what Resident Evil is all about...

Screenshot for Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Sadly the antiquated control system lets the side down considerably, marring what is otherwise a very enjoyable horror-filled adventure, with smart puzzles thrown in.

Graphics

The original GameCube remake was so visually stunning that this Wii port is still head and shoulders above most third party Wii offerings today.

Sound

Clever use of sound effects and atmospheric music make this survival horror a real scare-fest throughout.

Value

With two main campaigns to play through alone, once the control issues have been overcome, Resident Evil: Archives will keep fans of the series happy for a considerably amount of time.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Anyone that picked this up on the GameCube should ignore Resident Evil Archives since it is, for all intents and purposes, the exact same game. However, considering the Wii installed ownership is far in advance of the humble GC, this is a perfect chance for those who missed out first time round to experience why the Resident Evil franchise is so revered. A true classic survival horror title that still manages to shine brightly in today's market...

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08.09.2009

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Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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I tried to play the DS version because I've never played a resi game ( D: ) but the turning was so bad like you mentioned...I couldn't play it Smilie

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

On the DS I imagine it must be such a pain in the arse. Seriously, on the Wii it's terrible using the Nunchuk and Wii Remote, but attach a Classic Controller or GameCube pad and you start to get used to it. On the DS, though, wow, I bet it's a real ball-ache.

Clearly there are people that are pleased with this Wii port, since it's sold nearly 100,000 copies in Japan alone (which for a plain port is fantastic!) and has been lingering around the Top 25 Wii Budget Chart in the UK since launch, peaking quite high up.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

While I loved Resident Evil 4, I love Resident Evil Remake just as much. There are a few things about it that could be improved, but the atmosphere and tension in the game are second to none.

In some ways I wish the progression of the Resident evil series could have gone more down the Code Veronica design route. With the camera moving behind you in some places and a fixed camera in other places, to give a more cinematic feel and help build up tension. Now it feels Like Resident Evil might be turning into just another generic third person shooter.

I'm sad to say that I bought the GC version but was so frustrated by the controls that I never finished it. I wouldn't have minded this being exactly the same as the GC version if only they had fixed the controls.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Trepe said:
There are a few things about it that could be improved, but the atmosphere and tension in the game are second to none.

I totally agree on the atmosphere front - it's a really absorbing game with some really good scary moments that make you jump. As for improvements, I've never played RE0, but I believe you can actually drop items in that one, is that right? If so, that would remove one of the main annoyances of this original.

Now it feels Like Resident Evil might be turning into just another generic third person shooter.

I've heard a lot of people say RE5 just wasn't a proper RE for them and talk about how since Mikami-san left, they fear for the direction of the series.

russraine said:
I'm sad to say that I bought the GC version but was so frustrated by the controls that I never finished it. I wouldn't have minded this being exactly the same as the GC version if only they had fixed the controls.

That's why I never touched it for long on the PSone or at all on the GC, because the first time I tried it when first released I thought the controls were a complete mess.

The Wii control alternative this time round is a waste of time. The new controls in RE Archives: RE0 are meant to be better, I've heard. But for this release I found the best way to play was with the CC and just grin and bear it until I was used to using the 180-degree flip button, which meant I didn't have to wait ages for the character to shuffle around.

As Trepe says, because of the atmosphere of the game in general, once you have tolerated the control system for a short while, you end up getting totally sucked in to the experience...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I failed miserably with the control scheme - back in GC times. So I regretfully am disinclined to acquiesce to buy this.
Regretfully.

Atmosphere and graphics are as perfect as the solid 9 in this review states.

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

I got the GC one for £2 a few months ago. I\'ve yet to play it though...not really desperate to thanks to the awkward controls. Nice to know I didn\'t miss out by not waiting for the Wii one though. Smilie

( Edited 09.09.2009 13:30 by Ikana )

3DS Friend Code: 4425-1453-7061

I'm surprised at all of the hate of the control scheme, haha. Honestly, I never had a huge problem with it. Actually, I felt like it added to the experience. The only thing scarier than a Crimson Head chasing you down a hallway, is a Crimson Head chasing you down a hallway and having to stop to turn, haha.
I also have the DS game. I didn't really have that much of a problem with it.
As for Archives... what's the point? I could just as easily buy the Gamecube games and play them on my Wii, and get the same exact effect, it seems. Has anything been added, at all?
I already have the REmake and Zero for Gamecube. I'll probably just stick with those.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://davidjlovato.wordpress.com
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

justonesp00lturn said:

As for Archives... what's the point? I could just as easily buy the Gamecube games and play them on my Wii, and get the same exact effect, it seems. Has anything been added, at all?

A lot of Wii owners don't realise they can buy old games for the system. Most of the 'casual' folk I know at work don't even know how to get it online, nevermind have an understanding of what a 'GameCube' is Smilie Smilie

BUT, a lot of them have either played RE4: Wii Edition or The Umbrella Chronicles, so are interested in picking this up. They have no clue it's simply the GC game wrapped in new packaging and with a crappy 'tilt controller to raise weapon' mechanic (poorly) thrown in.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

When I worked at GameStop, a manager of mine told me a funny story. Some lady came in and traded in her Wii for a GameCube. This was right after it came out, and they were impossible to find. He asked if she was sure she wanted to do that and she said she didn't want to play any Wii games.
After she left, the two people who were in line behind her ended up getting into a fight over the system and had to be escorted out of the store.
I guess some people just aren't smart -.-

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://davidjlovato.wordpress.com

Resident Evil Zero is a good game too. But I actually found the dropping things on the floor to pick them up later annoying. You can hold so little in your inventory that your forced to do it all the time. And if your like me you'll forget where you left things, not to mention be annoyed that you have to go all the way back to pick it up.
The cut scenes were a little irritating too, because there was a slight pause before they started playing. That was a minor niggle though.

Trepe said:
Resident Evil Zero is a good game too. But I actually found the dropping things on the floor to pick them up later annoying. You can hold so little in your inventory that your forced to do it all the time. And if your like me you'll forget where you left things, not to mention be annoyed that you have to go all the way back to pick it up.
The cut scenes were a little irritating too, because there was a slight pause before they started playing. That was a minor niggle though.

That was irritating the way you had to drop your items in Zero, but that was part of the survival part of the game. It made it more harder and challenging to play.



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999

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