Resident Evil: Code Veronica - Sega Dreamcast - Capcom - Survival Horror -1 Player
Replay Value: ****
Overall Rating :*****
I remember the first time I saw a Resident Evil game. At the time I owned a Sega Saturn and had no plans to purchase a Playstation. Then one day while reading Ultra Game Players I came across a review for Resident Evil. I was stunned, it looked sooooo good. Then I read that it was not coming to Saturn anywhere in the near future. I thought about it for a week or so, and went out and got a Playstation, memory card & Resident Evil. I played that game non-stop for a few weeks. I remember staying up until 3 in the morning on one occaision even though I had to be at work by 7:00 am. I also remember bringing it over to a friends house. Now, my friend wasn't the type to be wowed by any game, but after an evening of Resident Evil, I got a call the next weekend saying he too had picked up a Playstation and Resident Evil.
You might wonder what this has to do with Resident Evil: Code Veronica on Dreamcast. Well, it gives me the same feeling Resident Evil did. Unlike the 2 Playstation sequels which left a little to be desired, Resident Evil is a true Survival Horror game. The designers at Capcom went out of their way to add to the fear level and mood of the game and it shows.
The game picks up after the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. At the start of the first disc, we join Claire Redfield (The heroine of Resident Evil 2) as she travels to Europe to find her brother Chris. While looking for him, Claire is captured by the insidious Umbrella Corporation and imprisoned on a small island. Much like Resident Evil 2, the second disk happens at the same time as the first, but you will now control Chris and play through his story. I won't say more about the plot because half the fun of a game like this is seeing how the story develops.
The graphics in Code Veronica are stunning. At this point I'd have to call it the best looking Dreamcast game I've seen yet. Everything is done to perfection. The backgrounds look real, as do the characters. Lighting effects and camera angles are used to prefection to highten the tension and mood in the game. Youl find yourself becoming distracted with all the details in the game and find yourself doing double takes at even the smallest on screen movement. (Imagine that, fully animated roaches!) Words alone can't describe how good this game looks, nor will screen shots. You've got to see it in action to believe it.
Capcom also did a great job on the sound. Sure, the voice acting is the standard Resident Evil fare, but that was to be expected. The sound effects and music though are perfectly on target and help to draw you into the game.The moans of those infected with the T-Virus will throw chills up your spine.
The controls for the game take some getting used to, but once you get used to them become like second nature. Capcom has also enhanced the auto aim system by allowing you to switch targets and track targets. Unfortunately the walk and shoot system that was introduced in Dino Crisis was not brought over to Code Veronica. Another nice feature is made through the use of the VMU. Your chaacters help meter is now shown on the VMU as well as the menu screen, making it more convenient to see how you are doing.
The gameplay is very well balanced. There is just enough ammunition to keep you safe so long as you don't go on any wild shooting sprees. The puzzles are intricate, but do not border on the ridiculous. In addition, the designers have wisely not forgotten to repopulate some area when you return to them, this way you really never do know what's waiting for you around the corner. The save system is the same as all other Resident Evil games; find an ink ribbon and typewriter and make a save. Thankfully there seem to be a large number of ink ribbons which helps you feel more secure. (Because I know I hate dying in a game and then having to backtrack for over 1 hour just to get back where I was)
The replay value of this title, just like it's predecessors is the only drawback. Once you've finished both games and played the bonus game several times, you may not want to play it that many more times. It's a drawback, but one that doesn't take anything much away from this title.
In closing Sega of America should do all they can to put this game in the public eye. They may not have made the game, but Code Veronica is the type of game that comes along very rarely, a megahit, and as such could easily sell a million Dreamcast units, and that, is the best compliment a game can get.
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