Backlog Project: Resident Evil

This one isn’t actually even a backlog game, since I loved the original Resident Evil all the way back when it came out on the PlayStation, and the remake on GameCube became one of my favorite games ever. So essentially this is just me going back to one of my beloved titles once more, this time hunting for Trophies.

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  • Name: Resident Evil (HD Remaster)
  • Genre: Survival Horror | Action | Adventure
  • Released: 2015 (GameCube version in 2002)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3| PlayStation 4 | Xbox 360 | Xbox One | Microsoft Windows

The original Resident Evil was released 20 years ago, in 1996, yet it remains so popular that the HD Remaster version of the Remake is technically the third separate release of that game. And for good reason, too – as I stated above, I count the re-imagined version one of the best games ever made, in more ways than just one. This is also one of the few instances where a remake of an existing title, be it game, movie or anything else, is so much superior to the original in every way, especially considering how good the original was to begin with.

Even though the remake was initially made 14 years and two console generations ago, the HD Remaster still looks stunning. It’s both beautiful and terrifying, and it exemplifies some of the best direction with the use of lighting and shadows I have seen in a video game. The game is never too dark to see anything, but the shadows are still frightening. The environments look as amazing as ever, and it feels as though the mansion truly has the history that the story is implying it does.

There are few games whose visuals I adore this much. Screenshot credit: http://www.hardcoregamer.com

There are few games whose visuals I adore this much.
Screenshot credit: http://www.hardcoregamer.com

The gameplay is still essentially the same that it was back in 1996, which is definitely the greatest barrier of entry for new players. What many fail to understand, however, is that even though limited hardware was part of the reason for the static camera angles and stiff controls, those are elements that contribute the most to the stress and insecurity that the game induces. The fact that you can’t see where you’re aiming, or that you can’t be sure you can turn or run past a monster fast enough, make you feel underpowered and in peril – as you should. There are no checkpoints either, and dying takes you back to the last time you saved the game.

But that isn’t even what this game is really about. Not a lot of people think about it, but Resident Evil is one of those games where the most important part of beating it happens inside the player’s head, and there are two things that are imperative to success: remembering where everything is, and planning ahead. Exploration is at the core of the progression here, and the first time around you simply won’t know where to go. You’re forced to look around, memorize markings on locks to know which key you need, try to remember routes and their hazards, and from time to time just stare at the map, trying to figure out what you have missed.

Resident Evil is also known for its puzzles, which are simple, but require just enough thought to reward you with a feeling of achievement as you pass them. The solutions for them remain the same for each playthrough, so on subsequent runs you can just blast through them. A lot of the progression is also obstructed by knowing where to take certain items, rather than acute problem solving, again emphasizing exploration and memorizing locations.

You probably don't really want to go in there... but you know you have to. Screenshot credit: http://www.playstationlifestyle.net

You probably don’t really want to go in there… but you know you have to.
Screenshot credit: http://www.playstationlifestyle.net

The game’s story isn’t particularly good, and it never was. The voice acting is actually not even that much better than the notoriously awful dialogue from the original (which in fact was so bad that it was hilarious). But when people talk about the “story” of the first Resident Evil, they might not even mean the visible narrative at all – they might be talking about the contextual letters and diaries found around in the environment, revealing the background story as well as the actual truth behind what has happened.

Like in the original, the player can choose to play as either Chris or Jill. Most of the gameplay progression is the same for both, although there are differences in their stories. They also have access to different weapons, and Jill has more inventory space to carry items around, while Chris can withstand more damage and run faster.

I could go on and on about how Resident Evil is one of the best games in existence, but I’m trying to keep it short. If you haven’t experienced it yet, just bite the bullet with the awkward controls and the unsettling camera functionality, and play this game.

Trophy Hunt

I took my time with this Platinum – after playing the game for a bit over a month, I achieved the Platinum Trophy on May 20th, 2016. I did a total of 8 playthroughs, although it appears to be technically possible in half that. Around 6 playthroughs would be realistic, without making it too difficult on yourself, and without screwing around with repeat loading too much. In game hours, my estimate would be it took me about 50 hours.

As it had been years since I last played Resident Evil, I started my first run with Chris on Easy difficulty. I blasted through without worrying about Trophies, although I did make sure I’d rescue both Jill and Rebecca, in order to get That Was Nice of YouSorry I Made You Wait, and The Nightmare Ends. I didn’t stick around to fight Yawn at the attic this playthrough, but I did kill the Black Tiger, earning the Spider Sense Trophy.

The next run was on Normal, using Jill. I went straight for the shotgun as soon as possible, in order to have Barry save me and get the What a Great Guy Trophy. I also deliberately took down two zombies on top of each other for the Break Out the Marshmallows! Trophy for burning them both at once. This time around, I also beat Yawn in the first encounter for the Not Waiting to Exhale Trophy, as Jill also gets Richard’s shotgun if she fights the snake. I saved both Barry and Chris to get the Trust HimSorry About the Wait and I’m a Member of S.T.A.R.S. Trophies.

Next, I played again as Chris on Hard. I let Yawn poison me so that Rebecca would come to the rescue, earning me the Bravo, Rebecca Trophy. My main goal for this run was not only to get used to the Hard difficulty for the special modes, but also to clear every room in the game, now that I had the Closet Key: this would earn me the Every Nook and Cranny Trophy on this playthrough. This meant I needed to also save Jill in order to gain access to the jail cell.

Next up was Real Survival mode. Against my intuition, I picked Jill for this run, since she has a bigger inventory for lugging stuff around. This time around, I didn’t save either Barry or Chris, and I earned the Every Woman for Herself Trophy on this run.

My next run was Invisible Enemy mode with Chris, and I was a coward so I played it on Very Easy. I didn’t save anyone, earning the Every Man for Himself Trophy. I also beat this mode in under five hours, unlocking the Racing and Pacing Trophy.

I decided to tackle the knife-only playthrough next, and once again picked Jill over my favorite Chris. This time, the reason was Plant 42 – Jill can mix the V-Jolt to avoid fighting the plant altogether, which I opted to do. The Crimson Elder was a real challenge, but other than that, the game ended up being pretty doable with just the knife, although I’ll admit I did it on Very Easy.

Next I had to do the speedrun on Normal difficulty, in order to unlock Don’t Stop Running, but also it would reward you with the special weapons, which are needed for the Starsenal Trophy. I did this one with Jill too, mainly because of the inventory space that allows carrying more key items and avoiding repeat trips to the item box, but also because she has access to Barry’s Magnum, which kills the Tyrant in one shot.

Finally, I did one more run on Very Easy using Chris, beating the game in a bit over two hours, without saving at all. This awarded the Ink Is for Squids Trophy, as well as the Platinum.

I liked this Trophy list a lot, and it was one of those that made you feel like you had really done pretty much everything in the game. There weren’t a lot of miscellaneous Trophies, but with a game that requires this many playthroughs anyway, it wasn’t really a problem.

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