RELEASED: March 2001
AVAILABLE ON: DC, GCN, PS2
DEVELOPER(S): Capcom, Nex Entertainment (GCN)
The Sega Dreamcast was launched in November 1998, almost exactly four years after its equally ill-fated predecessor, the Sega Saturn. What happened to the Dreamcast was simply tragic; as technically advanced as it was, some would say "ahead of its time", Sega's growing interest to focus on developing software and Sony's well-promoted launch of the PlayStation 2 dealt killing blows to Dreamcast before it even fully survived the "launch slump", the undefined period of time it takes from a recently launched console nowadays to present truly worthy games. Resident Evil Code: Veronica was a sequel to Resident Evil 2, announced to be in development exclusively for the Dreamcast about a month before the console's launch. The game was delayed to the point even Resident Evil: Nemesis got released before it - earning the title of Resident Evil 3. In early 2000, the game was finally released, and critics loved the game. However, it was too late for the Dreamcast, as its production was discontinued a year later. One of the final games released for the Dreamcast - but only in Japan - was a slightly updated version of the game, dubbed Resident Evil Code: Veronica X. To the delight of many Resident Evil fans who skipped the Dreamcast altogether, this version of the game saw release on the PlayStation 2, and later, the Nintendo GameCube. About a month ago, the game made a return to the PlayStation Network, in high definition, as the first half of the Biohazard Revival Selection. Despite the game being offered to me on a plate complete with HD graphics and 12 Trophies, I think I'll just give the PlayStation 2 version up there on my shelf a go for the first time in five-or-so years and see if it's truly as underrated as my memory serves me.
Steve needs to die
Alyson Court : Claire Redfield
Michael Filipowich : Chris Redfield
Bill Houston : Steve Burnside
Richard Waugh : Albert Wesker
Peter Oldring : Alfred Ashford
Leila Johnson : Alexia Ashford
Martin Roach : Rodrigo Juan Raval
Genevieve Steele : Computer
Conrad Coates : Narrator
Three months after the U.S. Government nuked Raccoon City, Claire Redfield is still searching for her brother, and bent on ending the Umbrella Corporation's activities for good at the same time. Her search for Chris leads her to Paris, where she infiltrates Umbrella's European headquarters, only to be captured by a small military unit deployed by Umbrella. She is then taken to an Umbrella-owned facility on a remote island, which soon turns into hell on Earth, as yet another viral outbreak turns all of the facility's personnel into a whole army of mindless zombies. Refusing to give in to the zombies, a bitter old nemesis looking for retribution, and the clearly insane proprietor of the facility, Claire attempts to escape the island, together with a young man separated from his family.
|The most horrifying biological experiment ever |
conducted by Capcom: Steve.
Considering that the game was originally exclusive to the Dreamcast, its story is very, almost too crucial to the Resident Evil timeline. It pretty much lead to the actual need to remake the first Resident Evil - I'm still bitter they never released it for any other platform than GameCube, since it is my favourite game in the franchise - and it also serves as a bridge between many elements in between the old and new generation of Resident Evil games, in both story and gameplay. It's a game that a serious fan must play, not by any means the sidestory it's made out to be by not having a number in its title. By far, it's the true Resident Evil 3 as far as I'm concerned; Nemesis was more of a sidestory in my opinion. However, although Code: Veronica pushes the story of Resident Evil forward, it does so with the strength of some plot twists and characters that felt awkward back then, and even while their existence was acceptably explained in the later games, including the remake of the first game, I must say they still feel awkward.
|A classic moment of peace.|
|The zombies' final canonical stand in the |
franchise, and it definitely counts. Zombies
to the left, zombies to the right!
Let's get one thing straight right away: the only thing that separates Code: Veronica X from the original game is the inclusion of one single extra fetchquest, complete with a couple of cutscenes. Got that? Since the original version of the game was never released on anything other than the Dreamcast, no one should feel being too ripped off besides Dreamcast owners - and only Japanese ones at that. To me, on a personal level, it's just great Code: Veronica X doesn't truly differ from the original, this is what I wanted to experience, and having one brief, extra challenge to conquer is a slight nudge for the better.
|Fancy a dip in electrified water?|
Since Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Resident Evil Code: Veronica were developed in a tight tandem - although this game became more of a mere side project as the years in development rolled by - Code: Veronica retains some subtle elements from Nemesis, such as the 180 degree turn and the ability to shoot objects, for example fuel tanks, to conserve ammo. Go ahead and disagree, but I'm still saying the whole ammo creation schtick in Nemesis was all for nothing, and there's (almost) none of it in Code: Veronica - you can only enhance your otherwise weak arrows for the bow gun with explosive powder. In every possible way, I think Code: Veronica is much closer to classic Resident Evil than its predecessor. There's really nothing new about it, it's just vintage Resident Evil, and it's fine the way it is.
Everything wrong with the game literally ain't nothing new. The inventory limit is still a huge problem, and having to use Ink Ribbons for saving the game was an useless and obsolete idea before it was even conceived; Code: Veronica was luckily the last Resident Evil game to incorporate such a retarded system. Like I said, it's a lengthy game, it gives plenty of bang for a Resident Evil fan's buck, but admittedly the story could be better, and some characters truly drag the experience down.
|I get a feeling I'm about to see something eerily |
The last traditional Resident Evil game, Resident Evil Code: Veronica (X) is still a great game, a crucial part of the vintage Resident Evil franchise not to be ignored by anyone. It has a couple of rotten eggs for central characters, complete with occasionally horrible voice acting, and all-around awkward dialogue, but the thick survival horror atmosphere and classic gameplay compensate for any artificial flaws. Resident Evil Code: Veronica stands as a fine testament of its kind.
GRAPHICS : 8.9
SOUND : 7.8
PLAYABILITY : 8.7
LIFESPAN : 8.5
CONCLUSION : 8.8
a.k.a. Biohazard Code: Veronica Complete (JAP)
GameRankings: 64.32% (GCN), 82.77% (PS2)
Original copies of the game included a bonus DVD entitled Wesker's Report.
Alfred and Alexia were originally named Hilbert and Hilda.
Leon S. Kennedy was originally supposed to be in the game, and ultimately, killed off. Due to Leon's popularity, his part was rewritten for the character of Steve Burnside - hence the similar appearances of the two characters.