* Prices may differ from that shown
== RESIDENT EVIL CODE VERONICA X ==
Resident Evil games have been around many years now and they have come a very long way. Resident Evil Code Veronica X is a survival horror game and centers around Claire Redfield up against an island full of flesh eating zombies. Resident Evil Code Veronica X was published by Capcom. The game is available on numerous formats that include Xbox, PS2, Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube. This GameCube version was released two years later back in 2003 and features a few different cut scenes and the graphics are supposed to be slightly better but I think its barely noticeable. Resident Evil Code Veronica X features its fair share of puzzles and mysteries. It also has one of the better stories to a Resident Evil game where almost everything makes sense.
=== STORY ===
In Resident Evil Code Veronica X the story revolves around Claire Redfield (a character from previous Resident Evil games) and Steve Burnside. You take the role as Claire and later get a taste of what Steve is like. Claire is imprisoned on Rockfort island because she was caught raiding an Umbrella Corporation facility for her brother Chris Redfield. Shortly after being locked in her cell a mysterious man who is standing guard releases her because he doesn't feel shes a threat after the T-virus outbreak on the island has put everyone's life in danger. Now Claire sets off to look around the facility to find clues on her brothers whereabouts. Along the way she befriends Steve who at first shoots at her because he thinks shes a zombie. Now the pair must get along to help each other survive and find Chris and escape the island.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Resident Evil games have always been about survival and they seem to always contain some sort of puzzle elements in the gameplay. The best thing about the Resident Evil games is the fact they're full of flesh eating zombies. Resident Evil Code Veronica X features everything a survival horror game should feature and it rarely disappoints in its gameplay. The games camera is third person so you can basically see the whole of Claire and the camera angle is different in newer games as its usually shot from over the characters right shoulder where as in this game its just straight above. You can move around fairly simple but to navigate round corners or obstacles you must hold the GameCube controllers left analog stick to the left or right just to make Claire turn on the spot. It does actually work really well though. Claire can both walk and run and at times you need both.
In Resident Evil Code Veronica X you will find many items such as ammo, weapons and a massive amount of key items that will be used for puzzles and other bits. Some items you collect in the game wont be used until you get pretty far on and the game has you constantly thinking you might of missed something. Some of the puzzles the game has aren't all common sense and some are actually brain teasers. I love the puzzles in this Resident Evil because they offer variety and difficulty. There are quite a few different guns in the game and there not even that hard to find and you should come across most of them as you playthrough the game. You start with a knife which is absolutely atrocious but five minutes in and you find a pistol then within twenty minutes you stumble upon duel machine guns. There is also a shotgun, rifle, crossbow and even gold lugers that can be used if you do the right thing.
There are a fair few different zombies including naked zombies which are quite funny because they act far more silly than others and are easily avoided to save ammo and health. Ammo is hard to come by as is health but mainly because its all about survival. There are also zombie dogs and crows that will try and savage you and there are also some pretty ugly beasts that include a Tyrant, massive Worm and many more including a surprising boss but I wont give it away. In Resident Evil Code Veronica X there is quite a bit of variety in the places you visit and its mainly based on an island that has different facilities on it. You do get to play as Steve for a little while and hes actually quicker than Claire and seems to deal better damage to the zombies. In Resident Evil Code Veronica X there is only the one game mode but if I'm honest it doesn't really alter the game overall because its still a great survival horror game and one of the best in the series.
I have played both the GameCube version and PS2 and the GameCube version is a little bit slower than the PS2 version but apart from that they are very similar to each other in a lot of ways. I love the game and always will mainly because of the name and how far the games have come. I think they offer a lot and still will in years to come. The game also works on the Nintendo Wii but you need a GameCube controller and a GameCube memory card or you cant play the game let alone save it. It actually loads a little quicker on the Wii as well but the graphics are still weak. There are a lot of characters that you meet in your quests which may help you or may even be an enemy. There are a lot of store boxes scattered around the island which do sometimes have items in but are mainly used for storing your items especially if you are carry way too many. Also you can combine items to help you such as herbs. Combine certain herbs can cure status effects such as poison or even heal you fully. There are also spray cans that heal you fully but sometimes its hard to find them. To save the game you have to find and use ink ribbons and usually where there are ink ribbons there is a type writer and you can save your progress this way.
The game has a lot of other bits which can be collected and stored like files. Some files contain very useful information like codes or passwords for stuff. Another good thing is that Steve sometimes travels around with you and you can order him to give you a hand pushing objects or doing other tasks that could require two people. Overall Resident Evil Code Veronica X is fantastic for gameplay features and its certainly a game that rarely gets boring.
=== GRAPHICS ===
This surprised me a little because I was expecting the graphics to the game to be one of the better things but there actually not. The characters look fairly well designed most the time but a couple of times in the movies in the game they look a little blurry and quite poor. Most of the zombies look the same and its rare to find actually people looking the same and the zombies are only people but dead so surely they should look different? Also the design layout of the island is actually surprisingly good and probably the best part of the graphics. Most places look really well designed and definitely gives you a feeling that your in a facility. I love the bosses in the game because not only are they incredibly designed in every way but they actually fit right into the game which is awesome. Overall I think the graphics for the GameCube version are a little weak compared to other version such as the PS2.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
The sound effects are surprisingly good for an old Resident Evil game. I love the music to this game especially in the intro movie because its fast and fits perfectly into the movie. I also like the regular in game music mainly because its surprising. All the characters sound pretty good in the movies even though its fairly bad quality overall. Other than that there isn't much else the sound offers other than overall sound effects which are fairly decent but I would definitely say it makes it for some poor graphics in places.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The game can be quite difficult sometimes especially if you waste a lot of ammo because you don't actually get that much and the bosses seem to take most of it. I found myself running around a lot of zombies in some fairly tight tricky situations such as alleyways and round corners. I was often on the end of a bit of noshing from a zombie. Also certain creatures that I cannot name for certain reasons are absolutely annoying and wont leave you alone and they basically force you to open fire on them. Dogs can be a nuisance too because they just keep jumping and jumping on you like there's no tomorrow. Puzzles are also tricky sometimes and the controls for the GameCube are a little ridiculous at times. Overall the difficulty is average but might cause some gamers a little trouble.
The length of the game isn't HUGE and it isn't too short. I would say average for a survival horror game but these games are the type of games that are more fun after several playthroughs. It probably took me a little longer to complete this on GameCube than PS2 because of the dodgy joypad. It took a little under 15 hours to complete this game. There is only one ending to the game but don't let that put you off playing again because it can always offer something new every time you play the game. Overall it doesn't sound a very long game but it can take longer depending how you fair on survival games.
=== PROS ===
*A fascinating story with its fair share of surprises.
*Lots of flesh eating zombies, dogs, crows and many other ugly creatures.
*The game has some very challenging puzzles to test your skills.
*I like the fact there isn't a lot of ammo or healing items and it actually feels like a survival horror game.
*Great music and some top quality sound effects.
=== CONS ===
*Not the longest game ever with only one ending as well.
*Could be quite difficult for some gamers in certain places especially against bosses.
*The graphics look fairly dated and not as good as the PS2 game.
*This version has some awkward controls and is extremely expensive.
*Only the one playable game mode with hardly any extras either.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Resident Evil Code Veronica X is a great survival horror game and in my opinion there isn't many horror games where you are literally trying to survive on low ammo and other items. Raccoon City is where Resident Evil made its name and it certainly makes a change with this game going to an island to multiple facilities. I like the area the game is set and I think its close to being as good as Raccoon City.
I would recommend the game especially if you own a Wii because it plays fairly well on that as well as the GameCube. If you like previous Resident Evil games before this one then I think you would love this. Its very similar to Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3. Also if your a fan of survival horror games then this game would be right up your street. The game has a terrible game manual but I feel most GameCube games do. The game also has an age rating of 15+ for violence and gore.
I bought the game about a week after buying my Wii but I did have it when I had my GameCube as well. However I bought it and luckily I found it quite cheap on the market for £7. After getting home I decided to look on Amazon and was astonished that some people was selling the game for around £25 for a used copy. Brand new copies are on Amazon for a ridiculous price of around £80. Its worth £7 but no way near worth the other two prices.
A great survival horror game and a classic in my eyes. I would give Resident Evil Code Veronica X a very reasonable 8/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
Resident Evil has gone down in history as the game which kick-started the survival horror genre (although that's not actually strictly true) and has proved to be an enduring (and money-spinning) idea for Capcom. Whilst the quality of Resi titles has inevitably been variable, it has consistently proved capable of scaring gamers to death with its incredible atmosphere.
In Veronica X you take the role of Claire Redfield, sister of Chris from the original game. Investigating your brother's disappearance, you infiltrate a military base, before being captured and imprisoned. Released unexpectedly, you must investigate the base, kill or avoid the hordes of flesh-eating zombies which have taken over and survive long enough to find out what is going on.
As you can see from that plot summary, Veronica X doesn't really mess about too much with the basic formula of the Resident Evil series. It essentially involves creeping around the corridors of the complex, collecting and using items that will help you in your quest and killing any zombies before they kill you.
The strength of any Resident Evil game has lies in their incredible atmosphere. There is a genuine sense of isolation and claustrophobia as you wander around the corridors. The oppressive atmosphere and the fact that absolutely anything could be lurking around the next corner (and often is) generates a genuine sense of terror. Veronica X is sustains that sense of terror and is capable of paralysing you with fear: you know you have to go around that next corner, but you really don't want to do it because your health and ammo are both low.
OK, it might never equal the pants-wetting "zombie dogs through the window" moment of the original game, but there are still plenty of moments that will make you jump or utter an involuntary squeak of terror. Veronica X has that rare ability to totally immerse you in a game so that you are not just controlling a bunch of pixels, but really do feel as though you are fighting for your life; it has that rare ability to make your heart race in terror and your hands sweaty.
As with previous entries, the game is rock hard right from the start. There's no tutorial and after the opening sequences, you are just thrown in at the deep end, not really sure what you are meant to do and with no option but to start exploring. The game certainly does make it easy for you, and within a few rooms, you come across your first zombie encounter which, armed only with a knife and surrounded by about five zombies, is not exactly the gentlest of introductions to a game!
This high difficulty level should be off-putting. The game seems to do everything possible to stack the odds against you to the point of unfairness: you start off with no weapon at all (although you quickly find a knife) and even when you manage to find a gun, ammo is limited and will quickly run out unless you find more (further reinforcing the fact that exploration is vital, even when you don't want to go into that dark corner or room. You are limited to the number of items you can carry at once so have to make decisions over what to leave behind if you want to collect something new. Inevitably, you often find you've left the wrong item behind and have to retrace your steps to re-collect it in order to progress. Everything about Resi feels unfair and designed to put you off.
Even the opportunities to save games are limited. I confess, I'm one of those cautious gamers that likes to save progress every time I move into an unknown area to guard against sudden deaths. Tough. In Veronica you can only save games at set points (when you discover a typewriter; and even then, only if you have an ink ribbon in your possession). This can be frustrating if you die having made a lot of progress since the last save, since you have to do it all again. Yet at the same time, it works in the game's favour, increasing the tension still further as, low on health, you desperately try to make it to the next save point.
This high difficulty level will undoubtedly put many people off, but if you are willing to persevere, then Code Veronica actually proves to be a very rewarding experience. Certainly, the game makes you work hard, but that simply increases the sense of achievement when you actually start to make progress. There's a cracking story attached to the game which gradually unfolds as you you're your way through the game and you find yourself gripped by what you have uncovered and wanting to find out more. Completing the full game gives you a smug feeling of self-satisfaction.
Graphics and sound are not the game's strong points. Sure, the game looked fine when it was released in 2003, but time hasn't been particularly kind to it. The polygon graphics look blocky and the characters walk as though they are suffering from piles. Cut-scenes work well for moving the story forward, but don't really look great. Claire Redfield, for example, seems to have only one expression whether she is surprised, shocked, frightened or happy. The Gamecube was never the most graphically impressive of the last generation consoles and the lack of power sometimes shows here. It's not an ugly game; just not a great looking one. Thankfully, though, what it lacks in aesthetics in more than makes up for in atmosphere.
Sound has dated a little better, mainly because it is so minimal. When exploring, the only sound is often the echo of Claire's footsteps in the empty corridor, the dripping of water or the menacing shuffle of a nearby zombie. This reinforces the creepy atmosphere and plays a crucial part of the game, as you can sometimes hear a zombie before you can actually see it so you can prepare yourself for battle.
On the negative side, we still have to suffer the cheesy acting voice work that the series is (in)famous for. Clearly everyone in the Resident Evil series fancies themselves as an Arnie wannabe with their tough, gruff voices but their acting abilities barely warrant a feeling appearance in a cheap commercial, let alone a major videogame release. Still, these have become part of the charm of the Resident Evil series and again, it's credit to the strong atmosphere that they can't dent the overall positive impression.
Controls have always been an issue Resi games and Veronica X doesn't really resolve this. Even moving around is not made easy. In most games, Left makes you go left; right, right; up, forwards etc. Not so in Resident Evil where left will slowly change the way you are facing by rotating your character to the left, with Up then used to head off in that direction. This is totally counter-intuitive and your first few games will have you howling in frustration as you constantly press the wrong button and find yourself spinning in a circle rather than running away from danger. Even when you get used to the controls, they can still pose problems. When suddenly taken by surprise by a zombie, it's all too easy to forget what you need to do and revert back to standard (logical) gaming controls, leading to a bloody demise at the hands of a shuffling zombie.
Since this is quite a complex game, there are also a lot of different controls to get your head around to enable you to perform all sorts of functions (accessing your inventory or map, turning round quickly, shooting or stabbing with your gun/knife). The lack of a tutorial doesn't help in this regard and I found I was quite a way into the game before I started to feel comfortable with what button performed what function when.
Despite all these negative things that should cripple the game, Resident Evil Code Veronica X is a classic Gamecube game and still well worth buying if you have a Wii (it's quite popular though, so can be a little expensive). The problems with the graphics, sound, controls and high difficulty spikes can't detract too much from the incredibly atmospheric and compelling gameplay. It might be rock hard, but at least it's proper, challenging game that means you have a real sense of achievement and satisfaction.
(c) Copyright SWSt 2012