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Resident Evil: Gaiden (GB)

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1 Review

Genre: Action & Shooter / Age: 11+ / Published by Avalon Interactive / Release date: 2001

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      10.05.2010 22:28
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      A charming and uncomfortable survival horror that's sadly not without its flaws.

      From Capcom, Resident Evil Gaiden is a survival horror action adventure game for the Game Boy Colour. Released in 2001 for such an old platform, it's obviously a little bit dated, but its still a perfectly playable, even well conceived videogame.

      Basically, you get a top down perspective on the environment, and you assume the role of both Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton from the first and second game.There's rumours of a new biological weapon, and you've got to find out what's going on, battling your way through hordes of zombies as you go. You have to pick up quest items and ammo to progress, but there's something pretty new with the combat.

      Upon approaching an enemy, the camera switches to a first person viewpoint, and a reticule appears swaying back and forth toward a bar. You have to line up the reticule with the enemy to take them down, giving much chance for headshots, critical hits and the like. It's pretty cool and comes together neatly.

      A lot of people have said that they thought that the cartoony graphics detracted from the atmosphere, but I can't say I agree. I think the blocky way that things look and the single-drawing text-based cut scenes in between levels are really nostalgic and absolutely ooze charm, and do remind you of old cheesy B-movies. The minimalist use of colour especially.

      Although key finding and puzzles are a bit dissatisfying, and the save system is awkward and frustrating, and the combat isn't too visceral or impressive, the atmosphere is very good and the plot is clever and immersive. You never really know whats around the corner. There's no bugs or major gameplay problems, and although the settings are a bit repetitve and uninspired, they still give off a bit of a creepy vibe. The controls and gameplay are very intuitive and its easy to get the hang of the first time around, but it is a bit tricky, so maybe it's not for the younger fans out there.

      This game is charming and playable, but a bit dated and not too impressive or innovative. Don't expect too much, but if you're a Resident Evil fan, this is definitely worth a good go. It's atmospheric and engaging, especially for a handheld game. the 32-bit music is really well chosen and gives a really unsettling Exorcist-esque feel to the game that's especially creepy when its blaring out at you in the dark, with the bright light beaming in your face. Recommended to hardcore Resident Evil enthusiasts only.

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