* Prices may differ from that shown
Resident Evil Archives is a remake of the original 1996 Playstation Resident Evil. This new version was released by Capcom in 2008 and is for over 15's. It is a single player game without online capability.
Prices vary quite significantly from place to place so shop around, I got a used copy (like new) from Ebay for around £13 including delivery.
There are a couple of cover designs including the one in the picture. A couple of these games have similar titles so make sure you have the correct one before ordering.
If you have played the original Resident Evil game don't expect too many new challenges. This is almost exactly the same game with improved graphics, sound effects and a few extra rooms and puzzles.
This is why I bought this game, as I enjoyed the original so much and really wanted to play it again with the improvements.
From here on I will review this as a new game and comparisons to the original can be found in my overall opinion.
The game is easy to set up, inserting the disc into the Nintendo Wii console and using your controller to select it on the menu. After a brief introduction video you can then go ahead and select your character.
You have a choice to play as Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, both of the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Team) Alpha team who have been sent to the Arklay Mountains to search for their missing colleagues in the Bravo team who are investigating gory murders in Raccoon City.
As a beginner, Jill is probably the easier option as she has different weapons to start with. There are also slight differences in the storyline and endings for each character so it's worth playing both.
You can play with the controller on its own tilted horizontally, or with both the controller and nunchuk which is the way I prefer to play.
Loading and Saving
Ink ribbons can be picked up in various places around the mansion (such as on tables, beds or in desks). When you see a typewriter you can use an ink ribbon to save your game. When you are killed or turn off the console you can then load the game saved on your typewriter, you shouldn't need to save often earlier in the game but keep some ribbons so you can save after particularly hard challenges and won't need to do them again.
Collecting and Storing Items
Storage boxes are places around the mansion, you will need to use these a lot as you can only carry a few items on your person. Here you can store items you don't need at the moment and are keeping for later such as ink ribbons, first aid kits and puzzle pieces. One negative of this game is that to use items collected and to change weapons you need to go into the menu and select them. It would be easier if there was a quicker way to use health and change weapon.
When you start, many rooms will be locked and you will need to pick up keys. Most of the keys involve solving a puzzle first.
You can also collect green, red and blue herbs, first aid spray and first aid boxes. To use the health from a first aid box you will first need to examine it.
Weapons and ammunition are dotted around the mansion. If you collect a weapon and have no ammunition for it or vice versa, use your storage box until you get some.
Memos and diaries can also be found, these will be filed so you can view them later, some of these are just to fill you in on part of the story and others can contain important information on how to kill enemies or solve puzzles so read them carefully.
Daggers are also around the mansion, some may not have been in a place the first time you pass, but are the next time so recheck areas. These do not use up a storage space and are used to defend yourself if an enemy grabs you.
Battery pack also don't take up any storage space, these are used to power up your stun gun. Try to keep the stun gun for when you are running out of / have run out of ammunition. If a battery pack goes into your inventory taking up a storage space it is not for the stun gun and will be used to generate power in an area you need to explore.
As Chris you will pick up flash grenades instead of stun gun battery packs.
Maps are usually collected from walls, they are not very detailed but still very helpful. Storage boxes and typewriters will be labelled on the maps. Areas and doors you still need to unlock appear in red on the map,those which have been covered will be green. If you think you have covered an area but it is still red, have a closer look around it may be a life or ammunition to pick up in the room.
Weapons and Enemies
You can pick up numerous weapons including pistols, shotguns, knives, magnum revolvers and grenade launchers with different sorts of ammunition (acid rounds, grenade rounds and flame rounds) to take out all sorts of ugly and scary enemies.
There are lots of zombies, dogs, apes, snakes and plants which can attack you. Some enemies need a specific weapon to kill them, so try to keep your bigger and stronger weapons for when they are absolutely necessary and use your handgun where possible.
I really like this game, the mixture of shooting and puzzles make it a bit more brain teasing than a lot of horror games. It is jumpy and fun, although it gets a little slow at times having to go over the same areas again and again.
The graphics and sound are both good, and a huge improvement on the original. I did have to adjust the brightness in the game settings as it is very dark and even after adjusting I still think it should be brighter.
The story is interesting and has plenty of twists and turns, although it is almost the same as the original there are some extra rooms and the puzzles are slightly different so it is still new and challenging in parts. The enemies run in this game, so it is more difficult than the original where you may be able to run past or away from them so you really need to kill them. Some even come back to life and you will have to burn them.
This game takes hours and hours to finish, obviously if you have played the original you may know what to look for and what to expect in places so it will be much faster, for new players to the game this game could take days to finish.
Even when it is finished you will probably want to play it again, so should try playing as the other character.
When the game is completed you can unlock a new, much more difficult survival mode. You can also unlock new costumes and if you complete the game in a short time you unlock new weapons.
These unlockables make you want to play again and again until you have them all.
I think this game is excellent, it may be a little bit frightening for young children so I'd advise parents to check it out for themselves first to avoid any nightmares. If you think it's suitable you'll find it hard to hand over!
As the game has so much to do, so many rooms and can be played over and over I think it was good value for money and would recommend it.
Happy zombie hunting!
Resident Evil Archives is a repackaged Gamecube game that was itself a completely remade version of the original Resident Evil for the Sony Playstation. Yes, I know...it sounds like a poor attempt by Capcom to cash in on the Wii's success by releasing it to a wider audience to generate sales. But do not despair, the Gamecube game was one of the best games of its generation, it may of only sold moderately well (just over one and a quarter million) but this was due only to relatively low sales of the Gamecube. Now Capcom has rereleased it, allowing a larger number of players to appreciate this great game (in my opinion the best in the series)...however due too the Wii's backward compatibility a major problem appears...
Resident Evil Archives, unsurprisingly, plays identically to the Gamecube version. Though there is the option of using the Wiimote, Wiimote and Nunchuk or the Classic Controller, the best way to play it is using the Gamecube controller (I do realise this poses the question, why get the Wii version? I will get to that later) You play either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, those new to the game are better off picking Jill as the game is slightly easier due to more item spaces available to you. Your S.T.A.R.S unit is sent to find out the fate of the previous team, who you find in bits and pieces (literally) as the game progresses.
You are chased by rabid zombie dogs to a creepy old mansion where you take refuge. It does not take a genius to work out that the problems start here, locked doors require you to do significant legwork to find the appropriate key whilst dodging various enemies who get more dangerous as you progress. If you have played the Gamecube remake you know exactly what to expect, however if you are one of the many to of not played it then there are some shocks in store. Your ammunition is severely limited, not that you want to go around shooting zombies for the fun of it, you see, killing a zombie does not kill it. Failure to remove its head in some manner or cremating it sees it return in about an hours game time as a crimson head, a much faster much more dangerous zombie. Cremating it means you need a lighter (check) and flammable liquid (check)...except it is not this simple, you have a severely limited amount of gasoline available, nowhere near enough to burn every zombie you come across, instead you must prioritise zombie killing and only kill and cremate those in rooms you will visit often.
As the game progresses not only will the enemies become more difficult (the hunters in particular being very dangerous, able to tear your head off with one move), but naturally your weaponry improves, flamethrower, shotgun, magnum...all are available plus more at points during the game and all with a limited supply of ammunition. The best thing about Resident Evil is the amazing plot which you will very likely become totally engrossed in, regardless of how many times you have played the original, the Gamecube version or this repackaged version. Certain events happen differently depending on your character choice. Jill sees you having prolonged contact with Barry Burton who will help you out occasionally by getting you out of sticky situations or leaving you ammunition. Chris has the same deal with your S.T.A.R.S leader, Albert Wesker, who you have some contact with as Jill but not as much as with Chris. Chris' game also has Rebecca Chambers, the very youthful looking team medic, who you have to control for a small portion of the game.
Regardless of the character you choose you will mostly follow the same story, and new to the Gamecube version was the tragic story of the Trevor family, whose various diaries you find scattered across the mansion, introducing a brand new enemy who you are forced to kill (or do you...) The diaries are rather disturbing in parts but it certainly introduces another very deep and absorbing plot element that the Playstation original lacked. The other addition to the Gamecube version was the inclusion of self defence items, daggers can be used by either character whilst Jill can use a stun gun which she has at all times but you need battery packs to use, these occasionally kill the enemy, if it is a zombie you will still need to cremate it to prevent it from mutating as mentioned earlier. Chris gets to use the flash grenade, which automatically kills a zombie (or a crimson head), if used on a zombie there is no need to cremate it, these come in very hand when gasoline gets very scarce. Resident evil mainstays are naturally here, the notorious ink ribbons, red/green/blue herbs and first aid sprays are all present. Everything pulls together to make this the best Resident Evil title, just a sliver ahead of Resident Evil 0, everything still holds up on the Wii too.
The Resident Evil series has never been on a par with 'true horror' games such as Silent Hill, however in terms of jumps and scares this provides them more than any other in the series. One part in the game has you walking down a corridor where a door has been ripped off an adjoining room, you can hear a deep breathing sound of a hunter, and you know it will jump out, but you don't know when. When it does eventually leap out it scares the life out of you, I know it does me even though I have played the game dozens of times. Some of the enemies on the game are certainly disturbing, the new enemy central to the Gamecube versions plot is rather horrifying yet sympathy inducing and the huge spiders certainly make me want to hide behind the sofa. Not high on the scare-o-meter but certain parts will make you jump, usually parts with the ever-so-quick hunters.
Back during the days of the Gamecube it was widely believed it was graphically inferior to other consoles, this game and Resident Evil 0 changed that, proving the Gamecube was more than able to hold its own graphically against other consoles. Whilst some games on the Wii have been released that graphically outperforms Resident Evil (such as Metroid Prime: Corruption), it still looks stunning. The backgrounds are pre rendered but have an incredible amount of detail. The interior of the mansion looks incredible and very intimidating. The enemies and characters all look detailed, though collision detection is like most Resident Evil games (and almost all others in the genre) you often find yourself with half a shotgun going through a wall. This does not ruin what is otherwise a great graphical feast of a game, whilst it now pales slightly in comparison to games such as Super Mario Galaxy and The Conduit, Resident Evil still pulls a graphical punch.
The sound, like the graphics and gameplay, have not changed at all. Which is actually a very, very good thing. There is no need to change a winning formula in this respect, the eerie music in the mansion is still as tension-inducing as before. It can build up without notice until you are in a heightened state of suspense, being one of those rare times in videogames where you really feel there. This also applies to the tranquil music played in the save rooms, where you are safe from attack, leading you calm but also means you won't want to leave the save room for fear of being attacked. The sound effects are all chillingly real, the moan of the zombie around the corner, the heavy breathing of a hunter or a crimson head. Unlike the original the voice acting is not laughably atrocious, Chris' tone of voice and his lines leave you wanting to hit him most of the time whilst Wesker's voice will chill you to the bone, yet at the same time he sound's calm, cool and collected. I am glad the sound effects, music and voice acting are the same in this than in the Gamecube version, anything else would have been worse.
If you complete the game once with your chosen character, I strongly urge you to complete it with the other, it is a different gaming experience, with differences in storyline and gameplay. However following this, how long the game lasts purely rests on how much you like the game. A Resident Evil enthusiast would be willing to put the extra time and effort into completing the game under a said time limit to get an unlockable weapon in the next game. Completing it under various difficulties a said amount of times to unlock costumes and also unlocking new modes. There are the two modes to begin with, Normal and Easy. Completing the game once allows you to choose hard mode. Other modes are also unlockable, real survival, invisible enemy mode and one dangerous zombie mode (where a zombie follows you into almost every room, shoot it and game over). The ending also changes, allowing certain members to perish or rescuing some (as Jill you can save Barry and Chris, as Chris you can save Jill and Rebecca, or you can pick and choose) These options give the game real depth for enthusiasts, for the average gamer though, I estimate 12-15 hours plus any extra time replaying it.
Heavily linked with the above Longevity rating, the difficulty on easy mode is very forgiving, ammo is (relatively) plentiful and enemies do much less damage. The difficulty is notched up quite a bit at normal mode, and hard mode is very much for the experienced only. The real survival mode is significantly more difficult, most noticeable the item boxes are no longer linked! Automatic aiming is also removed. Invisible enemy mode, as you would expect, has invisible enemies, which is for very experienced players only. I personally cannot complete this mode. One dangerous zombie mode is not a separate mode, but once unlocked it becomes part of once again mode, it has a zombie following you throughout the first part of the game, kill him and its game over (as he is coated with grenades) These three extra additions give an extra challenge to those willing enough to try. Beginners should have a small challenge in easy mode but it will not be too difficult.
Value for Money
Being a massive Resident Evil fan, I was trying to avoid this one. But the obvious point must be addressed, especially as the Wii controls are cumbersome and it allows you to play with a Gamecube pad. Why fork out £15 (the average price for this that I have found) when you can pick up the Gamecube version which is identical in every way. The only differences are that it is in a Wii game box rather than the Gamecube one, and it saves you changing disk halfway through as the Gamecube version was on two disks. Is this worth paying twice the price for? Afraid not. Anyone looking at this game should consider buying the identical Gamecube version and buy something nice with the money you saved. Unless the price comes down to the same as the Gamecube version, I cannot recommend this as value for money.
Resident Evil Archives is still the amazing game it was. The same great graphics and music, the same great gameplay coupled with an awesome plot. But this is also the problem, it is the same as the Gamecube version which you can pick up for half the price. Even for those new to Resident Evil, there is little reason to buy this version over the Gamecube version aside from a white Wii case rather than a black Gamecube one and the fact that the Wii version is only on one disc (saving you maybe 2.5 seconds to change discs) If you are willing to pay twice the price for a white case, then by all means go ahead and purchase this. But as much as it pains me to give it a low rating (this game being one of my favourite games of all time) it has to be a two, if the price drops to the same as the Gamecube version then maybe...but until then...I cannot recommend this.
Thanks for reading, any comments you have will be gratefully received. Also on Ciao.
The Raccoon City Police Department doesn't know what happened to the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) Team it sent out to investigate the Arclay Mountain area on the outskirts of the city, where a number of people have recently gone missing. The unit's helicopter seems to have crashed in the woods, and it hasn't received any contact from the squad since. The department decides to dispatch another S.T.A.R.S. unit, the Alpha team, to check things out. But something goes terribly wrong, which is code for "Zombies!"