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Alive 10



If I remember well, I was  attending a coding party  back in 1997 when I first 
spotted that  game of a new  gender called "survival horror" : it was Resident 
Evil. That game  proved very fun... and  spooky too ! Soon after came resident 
evil 2 where you could play the whole game twice with different characters and 
storyline, Resident Evil Nemesis in  which some  dark warrior  was chasing you 
without you  knowing  why... We had to wait  for the Dreamcast  to  bring Code 
Veronica which was the 1st episode using real 3D environment as well as a very 
long and breath catching experience.

Then... Almost nothing... For a very long time... CAPCOM shamlessly ported all 
early episodes to next gen consoles and even tho Rebirth was looking a hundred 
times better than the very first episode, it  didn't bring anything new... The 
same goes to Outbreak and Resident Evil 0 which proved quite funny but far too 
easy and not bringing any more new ideas... 

Was it the end of a saga ?


 For almost a decade, Resident Evil has shared both followers and opponents :
 the controls were not so accurate, storyline was about  the same and loading
 times were still too present, you know  what I mean, let's call it the "door
 syndrom" :) Not to forget that everyone isn't fond of zombies.

 Then we heard about  Resident Evil 4 to be exclusive to Nintendo  Gamecube : I
 have to confess I mainly bought NGC for three games : Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX
 and... Resident Evil 4 of course. Some promotion DVD showed enough to make all
 gamers drool for months, erm better say years :)

 We saw a lot of snapshots, read a lot of rumours until we heard about the game
 totally changing direction : erase and rewind ! Forget  about the mansion, the
 living dead or that foggy creature assaulting you with a butcher hook.

 Here, in Europe, we had to wait till March  18th before the game was released
 but all US/Japanese reviews I read were so enthusiastic that I was VERY eager
 and counted days until that D-Day.

 D-Day : a new nightmare begins...   

 Your are Leon S. Kennedy, rookie cop  hero of Resident Evil 2, now working for
 some  US  secret  service and looking for  US president's  kidnapped  daughter
 somewhere in Europe... Gotta say that I wonder where they found that idea of a
 land looking like Dracula's dark territory but... with people speaking Spanish.
 Forget about UMBRELLA, forget about zombies, you're here on a "regular" secret
 mission in a remote land.

What's new then ? 

 > REAL 3D environment truly allows you to go here and there
 > no more crates to put extra weapons and bonuses into
 > free shooting now brings a lot more fun
 > upgrade your weapons and/or buy new weapons from the merchant
 > more than 20 hours of intense and original gaming experience and no boring
   endless CGIs to bore you to death
 > a lot of new and cool ideas you'll find about later in the game :)

What could have been better ?

 > The game isn't really hard but there's a "professional" level unlocked once
   you've finished the game :)
 > I wish I could use strafe when targeting nasties...
 > Erm really nothing more than that !

 A man in action

 The first thing you  will notice when  playing the  game is  the beauty of the
 environment and characters too. To make sure the game suffers from no slowdown
 the game window has  been a bit reduced  adding black borders up  and down the
 screen even in 60Hz mode but it won't be noticed when you try to escape from a
 very large bunch of crazies.

 It all starts very fast and soon enough you get "trapped" into a weird village
 surrounded by even weirder dwellers  who seem to like human flesh. No zombies,
 just VERY odd people (the kind who sleep with their sisters and daughters :)

 You'll learn to shoot where it hurts be it the head or legs and it proves very
 funny to get the bastards on their knees before  you finish them with a lethal
 kick in da face !

 Unlike other episodes you cannot reload your weapons from the inventory, hence
 bringing more tension, you'd better  have a look at  your ammo before shooting
 or else you may have to face a very bad situation.

 The game also includes a lot of bonuses, like treasures hidden here and there
 as well as shooting  rooms in which  your skills will allow to unlock goodies
 such as small representations of the characters met in the game. It's totally
 useless but is a very  nice collection (tho I never managed to get the fourth
 row of characters :(

 Bosses must be the biggest and ugliest (understand most beautiful) I have seen
 in a video  game : El Gigante, big as a  golem will scare the  shit out of you
 and you'd  better get  your boots  ready  for a tough "fishing" session :) All
 characters are very  detailed and  move  very naturally  tho I have to confess
 collisions tests are far from accurate as you'll often see an arm going thru a
 door... But it doesn't spoil the fun.

Hey mista don't hurt me, I'm not a hobbit !

 Compared to earlier episodes, you will be so happy to read that it's over with
 twisted puzzles you  couldn't solve : nor more piano lessons or statue moving,
 puzzles are only here to  entertain you, not  slow you  down and  get  on your

 In a way this game is  easier than other  episodes but a -LOT- spookier since
 you will feel surrounded  by a dozen  ennemies more than once ! Sometimes you
 don't even need to shoot  them as some sequences require to press  buttons to
 change your destiny. This "Quick Time Event" - as Shenmue lovers already know
 of - brings a nice touch of diversity to the whole game.

 Going thru the whole game is not only very stressing but also full of tasty
 surprises but I don't want to spoil the whole fun :)

The loooooooove boat !


 Once you go thru the whole story, you'll happily find out that it's far from
 over as quite a lot of goodies are expecting you such as :

Assignment Ada : a full mission with a character you  have spotted here and
 there in the main game. Tho it won't take you more than an hour, it's still
 very enjoyable.

New suits for at least 3 characters including the President daughter who
 definitely looks, hmm, tastier now (the girl, NOT the president hey !)

New weapons to be bought from the merchant like the unlimited rocket launcher
 that will bring  you more confidence  when facing the  nasties for the second
 time. Not to forget an additional difficulty level for hardcore gamers.

 Last but not least mini-games called THE  MERCENARIES will set you into closed
 levels (village, mine, castle and  underwordlike scenery) in which you will be
 given limited time to shoot as many baddies as possible, surely the most nerve
 breaking part of the game !

 Last words

 In my humble opinion this new and fresh episode truly brings tons of new ideas
 not only does it look gorgeous but it also gives you more freedom than ever !!
 Upgrading weapons takes some  time but will  bring satisfaction in the end and
 the many goodies included  allow the game to be  played again and again. Maybe
 we're just missing a multiplayer mode and extra moves ?

 Every Gamecube owner worth of the name HAS  to buy this game as this is a new
 experience that has almost NOTHING to do with earlier episodes ! I even wonder
 why they called it Resident Evil as it  shows so few common  points with other
 sequels. To be honest, I don't even think I'm gonna sell it as I feel it would
 be a shame to get rid of such a GREAT game.

 Now YOU make up your mind :)

NB : tho this game was planned to be  Gamecube exclusive, we  know that a PS2 
porting is  in the pipeline in  spite of  many rumours reading  about the PS2 
being too weak to brink the same quality... Anyway this version is only meant 
for Xmas 2005, meaning you guys still have to wait a bit longer :)

 STS signing off for Alive 10

Alive 10