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The Road to 'Resident Evil 2 Remake' - An Introduction

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Anyone who listens to our show probably knows that Resident Evil is a series that I have cherished since my earliest days in gaming. Perhaps more notably, I have harbored some… dissenting opinions about the franchise over the years. After getting some hands-on time with the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 2 at E3, I quickly launched into a feverish level of hype and set out to replay some of the games in the series that I haven’t touched in years and in some rare cases, never finished.

Truth be told, my enthusiasm for the series has dissipated in recent years thanks to a film franchise that threatened to transform the entire IP into something unrecognizable. It’s a viewpoint that has often clashed with my fellow podcasters and even the fanbase at large. I have frequently touted Resident Evil 7 as my new gold standard for the series and shouted from the rooftops that Resident Evil 4 (WARNING: HOT TAKE INCOMING) was simultaneously the best AND worst thing to ever happen to the franchise.  It revolutionized the series from a mechanical standpoint and set the bar for 3rd person action games while starting it on a path that would eventually lead it away from the historic genre that made it a household name in the first place; Survival Horror.

Luckily for me, since the announcement of Resident Evil 7, Capcom seems to have recognized the misstep and attempted to pivot the franchise back onto the rails in a way that (hopefully) satisfies both camps. They seem intent on re-establishing Resident Evil as the poster-child for horror in gaming while continuing to take risks that have made the series so fun to watch for more than two decades. Even though I may not have been the biggest fan of the direction the series took post Resident Evil 4, it is a series that differs dramatically from one entry to the next and that creative diversity is something worth celebrating.

This feature will chronicle my thoughts as I work my way through the series (live on 4pp.tv every Monday night) and will culminate in a marathon stream of the Resident Evil 2 Remake in January. I have cherry-picked 8 games in the series that I plan to play and write about before that big release:

  • Resident Evil 0
  • Resident Evil Remake
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2

It feels great to feel genuine excitement about the future of Resident Evil again. After I finish each game in this lineup, I will publish my thoughts on the experience and hopefully shed some light on the impact the game had on the series as a whole. Capcom has certainly amassed some goodwill in my book lately which I am hoping will help me find some appreciation for the games that I have criticized in the past.


Look for my first retrospective focused on Resident Evil 0 in the coming weeks. In the meantime, leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite Resident Evil is and why! Be sure to tune in on Monday nights to catch me playing Resident Evil 0 (right after 4Player Plus)!

Comments

  • Mr.GreenToS 3 months ago


    Resident Evil 4 was my personal favorite.

    I was always too scared to play the games before 4 came out but always held a fascination with the zombie aspects. When I heard that 4 wasn’t going to have zombies, I figured that would be a good time to jump and see how it could be scary without them. Oh boy, did I get a true scare of my life.

    The fact the village scene alone showcases the natural tense but great moments of fight or flight like mechanics lead to me truly shifting my viewpoint of horror games at the time. Ever since those GameCube days I’ve re bought RE4 for every Sony Platform and even PC.

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    • Nick Henderson 3 months ago

      Ah that's cool. Thanks for chiming in! I do love 4 a lot for the things it did to set itself apart from everything that came before it. The game had a ripple effect through the rest of the series that is still being felt today.

      It's not my absolute favorite entry in the series for reasons i'll go into when I get to it but I definitely love it. I am looking forward to playing it again as it's been quite awhile since my last play through.

      Did you end up sticking with the series after that or playing any of the older ones after playing 4?

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      • Mr.GreenToS 3 months ago

        After beating 4 I was quickly hooked onto the series and soon after a few years downloaded RE5 demo and was amazed at the terror but still being in co-op. Now looking back, the later half of the game isn't as scary but still had a great time with it.

        RE6...I actually was alright with it, not with the direction it had taken the series mind you, that I knew wasn't alright, but since they already made it and I knew they would rework future games I figure I'd just go with the flow. In co-op its still fun to do slides and certain combos but still would give it pass over the rest.

        RE7: Really enjoyed the flashback to the OG mansion vibes and the hidden tapes dlcs really took a cool spin for each one being different like one being an escape room or another a deadly game of 21.

        RE1 Classic I never beaten but have watched my brother beaten it several times.

        I sadly could never find a copy of 2 or 3 to own growing up but I did play RE2 on the N64, which the sound compression was soo bad and rented 3 once but otherwise never got around to trying it out again.

        Code Veronica X I had played my older brother's copy but at the time I was so confused at the very 1st puzzle of opening your lighter from the menu that I gave up. Otherwise I just recall clips from my brother and a recent streamer playthrough of it.

        Revelations 1: Played up till a part where you fight a really tough boss and gave up, but control wise felt like a good callback.

        My only major regret is missing out on playing the Resident Evil Outbreak games that had multiple players working together to escape. I know there's a long but cool process online to get it to work online but I know it wouldn't be the same.

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  • Kritta 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    I've only ever played Resident Evil 4 and 7 so I feel like a dinkle dork for choosing a difference in two greater goods, but whatever. I'll tell a story.

    Resident Evil 4 was one of the first games I got on my GameCube. My mom used to play horror games on the PS1 (Silent Hill mostly) while toddler me snot-dribble cried behind her. Then the tables turned and she used to watch me play RE4 and that is one of the fondest childhood memories I have.

    It was also one of the first games that all my friends had too. Discord and Skype weren't exactly fleshed out and there wasn't much of an online co-op method, so me and a bunch of other 12 year olds across the nation would conference call each other and help each other thru the game.

    "I found an herb in that barrel yo get it"

    "CHAINSAW DUDE"

    "Hide Ashley in the dumpster cuz she's trash"

    We all had two save files. One for personal play, and one we all played together as a team. I remember being super scared of the Regenerators and my friends, on call, would proceed in the rooms before I did and tell me exactly where the enemies were and where to shoot because I was such a lil scaredy bitch LMFAO.

    I have to say I prefer RE4 over 7 just because it was my first RE experience. I got to play RE7 on an ex's Xbox in a hotel while my truck was being fixed, so I didn't get to spend as much time with it as I wanted. It was a great experience, but how can I compare such prolific titles in the franchise? They're both so different from each other.

    I guess I have to say I enjoyed RE4 more, though, I replayed it so many times and had so much fun with my dorkass friends. It's equal parts nostalgia and excellent replayability/mechanics.

    There were few times I felt RE7 was super challenging. Great experience, horrific and beautiful. It's an RE trope, Ive observed, to be out of ammo, health items, and up shit creek without a paddle. I didn't get that sense of hopeless dread quite like I did when sifting through RE4 the first time. I didn't get the chance to play RE7 on a harder setting, but maybe when I'm rich and famous and can have a desk job again, I'll play all the Resident Evils.

    Thanks for doing this marathon. As someone that didn't grow up with them, it's cool to see someone get excited about RE still. It makes me want to buy the older games today, and I think that's very important when games can be such a disposable media.

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for that interesting anecdote! That sounds like you experienced RE4 in a really fun and community driven way that not many can relate to. It’s also cool to hear about your experience with the series even if it is relegated to 2 entries. Both of those games are special in very different ways. They deviate from the standard formula in dramatic ways and left huge impacts on the franchise that will continue to influence the series for years to come (I’m sure)!

      I would probably recommend playing at least one classic RE as they are iconic, special chapters of video game history! Maybe try Resident Evil Remake or Resident Evil 2.

      Anyways, thanks for the comment. It’s always great to hear from you since your job gives you a unique perspective.

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  • RecklessLink 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    I really ran away with this one. As you'll see, RE is a pretty important franchise to me. As my thoughts were too large to be contained here, I've provided a pastebin link. (I'm a write/novelist so it's hard to resist when I'm so impassioned about something.) Honestly, there are some things I wanted to elaborate even further on, but I felt like I was going on for too long as it was. Oh well.

    https://pastebin.com/XUrev5VX

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

      First of all. Wow. Thanks for going all in on your response! It’s great to hear from other people who appreciate the series (despite its ups and downs) like I do.

      Choosing between REmake and RE2 is tough but for me, REmake has been in a league of its own for a long time. I can’t imagine walking into a store and finding it on whim without any prior knowledge of it like you did. Reading this made me realize how difficult it is going to be to rank these when it’s all said and done.

      RE7 is incredible and I hope you have a chance to play it (in VR if at all possible). It shook up my personal view of the franchise in the same way Resident Evil 4 did for most people.

      As I mentioned, I’ll be doing a short write up on each game after I finish them so check back. Thanks again for the thoughtful comment! Cheers!

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  • RecklessLink 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    Something to add that I don't think I touched on with RE1 and 2. It was such a unique experience to me, that a game could accurately convey a horror scenario like that. My 12 year old mind was certainly blown for sure. REmake definitely reinforced that and game series like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame added on to that in spectacular fashion.

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  • Blahwoof85 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    My favorite is Resident Evil 2. It was the first game in the series I played & instantly fell in love with it. It was a great game with an atmosphere that really brought you into the mood & feel of the world that you were in. It was a true survival horror with fantastic enemies & strong lead characters that you could connect with. The intersecting storylines with both scenarios & making a choice in A effected an open area or a useful item being there or not being there in scenario B I feel was a great game mechanic & actually made it so your choices mattered. It started my love for the series which led me to keep up with it & continue on towards playing all of the games in the series, devoting hours of research into the lore, seeing all of the movies both live action & CGI, & even after the games started taking a different direction it never took away my love for this fantastic franchise.

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

      Resident Evil 2 was actually the first RE that I played. Unfortunately, I was probably too young to truly appreciate the game’s design and innovation. I can’t wait to see what makes the transition over to the Remake. Thanks for sharing!

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  • ChaiThai 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    I will always champion Outbreak/Outbreak 2 as the most underrated RE games. It managed to take the classic RE formula and make it a unique multiplayer experience that still hasn't quite been copied today. Each of the 8 playable characters had unique skills such as increased inventory space, double damage using specific weapons or attacks, crafting of better healing items or powerful weapons, or even playing dead to avoid combat. Being able to take only 4 on any given level and having a much smaller inventory also changed how you approached each situation. It was an interesting look at how the "common" people of Raccoon dealt with the situation in the city and even answered a few odd questions like Leon's unique uniform (Some type of special unit as the character Kevin, a STARS applicant reject, has the same uniform).

    The levels provided unique objectives such as avoiding and figuring out how to kill a stalking leech man (which any player who died could also become, starting the cycle all over again), helping Marvin get survivors out of the RPD before Leon and Claire arrived, or even exploring a zoo full of infected animals. The very first mission of the first game doesn't even involve any insane puzzles and simply involves fleeing the zombie horde through the streets and buildings of Raccoon. Increasing the difficulty moved key items and added additional hazards and objectives making each run different.

    The teamwork of the game was also uniquely designed for multiplayer. The common traits of helping each other complete tasks faster existed but others such as shouldering an injured player to help them move faster or bracing a door shut with your body to buy other players time to search a room added greatly to the classic RE formula. Other common sense mechanics were also added such as a shoulder and kick attack that could be used to help players who had been grabbed, to space monsters back to buy yourself time to line up an attack, or to break down some locked doors (!). Outbreak 2 even added the ability to slowly walk and shoot at the same time.

    Sadly the magic of this game has been lost to time. Since very few people had a PS2 network adapter and even fewer bothered to install the hard drive to reduce loading times not many played. Those who did were not pleased by the single player experience due to poor AI. For those that did get on most had to contend with early 2000s internet speeds, random matchmaking with griefing players or unhelpful teammates who would take every gun they see or never help carry key items, and no in-game voice chat. There were talks of a fan run revival server a while back but I never followed up on it. But with the online this game was something special and if any other RE game deserves a re-release or remaster, this is it.

    Also the fact that EVERY player character gets the distinct classic RE heavy footsteps sound effect means that more than 3 people in a room is an auditory nightmare.

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 4 weeks ago

      I remember back in the day when Outbreak came out. I had a Network adapter for my ps2 and I was obsessed with SOCOM online. Unfortunately, trying to actually play Outbreak and have a solid, uninterrupted play session with other people was a nightmare.

      Sadly, I think those games were ahead of their time. Had they come out today, I’m sure they would have found success. However, I wouldn’t want them today because it would just distract Capcom from making single player RE the best it could be and I want to keep this train rolling...

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  • Hayst 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    I should preface this comment with the fact that I have personally never played a RE game with my hands. However, with my feet...

    Just kidding. But, since I have not played a Resident Evil game, I can only comment purely on a spectator's viewpoint, albeit with concerns about gameplay and other aspects like so.

    Resident Evil 4 seemed to me for a while like the most enjoyable and most "well-equipped", with more friendly controls than past installments and a robust overhaul of many mechanics. However, having watched extensive gameplay of older titles, I seem to realize that I favor a lot of things that the old mechanics would add to the experience.

    For example, the fixed camera angles give an almost entirely different feel of an area; I would argue it's a more artistic and therefore quite possibly more beautiful perspective of the game's world.

    Another thing is the scaled down action of the older titles. The threat of enemies is different than RE4, and your item management is a bit more difficult, accordingly.

    I'm not really a fan of the first-person perspective of RE7, and there are a few other cinematic touches that a snob like me doesn't fancy all that much. However, I do genuinely love RE7's mechanics revision to a style that closely resembles the older titles. Ammo creation!

    Sorry to say that I cannot guarantee any sort of honorable opinion, since I haven't actually played an RE. However, past video game experiences lead me to believe that this is where my stance on fav RE games lies.

    NONETHELESS IM FROLICKING HYPE FOR REMAKE 2

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

      I didn’t think I would enjoy the switch to first person either but honestly, it didn’t detract or alter the Resident Evil DNA at all. Everything else came together to make a unmistakable Resident Evil experience. On top of that, it controlled beautifully because of the switch and allowed them to do some scary shit with the perspective.

      Anyways, you should give the series an honest try someday. I would consider RE1 or RE4 to be the video game equivalent of “Required Reading” in gaming. Cheers!

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  • smgsterlin 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    I've never really been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series.

    The only actual game in the series that I have finished is Resident Evil 5, and this was primarily because Cobra (yes, our Cobra) and I co-oped it start to finish. I did play a majority of the original Resident Evil on the Sega Saturn back in the day however, but I've never touched another game of the series outside of these two.

    If I were to try to make my way through this series, what in your opinion is the first game I should start out with? Revisit the original version of Resident Evil to get a good grasp of the roots of the series? Skip the original altogether and just play the REMake?
    Start with the newer RE7 to see what it is now?

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

      If you wanted to give the series a solid attempt, I would recommend playing REmake and RE 4 to get a taste for the two styles to see if either one speaks to you. After that, try 7 because it’s a beautiful amalgamation of the two styles. Cheers!

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  • huhnden 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Resident Evil 2 was the first one I played, off of a PC demo disc when I was a wee boy back in '99.
    Scared the wits out of me back then and I think it might be the first time ever I ran into the horrors that is a Zombie.

    But it was not until a few years later when my buddy got RE 1 remake for Game Cube that I got into the series.
    The cinematic at the beginning when you meet your first zombie munching on a body is still up there as one of the scariest moments in games for me.

    I remember my friend was coming down with rheumatic fever as a complication from strep throat at the time, making his hands and feet swollen and stuff.
    He then showed me this note that he found in the game. The "Keeper's diary" note.
    This dude who was turning into a zombie was writing a diary about how his body was starting to swell and how his skin was starting itch and whatnot.
    A freaky coincidence, and it really turned the scare factor up a notch.
    Combined with the absolutely stunning graphics for the time this makes it my favorite game in the series so far.

    Note that I'm still waiting patiently and keeping hope alive to play RE 7 in VR on PC some day.

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

      Just to confirm. Your friend DID NOT turn into a zombie right?

      Seriously though, REmake is one of my all time favorite games and I am really looking forward to starting it again (looks like ill be starting this Sunday night). I just hope it has aged a little better than RE0. The Voice acting and writing in RE0 is just atrocious but I seem to remember the REmake being pretty solid on that front.

      Anyways, thanks for writing in!

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      • huhnden 2 months, 2 weeks ago

        Hehe, fortunately he did not.

        Aw man, looking forward to it! Yeah I do remember it having okay voice acting.
        But part of me kind of expects the RE series to have a few kinks here and there when it comes to that stuff as well. Just don't want it to get out of hand and ruin the rest of the experience of course.

        Have a good one.

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  • Mr.GreenToS 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    NOTE: (All of this Text is from my older brother, who I was able to convince to write all of this up but he couldn't figure out how to post on here and asked me to post it)

    Hey, long time listener, first time commenter.

    RE4 is definitely one I keep coming back to. Any game with a New Game+ mode just automatically draws me back in after finishing it's campaign. With ridiculously overpowered end game weapons, and tons of post game unlockables, RE4 makes itself very easy to revisit every year when I have the itch. There's also nothing more satisfying than finally unlocking the Handcannon in Mercenaries Mode.

    Aside from Final Fantasy VII, RE4 is also the only other game I will repurchase without question whenever it comes to a new platform. It's a sickness I tell you!The rest of the series is great aswell.

    RE1 is short and sweet, especially the Deadly Silence release for the DS. The Gamecube remake is so terrifying, I've never had the courage to finish it.

    RE2 is a blast! I've always loved the comparison to the Alien franchise. If RE1 is a slower paced horror like the original Alien, RE2 is the action-packed summer blockbuster, much like Aliens.

    RE3 I beat recently and loved it! It was so great to finally explore Raccoon City after all these years of playing every other entry and always wondering what was outside the Police Station in RE2. And of course, Nemesis is up there with The Predator and The Terminator as one of the Most Memorable Villains in Fiction. I just love how persistent he is in his pursuit of Jill, even down to the bitter end. His presence is always lingering, especially when you hear his terrifying music and signature line..."S.T.A.R.S..."

    Code Veronica is fun too. Its gets a bad rap for being more of the same, in a time when players were ready to move on from tank controls, but it is worth checking out. It's a breeze to play-UP UNTIL A CERTAIN BOSS FIGHT! This single fight can either end your run prematurely if you don't have the ammo to finish it, OR you can finish it in 5 seconds if you shoot 3 BOW Rounds and 3 Acid Rounds. THATS IT! This one also has some unintentionally funny cut-scenes that'll keep you entertained the whole way.

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    • Mr.GreenToS 2 months, 2 weeks ago


      RE5 is also incredibly fun. This is of course where the series foregoes the formalities of being a Survival Horror and fully embraces being a Co-Op Action Shooter. Every cut-scene with Wesker is too entertaining to look away from. This game's story finally gets as zany as anything you'd see in the Metal Gear franchise.

      RE6 I've played briefly. I'm not too fond of how differently it felt, but I've been told to just not compare it too much to RE4/RE5 and to experience it as it's own thing. I'm hoping to give it a fair shake soon.

      I haven't had a chance to play RE0, RE7, or the rest of the spinoffs, but I do love how this is one of those series that overhauls itself every few entries to remain fresh. It's great to see a series that can pull this off and stay relevant. Here's hoping Capcom keeps em' coming for years to come.

      (ps. Nick, thanks for doing this retrospective. Its great to see all these comments coming in from fellow RE fans. Keep up the good work)

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      • Nick Henderson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

        Hello Brother of Mr.GreenToS,

        First of all, thanks for commenting! I'm really glad you (and others) are enjoying this little project of mine. It's a series I am quite passionate about and i'm glad that i'm finally getting serious about reliving the series from the beginning! I LOVE the classics but I think it's games like RE5, 6, and Revelations 2 that I am most excited about playing again. I have the least amount of experience with those and my hope is that I can look on them more fondly now that I feel better about the direction the series is now heading.

        One thing you said struck me as odd:
        "RE2 is the action-packed summer blockbuster"

        I have always considered RE2 to be very much in line with classic Resident Evil in terms of atmosphere and pacing. In fact, I would just call it an extension of RE1 on a bigger scale. It really wasn't until RE:CV and of course, RE4, that the series started to really lean into the action and away from the slower paced survival horror.
        Anyways, thanks for sharing your take! It sounds like RE4 is your favorite. I think most people have games that they will re-purchase when new versions are released. For me, that would be Ocarina of Time so I definitely know how you feel. Cheers!

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  • Danny 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    When it comes to my favourite RE game, my mind goes with RE2, but my heart goes with Code Veronica. I love my Dreamcast, and having a exclusive (at the time) Resident Evil game for that system was great. Especially as I was kinda bummed out that RE3 was more of a side story, than an actual follow up to 2. So was super hyped that CV was a real sequel.
    RE2 was also the beginning of my video game crush on Claire Redfield. So been able to play as her again in Code Veronica was a plus. It was also cool that we got the pay off of her linking up with her brother Chris, considering her looking for him was a big part of her story in 2. Chris part's were also great, and at the time I was hyped for any Chris and Wesker interaction. As was the first time since the first game.
    Many don't like CV because it was the start of the over the top, goofy stuff. However, for me it was just the right amount of B-movie camp. Nowhere near as bad as it got in later entries.

    I am also very much with you on RE4 being the worst thing to happen to RE as whole. Stand alone, it is one of the best games ever made, but unfortunately for me, it's success took the series far away from the survival horror aspects of those early games, that made me fall in love with the series. Which is probably another reason I have a soft spot for Code Veronica, as it was pretty much the last game in the series to have that style. (Though 7 was a step back in the right direction, and RE2 Remake seems set to scratch that itch too.)

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    • Danny 2 months, 2 weeks ago

      Sorry, about the typos. It's 3am, and I am typing on a phone haha.

      Also, I guess Remake, and Zero came out after a year after CV, so they were the actual last in the old style. I however didn't own a Gamecube, and didn't get to play them till much later (When I got a Wii).

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    • Nick Henderson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

      Hi Danny,

      I'm so glad to see Code Veronica getting some love here. It has great music and a really thick atmosphere that I really enjoyed. I remember being really invested in unraveling the Ashford family mystery too. It didn't hurt that it was on the Dreamcast and at the time, I was super excited about Sega's future as a major hardware competitor (LOL).

      I remember some of the boss characters quite vividly in this game too. The blind creature in particular has to be one of my favorites in the series. However, it also had the first scene involving Wesker and his stupid super-human powers so I think i'll always hold that against it...

      Of course, I am very excited to replay all of these games but Code Veronica is one that is always in the back of my mind because I literally haven't played it since the launch of the Dreamcast. I really hope it holds up!

      Thanks for commenting! Cheers!

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  • Chris Davis 2 months, 1 week ago

    @ me when it's Nemesis time, baby

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