Resident Evil 2 // PS1

October 7, 2008

I am a massive fan of videogames. I love to collect retro games consoles, and then pick up seminal games of yesteryear that I’ve either owned previously or know is a good franchise, but have never got round to playing. However, despite owning far more consoles and games than the average fan, I very rarely devote much time to playing any one game and it’s even rarer still that I actually finish a game.

Not so with the Resident Evil series. Ever since I played the remake of the original Resident Evil on the Gamecube (I was a late-comer to the survival horror franchise), I’ve been totally hooked, and have completed every Resi game that I’ve managed to get my hands on subsequently. Recently, I bought Resident Evil 2 for the original PlayStation off eBay and settled down to further zombie romps.

Graphically, RE2 hasn’t aged well. The textures are horribly pixellated, the animation is wooden, and the collision detection is laughable – whole pieces of a character might pop in and out of existence as they converse with you. The problems are exacerbated when blown up on a 40″ HD TV, but then the makers didn’t build the game to be played on that format.

But the technical limitations of the game didn’t make one shred of difference to my enjoyment of the game. Featuring full speech, beautifully-scripted set pieces and a general sense of foreboding, Resident Evil 2 still had all the atmosphere that I’d been spoiled with on the Gamecube and Wii previously. And, once again, I found myself playing through the entire game. This equated to roughly 5 hours of play – this struck me how much shorter games used to be; something that I actually pine for again. I enjoy single-player adventure games but today’s offerings are all epic monsters – stretching out into 30+ hours of gameplay before you even begin to approach the end of the game. With so much competing for the consumer’s attention these days, it’s becoming less and less likely that they can invest this much time in any single game. I certainly can’t. My girlfriend won’t allow it… 😉

So, thank god for eBay and retro gaming – there are still many Resi games I haven’t played, and I can safely say that I’ll be sourcing all of them. I just might have to play them on my old TV instead.

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