Top 5 Reasons Why Classic Resident Evil Games Are Memorable
As the Resident Evil franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary, we look at five reasons why the classic Resident Evil games on the PS1 have that special place in our bloodied, twisted hearts.
Resident Evil, otherwise known in Japan as Bio Hazard, was released on March 22nd 1996 for the Playstation 1 to critical acclaim. The franchise propelled the survival horror genre into mainstream spotlight, setting the framework followed by many other games and rival franchises of the same genre. To celebrate Resident Evil’s 20th anniversary, We look back at its prime years during the Playstation 1 era of the mid to late 90’s, a time we remembered the series at its best.
1.You weren’t even 17 years old yet back then (don’t lie!).
Admit it you little rapscallion, almost none of you were ESRB certified when you picked up your first copy of Resident Evil. I myself picked up Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as the first game I played in the franchise when I was 13 years old (I played through the original three games in reverse order). No one really cared much about the “M” rating etched on the game’s cover and we grew up just fine with all the bloody violence!
2. The fixed camera angles were both nifty and annoying.
I think most of us have a love/hate relationship with Resident Evil’s trademark fixed camera angles. On one hand, it adds a cinematic touch while also giving you the tension of knowing there were monsters lurking somewhere based from the audio cue, yet not knowing around which corner it lurked at. On the other hand, if this was the third time you were unexpectedly decapitated by an off-screen Hunter at the same L-shaped hallway in Spencer Mansion, it will get on your nerves pretty quick! Aren’t you glad those early Playstation 1 joypads were rugged enough to withstand frustrated throws?
3. The CGIs were an eye candy spectacle.
While the original three Resident Evil games do have in-game cutscenes, the more animated, action packed sequences tend to be shown via CG videos due to the Playstation 1’s hardware limitations. During those days, having the opportunity to watch CG sequences felt like a reward for progressing forward into the game, even if you’re just getting started by selecting the difficulty levels. The CG introduction that plays after you selected the game’s difficulty in Resident Evil 3 showing how armed resistance by the Raccoon City Police and Umbrella’s hired mercenaries (complete with bits of initially heroic orchestra) were reduced to meatball marinara still sat comfortably within the inner nostalgia cores of my mind. Believe me it never gets old!
4. Guns in this game makes you feel badass.
From the humble 9mm pistol all the way to the gatling gun and rocket launcher, there’s just something about guns in the Resident Evil games that makes you respect the firepower that you have at hand. I love getting cornered by several zombies as I desperately tried putting them all down with the pistol until the last one dropped at a mere finger’s distance from me. I love mowing down hordes of zombies in narrow hallways with a shotgun. I love the Magnum pistol for its ability to turn tough monsters into a joke. The rocket launcher? Don’t even get me started! I also love the subtle details exhibited by characters in Resident Evil 2 when it comes to weapons handling, where Leon would stagger and get pushed backwards as he fired the upgraded Remington M1100P shotgun while Chris (Extreme Battle mode only) handles it like a champ.
5. That campy dialogue.
There are times you can’t help but wonder if the person in charge of writing the script for Resident Evil outsourced all his work to a class full of First Graders and have them all write it out with crayons on stacks of foolscap paper. Even for me back then, the dialogues in Resident Evil were teeth grindingly unbearable to my auditory senses. Though its subsequent sequels Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 gradually got better in its acting and dialogue quality (still occasionally campy), nothing will ever make you unhear “master of unlocking” and “Jill sandwich” from your T-Virus infested brain. I mean, would you still remember the game today had it not been for the legendary campy dialogues?
So what do you find memorable with the classic Resident Evil games? Sound off in the comments below!
Hi-res Resident Evil 1 boxart via VGBoxArt.
Fanarts via Pixiv by hizaki-re and shika (Pixiv profile no longer exist).
Resident Evil 3 CG intro via Youtube by neodarkid.
Resident Evil 1 voice acting segments via Youtube by gamegoonie.