REVIEW # 00000000 01001111
I am Alexia Ashford and for the pride of the Ashford family I will kill you!
Prepare to read a super-biased opinion about the fourth installment of the “canonical” Resident Evil saga. Code: Veronica X is the port on the PS2 of the original Code: Veronica, released the year before on the Dreamcast for which became “the game to have”. As you may know reading a review on this blog about a Resident Evil game is like reading an hagiography given the love I nourish for RE. I’ve played this game for the first time this year, when I finally managed to buy it along with Resident Evil 4. Code: Veornica X was like a “side project” because I focused myself originally on RE4 until I had to give up due to a deep groove in the CD that didn’t let me go further in the game. But as I fired up Code: Veronica XI fell again in the atmosphere of nightmare and terror of the first three games and I’ve been caught by the gamepley until I finally completed it a few days ago. So you’re about to read the response on this intense play…
My heart says…
No surprise here. I’m a huge fan of the RE franchise and almost all the games, at least the old ones deserve a 10/10. Even though this is not a game I encountered when it first came out I only needed a quick look to the cover with the eyes of Claire reflecting the face of a zombie to fall in love again…
The splash screen, or better, the intro scene has become famous to the (few) lovers of the movie because it feature the scene in which Claire let her gun slip off her hand just to quickly it back before it bounces on the floor. This scene is highly surreal but believe it or not it was on all trailer of the movie. Apart from this, the scene serves as an introduction to the events of the game, starting from Claire’s escape
Code: Veronica X at first glance looks exactly like the first three RE games: third person action with interesting graphics. However this was the first game of the series to use fully 3D environment so it abandoned the pre-rendered backgrounds. The games however doesn’t suffer any slowing even because the action is typical very slow and there aren’t more than 4-5 moving characters on screen at a time. Technically speaking it’s a great improvement over the past formula but to an unaware eye the differences are very few in comparison to the pre-rendered background of, let’s say, RE2. The biggest graphical improvement will be, in fact, in Resident Evil 4.
This time the game is a sort of “spin-off” of the original trilolgy. Some characters are still there, like Claire, Chris and Wesker, but this time the story follows the events related to the Ashford family.
The story is set three months after the distruction of Raccoon City. Claire has been kidnapped by Umbrella and brought to Paris in their facility. While trying to escape is capture by Juan Rodrigo Raval and shipped to Rockfort Island, property of Umbrella. Once there the island is attacked and Claire managed to escape from her prison and meets Steve Burnside, another prisoner. The two try to escape from that place but they’re chased by Alfred Ashford, the mad owner of the mansion in the island and last member of the now fallen Ashford family, whise ancestor Veronica is worshipped like a god. The plans of the Ashford to use the T-Virus to create a perfect creature and grevitalize the name of the family are interwinded with the struggle of Claire and then Chris Redfield to escape from there until they finally face each other in the Antarctica.
The gameplay in Code Veronica follows the path traced by the first three RE games but we have some small changes. For example within the same adventure it’s possible to control three different characters, Claire, Chris and Steve. This was possible even in other games, for example when you could control Sherry in RE2 but this time the switch between a character and another is more organic.
Some of the rooms in the game pay homage to other rooms in other Resident games: for example the entrance of the Ashford mansion and the original RE1 mansion have the same architecture and the doors placed in similar points. Even some of the puzzles are “imported” from RE1, for example the infamous Lion statue with jewel eyes and the paintings puzzle (although this one is different from the RE1 version)
This time, as you end the game you have access to some mini-games in which you can embody one of the five characters available (Claire, Chris, Steve, Wesker and an alternate version of Claire).
The weaponry, if you’ve played the other RE games, should be no surprise. Aside from the regular guns and the trusted although quite useless knife, there are some new entries: first of all the Gold Lugers, then the AK-47 and the definitive weapon, the Linear Launcher, an experimentail gun to use against the B.O.W. tremendously powerful but super slow when you have to reload. The number of weapons is bigger than that of RE1 and RE2 and matches the one of RE3: Nemesis.
The “puzzle” component is always a key factor of the game and a distinctive mark of the series and even in Code: Veronica X there are a lot of things to find, and sometimes you need to do it in the right order or you will lose a lot of time to put everything back in place and do it over again (eyes of the lion statue anyone?)
Something worth to note is the disposition and the relative abundance/scarcity of ammo. Sometimes, especially at the beginning of Chris adventure, you’ll find yourself full of ammo and you start to shoot to everything you see but watch out, because at the end of the game the risk is to be very low on bullets: that’s what happened to me and while I was almost at the end I have to load an older state in order to save some bullets for the final fight (that emptied my guns anyway…). Moreover in Chris scenario there’s a bit of a stelpth factor, since the place is full of Spotters, motion detector droids that scan the rooms searching for Chris. And if they find you prepare to run and load your weapon because a Sweeper will be at your back in a moment…On the other hand you’ll find a hell of arrows for the bowgun. Protip: they’re useless unless you don’t have the gun powder for them. You could waste like 20 arrows to kill a single zombie, so this weapon is, as in other RE games, the weakest of all along with the knife.
At least on easy difficulty level you’ll find quite a lot of ink ribbons so feel free to save almost when you want. I’ve finished my adventure with like 10 ribbons unused. And I’m a compulsive saver.
On the enemies side there are some interesting additions, for example the Albinoid (young and adult) that is quite tricky to defeat. Always intolerable are the bats and the moths, especially the latter that lay an egg inside you everytime they touch you. They’re a real pain in the ass, almost like the Medusa Head in Castlevania. Other enemies really annoying are the Basndersnatches: not so dangerous actually but with their long arm can slap you in the face from the distance and most of time you don’t even have the time to recover and fly away.
This time the final boss is not a Tyrant but the sexy Alexia Ashford.
Sexy because under those XIX century clothes, Alexia is a hot blonde and we will see her in the game completely naked (though no full frontal for her). Even when she’s mutated (the first mutation, of course) has something weirdly alluring…
Her final form is, of course the most powerful and Chris will need all of his bullets and the Linear Launcher to destroy her. Another boss which is not a boss in Wesker. He follows the protagonists througout all the game and everytime he appears you feel like that’s the time you’ll fight against him, but he is only a character that doesn’t interact with us (but he terrifies all the times…).
Always the same RE controls. For one like me, not very skilled in using the analog controller, the D-pad is blessing. Ok you have to consider that when the character is looking directly at you left measn right but for me this is the most natural way of controlling a character.
As always the developers of Code: Veronica X did a great job with the sound effects and the overall music. a good 50% of the goodness of the game is represented by the sound effects and the musics you hear throughout all the game. The music can put you at ease when you are in the safe rooms and can send shivers down your spine when you enter a new room. In most of cases there’s nothing really dangerous inside but the music plays as there was. And this scare the shit out of me! There are also rooms in which you can’t hear any music or sound effect and this makes everything even scarier.
When it came out, Code: Veronica X it was propbably the longest episode of the series and it’s divided in two parts more or less of the same lenght, the first in which you embody Claire in her task to leave the island ending un in an Umbrella base in the Antarctic and the second when you play as her brother Chris, arrived into the island to save her and ending up, again, in the Antactic. If you look at the playthrough online the time to beat the game (no speedrunning and no cheating) is more that 4 hours, but in order to perform this time you need to beat the game at least once. And the first time you’ll be taking waaaay more time, at least that’s what I did, because I was always too scared that something would have attacked me. Unfortunately, once you beat the game, if you play it again it will be quite easy, unless you don’t try the hard mode, so the games has a small replayability but in my honest and biased opinion, 10/10 is what Code: Veronica X deserves.
Final score 96/100
I tried to be demanding when it came to give an evaluation of this game but the fact is that I failed miserably. If it were for the this would have been another 100/100 but on the other hand I would have an inflation on 100/100 on this blog so the final score is slightly less than the perfection only because the gameplay is practically the same of the first three games, the story has nothing new to tell. But this is still a top tier game and the controls should have been a bit refined as they will be in RE4.
Genre: Survival Horror
Game Mode: Single Player
Original Platform: PlayStation 2 (ported from Dreamcast)
From same developers/editors:
- Track & Filed (1983)
- 1942 (1984) and sequels
- Ghost ‘n Goblins (1985)
- Castlevania (1986)
- Metal Gear (1987) and sequels
- Bionic Commando (1987)
- Mega Man (1987) and sequels
- Street Fighter (1987) and sequels
- DuckTales (1989)
- Final Fight (1989)
- Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (1990)
- Little Nemo: The Dream Master (1990)
- Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (1990)
- TaleSpin (1991)
- The Little Mermaid (1991)
- Darkwing Duck (1992)
- Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1993)
- International Superstar Soccer (1995)
- Silent Hill (1999) and sequels
- Splatterhouse (1988)
- Sweet Home (1989)
- Alone in the Dark (1992) and sequels
If you liked it you can also try:
- Silent Hill (1999) and sequels
- Dino Crisis (1999) and sequels
- Project Zero (2001) and sequels
- Forbidden Siren (2003) and sequels
Other chapters of the saga:
- Resident Evil (1996)
- Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (1997)
- Resident Evil: Director’s Cut Dual Shock (1998)
- Resident Evil 2 (1998)
- Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock (1998)
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)
- Resident Evil: Survivor (2000)
- Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000)
- Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
- Resident Evil: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (2001)
- Resident Evil Zero (2002)
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak File 2 (2004)
- Resident Evil 4 (2005)
- Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (2006)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
- Resident Evil 5 (2009)
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
- Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010)
- Resident Evil Outbreak Survive (2011)
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries Vs. (2011)
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
- Resident Evil 4 HD (2011)
- Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD (2011)
- Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles HD (2012)
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles HD (2012)
- Resident Evil 6 (2012)
- Resident Evil: Revelations HD (2013)
- Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD (2014)
- Resident Evil HD Remaster (2014)
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
- Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (2016)
- Resident Evil: Origins Collection (2016)
- Resident Evil 6 Remastered (2016)
- Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps (2016)
- Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition Remastered (2016)
- Resident Evil 4 Remastered (2016)
- Resident Evil 7 Biohazard (2017)