I'm going to go ahead and split my review of Resident Evil HD into two reviews — one for those who are really nostalgic about either the 1996 or 2002 versions of the original Resident Evil, and one review for those who've never played before.
If you're really nostalgic for Resident Evil, here's your review: This remake is everything you wanted, with (mostly) HD textures, the ability to play in widescreen, and the ability to use classic or modern controls. It's all slapped on top of the same ol' mansion-roaming game you loved nineteen years ago. Oh, and it runs no-hassle on a modern system so you don't need to futz with digging out your GameCube or old-school PlayStation.
For those who've never played Resident Evil before? Your review is a little bit longer. Okay, a lot longer.
Digging up graves
There are certain games from my past that I hold very dear and would love to see remade, warts and all. If you told me tomorrow, for instance, that Bethesda was releasing a graphically-updated-but-otherwise-unchanged version of Morrowind, I would be overjoyed — even knowing that not a single person who missed Morrowind the first time around would understand the appeal now.
"Too much reading," some would say. "No quest markers," others would complain. And I would nod and say "Yeah, exactly," and then put another three-hundred hours into the game because hot damn have I mentioned how much I love Morrowind?
So I understand when people speak of Resident Evil with the same reverence. For people who played it at release, who played it at a very pivotal moment in their past, it is understandably a Very Important Game.
I am not one of those people. I don't have any nostalgia for Resident Evil and I never will. Which is why this review is split between something for the people who do have that nostalgia — you already know you want to play it, as long as the game runs smoothly (it does), so just go buy it and play it already — and those who don't.
You people who missed Resident Evil in 1996, what draw is there to play a game from nineteen years ago aside from historical curiosity? Does Resident Evil hold up as a game you'd want to play as someone two decades late to the party?
To which I respond with a resolute "Maybe."
First off, Capcom does make some concessions to you, the person who's never played Resident Evil before. You can, as I mentioned, play in either widescreen or the original 4:3 aspect ratio, you can disable the game's original tank controls in favor of a more modern "point the stick where you want to go" system, and there's a difficulty mode that's so easy it was basically designed for babies.
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