Resident Evil Code: Veronica X - HD Review
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On 09/26/2011 at 11:22 AM by Nick DiMola
Minimal improvements and dated gameplay – Code: Veronica X HD in a nutshell.
Only for fans who don't already own the game.
You may be asking yourself, "Why did Capcom decide to remaster Resident Evil Code: Veronica X in HD?" Truth is, I'm asking myself the same question after playing it. The game is fully rendered in 3D, unlike Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3, which feature static backgrounds. This has made an HD port possible, but it hardly makes it necessary. Because the graphics have received minimal improvement and the gameplay has received none, the HD port serves little purpose other than bringing Code: Veronica to two new platforms.
After turning on the GameCube version of the game for comparison, it's clear that the game has received only a few minor improvements. 720p output, a slight touch-up of the textures, and additional polygons and retexturing for the character models compromise the full scope of changes to the game for its HD debut. No one is going to dispute that the game looks better now – it just still doesn't look good. As such, the game definitely is not worth a purchase for those who already own the game in some form.
This is a definite problem, because the game isn't likely to appeal to those outside of the group of staunch Resident Evil fans. Worse, Code: Veronica isn't exactly the best game in the series, only outclassing some of the other oddball titles in the series like Zero and Nemesis.
Despite being one of the less memorable games in the series, Capcom passed up an opportunity to help it reach better standing. Simply improving the controls would've done wonders for playability. It's been years since circular controls were featured in any game and in an effort to modernize it with HD graphics similar treatment should've been paid to the control scheme. Understandably the game should've still had the option to play with the classic scheme, but offering something similar to the movement controls of Resident Evil 4 would've been great.
While the game suffers from a number of problems, it isn't devoid of value. For fans of the series, it carries a plotline and gameplay that should rightfully place it as Resident Evil 3. The story picks up with Claire Redfield after the events of Resident Evil 2. On a quest to find her brother, Chris, in Europe, she's snatched up by Umbrella and shipped off to Rockfort Island. During the course of the quest, Wesker's true intentions are framed, setting the stage for the future of the series, which has been realized in both Resident Evil 4 and 5.
The gameplay is your typical pre-Resident Evil 4 fare. You trek about a general area collecting keys, crests, and other items to incrementally access new areas. Along the way, your progress is impeded by a horde of zombies and other abominations created by the T-Virus. Dispatching these foes requires precise usage of your weaponry and conservation in the face of limited ammunition supplies.
Static camera angles still hamper your ability to shoot foes, though they are somewhat mitigated by the occasionally swinging camera angle that has been implemented thanks to its full 3D construction. What really gets aggravating here, and wasn't nearly as large of a problem in past Resident Evil games, are segments where you are forced to take damage. A new enemy, the Bandersnatch, will instantly attack you with its long arm when entering a room they occupy. It's a frustrating design decision that can spell certain death if you aren't careful.
Furthermore, ammo seems to be even more limited here and zombies never seem to take the same number of hits to take down. It's easy to blow through your supply if you don't choose to avoid some of the zombies along the way.
Backtracking seems to be a little more rampant here as well, with more zombies always seeming to spring up when you have to do so. There's little reprieve from the attacks, which never allows suspense to build, creating that uneasy tension Resident Evil is best known for.
Code: Veronica X finds itself in a unique situation. It's a game that's only going to appeal to fans, but with minimal improvements, it's not a game fans should bother rebuying if they already own it in some other form. If Capcom would've offered a new and improved control scheme, this would be an easy recommendation for fans and newcomers alike, but in its current form, Resident Evil 4 HD is the more prudent investment.