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What are you Thinking? Resident Evil Edition!

Hel

Goddess of the Dead
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Okay then! I changed my plans for today to include less work, so I might as well play a little Pandemic Simulator 2020 Edition after all. Too bad the classic costume isn't on sale, but Jill's default outfit will make do for now. See you in Raccoon City! (... Or not, since most of you probably have played it already, but never mind, I prefer working alone anyway.)
 

Turo602

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Alright, 2nd impression of Code Veronica. I've been playing as Chris for a bit now and while I still 100% stick to some of my original gripes, I can definitely see the appeal of this game now. I've been progressing a lot better, though not without some frustration.

I'm doing a lot better with health, but admittedly, only because I've restarted a couple saves to get by some of the more aggravating areas more smoothly. I was doing pretty good on ammo before, but I've noticed it dip pretty low and slowly build back up to a more stable number quite a few times. Though I'm only judging this based on pistol ammo as I try not to rely on other weapons, so I'm never truly low on ammo, but I definitely tense up when that pistol drops low.

I was always under the impression that ammo was gonna be a huge problem in this game, especially after hearing about people needing to restart the whole game because they couldn't get past the Tyrant. So when I initially started and saw how scarce health was in the beginning of the game for how many enemies they just kept lobbing at me and how non-existent item boxes were from place to place, I was definitely feeling the pressure. But so far, everything seems to be in order, though I do question the severe lack of red herbs. I honestly think I only ever came across one with Claire, meanwhile I've already found 3 as Chris.

I was also intimidated by the complaints of horrendous backtracking, too many puzzles, and confusing design, and I was definitely getting that vibe at first, but honestly, I don't agree with that assessment. I think what to do and where to go is actually pretty straightforward if you're properly exploring each area. There's only so much available to the player that items pretty much dictate where you go next and what puzzles to solve.

Backtracking I'm more iffy on because while I really do appreciate this game's approach to backtracking, I think it's soured by constant annoyances like respawning enemies and cheap encounters. I've been fairly good with dodging certain groups of enemies or even pushing through and just taking the damage, but it still feels like a really cheap way to increase difficulty by making you burn through ammo unnecessarily or just take damage. The bandersnatch in particular is just awful, especially for how frequently it appears.

But I definitely do find the design in general to be quite clever. The security box in the beginning for instance was a neat twist on the item box, forcing you to split up your inventory and save certain items for later when you end up looping back around. I also liked the fact that you can tell what puzzles and items were being left behind for Chris, which feels like a natural remedy to the usual repeat scenarios that have both characters somehow solving the same puzzles.

Also, the Tyrant fight...
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I was expecting to waste so much ammo and be left scraping by for the rest of the game. Honestly, I feel like anyone who was struggling to get by and had nothing left by this point was just playing recklessly. But this time, I wouldn't fault player skill like I typically would with other RE games because of how often enemies respawn, which I could imagine would confuse people and trick them into burning all their ammo throughout the game. So I blame the developers for that. Dodging enemies feels like a necessity here, whereas before, it was more of a speed running tactic or a way to conserve ammo for higher skilled players.

I went into this game with negative pre-conceived notions about it, and based on my first impressions, I can definitely see why. This game can be a pain due to some development oversights and cheap NES-like respawning of enemies. But with some practice, it really isn't as grueling as I was led to believe, but it does have its fair share of bullsh*t sprinkled throughout.

Resident Evil 2 will always be my favorite of the classics, REmake aside, but Code Veronica is honestly not far behind. Had it gotten a little more care to iron out the issues, it could very well rival the iconic Resident Evil 2. Playing it myself now, I can see exactly why this was considered the true third installment and a fan favorite for many, based on how it builds on the concepts and ideas introduced in the first 2 games as well as the shift to the Dreamcast, which allowed for fully 3D environments, no longer requiring static fixed camera angles. I still can't overlook its problems, but it has won me over much more than I thought it would. I definitely like it more than the original and RE3 though, that's for sure.

It may have lost the horror atmosphere in favor for a more actiony tone, but this is still unmistakably classic Resident Evil, but on a grander scale. It's just a shame Code Veronica was stuck on the Dreamcast when a game like REmake was only 2 years away. With some cleaning up and a little bit of fixing, this could have been a truly special game for the franchise and I now really, really, want to see it get the REmake 2 treatment so Code Veronica can finally live up to its fullest potential. I just wish I would have played this game a lot sooner.
 
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