A list of reasons why the 90s were pretty awesome.

Sonic CD

(Wait, that's it?) I 100%ed the game (I had to have done that by now, lest my past self was as much of an asshole as I am), and that's all there is? I want more Sonic the Hedgehog, damn it! And not that new crap that people say is good, but the old stuff that people also say is good. Actually, to be honest with you guys, before I got this game on Xbox Live Arcade, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I remembered was Sonic Boom (Sonic Boom (Sonic Boom))) and that one part where Sonic becomes tiny, for no reason. Then I played the game and found something great. I found a thinking man's Sonic game.

Why do I say that? Well, how about the goddamn time travel feature, otherwise known as "the main feature of the game"....also known as "the best thing to happen to this game"? Here's how it works: grab a future marker, run fast enough, and travel to the future, where you'll have absolutely nothing to do. Oh, and you can do it for the past, too, because fuck Stephen Hawking. I know it seems weird, but two things; first, it's not the weirdest thing in the game. Second, it just allows the game to be more Sonic than ever. Think about it:....actually, read about it, because I said "run fast enough" just above that quote. And what's Sonic all about? Exactly. But you can't just hold down right and expect to travel back to 1985, when Back to the Future jokes were still funny; you actually have to pay attention to the level design and determine the best routes. Usually, this takes the form of bouncing between two springs (finally, those things have a fucking use) or bouncing off a spring and up an incline back into the same spring, but you don't always have the luxury of springs. Sometimes, you actually have to run a little bit, paying attention to enemy placement and weird level quirks. Then, after you've modded Stephen Hawking into Katawa Shoujo, you have to find a Robotnik generator and destroy it. I was afraid that this would break the hell out of the game's flow, and to some extent, I was right. Keep in mind that this time, you're not focusing on going fast, but just finding something. That's going to involve a lot of backtracking and figuring out where the hell you are. This would be good if it were Castlevania: Symphony of the Sonic (OH GOD, SOMEBODY NEEDS TO MAKE THIS!), but it's not. It's a game about going fast, something that's hard to do if you're trying to save the future. It gets even worse if you're aiming for 100%, which involves destroying EVERYTHING in the level, which usually involves spending ten minutes just trying to get your bearings. Wait...this happens only if you're trying to 100% it. I guess that was the developer's way of saying that 100%ing a game just isn't fun.

Sonic CD was also the first appearance of a proto-Knuckles, of sorts. It didn't go over too well, possibly because of the lack of a completely and utterly pointless cowboy hat.

Actually, now that I think about it, whoever designed these levels was a fucking (weird) asshole. I'm not insulting the level design (did you read the last paragraph?), but merely stating that the level designers (I'm not gonna list off all their names) are gaping buttholes. Remember what I said about wanting to maintain speed throughout the levels? The designers don't want that happening. If there is a long stretch of land, there will be an enemy or a spring or a future sign at the end of it. They don't give a fuck that you have things to do; they'll still laugh at you for not knowing to deactivate that future sign at the end of the path. But you'll persevere, knock out the generator, and get to the special stage. This is where things get kinda weird. In order to save the future, Sonic has to destroy UFOs in an alternate dimension that's just a glorified tech demo. Look at it. Look at all the scaling and rotation. You can almost hear Sonic Team's past screams of, "Hey, guys! Check out our Sega CD! It's better than that SNES stuf-PLEASE BELIEVE US! WE HAVE FAMILIES TO FEED!" Doesn't mean it can't be fun, though. Sure, it takes a while to get used to the overall feel (possibly because depth perception is hard to achieve in a 2D game), but like everything else in the game, it manages to be fast paced and tense and overall fairly challenging. Sure, I restarted them a bunch because I'm obsessive compulsive about Sonic, but that only made victory that much more satisfying. Oh, and while I'm at it, I guess I should mention the boss battles. They're cool, I guess. Odd that you get so much room to explore them, but still pretty fun.

Oh, and I guess this is a really pretty game, or something. Of course, I could go into detail as to how it's pretty, but go click that Sonic Boom link (any one will do, really). You see that level of detail? That's the level of detail you get in this version of the game (here's what I mean by that). I'd say that it's movie level quality, but I'm not an idiot; it's better quality than the movie. But that's not all you get with your Xbox version of this. You also get shit like leaderboards and different soundtracks! I'm certain that you're expecting me to be in love with the Japanese soundtrack, since I'm the guy on the site who plays all manner of obscure-ass Japan games, but I'm honestly a bigger fan of the American soundtrack. Yea, there's absolutely no coherence to any of the design choices with it, but that's what I love about it: the all-over-the-place dissonance to it all. It doesn't hurt that I remember more of it, either. Oh, and Tails is in here. I haven't played as him, though, mainly because he can't achieve anything, and rightfully so. Who the hell plays as Tails? In Japan, asking somebody if they want to play as Tails is legal grounds for a divorce. Meanwhile, Sonic CD is the equivalent of an engagement ring...at least if you're Jeff Gerstmann. I honestly can't blame him, though. OK, it's not the best Sonic game ever, but I'm perfectly willing to grant it the title of second place.. And not some bullshit Tails second place, but a second place you can be proud of. I guess what I'm trying to say is fuck Tails. And Stephen Hawking, maybe.

Review Synopsis

  • How can this game be so involved yet so fast?
  • Oh, right: because you can achieve anything if you're a large enough dick.
  • Still, all the cool extras and stuff make this the definitive version of Sonic CD.

I'm not sure if this invalidates my title, but it's worth a shot:

Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X HD

(This one is going to take some explaining, isn't it?) I mean, look at the release date: January 1st, 2000. Odd, then, that it only supports my point even more. After all, this crap just barely missed being part of the 90s, and the decade was better off for it. As you can probably tell by now, I really don't like this game, and I won't believe you if you tell me that you genuinely like Code: Veronica X. I'd believe you if you told me that you ironically like the game, but even then, I'd plant hidden cameras in your house and wiretap your phones, because you are clearly not a person to be trusted. You know, just like the people who made this can't be trusted to make a decent game.

Oh god, where do I start with this game? The story? I didn't even touch it for the last section, so I might as well pull a double shift here. It's been some time since Resident Evil 2 (I didn't pay attention, because the developers clearly didn't), so the introduction is pretty much that: Resident Evil 2. Somehow, this leads to Claire being arrested and thrown on an island, possibly in the hopes that she won't stumble into a plot of some type. Oh, how wrong her captors were. Not only does she manage to find two Umbrella labs in her adventures (is there even anything left to be said?), but also the movie Psycho...if it was written by a moron. I'd say that that sentence sums up the game perfectly, but this cutscene is far more to the point. Let's examine it in detail. First, the harmfully high amount of stupid. Take note of how Alfred jumps down from his hiding place to hit Claire with a gun. This type of stupid runs throughout the whole game, whether it's characters performing experiments on each other for literally no reason, Alexia going on about turning the whole world into an anthill before transforming into a mutant dragonfly (again, the developers clearly weren't paying attention), or...well, any of the puzzles, really. (That's all I can say for now.) I guess you could justify this by pointing out how insane Alfred is (seriously, go watch that cutscene again), but that only brings up the over-the-top performances. You think Alfred was bad with his fear of misapplying his lipstick? Well, he is, but my point is that the entire game is like that. Nobody sounds like they're ever trying, and it results in characters either phoning it in (Wesker sounds bored with the whole affair) or characters hamming it way the hell up (Alexia thinks "sophistication" means "enunciate the shit out of your words like the inebriated shrieking WASP you are"). It's like a really bad movie. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the only way you can enjoy this game: as a bad movie. Then again, it's a video game, not a movie, and even if it was a bad movie, it's still a bad movie.

They angled the shot this way because they couldn't possibly create a model that could contain all the contempt and hatred that a rational person would hold toward Steve Burnside. Also, not seeing that face would distract players from how utterly useless Steve is to the overall game. Did I mention I hate this character and felt nothing but joy when he finally died? (Do I even need to say "spoilers"?)

Part of that is because of Steve Burnside. Can I talk about him for a second? Well, it's my blog, so I'll just say it: he's fucking terrible. For those who don't know who he is, he's some guy. Were you expecting more sentence? Well, there isn't any, because that's the best way I can sum up his character: some guy. He contributes absolutely nothing to the story. I'd say that part of it is because he's nowhere to be seen for about 40% of the game, but even when he's there, he doesn't do anything, or at least he doesn't do anything that actual protagonist Claire couldn't do. In fact, let me extend that: Claire could probably do everything that Steve does far better than he ever could, given how much he screws up whenever he's on screen. For example, watch as his boner fucks up Claire's stupid plan and extends the game by a scant five minutes. Speaking of awkward romance scenes, have I mentioned that his voice sounds effing terrible? (Oh, I'll get to the romance soon enough.) For those not willing to click on the link (I can't blame you), imagine, if you will, a character named Zach. He's the star of a shitty Saturday morning cartoon on Toon Disney. Do you have a voice for this character in your head? That's pretty much Steve's voice. All you need to add is a mispronounced version of "sorry" and you're good to go. Yet somehow, Claire finds him attractive. Did I forget to mention that? If that came off as abrupt, then I was only being true to the source material, because trust me, that romance comes out of nowhere. She's just sitting around and then decides that she's in love with this fucker. Claire, let me ask you something: what do you find attractive about this guy? How he first introduced himself to you with bullets? His daddy issues? The fact that you could add an annoying "eehhh" (the type that would come at the end of the phrase "girls are icky") to the end of each of his sentences and absolutely nothing about him would change? Or how during his last moments, he resembled a far stupider version of The Incredible Hulk (that description is canon, oddly)?

That reminds me: the game...actually looks sort of OK. Sort of. Granted, Claire's face looks exactly like the emoticon :-|, and the ending switches aspect ratios, for some reason, but the graphics get the job done. Actually, that brings up an interesting point: this is the first fully 3D game in the series. That may not sound like much, but trust me: it adds up to a lot. Remember how in previous games, the perspective was limited to the camera angle at the time? Well, that hasn't changed in the actual game, but cutscenes are different. You actually get more dynamic camera angles, allowing for far more flexible storytelling techniques. Granted, it's telling this story, and it's not used very well (this fight looks like it's using wires; that's not even the right fuck-up for your medium!), but it's certainly better than how previous games told their stories...except for the CGI. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, given how frequently I've been using them), I can't find any videos on YouTube that capture this well enough, so let me just say it right now: the CGI is horrible, and the porting is to blame. What does that mean? It's anti-anti-aliased. Somebody must have gone in and added all these spikes and pixelation. That's the only way this could possibly make sense, even if it makes no sense whatsoever. Isn't CGI supposed to look better than the in-game stuff? Why did Capcom think "bad PS2 game" was a such a graphical improvement that they parceled it out in such tiny bits? And while I'm complaining, why is the rotation animation just the model of your character rotating in place? You mean you took the time to animate an idle animation, but not the time to animate your characters stepping in place (yet took the time to include the sound of them stepping in place)?

Goddamn it, zombies, just let me by. You're blocking a key stuck in a moldy shower, and I have places to be. Yes, I can see that you want to hug me, but I promise you that we'll take about love after I empty a cartridge into a Mr. Burnside.

Somehow, this transitions into combat. You know, that thing where you push buttons and whatnot to scare away enemies. Before I get to anything relevant about it, though, let me explain that segue: Resident Evil has always been known for its slow-ass zombies. Despite what Resident Evil 4 would like you to know, this was the first game in the series to break that rule. Not by making fast zombies, but fast-turning zombies. While the zombies would lose a race to a limping tortoise, they'd certainly win some weird contest where you can turn around a lot. I know that sounds weird to say (trust me, I know), but since your ammo can drain really fast (how many bullets does it take to kill a human? I don't think it goes into double digits), it's in your best interest to slash at zombies like they're all Steve's supple throat. It sounds like it should be scary, and to be fair, I can see the argument for that. It takes a lot of slashes to kill one zombie, but there are more zombies than one, so it can become a lot to manage, especially when one of them is gnawing on your shins. Sadly, though, the game isn't scary, what with the aforementioned crap story and the absolute abundance of dead space that makes the game of the same name look outright phony. Guess what this turns combat into? A boring chore. A bore, if you will (clever, right?). It doesn't help that enemies regenerate quite a bit, even after you've killed them. At this rate, you won't have any ammo left for the boss fights. Good thing, then, that you can run away from half of them, and the other half are over in less than a minute. Threatening, right?

Wait, I forgot something: the puzzles. The stupid, stupid, utterly goddamn stupid puzzles. Again, an example would be helpful here. Early in the game, you come across a torture room hidden behind a locked door that can only be opened with a glass eye. It get stupider. In this room, you have to grab a sword, rotate a statue so you don't die, stab an iron maiden with the sword to open it (and no, there is no crossover between Resident Evil and Kingdom Hearts, nor would I ever want one), kill the zombie in the iron maiden, and take the piano roll he was holding. Can somebody bring logic to me? I want to lift up its shirt and look at the bruises Capcom left. I know, Alfred is insane, but surely the engineers and architects who made these buildings (especially the non-crazy parts) weren't this crazy. The numerous files revel in conveying this major detail. I'd say that this makes the game challenging, but it's oddly obvious about how utterly goddamn stupid it is. Actually, the real challenge comes from the inventory limits. As always, limited slots for items, weapons take them up, healing items don't stack, blah blah blah, same old song and dance. What makes Code: Veronica X unique, though, is that it's aware of these inventory limits, and does its best to fuck with you at every turn. You're going to be overwhelmed incredibly fast, and not only does it maintain pace throughout the game (Chris finds a ton of curative blue herbs in a land with, like, two poisonous enemies), but you can't even drop items to alleviate the problem. Hell, you get nearly 200 arrows before you get the bow gun necessary to launch the damn things. Overkilll, much!? Throw in a lot of backtracking, and you have a game that's used for executions in Japan. (I assume that all legal processes in Japan take the form of video games, and I hope Phoenix Wright proves me wrong, someday.)

Review Synopsis

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41 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

Sonic CD

(Wait, that's it?) I 100%ed the game (I had to have done that by now, lest my past self was as much of an asshole as I am), and that's all there is? I want more Sonic the Hedgehog, damn it! And not that new crap that people say is good, but the old stuff that people also say is good. Actually, to be honest with you guys, before I got this game on Xbox Live Arcade, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I remembered was Sonic Boom (Sonic Boom (Sonic Boom))) and that one part where Sonic becomes tiny, for no reason. Then I played the game and found something great. I found a thinking man's Sonic game.

Why do I say that? Well, how about the goddamn time travel feature, otherwise known as "the main feature of the game"....also known as "the best thing to happen to this game"? Here's how it works: grab a future marker, run fast enough, and travel to the future, where you'll have absolutely nothing to do. Oh, and you can do it for the past, too, because fuck Stephen Hawking. I know it seems weird, but two things; first, it's not the weirdest thing in the game. Second, it just allows the game to be more Sonic than ever. Think about it:....actually, read about it, because I said "run fast enough" just above that quote. And what's Sonic all about? Exactly. But you can't just hold down right and expect to travel back to 1985, when Back to the Future jokes were still funny; you actually have to pay attention to the level design and determine the best routes. Usually, this takes the form of bouncing between two springs (finally, those things have a fucking use) or bouncing off a spring and up an incline back into the same spring, but you don't always have the luxury of springs. Sometimes, you actually have to run a little bit, paying attention to enemy placement and weird level quirks. Then, after you've modded Stephen Hawking into Katawa Shoujo, you have to find a Robotnik generator and destroy it. I was afraid that this would break the hell out of the game's flow, and to some extent, I was right. Keep in mind that this time, you're not focusing on going fast, but just finding something. That's going to involve a lot of backtracking and figuring out where the hell you are. This would be good if it were Castlevania: Symphony of the Sonic (OH GOD, SOMEBODY NEEDS TO MAKE THIS!), but it's not. It's a game about going fast, something that's hard to do if you're trying to save the future. It gets even worse if you're aiming for 100%, which involves destroying EVERYTHING in the level, which usually involves spending ten minutes just trying to get your bearings. Wait...this happens only if you're trying to 100% it. I guess that was the developer's way of saying that 100%ing a game just isn't fun.

Sonic CD was also the first appearance of a proto-Knuckles, of sorts. It didn't go over too well, possibly because of the lack of a completely and utterly pointless cowboy hat.

Actually, now that I think about it, whoever designed these levels was a fucking (weird) asshole. I'm not insulting the level design (did you read the last paragraph?), but merely stating that the level designers (I'm not gonna list off all their names) are gaping buttholes. Remember what I said about wanting to maintain speed throughout the levels? The designers don't want that happening. If there is a long stretch of land, there will be an enemy or a spring or a future sign at the end of it. They don't give a fuck that you have things to do; they'll still laugh at you for not knowing to deactivate that future sign at the end of the path. But you'll persevere, knock out the generator, and get to the special stage. This is where things get kinda weird. In order to save the future, Sonic has to destroy UFOs in an alternate dimension that's just a glorified tech demo. Look at it. Look at all the scaling and rotation. You can almost hear Sonic Team's past screams of, "Hey, guys! Check out our Sega CD! It's better than that SNES stuf-PLEASE BELIEVE US! WE HAVE FAMILIES TO FEED!" Doesn't mean it can't be fun, though. Sure, it takes a while to get used to the overall feel (possibly because depth perception is hard to achieve in a 2D game), but like everything else in the game, it manages to be fast paced and tense and overall fairly challenging. Sure, I restarted them a bunch because I'm obsessive compulsive about Sonic, but that only made victory that much more satisfying. Oh, and while I'm at it, I guess I should mention the boss battles. They're cool, I guess. Odd that you get so much room to explore them, but still pretty fun.

Oh, and I guess this is a really pretty game, or something. Of course, I could go into detail as to how it's pretty, but go click that Sonic Boom link (any one will do, really). You see that level of detail? That's the level of detail you get in this version of the game (here's what I mean by that). I'd say that it's movie level quality, but I'm not an idiot; it's better quality than the movie. But that's not all you get with your Xbox version of this. You also get shit like leaderboards and different soundtracks! I'm certain that you're expecting me to be in love with the Japanese soundtrack, since I'm the guy on the site who plays all manner of obscure-ass Japan games, but I'm honestly a bigger fan of the American soundtrack. Yea, there's absolutely no coherence to any of the design choices with it, but that's what I love about it: the all-over-the-place dissonance to it all. It doesn't hurt that I remember more of it, either. Oh, and Tails is in here. I haven't played as him, though, mainly because he can't achieve anything, and rightfully so. Who the hell plays as Tails? In Japan, asking somebody if they want to play as Tails is legal grounds for a divorce. Meanwhile, Sonic CD is the equivalent of an engagement ring...at least if you're Jeff Gerstmann. I honestly can't blame him, though. OK, it's not the best Sonic game ever, but I'm perfectly willing to grant it the title of second place.. And not some bullshit Tails second place, but a second place you can be proud of. I guess what I'm trying to say is fuck Tails. And Stephen Hawking, maybe.

Review Synopsis

  • How can this game be so involved yet so fast?
  • Oh, right: because you can achieve anything if you're a large enough dick.
  • Still, all the cool extras and stuff make this the definitive version of Sonic CD.

I'm not sure if this invalidates my title, but it's worth a shot:

Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X HD

(This one is going to take some explaining, isn't it?) I mean, look at the release date: January 1st, 2000. Odd, then, that it only supports my point even more. After all, this crap just barely missed being part of the 90s, and the decade was better off for it. As you can probably tell by now, I really don't like this game, and I won't believe you if you tell me that you genuinely like Code: Veronica X. I'd believe you if you told me that you ironically like the game, but even then, I'd plant hidden cameras in your house and wiretap your phones, because you are clearly not a person to be trusted. You know, just like the people who made this can't be trusted to make a decent game.

Oh god, where do I start with this game? The story? I didn't even touch it for the last section, so I might as well pull a double shift here. It's been some time since Resident Evil 2 (I didn't pay attention, because the developers clearly didn't), so the introduction is pretty much that: Resident Evil 2. Somehow, this leads to Claire being arrested and thrown on an island, possibly in the hopes that she won't stumble into a plot of some type. Oh, how wrong her captors were. Not only does she manage to find two Umbrella labs in her adventures (is there even anything left to be said?), but also the movie Psycho...if it was written by a moron. I'd say that that sentence sums up the game perfectly, but this cutscene is far more to the point. Let's examine it in detail. First, the harmfully high amount of stupid. Take note of how Alfred jumps down from his hiding place to hit Claire with a gun. This type of stupid runs throughout the whole game, whether it's characters performing experiments on each other for literally no reason, Alexia going on about turning the whole world into an anthill before transforming into a mutant dragonfly (again, the developers clearly weren't paying attention), or...well, any of the puzzles, really. (That's all I can say for now.) I guess you could justify this by pointing out how insane Alfred is (seriously, go watch that cutscene again), but that only brings up the over-the-top performances. You think Alfred was bad with his fear of misapplying his lipstick? Well, he is, but my point is that the entire game is like that. Nobody sounds like they're ever trying, and it results in characters either phoning it in (Wesker sounds bored with the whole affair) or characters hamming it way the hell up (Alexia thinks "sophistication" means "enunciate the shit out of your words like the inebriated shrieking WASP you are"). It's like a really bad movie. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the only way you can enjoy this game: as a bad movie. Then again, it's a video game, not a movie, and even if it was a bad movie, it's still a bad movie.

They angled the shot this way because they couldn't possibly create a model that could contain all the contempt and hatred that a rational person would hold toward Steve Burnside. Also, not seeing that face would distract players from how utterly useless Steve is to the overall game. Did I mention I hate this character and felt nothing but joy when he finally died? (Do I even need to say "spoilers"?)

Part of that is because of Steve Burnside. Can I talk about him for a second? Well, it's my blog, so I'll just say it: he's fucking terrible. For those who don't know who he is, he's some guy. Were you expecting more sentence? Well, there isn't any, because that's the best way I can sum up his character: some guy. He contributes absolutely nothing to the story. I'd say that part of it is because he's nowhere to be seen for about 40% of the game, but even when he's there, he doesn't do anything, or at least he doesn't do anything that actual protagonist Claire couldn't do. In fact, let me extend that: Claire could probably do everything that Steve does far better than he ever could, given how much he screws up whenever he's on screen. For example, watch as his boner fucks up Claire's stupid plan and extends the game by a scant five minutes. Speaking of awkward romance scenes, have I mentioned that his voice sounds effing terrible? (Oh, I'll get to the romance soon enough.) For those not willing to click on the link (I can't blame you), imagine, if you will, a character named Zach. He's the star of a shitty Saturday morning cartoon on Toon Disney. Do you have a voice for this character in your head? That's pretty much Steve's voice. All you need to add is a mispronounced version of "sorry" and you're good to go. Yet somehow, Claire finds him attractive. Did I forget to mention that? If that came off as abrupt, then I was only being true to the source material, because trust me, that romance comes out of nowhere. She's just sitting around and then decides that she's in love with this fucker. Claire, let me ask you something: what do you find attractive about this guy? How he first introduced himself to you with bullets? His daddy issues? The fact that you could add an annoying "eehhh" (the type that would come at the end of the phrase "girls are icky") to the end of each of his sentences and absolutely nothing about him would change? Or how during his last moments, he resembled a far stupider version of The Incredible Hulk (that description is canon, oddly)?

That reminds me: the game...actually looks sort of OK. Sort of. Granted, Claire's face looks exactly like the emoticon :-|, and the ending switches aspect ratios, for some reason, but the graphics get the job done. Actually, that brings up an interesting point: this is the first fully 3D game in the series. That may not sound like much, but trust me: it adds up to a lot. Remember how in previous games, the perspective was limited to the camera angle at the time? Well, that hasn't changed in the actual game, but cutscenes are different. You actually get more dynamic camera angles, allowing for far more flexible storytelling techniques. Granted, it's telling this story, and it's not used very well (this fight looks like it's using wires; that's not even the right fuck-up for your medium!), but it's certainly better than how previous games told their stories...except for the CGI. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, given how frequently I've been using them), I can't find any videos on YouTube that capture this well enough, so let me just say it right now: the CGI is horrible, and the porting is to blame. What does that mean? It's anti-anti-aliased. Somebody must have gone in and added all these spikes and pixelation. That's the only way this could possibly make sense, even if it makes no sense whatsoever. Isn't CGI supposed to look better than the in-game stuff? Why did Capcom think "bad PS2 game" was a such a graphical improvement that they parceled it out in such tiny bits? And while I'm complaining, why is the rotation animation just the model of your character rotating in place? You mean you took the time to animate an idle animation, but not the time to animate your characters stepping in place (yet took the time to include the sound of them stepping in place)?

Goddamn it, zombies, just let me by. You're blocking a key stuck in a moldy shower, and I have places to be. Yes, I can see that you want to hug me, but I promise you that we'll take about love after I empty a cartridge into a Mr. Burnside.

Somehow, this transitions into combat. You know, that thing where you push buttons and whatnot to scare away enemies. Before I get to anything relevant about it, though, let me explain that segue: Resident Evil has always been known for its slow-ass zombies. Despite what Resident Evil 4 would like you to know, this was the first game in the series to break that rule. Not by making fast zombies, but fast-turning zombies. While the zombies would lose a race to a limping tortoise, they'd certainly win some weird contest where you can turn around a lot. I know that sounds weird to say (trust me, I know), but since your ammo can drain really fast (how many bullets does it take to kill a human? I don't think it goes into double digits), it's in your best interest to slash at zombies like they're all Steve's supple throat. It sounds like it should be scary, and to be fair, I can see the argument for that. It takes a lot of slashes to kill one zombie, but there are more zombies than one, so it can become a lot to manage, especially when one of them is gnawing on your shins. Sadly, though, the game isn't scary, what with the aforementioned crap story and the absolute abundance of dead space that makes the game of the same name look outright phony. Guess what this turns combat into? A boring chore. A bore, if you will (clever, right?). It doesn't help that enemies regenerate quite a bit, even after you've killed them. At this rate, you won't have any ammo left for the boss fights. Good thing, then, that you can run away from half of them, and the other half are over in less than a minute. Threatening, right?

Wait, I forgot something: the puzzles. The stupid, stupid, utterly goddamn stupid puzzles. Again, an example would be helpful here. Early in the game, you come across a torture room hidden behind a locked door that can only be opened with a glass eye. It get stupider. In this room, you have to grab a sword, rotate a statue so you don't die, stab an iron maiden with the sword to open it (and no, there is no crossover between Resident Evil and Kingdom Hearts, nor would I ever want one), kill the zombie in the iron maiden, and take the piano roll he was holding. Can somebody bring logic to me? I want to lift up its shirt and look at the bruises Capcom left. I know, Alfred is insane, but surely the engineers and architects who made these buildings (especially the non-crazy parts) weren't this crazy. The numerous files revel in conveying this major detail. I'd say that this makes the game challenging, but it's oddly obvious about how utterly goddamn stupid it is. Actually, the real challenge comes from the inventory limits. As always, limited slots for items, weapons take them up, healing items don't stack, blah blah blah, same old song and dance. What makes Code: Veronica X unique, though, is that it's aware of these inventory limits, and does its best to fuck with you at every turn. You're going to be overwhelmed incredibly fast, and not only does it maintain pace throughout the game (Chris finds a ton of curative blue herbs in a land with, like, two poisonous enemies), but you can't even drop items to alleviate the problem. Hell, you get nearly 200 arrows before you get the bow gun necessary to launch the damn things. Overkilll, much!? Throw in a lot of backtracking, and you have a game that's used for executions in Japan. (I assume that all legal processes in Japan take the form of video games, and I hope Phoenix Wright proves me wrong, someday.)

Review Synopsis

Posted by HistoryInRust

Absolutely hated Code Veronica. Hit that airplane boss battle with only <10 bullets in a handgun and a combat knife. Promptly quit knowing I had unintentionally made that fight impossible to win.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@HistoryInRust:

I know exactly what you mean. I knew that there was gonna be an ammo problem with the game (I distinctly remember hearing about that, but not sure from where), but at some point, I just got so frustrated that I started unloading all my explosive arrows on any bandersnatch in sight. Once I realized that I made the Tyrant fight impossible to win, I started the hell over, skipping every cutscene that came my way. It doesn't hurt any less without them.

Posted by believer258

Wait - are all the pre-4 Resident Evil games literally that bad, or is it just Code Veronica that takes a nosedive to licking donkey nuts?

Posted by Video_Game_King

@believer258:

Probably Code: Veronica, although I don't remember liking RE3 too much (way too actiony to be threatening).

Posted by GunstarRed

@HistoryInRust: The exact reason I disliked that game also. Had to restart and ran into a similar problem later on. The only thing I really remember liking about that game was the save room music.

Posted by IBurningStar

Code: Veronica is the bad apple of the old style RE games. I like all the core games in the series, but C:V is the one that has the most problems. Or maybe it is just the one that makes the traditional RE style game's flaws most noticeable. The game had this weird way of punishing you if you planned on fighting things. If you decide to just run by shit then there is no need to pick up all the different weapons and their ammo types, so you save tons of inventory space. However, if you do decide that you want your inventory totally fucked for the entire game then you will learn that you don't have enough ammo when you actually need it because you wasted it all on the bullet sponge enemies. Then you end up having to replay the entire first half of the game because you aren't killing the fucking Tyrant boss. You have to find this hypothetical happy medium between conserving and attacking that makes the game kind of not fun at times. Oh, and the back tracking. Code: Veronica loves its super tedious back tracking.
 
Steve and Alfred are terrible characters. Wait, I take that back. Steve is a terrible character. Alfred is in fact a great character...in a somewhat so bad it is good sense. Steve was annoying as as hell, which is kind of baffling because the kid was this completely bland none entity with zero characteristics to speak of. Yet, he found a way to make you want to shove a steak knife in your ear every time he popped up on screen.  Alfred on the other hand is fine. If it was a movie he would be the guy chewing all the scenery. 
 
Luckily, the series promptly unfucked itself soon after with the REmake on Gamecube. ...And then kind of went to hell again with Zero. And then went on to change how we think about third person action games with RE 4. But then they gave us the lackluster 5. Hmm...

Posted by Brewmaster_Andy

I always found it hysterical that Code Veronica was the absolute worst, and yet Gamespot (which used to be my go-to) gave it a 10 out of 10.

Posted by Swoxx

90's cartoons were the best.

Posted by IBurningStar

  

  ^Best part of the whole game.
Edited by Jeust

I wanted to love Code Veronica soooooo much. I was so hyped to play the game, but I hated how I couldn't pass through the zombies without being hugged to death. It was a hard and frustrating game.

Posted by biospank
@believer258: I liked nr2 because it had the right amount of action and puzzles.
Posted by JazGalaxy

Code Veronica was garbage. I didn't make it more than several hours in and I paid full retail price for the game on dream cast. I think it was the moment where Claire sees a giant hoard of zombies spring up from the dirt and backs away cowering and screaming until she falls over herself and THEN they give me control over her that I knew it was going to suck. And then the scene where the had me running at the camera dodging bad guys where I quit. They're version of scary was making the game unfair and poorly constructed.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Brewmaster_Andy said:

I always found it hysterical that Code Veronica was the absolute worst, and yet Gamespot (which used to be my go-to) gave it a 10 out of 10.

This was late 90s GameSpot, right? The one that also said Shenmue sucked? What the hell was wrong with the world?

@IBurningStar:

What about Steve fucking dying? I'd say that's the best part.

Yea, that seems to be the exact situation I got myself into, but I have the odd feeling that you could use WAY more ammo than I ended up using. I had about four full percentage guns (for lack of a better term) and all types of grenade ammo lying about. Had I known how much ammo the game throws at you, I could've just Rambo'd my way through the damn thing. I imagine.

That's where I disagree with you. Steve had some characteristics; it's just that absolutely none of them made for a good character. Who thought that "whiny dumbass teenager who pronounces 'sorry' as 'soe-ry'" would make for an endearing character? HOW DID THE DEVELOPERS HONESTLY AND LEGITIMATELY THINK THAT HE WOULD BE A GREAT CHARACTER!?

So does that mean RE6 will be super awesome? I'd say that I hope so, but I don't pay much attention to the RE franchise. (Gee, I wonder why.)

@Jeust:

I take it that you played the game when it first came out? I remember my first experiences with it: "This seems kind-OH GOD! HOW DO I KILL THESE THINGS! HOW THE FUCK DO I KILL THESE THINGS!? MAYBE IF I J-NO, I CHANGED THE CONTROL SCHEME! FU-I'm dead. Fuck this game." Then I learned how RE works through RE0...and pretty much ignored the series for a long time after that.

@Swoxx said:

90's cartoons were the best.

Sadly, that's not a 90s cartoon.

@JazGalaxy:

Man, you realized that fast? It took me until I saw Steve Burnside to figure out how terrible the game was....and yet I still played it...and blogged about it...and reviewed it.

Posted by Swoxx

@Video_Game_King: Oh I know, just adding more proof as to why the 90s were awesome.

Edited by Yummylee

Code: Veronica X is certainly the most middling for that style of RE game; not being able to manually walk down staircases despite being allowed to in RE3 (which is apparently because they were developed concurrently or something), zombies heads not poppin' like a melon when you shot them with a magnum, those bleedin' Bandersnatcher Simpsons mutants, the lack of any interesting unlockables (bar Wesker's playable debut), and there is definitely far too much ammunition in that game. Playing through again a few years back, I recall having simply far more ammo than I could carry, and it was surprisingly difficult for me to decide just what it is I should take...

With that said, I actually still like the story and think it's one of the creepiest across the series, and it introduced a lot of intriguing backstory towards the beginnings of Umbrella. Alfred's an outstanding villain for how incredibly OTT he is on all fronts, and I really enjoyed the more gothic atmosphere. Plus Veronica was the first RE game I played back during my pre-teens where I actually got a little scared; I recall one part where I was walking up the steps to the Ashford's private house, and you hear Alfred's (while in his ''Alexia'' voice) cackle. Gave me shivers. The soundtrack is brill as well. Overall, I'm mixed, but there's more to it that I enjoyed than there was that I found peculiar.

@IBurningStar said:

Luckily, the series promptly unfucked itself soon after with the REmake on Gamecube. ...And then kind of went to hell again with Zero.

Screw you, brah - RE0's ace! x) The only complaint I have towards that is shared with Veronica: not enough weird and zany unlockables! And that leach scavenger hunt minigame was a fucking bore.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Abyssfull said:

Plus Veronica was the first RE game I played back during my pre-teens

That's probably the problem, as teenagers are stupid.

Posted by Yummylee

@Video_Game_King said:

@Abyssfull said:

Plus Veronica was the first RE game I played back during my pre-teens

That's probably the problem, as teenagers are stupid.

So you're saying is that only stupid people could possibly enjoy Code: Veronica X. Well, Caruso said it best:

Also why the hell do you even play RE games? Whenever you bring them up it most often involves you incessantly complaining about them.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Abyssfull:

There were personal reasons for playing this one. Remember that thing about yelling at the controls for this? I didn't want to end things there. As for the other games...I've got no goddamn idea. I played Brain Lord from start to finish; clearly, I do not know what is bad for me.

Posted by Sinclose

I was on the fence about spending money to get to play Code Veronica. Not really all that impressed by what has been the general consensus about it so far. This marks another point against it >.>

Edited by iPliskin

Code Veronica is the weakest link of the old(and awesome) RE games, the best ones are RE2, RE3, RE1 remake and RE0. 3D still wasn't RE worthy back then, even at launch i thought Code Veronica looked crappy, the enviroments, the character models(i didn't even like Claire's rendition to begin with and Steve looked ridiculous with that dog/BDSM collar, looked like a J-Pop star and he was annoying), that shitty fog(it didn't even look volumetric). The other games in the series are so much better.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Yessss. Yesss! I can feel your anger! Well, Code Veronica was the last main-series old style Resident Evil Game I played, and if you recall, one of the earlier games I blogged about. Basically my problems with it revolved around how incredibly backtrack-y (and therefore artificially lengthy) the whole affair was, as well as the problem that @Abyssfull: mentioned, namely that if you don't obtain enough grenade shells before you leave the island (as Claire) you are totally screwed with that Tyrant fight on the plane. I eventually beat him by running around like a little girl and putting far, far too many bowgun bolts in him. Ugh....That brought back an unpleasant memory. The sections where you are Chris are a little better, and the game should be commended for being the only resident evil game where the knife was totally a viable tactic against individual zombies.

In my grand conspiracy, it is the beginning of Resident Evil not being a crazy Japanese B horror thing and instead trying to be an action movie, if Wesker's faux matrix-y movements weren't clue enough. @IBurningStar said:

Luckily, the series promptly unfucked itself soon after with the REmake on Gamecube. ...And then kind of went to hell again with Zero

Screw you old man! Zero was good. Sure, it drags around the middle, has no real canonical relevance to the Resident Evil story at large, and never truly takes advantage of the fact that you have two characters (other than the part where you made Rebecca the pack mule), but that game can establish some mood in a way that few other games in the series can.

Posted by mfpantst

I know this is your own blog and true to format and all, but this is not a list of reasons why the 90s were pretty awesome.  Refund requested.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Sinclose said:

This marks another point against it >.>

I've got 5.2 against it. (That's my clumsy way of telling you what score I'd give it.)

@iPliskin:

Wait, there was fog in this game? I didn't see shit of that. I guess that's another point against this version: emulation issues.

@ArbitraryWater:

Nope, don't recall, as I didn't comment on it, and I didn't read it (hey, I had a review of it to write, first). However, I'll give it a read once I finish reading this comment, although I feel like any comments I'd have on what you'd say would be "YES! Indeed, this game is terrible."

Wait, bowgun bolts? Did you know about explosive bowgun bolts? Did I mention how they make every boss fight piss easy? My experience with Alexia the Blob (seriously) went as follows: equip explosive bolts, shot shot shot, DEAD.

Actually, I don't remember too much about RE0, at least not enough to form an opinion of it. I do remember keeping it longer than Blockbuster would allow me to, but that's about it.

@mfpantst:

I provided reasons why the 90s were awesome:

  • Sonic CD, and all the good Sonic games.
  • Video game characters rapping.
  • Code: Veronica X not being a part of it at all.

Refund denied.

Posted by Marcsman

The 90's pretty much sucked especially music wise.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Marcsman said:

The 90's pretty much sucked especially music wise.

Maybe, but I doubt they were as bad as the following decade. An exercise to prove my point: plop Burnout 3 into your Xbox 360 and just start playing it until your ears bleed. It shouldn't take that long.

Posted by JeanLuc

Its all right, take a chance, cause there is no circumstance, that you can't handle (When you use your mind),

Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom...

Damn you Video_Game_King!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King: I had run out of explosive bowgun bolts. Basically, I had really, really screwed myself over. I almost restarted at that point.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@JeanLuc:

I understand that this will get the thoughts out of your head:

Posted by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater:

Oh, I understand the "really, really, really screwed yourself over" thing. Keep in mind that I did it, too. In fact, I'm certain that this type of thing happens to everybody who plays Code: Veronica X.

Posted by JeanLuc

@Video_Game_King: Wow that was so weird it made me completely forget the lyrics to Sonic Boom!

Posted by spankingaddict

Code Veronica was truly awesome .

Posted by Video_Game_King

@spankingaddict:

Nah.

Posted by spankingaddict

@Video_Game_King: Yup

Posted by Video_Game_King

@spankingaddict:

No, it isn't.

Posted by spankingaddict

@Video_Game_King: OK , you win .

Posted by iPliskin

Why the 90's ruled: http://youtu.be/c1LG5E55II8 http://youtu.be/eN-gxeV0_tQ http://youtu.be/ZyhrYis509A http://youtu.be/NHozn0YXAeE http://youtu.be/rkyFu60gFFM

Posted by Video_Game_King

@iPliskin:

......Mind embedding them?

Edited by iPliskin

@Video_Game_King I can't, i'm using the "world's most advanced mobile operating system", in other words, i have a POS Apple product and i can't use the text editor because Safari doesn't support it. My PC is broken, so i have to use my dad's iPad(given to him by the company he works for).

Posted by IBurningStar
@ArbitraryWater: Yo, I didn't say Zero was a bad game, I just think it is full of problems. Not near as many as Veronica, but it was a super let down playing it as a follow up to the absolutely perfect REmake. Its main flaws are in its story and inventory system. I didn't think the whole Marcus' revenge idea was that interesting and found it to be hilariously convenient for Wesker. I mean, he needed combat data. Good thing leech dude decided to flood the mansion with the T-virus, otherwise I don't know what ol' Albert would have done. Also, what the fuck was the rest of Bravo team doing while Rebecca and Billy were off running around. I think that may be my main sticking point too. It feels like a bit missed opportunity to let us know who those guys were.
 
The inventory system was a neat idea but was horribly flawed due to the fact that it created scenarios where you either had to back track a lot to pick up items you needed or you could spend ten to fifteen minutes "moving camp" as you progressed to new areas. You know what I mean, where you find a new place that you want to be your new dumping ground because it's convenient to get back to, so you leave some items there and then head off to where you left all those healing items, weapons, and boxes of ammo you couldn't fit on your person. Run all the way back for that stuff, and then run all the way back to your new spot. Granted, this problem isn't nearly as bad on second play throughs because you know which places end up being the most convenient to get back to. It honestly wouldn't have been so bad if things like the hookshot, shotgun, or grenade launcher didn't take up two inventory slots. Or if Rebecca wasn't the only one that could mix herbs. All the tedious inventory stuff nearly killed the momentum and mood of the game for me. Still, it was better than Code: Veronica.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

@IBurningStar: All entirely valid complaints. Really though, if you didn't have to go back and get the stupid hookshot after transitioning to disc 2 I don't think anyone would have any sort of major problem with the inventory, which for the most part was only limited by my OCD item hoarding nature. The story, yes. In general, Rebecca and Billy are pretty boring and the story seems like a missed opportunity to explore what happened to Bravo team in greater detail. On the plus side, there is some pretty blatant Resident Evil 2 fanservice near the end, when you are just running around solo with Rebecca.