I know what your thinking, is Resident Evil a masterpiece? Well if we are talking about the original Playstation game from 1996, then no not really. In its time it was first of its kind, with the famous opening caption at the start to say it all… “Enter Survival Horror.” That my friends is where this beloved genre started. When I was a kid and finally got my hands on a Playstation the first game I owned was the big boxed version of Resident Evil. Being a young boy, yes the game did do it’s job as advertised. That is where I believe the franchise get all its love from, the roots of it all.

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In 2002 Capcom released a remake to the classic game under the same title. At the time I paid no attention to it, I didn’t even own a GameCube. Seemed funny to me that they would be releasing the horror classics on the Nintendo platform, rather then the more popular Xbox or PS2. When I did acquire a GameCube in the following years, for the soul purpose of playing RE4. My friend handed me a copy of the RE remake and said “you have to play this.” Thinking nothing of it and to be honest going into the experience with no high expectations, I can say that I was one hundred percent blown away by the re imaging of one of my favorite classics. That’s where the word “masterpiece” comes in to play.

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Now here we are 13 years later. We have once again been blessed with another version of the game I once fell in loved with twice, and wondering why I wanted her back in the first place. Stepping back in the Spencer Mansion was all too familiar, and I liked that. Having recently finishing my first play-through I can now say that the nostalgia driven experienced did not displease me. If you have never played the GameCube remake, and enjoy the original this is a no brainier at $20. The changes to the game play and added content is staggering to say they least. The main draw to the game will obviously be the updated textures and resolution, but when I remember playing the GameCube version it was even pretty back then.

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The main additions to the game are as follows. New type of zombies called crimson heads. Basically ever zombie if put down, has to be burnt to a crisp or have their head taken off. If not they transform later in the game, to a faster more powerful killer. Now saying that this changes the whole dynamic of exploring and conserving ammo when coming back and forth through the mansion corridors. Next, the addition of defense weapons. Dagger, stun guns and flash bangs can be used as a fail safe if a flesh eater grabs you. These one time use items are very scarce but can save you in a pinch when you need them. The addition to certain mini bosses and characters is a great way to extend the tale as it was once told, I wont spoil anything there.

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The fact that they took the time to add so many new areas, puzzles and elements to the game can seem fresh to a new player. It all fits in this world like it was meant to be there. The new lighting engine works flawlessly to really bring the tension in the mansion alive. Little touches like the constant lightning flickering as you walk by a window in a dark corridor. The new control scheme is real slick too. You can just use the left stick to point to where you would like to go. That’s of course if you suck at games and don’t understand how to use the classic tank controls, but that’s another debate in itself. There are places in the game where you can see older textures in the background, and the cut scenes are all from the older games and stick out bad. That can add to the charm or take away from it depending on the knowledge of your past experiences.

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The bottom line on this PSN/Live download is  it’s a must by for anyone either wants to relive the old days of gaming with a semi modern twist or for new gamers out there to see what all the fuss was about. The genre has been stale for years now, that’s why we can always turn to the classics, and this in my books…….. is one of them.

Wesley J