Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Capcom (2000) Dreamcast

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Resident Evil - Code Veronica (PAL) - Front

I previously reviewed Code Veronica X on the GameCube, and thought it was finally time to come and play the “proper” version of the game.

So…

I’ll start with the differences, and, as mentioned in the X review, there is very little different on the surface. There is 9 minutes or so less cutscenes in C:V, the graphics are so similar I can’t see a difference between the two. And… C:V is harder than C:VX.

cvcomp

Comparison of the two versions

Story

(copy and pasted from C:V X review)

Code: Veronica is set 3 months after the events of the first 4 games. Claire is searching for Chris (clearly mobile phones didn’t exist) and has gone to an Umbrella facility in Spain, she is caught, and sent to Rockfort Island, and because this is a Resident Evil game, there is a zombie outbreak, you must escape… blah blah blah…

This time though, you team up with a skeevy perv called Steve Skeve, who basically spends the entire game looking at Claire’s tits/arse, and Chris also makes a welcome return to the series after getting a tip from Leon, that Claire was in trouble.

Steve being skeevey

Steve being skeevey

The game ends in another Umbrella laboratory in Antarctica, and looks at the T-Veronica virus, an early precurser to the G-Virus from Resi 2, and after some zombie related shenanigans Wesker turns up, gets bitch slapped by a monster, and then disappears again…

Gameplay

This is where the games differences become more apparent. Code: Veronica is actually pretty hard. I noted in the C: VX review that health seems to go on for ever. Well, in C:V, 3-4 bites you’re into red/orange health. Bats actually cause damage and are a pain to deal with, and health items are not the most common. I only found 4 red herbs in the entire run through, so I had to resort to using first aid sprays! (Goodbye A grade).

You still have more ammo than the first 2 Resident Evil’s combined, but everything is harder. The pistols are fairly useless, the bow gun is utter shite, and unless you’re headshotting with the shotgun, the shotgun is useless.

So all in all, Code: Veronica does a good job of balancing the survival with the action, perhaps better than any of the other games in the series.

Graphics

(Slightly edited from C:VX review)

With this being a Dreamcast, the graphics are superior to Resi 1 to 3. However, there is an issue with the animation. It is VERY weak at times. It is strange to describe, as the animation is much more fluid than in Resi 1-3, but at the same time it is oddly clunky. There is no weight to your movements, you seem to hover above the ground in many places, and zombies seem to get up ridiculously fast.

While you seem to swim in ammo, the bullets seem to be pretty ineffectual. The pistol bullets take around 10 to kill a zombie, the shotgun take 5-6 to kill a hunter 4-7 to kill a spider.

The character model for Claire is also a little strange, and she doesn’t seem to be in proportion, she seems to be made almost entirely of legs…

Those legs go forever!

Those legs go forever!

Shenmue moan

One interesting thing I noticed was you don’t need to reboot the console to change the disc in the way you did for Shenmue. In C: V, you change the disc at halfway stage, and you just carry on. No faffing for 10 minutes rebooting the console and going to the load game screen.

What’s good then?

Alexia/Alfred Ashford, for my money are the best antagonists in the SERIES, and one of the best in video gaming history (gives Kefka a run for his money).

Yes Alfred is a bit of a bitch, who you know you’ll beat one handed with a bottle of Pepsi. But the characterisation around him is awesome.

A bit of a fruit looper

A bit of a fruit looper

This is balanced by Wesker, who at this point must be considered Resident Evils shark jumping moment. He wasn’t needed, and him being there added more plot holes than closure.

The duality of Alfred, the twist straight from Psycho, and then the (re)twist, and is certainly the best scripted bad guy in Resident Evil.

The Nosferatu monster boss is also cool as hell, but it is a little disappointing that it has no adequate closure to this story-line, and is a major loose-end in the plot.

Other more subtle differences?

Zombie heads no longer blow up! I guess this Capcom being wimps, and wanting a lower rating for the game (a 15). But it is slightly disappointing to not see a head blow off. You do get added splat, and a louder noise if you headshot with the magnum/shotgun, but the head remains.

When Wesker comes into the game, and releases Hunters, it seems to suggest they are now robotic. I might interprate this wrongly, but it makes them a bit lame.

There is a new enemy called the Bandersnatcher (terrible name) it is big, bulbous and yellow. They have one arm, that is long and rubbery, and will punch you at great distance, and unless I am mistaken, never appear in the series again.

Swapping between Chris/Claire

I mentioned in the X review the need to plan ahead, and the need to know the game. Well, this time I planned a head.

And fucked up.

When you’re Chris, and you reach Claire, you enter a cutscene, and switch to Claire. I knew this was coming, so I stuck EVERYTHING into the chests. I forgot about the switch back/boss fight. I had to fight Alexia with a knife…

This, bit, is COOL!

This, bit, is COOL!

Thankfully I had a back up save not too far back, but christ, this game punishes you if you don’t know it inside out.

Overall

The sheer fact that this game is harder made it more fun for me, and I honestly think it makes it a better game that C: VX. If you get a chance, play this version.

Pros: Alfred/Alexia are the best baddies EVER, more action orientated, requires some though, and planning. The final puzzle uses the game title.

Cons: Animation is a little shonkey, character model is very strange, Steve is skin crawllingly creepy, Wesker begins his gamely cameo, Bandersnatches.

88%

Pause clearly doesn't stop the timer...

Pause clearly doesn’t stop the timer…

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