Resident Evil: Dead Aim. Capcom (2003) PlayStation 2

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Every now and again I come across a game that blows me away and I really enjoy it. Maybe my expectations were low for RE: Dead Aim, but I found the game way more fun than it had any right to be!

If TL/DL skip to conclusion.

Gameplay

Dead Aim utilises the GCon-2 Lightgun, you use the D-pad (on the gun) for movement, and shoot at things using the gun trigger. Movement happens in a 3rd person “over the shoulder” perspective, and when you pull the trigger the game instantly transitions into first person allowing for traditional light gun shooting segments, where unlike Survivor, you can shoot as fast as you can twitch.

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Looks “alright”

All of this offers a nice balance of shooting, and moving. Survivor’s movement was clunky, in Dead Aim the movement is surprisingly fluid.

I did my playthrough with a gun, but you can use the standard analogue pad. I would however advise against that as it is a massive pain shooting using the pad. Both control methods have their pluses/minuses, but I’d take the superior shooting method using the lightgun over the slightly better movement of the control pad.

One slight issue with the control scheme, is that the “A” button is the main “open door/investigate” button, if you’re right handed it means the “A” button is on the wrong side of your hand as your trigger finger will be covering the B button. It isn’t game breaking, and I guess this is how lefties feel the rest of the time, but it does mean you hold the gun in a weird manner while moving, and then effectively draw your gun for shooting segments *moment of clarity/possible genius game design – mind blown*.

Shooty mode!

Shooty mode!

Bosses

There are not many bosses, they are however quite fun for the few you do get, I won’t cover them all, just my highlights.

The first one is the Morpheus t+g Tyrant and is hilarious! I spent a good few lives trying to kill it, before I realised it was one of those “JUST RUN!” type bosses. It is nice to have that feeling of fear and dread, as you’re pursued by something stupidly over powered.

I feel like this is the start to the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tentacle Tyrant, I missed who this guy is, but he shows up at the end of the Cruise Ship section and like the final T-001 in Resident Evil, you run from one side of the room to the other, shooting at him. It is a fairly fun fight, and evokes a level of nostalgia that I enjoyed.

Pluto is a big fat idiot, who is blind. This fight is a little tedious if done right, which, is to use the silencer and pick him off at a distance.

Having said that, you can go all guns blazing, and use the magnum. Watching as the huge lump of shit bounds around the room literally belly flopping you is fun as all hell! While this method is a more enjoyableway to fight him, the stealthy option is the only way you’ll beat him sensibly.

Morpheus part 2, is actually hard until you die and the game says “USE THE DODGE BUTTON TO BEAT THIS BOSS”. I didn’t know there was a dodge button, so I broke out the manual, and realised it was “A”.

Once you know the dodge buttons exists it is an easy boss, use the gun that you were prompted to use, and press “A” when s/he goes URRGRH! shoot, rinse repeat. It is an alright fight, but the forced dodge thing kind of comes out of nowhere, and the timing is so obviously telegraphed to the URRGH! noise there isn’t a challenge in doing it. All in all, this fight is a bit of a let down for me.

Ultimately the bosses are enjoyable, and offer just the right amount of homage to previous games, with subtle enough differences for it to feel fresh as you basically redo a boss you have faught a dozen times already in the series.

More than a little bit inspired by the Train/Blob form of Tyrant in Resi 2

More than a little bit inspired by the Train/Blob form of Tyrant in Resi 2

Story

You play Bruce McGivern the standard “reckless, brash hero with a heart of gold”, a member of the U.S STRATCOM anti-Umbrella Division. You are sent to stop a devious plot by ex-Umbrella employee Morpheus D. Duvall, whom, in true Resident Evil fashion is ransoming the U.S and China with the threat of t-Virus missiles. You hop aboard the SS Spencer Rain, an Umbrella owned ocean liner, and the shit hits the fan and surprise surprise, you end up at a secret Laboratory base at the end.

On your adventure you are joined by Chinese Special Forces Agent Fongling, who is a badass and runs circles around Bruce. She is  less of a wet lettuce than Bruce, though she is not without her problems.

Jesus, why did they get a very white sounding woman to do a Chinese accent. It’s bad. Not Mr Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s bad, but it is bad.

Her walk cycle is weird too. Picture the worst, campest run cycle you can imagine? Imagine it is Jack from Will and Grace acting it out. That is Fongling’s  run. It is terrible, and you would wonder how she passes Secret Agent School with a such a limp wrist! Link to terrible walk cycle.

Other than that? She is alright. Doesn’t really add anything to the canon of Resident Evil but serves this game well. On a second playthrough you can choose to play as Fong Ling as the “main character”, so there is some replayability to the game

Morpheus D. Duvall has the proud honour of having the worst name in Resident Evil canon (Maybe Ark Thompson?), and is a bit of a nutter… Morpheus is also blamed for the Arklay Laboratory incident in an attempt to tie Dead Aim to the rest of the series.

He is obsessed with Beauty, and his goal is to destroy the ugly world, and found a new beautiful city in Africa. While I enjoyed Morpheus, he is possibly the worst rounded bad guy in a series littered with poorly defined characters. Very early in the game Morpheus injects himself with the “t+g virus”, a highly unstable combination of two unstable drugs. This turns him into an electrified transvestite. Seriously, he grows boobs, and his feet turn into high heels!

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Snagged form a low quality YouTube video

One other thing to mention is the Jap-English translations, and more specifically the subtitles do not match up AT ALL. Do not try to read the subtitles and listen to what they’re saying. In fact, turn the subtitles off. The voice acted stuff is decent enough, but the developers didn’t think to change the on screen text to match the script. Very odd, and here is an example.

Graphics

Dead Aim looks alright for a PS2 game, the environments still hold up relatively well and the in-game character models are decent enough. The cutscenes are pretty poor though, Bruce’s neck makes him look like a bobble head! Brucesneck

 

Overall

I wanted to hate Dead Aim, I read the reviews and did some background reading, and I just thought it’d be meh. But to be honest, I really enjoyed it. The combination of third person and first person perspective gel really well, and while the story is generic Capcom pap, it is classic Resident Evil pap.

While my play time was just short of 2 hours, the game is 1:30 tops (I left the game running while I went to make some lunch). A decent speed run will be below an hour, meaning that Dead Aim is a little short, but unlike Survivor the ability to save the game means you can walk away if you want to. I didn’t… I blasted through it in a day.

Pros: Movement is fluid, gun fighting is pretty fun, bosses offer a nice level of nostalgia, there is no Wesker.

Cons: Voice acting/Subtitles not matching at all. Fongling’s walk cycle

84%

 

 

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