Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
Capcom has been good to its Resident Evil fans over the past year and that doesn't stop with the latest DS release...
Back in the summer of 96 (summer of love baby) there were only three things that mattered to me; my job at the supermarket (produce), my girlfriend (not bad looking), and Capcom's Resident Evil. I basically had this routine where I'd get up, play the game, go to work, come home, play the game some more, go out with her, rinse, and repeat. It wasn't a bad system and I have fond memories of blasting zombies, chopping watermelons with a machete, shot gunning spiders into oblivion, and making out with this somewhat attractive woman.
Fast forward ten years later and there are three truths. One, that job sucked and I no longer work there. Two, my girlfriend became really annoying and I had to jettison the relationship, and three, my love for the original PSOne version of Resident Evil has never waned. It certainly hit some rough seas after Capcom released the remake for the GameCube (still one of the most beautiful games ever made), but much like Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros., I still dig it, which is why I was more than happy to purchase Resident Evil Deadly Silence, an enhanced port of the original game that's been shoehorned onto the Nintendo DS. It's not as scary as it was on the PSOne, but if you're a Resident Evil fan I strongly recommend it.
So let's get something out of the way. I love RE, but this game hasn't aged well nor is it so delightfully enhanced that you need to rush out and buy it. There is a Rebirth mode that incorporates more save points, some surprises, mic support, and some cool first person knife sequences (slash the touch screen to slice up zombies), but for the most part, this is the same exact game that came out a decade ago. This means that the dialogue is still cheesy as all hell (THAT'S WHAT IIIIIII WAS GOING TO SAY), the often criticized control scheme is intact, and the story, the wonderful horror yarn about the S.T.A.R.S. and their adventures through a creepy monster filled mansion is pretty much unchanged.
What this means is, if you despise the first RE, Deadly Silence isn't going to convert you. It's just going to continue to piss you off. But if you're a fan, then it's essential. Being able to play the original RE on the DS is actually quite exciting and Capcom did a remarkable job porting it. The sound, while extremely well done, is a bit low (even when the volume's all the way up), but all of the voices and music is intact. Plus, the game looks great and the controls have been perfectly adapted to fit the DS' button layout (for better or for worse).
Unfortunately, the entire package isn't enjoyable. Multiplayer, where up to four people can compete against one another to reach an exit or work cooperatively is a nice touch, but you can't beat the entire game while in this mode and it just feels strange. I'd rather have it than not, but Capcom could've done a much better job.
It's also worth noting that what was passable back in '96 doesn't fly today, and by that I mean saving the game using ink ribbons (not a cool idea on a portable system) and having to deal with so few inventory slots after shoving a whole mess of stuff into Leon's pockets in Resident Evil 4. And, while on the subject of Resident Evil 4, the over the shoulder perspective is sorely missed.
Lastly, critics have blasted this game for not being scary and they have a point, but looking back, how many old horror films (save the Exorcist) are actually terrifying today? Not many, so I'm not going to hold this against Resident Evil Deadly Silence.
I really enjoyed this game, but my question to Capcom is, now what? Now that it's ported the first Resident Evil to the DS, is that it, or will the developers do the smart thing and port Resident Evil 2 as well as Resident Evil 3: Nemesis? Hell, why stop there? Capcom should create entirely new Resident Evil games, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Resident Evil Deadly Silence isn't the best game in the series, but it's an adventure worth revisiting, especially if you've never played the original.
What's Hot: Cheesy voice acting left, load times axed.
What's Not: 237th port of the original RE.