Friday, May 4, 2012

Game A2 - Resident Evil 2 : Won! (finally...)

Leon Kennedy journal entry 2 : After gaining access to the Abandoned Factory, things started to move really quickly. Ada and I found a huge elevator going down to a strange laboratory. It was the center of the G-Virus outbreak. We had to find a way to blow the whole thing up... One of the main problems was the huge Terminator-lookalike guy that was still chasing us. Thanks to Ada's sacrifice, I was able to finally kill the beast. I set up the self-destruction sequence and went to meet Claire and Sherry near the exit train. A final showdown with the biggest thing ever (that was once William Birkin, Claire said) on the train later, and we were finally able to exit this nightmare!!!

William? Is that you? Did you change your hair or something?

Leon's path :
Time played : 3h15 (Total : 5h45) - "You died" screens : 0 (yay!)

It's good to be back home! I was finally able to boot up my Wii once again and go clear this game, nearly one month after starting out. I've got to be faster on my next games if I don't want to be playing the last Resident Evil or Zelda in 2056. So after a while discussing the future of this blog, it was time to focus on the present, and finish RE2. Which is done. And with no deaths, Yay!

Time to tell you what happened after we exited the police station basement. Ada and I gained access to the Abandoned Factory, where we met Annette Birkin once again. This time, however, she intended to use her gun and shoots at Ada. Leon, even if he's met the girl for less than an hour, jumps in front of the bullet and gets down. I think the power of the red dress shouldn't be underestimated. Ada then runs after the gal (totally ignoring the guy who just got shot instead of her). You then play once again as Ada, and gain more information about the "Birkin family tragedy", then you fistfight with Annette and let her drop to her (alleged) death.

And please stop bleeding on me...

After a while, Leon wakes up, joins with Ada, who patches him up, and they're friends once again. You have to find the two medals to open the passageway behind the waterfall (like in Claire's path, but whatever) and gain access to the cable car leading to the outskirts of town. Then the game plays once again with you, because while it was perfectly safe (almost boring) to ride the cable car in Claire's path, this time William Birkin jumps on it and tries to catch you with his mutated claws! The sequence is a short one, and not particularly challenging, but it's a great scare too, once again showing you that no place is safe.

Can opening G-Virus Style

Then the game is back on the same tracks again, with the discovery of the huge elevator going down to the laboratory, and the attack of Birkin on said elevator... However, just after that fight, the power shuts down, leaving Leon with the task of turning it on again. You then gain access to a whole new section of the laboratory, and this gives the tone of the endgame. You run into Mr X (the Terminator thingy) several times, and have at least two new sections to discover. Even if this section is still based on the same template (getting the fuse, turning on the power, getting to the train) than Claire's path, the differences in rhythm and paths is largely enough for it to feel fresh.

While your major task in Claire's path was to synthesize the vaccine for Sherry, here you have to find a way to destroy Mr X and set the self-destruction sequence on. You meet Annette again, who tells you Ada is in fact a government agent (figures...) and that she's here to steal the G-Virus. Nonetheless, Ada sacrifices herself to kill Mr X (who falls into a vat of molten steel, which makes the Terminator reference kind of obvious), or so it seems, because she's back mere minutes later, seeming perfectly fine, to the general surprise. It should be obvious by now that no Resident Evil secondary character ever is what he claims he is, and that they usually don't stay dead very long.

Of course, nor do villains... I'll be back!

So Ada shows up again in the climatic boss fight versus the (once again) Mr X, who is back from his molten steel vat, and throws Leon a rocket launcher that is used to explode the bad guy, in a reminiscence of RE1's endgame. Ada then promptly disappears and let Leon join Claire and Sherry in the train in order to escape.

The end? Not really. After the ending sequence (which is the same as Claire's), new surprise! Birkin seems like he doesn't want to give up and shows on the train in his final form. I'm pretty sure this sequence is a kind of "post endgame" boss battle, rewarding players that went through both scenarios. So you have to slay the beast once again (in a pretty tight timed battle) in order to exit.

Action Hero One-Liner 101.

Well, I loved it. I know RE2 and 4 are supposed to be the best in the series, but I now remember why. The blend of action and puzzle elements are near perfect, and even if the game is full of little annoyances (like some parts of the zapping system, or the toned down difficulty in the end), it's a nice ride and everything a good sequel should be. 

One of my major concerns with the game (or at least Leon's path) is that, by the end, you're basically a overpowered killing machine if you've searched the game's many hidden areas carefully. One of the good ideas (that will once again make a comeback in RE3) is that you stumble upon optional weapons parts that make your weapons much more powerful. For example, you can find mods for your basic pistol (which then becomes able to shoot three bullets at once), which makes sense, because it makes it useful even by the end of the game. However, you can modify your shotgun too, which becomes really too powerful (with a wide dispersion angle, perfect for mowing down big groups of enemies), and then, another one for the Magnum! The modification for the Magnum makes it a ridiculously powerful weapon, and considering you find a lot of bullets for it, you become unstoppable by the time you find it. To give you an idea, I killed the two final bosses with less than 5 bullets each, and I still had 40-something bullets for it in my pockets.

Add the machine gun and the Flamethrower, and you're basically capable of killing an army of these things.

So the endgame is more action-game than survival-horror. I don't know if it's just because I was so good at the game (I honestly don't think so), but at the end I still had 20 or so healing items in my safe and enough bullets to go through the whole game twice. Even if it's fun to suddenly be able to get your revenge on the creeps that roam the place, I can't help but think the whole thing is a bit anticlimactic.

However, this game is a really good one, and I'm glad I was finally able to come back and complete it. Now it's time to put a PICASO rating to it (which will probably be pretty high) and move on to the next game of my list. Keep you posted!


  1. Nice write-up. Resident Evil 2 was my introduction to the series. I have played some of 4, but not the rest of the series (though I do have 4 now as well as 5 - I just haven't played them yet)

  2. RE4 is a masterpiece, and recognized as such. Long, intense, surprising... However, RE5 is nowhere near as good. Let's hope 6 will be closer to 4...