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SummaryGoing in Circles
The GoodResident Evil: Code Veronica X is a pretty deep adventure game. The best part being is that there is no shortage of stuff to do or places to explore. The game heavily encourages you to step outside your normal zone of thinking in order to figure out how to get from one part to the next. Often times the solution to a puzzle involves more then pulling switches or box pushing (although both exist in the game) and the game can really challenge your brain.
Veronica X tells a pretty unique story and you don't really have to play the previous Resident Evils to get a kick out of it. The characters are a very unique bag and they all are very interesting to look at (Claire Redfield looks especially beautiful). The game does a pretty good job telling a story with the few characters it uses and really gives you that "you're all alone and nobody can help you" kind of feel, which is probably what this game was going for (since it is survival horror).
Finally, while the graphics are falling behind the times, they are still really... uh... graphic. Blood covers nearly every wall while bits of zombie are scatter everywhere, but it is done subtly enough for you to not expect anything will go wrong. The zombies and bosses are still gross and scary enough to make you feel uncomfortable playing this game after midnight in dark house. And the sound (though brief) is very haunting, and again, will really be harmful to sleeping patterns if played after midnight.
The BadResident Evil: Code Veronica X features a lot, and I mean A LOT of backtracking (meaning going to previous locations in the game to further the game along). Several times I would not know if I was making progress or if I was just doing stuff for the heck of it. Many times I would have to go several places just find the one item I needed to unlock a door. For every one thing you need to do there are 50 other things you have to do first and without any objective list or any type of lead to go on the game just becomes a mindless wanderer. Often times I felt like I was in a giant box, having to go constantly back and forth between locations and feeling like I was going nowhere (those who are frustration prone will be quick to get a walk through, and by then the game starts to become boring- even Capcom put a 900 number hot line right on the disk itself).
The zombies themselves can start to become very annoying (although still pretty scary at the same time). Since Claire can only aim at the floor, middle, or at the sky, hitting a zombie in the head is next impossible (which is supposed to be the best way to kill them). Since head shots are extremely hard to pull off, Claire has to waste nearly all bullets in her inventory to finish off one zombie and since zombies always attack in groups, this can lead to really bad spots.
Often times the game uses past mistakes to screw players over. Not knowing weather or not to keep guns or conserve ammo will lead to some really frustrating moments and since the only other weapon that doesn't use ammo (the knife) doesn't kill zombies you will become more angry then scared. Health is also a rare item although it isn't as important since most basic enemies don't do a ton of damage but when you desperately need it is when it's least available. And since Claire can only hold a limited number of items (ever heard of a backpack Ms. Redfield?) it makes it even harder to determine what items are important or not. And while the controls are tank-like and a little slow they will start to wear on you pretty quickly.
The Bottom LineThough graphically appealing, interesting to watch, and a few times scary, Code Veronica X is strictly for the most hardcore gamers who can think 5 counties outside the box and are able to put up with loads of backtracking.
While walkthroughs are available, they just make the game boring and dull and take the control right out of your hands.