(Yes, I have an exclamation point there instead of a question mark. It’s completely intentional and in the spirit of Resident Evil’s line delivery)
ABOUT THE GAME
Resident Evil (originally titled Biohazard in Japan) is a survival horror action-adventure game by Capcom, released in 1996 for the original PlayStation. The plot involves a police special forces squad known as S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) Alpha Team getting trapped in a mansion full of ravenous zombies, nonsensical puzzles and other horrors when searching for the missing S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team in the wilderness outside Raccoon City, and your job as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine is to get out of the mansion in one piece as you uncover its secrets and look for survivors. Of course you knew all of that already, but did you know Capcom also made a port of the original RE for the Sega Saturn? (Well, the thread title was a bit of a giveaway, I suppose)
The Saturn port of RE was released in 1997, around the same time the first version of Resident Evil: Director’s Cut came out on the PlayStation. However, the Saturn version is based on the original release and doesn’t contain the extra content and other changes Capcom made to the Director’s Cut. That means the autoaim that was originally present in the Japanese version of Biohazard and got removed for the first western release is missing here as well, and that sucks but hey, at least it made sure people in the 90s would have a harder time completing the game in a single rental! The Advanced/Arrange mode is missing as well, but who cares.
The Saturn version does have a couple of new alternate outfits for the characters and an exclusive Battle Mode that is unlocked by beating the game or using a cheat code, although that mode is not really anything to write home about either since combat isn’t exactly one of old-school RE’s strong suits. Especially since there is no goddamn autoaim :argh: I might show off the Battle Mode at the end of the LP if I’m feeling masochistic enough, but all it really offers is a couple of new enemies (as does one area of the main game, actually). I am of course using the term “new” very loosely here, mind you.
So what’s the deal with this port and why is it so interesting? Long story short, the Saturn’s hardware architecture with its dual video processors was a nightmarish mess that only few developers could take advantage of, and ports of PlayStation games rarely fared well on the system. Capcom did what they could with the RE port, but the end result is still a version of Resident Evil that seems… off in many ways. It’s recognizably the same game and the actual content hasn’t changed much, but RE on the Saturn simply looks and sounds kinda weird if you’re used to the PlayStation original. The truly amazing voice acting is still there, at least, and so are the equally incredible FMVs such as this one:
ABOUT THE LP
This LP is a playthrough of Jill’s campaign because Chris sucks, and also because Barry is the greatest. Now, I’m by no means amazing at Resident Evil and even though I know the mansion’s layout pretty well I don’t remember the entire game off the top of my head, so I will occasionally get lost and/or horribly killed. I’ll use editing whenever necessary to keep things going at a decent pace, but for the most part you’ll be seeing the whole playthrough as it was recorded.
The version I am playing is the PAL release, and while I wanted to record the game on an NTSC system that didn’t work out as the audio is all synced to the PAL 50 Hz mode’s slower gameplay at a 25 fps frame rate. As such, playing the game at 60 Hz caused all kinds of weird issues and I had to settle for 50 Hz. That being said, I have at least gotten rid of the PAL letterboxing so you get to see the image as it would appear on an NTSC system and at the end of the day, it’s still 100% original hardware. No emulation here.
As for spoilers, go hog wild. This game is over 20 years old, and the story was… not the greatest in the first place.
Episode 01: The Beginning
Episode 02: Dogs, Crows and Sandwiches
Episode 03: (Don’t Fear) The Keeper
Episode 04: Ouch
Episode 05: Snake Bit
Episode 06: Dorm of the Dead
Episode 07: Planted
Episode 08: Night of the Hunt
Episode 09: Yaaaawn
Episode 10: Deeper Underground
Episode 11: Arklay Laboratory
Episode 12: Finale