2 reviews liked by NekoTempo

"Look, just so you know? This is the last fucking time."
I usually ask myself how the Gamecube remake of Resident Evil 1 became such a masterpiece. Was it because the original PS1 game was somewhat simple in visuals and concept that upgrading it, not only visually but gameplay and narrative-wise, made it seem larger than life? Because honestly, that one is still the gold standard for remakes even today. Get a basic idea and not only make it harder but more interesting for the player to play. Self-defense items, Lisa Trevor, etc.
As for the Remake of Resident Evil 2, as much as I like that one it just misses the mark a bit. Sure, it's a lot more accurate narrative-wise and it ironically enough, gives the police station a lot more life. I do have some gripes with it however, mostly in how the story feels off with both characters fighting pretty much the same Birkin forms.... but still.
The Remake for Resi 3 should've been an easy job. Get the gameplay format of the previous remake and give Jill her action movie-like mobility from the PS1 game, balancing the enemies and world around it, right? Instead, it feels weirdly sluggish to use Jill, at least early on, with you instead of dodging the enemies sometimes just hugging them and taking damage for it. And... welp, no self-defense items this time around. Sure, no breakable knife either but by this point the knife feels "useless" in a way? I dig the critical hit concept for guns, but as for zombies that you "Kill" and usually come back, sometimes their reaction time just feel borderline blink and you miss it, so you take damage again. And... god, Nemesis is both an annoying pushover and one of the easier enemies to deal with. If he hits you, he'll probably triple combo you to death before your character even recovers from the stagger... or you'll throw a frag grenade at him and he'll be temporarily put to rest. The original Nemesis was more of a glorified boss fight with an endurance contest in the middle. And I LOVED that about him. Taking your time to actually try and defeat him with whatever weapon you got felt so satisfying in the original game, and the rewards were absolutely worth the trouble. Here.... welp, he gives you a couple nice upgrades to the pistol.... and ammo. Poor dude became a slightly better version of Mr. X.... from the original Resi 2.
Also for another complaint of mine, why so many 1-hit-kill enemies in this? Welp, when I say "enemies" I generally mean the Hunters. Guess that leap slash thing was always kinda broken, even on the original Resi 1 and 3, but here not only they take ages to kill but the Gamma version can munch you with only one strike. Again, since the game is somewhat balanced around Jill's dodge I can see why they'd do that, but are they just expecting people to master perfect dodges from the get go? And Carlos' bash is pretty cool and all but it falls on the same ground as "miss it against a Hunter and you can kiss your neck goodbye".
Now I think I complained enough about the core gameplay. Which is an absolute shame, because the story here is really fucking good. Jill is amazing in this, Carlos' rework is so cool, I actually give a shit about this brazilian dude now! And Nicholai is such a prick in this. The characters and the city have been drastically improved here, there's a lot of charisma to the little that we see of Raccoon City before we go to the standard Sewer Level(tm) and Secret Lab(tm), but I'll say that this time around it felt satisfactory enough. I wonder how Umbrella Noodles taste like...
Again, this game SHOULD'VE been great. But it felt not only very rushed (The original game took me 4 hours to beat, this one took me 3 hours), but lacked some of the iconic places of the original game (Where's my clock tower...), and... where the heck is the mercenaries game mode?? Oh, they released this alongside a DBD-like live service game that nobody plays...? oh no....
Thank god CAPCOM took the fucking hint and gave Resi 4 Remake the time and treament it deserved. Because when I played this one in 2020, my hopes sure were low afterwards :(
Also what the hell CAPCOM. 2 bucks for the original outfit? What is wrong with yall lmao

The X series is one of my favorite games ever. I love X1, X2, X4, X5 and X8. While I'm aware this series has flaws, I can't help but enjoy pretty much all games, X7 included, as I like the world setting, characters and the few themes they try and talk about here.
X6 is an oddity in the franchise. As in, this game takes concepts from the previous two games and adds a lot of interesting new concepts and mechanics to them, but it also falls flat on those overly experimental concepts, to the point that it almost expects the player to be using a specific character with a specific armor and parts throughout the game.
X as a core character feels much stronger than in previous games. Now wielding Zero's saber, he's able to do higher damage in close range, and also is able to use a weaker version of X5's Falcon Armor, that plays somewhat closer to the Fourth Armor but with the smaller buster blast.
With this in mind, the intro stage shows nicely how he should be played throughout the game: blocks that can only be destroyed by Zero's saber, air dashing to avoid enemies, ocasionally using the armor's weaker giga attack. And even more interestingly, you're not only introduced to a purple-ish Zero, but to High Max, a robot that X cannot damage with his buster or saber at all. It honestly is a cool intro stage! Hell, might be one of my favorite in the franchise after the iconic first game or the cooler second and fourth game's intros.
Now, the core game is introduced: Fight 8 "Investigators" this time around, as they're researching the "Nightmare", which are not only enemies, but stage-altering effects, that can infect reploids in need of rescue or hinder your progress on a stage. And this is where X6's problems start to show.
In many ways, this reminds me of Simon's Quest almost convoluted and messy way to teach the player on what they should be doing. The level design on most stages doesn't look that interesting, which is a major sin to a platform game like the X series, a lot of leap of faiths that might lead to a falling pit or spike traps, it's either way too hard to reach items or it's so easy it hurts. I do find it funny how you can cheese the Inami Temple's Armor part by gettign hit by the bats twice though.
So, let's talk about one of the main mechanics in this game: Nightmare Virus are enemies that can "possess" endangered reploids, but if you kill them and acquire their soul you can get gradually stronger, being able to install extra parts on X (what is this, dark souls?). And let me tell you: some parts feel almost REQUIRED for you to progress through the game with no problems. In the ice stage Alia mentions the "High Jump Part" (I'll get to the bad translation in a bit), which... you can only get on that very same stage, and if you had defeated the fire boss before.
Speaking of which, Post-Boss Stage Effects from X1 comes back in this! But instead of making places accesible to the player, it just makes your experience a living nightmare!
And speaking of nightmares, the "Nightmare Effects" in this game are the biggest pain in the ass. I don't mind a game trying to make my experience harder by RNG, but some of these just make the stages an absolute hell to go through.
For instance, Nightmare Dark makes the stage pretty much dark, with only a few seconds of light to help you see through. It's frustrating to say the very least, specially if you're attempting to collect all the stage's items.
And most of these can be somewhat avoided if you can understand what's happening, but much like Simon's Quest, this game has one of the worst translations a PS1 game could've gotten. The broken english in this is painful, and sometimes really funny (THE BADDLE HAZ JUST BEGUN).
And honestly, fuck Central Museum. Who in their right mind thought making every single room in a stage being RNG would be a good idea? Sometimes you can get such a bad RNG you'll never find the Dr. Light Capsule, or the Nightmare Teleporter/Another Route. Definitely one of the worst stages in the franchise.
Also, another big problem this game has is the fact that most stages either finish in one run or X will teleport by himself to a new area, but then you have Metal Shark Player's stage, in which the teleporter to the 2nd part of the stage looks the exact same to the Another Route teleporter.
Again, not a big problem since you should try and do the Another Route at least once. Zero is such a broken character it will make your general experience somewhat easier and fun, but... what if you go to it again, only to fight high max without his actual weaknesses (which are already convoluted enough) and you get stuck there dying at least 9 times to him until you can quit and go back to the stage select?
On this run, I actually went out of my way to NOT get Zero back, and play throughout all stages as X, either on Falcon or Blade armor. Again, the fact that the game seems to expect you to be using things like Jumper and Blade's Air Dash just make me wonder how much time they had to test the stages. Some of them are almost impossible to do as normal armor X or Shadow X. Central Museum (again, fuck this stage) has one of the rooms being unpassable as those two armors, since you need at least Falcon's weaker air dash to progress through. Unless the rng helps you and gives you a way out without the air dash!
And... the bosses, my god. They're so bad they barely do anything, and the few that do are so cheap it hurts my soul.
Infinity Mijinion is one of the most annoying bosses in the franchise, which by the point I was going through the stage I just gave up and stood still on one end of the boss room spamming blaze heatnix's sword attack until it died.
However.... I cannot say this game is an absolute mess.
As I mentioned, I really like how X plays in this. And with the right parts equipped, you can breeze through most stages and have fun!
And honestly? I absolutely love the story in this. I think the idea of it taking place after the Eurasia Crash/Destruction makes it more interesting, as X's mind is focused on rebuilding the world and holding Zero's hopes as his own. I also like the idea of the "Nightmare" a lot. The fact that all the Investigators are former Reploids who were destroyed (and most of these by Alia's hands, too!) makes them much darker in comparison to Repliforce's Soldiers from X4 or even the slowly corrupted Reploids in X5. Some of them shouting they don't want to die again can sound odd at first but... when Alia explains their fates, you can understand why they're doing that. Gate is also an interesting antagonist. Mad scientist type that wants absolute power is always a fun trope. Not a big fan of Sigma coming back in this, though. But I dig the fact that he's incomplete this time around. It really feels like we're beating a dead horse by this point.
The soundtrack in this game is fantastic, too! Might be one of my favorite in the franchise. Tracks like the intro stage and blaze heatnix's stage show a lot of quality, and considering this is the same composer as X5, it's a definite evolution.
I cannot say I despise this game. Personally, X3 and X7 are much less interesting games than X6, but this one feels absolutely rushed and messy, felt like CAPCOM was attempting to get some extra money from the few people who didn't own a PS2 yet. So what you get is a game who both tried too hard at being different from the previous games, but failed by not testing out these experiments before release. And yet, if I could I'd replay this again.
Naturally, if you read through all of this, my only advice is that you should get the Improvement Mod for this game. You can change a lot of what makes this game frustrating (the RNG in central museum, for instance) and improve the dialogue, character portraits etc. Sure you'll lose the ZELLLOOOOO but you get a much more coherent story and turned off nightmare effects so your experience is not a pain in the ass.