Resident Evil

We've got your Pocket Monster right here
Dark Adapted Eye

   Though the classic 8-bit systems like the NES and Sega Master System are long defunct, there still remains one retro platform for Capcom to exploit for all it's worth: the Game Boy Color. Nintendo's color handheld is now the sixth platform confirmed to be receiving a Resident Evil game, after the PlayStation, Saturn, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PlayStation 2. For its GBC entry, the series literally goes back to basics: the title will be a straight conversion of the original PSX Resident Evil.

   "Why are they doing that?" is probably your first question. Unfortunately, Capcom's reasons are unknown, so instead we'll explain how they're doing it. Developer HotGen Studios has created compression routines almost good enough to recreate the original prerendered PSX backgrounds on the tiny little 8-bit device. Some areas, such as the lighting and coloring, could use some work, but all in all the results are fairly impressive considering the quality of the original renders.

You can see the fear on his face.
Better than FF7 for the Atari 2600! Sort of.

   On the other hand, the character models in the screenshots available so far are underwhelming. Chris Redfield has transformed from a lean, effective S.T.A.R.S. operative into what appears to be a chunky black-haired UPS courier. Jill Valentine fares similarly, looking like a reject from the original Maniac Mansion. And the zombies have lost whatever terrifying effect they may have had in the original; pixilated stick-figure skeletons just aren't that scary.

   So why should you play this game, when all signs point to it being a much inferior version of the original? Because it's portable, for one thing. For another, there's a new pause-and-save feature that could potentially make the game easier for those who were never able to finish it. Additionally, HotGen has found the room on a GBC cartridge to include new enemies, so it's not exactly the same game. But most of all, because the atrocious control scheme which has plagued pretty much every Survival Horror game to date will likely be simplified for the sprite-based conversion. And isn't that reason enough right there?

Preview by Nich Maragos, GIA.
Resident Evil
Developer HotGen Studios
Publisher Capcom
Genre Adventure
Medium Cartridge (?)
Platform Game Boy Color
Release Date  None
Capcom cancels Resident Evil for GBC
19 screen shots