Few thought it would ever happen. The Resident Evil series is one of the prime examples used by gamers to point out the differences between the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. It has a dark theme, memory-chewing backgrounds and FMV cinemas, lots of blood, and even voice acting (albeit terrible voice acting). The company behind the series, Capcom, had been one of the N64's most notorious fence sitters, canceling at least two games midway through development.

Service with a smile
This... this is my boomstick!

   Considering those factors, it came as quite a surprise to many when Capcom announced that the first series it would be bringing to the N64 was indeed Resident Evil. An even bigger surprise was that it would not be a fully-3d installment, designed for the N64's impressive 3d capabilities, but a port of Resident Evil 2 - complete with pre-rendered backgrounds and all the memory-hogging trimmings.

   Even though Capcom isn't handling the port themselves, Angel Studios appears to easily be packing in everything that made the PSX series so popular, plus some extra goodies for seasoned RE veterans. Along with the pre-rendered backgrounds and, apparently, a healthy chunk of the MPEG cinemas, the N64 version will boast a large number of improvements.

   First to be noticed will surely be the lack of load time and faster game play. No more Door Opening Simulation! Other graphical touches abound, as Angel Studios actually had enough room left over after using JPEG compression for the backgrounds to considering high-res screens. You can change the level of gore and blood shown in the game, and while this would seem like a possible request from Nintendo, the big N has been allowing more and more violent content in the last few years.


   There will also be new costumes, a selling point for far too many gamers, as well as analog control and Rumble Pack compatibility. Factor 5's proven "MoSys FX" Surround sound technology will be utilized, as previously heard in the gorgeous sounding Rogue Squadron. All items can even be found in new locations after playing through once, thanks to the Randomizer option. Lastly, for true RE connoisseurs, are the Scrapbook features. In-game clues that players find, as well as dozens of items and game information from stories published on the entire Resident Evil series are saved in the scrapbook to be viewed at any time.

   These numerous extra features should make for an expanded play experience, even for those gamers with well-worn PSX copies of the game. Will it make up for the cancelled Ghouls n' Ghosts 64, the never fulfilled Mega Man 64 request by Capcom's US branch, or the cancelled RE-style Ninja game for the N64 (now Onimusha)?

   Or the fact that these were all passed up for a Mickey Tetris game?

   Capcom has too often made a name for itself for one of two reasons: milking a franchise bone-dry (Mega Man, Street Fighter), or ignoring it for years on end (Ghouls n' Ghosts, Strider, 194X, Bionic Commando). Much like Namco, they still haven't committed in-house development talent to making quality products for the N64. However, that being said, this new combination of talented outside development and a proven hit title might just do the trick.

Preview by Ed McGlothlin, GIA.
Resident Evil 2
Developer Angel Studios
Publisher Capcom
Genre Adventure
Medium Cartridge
Platform Nintendo 64
Release Date  Unknown
8 new screenshots
Box art