Capping off the original trilogy of Resident Evil games on the PS1 (and continuing Resident Evil Week from yesterday’s look at the second CG film) we have Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. While this still uses the same engine as the previous 2 entries, they have at least finally addressed some of the issues that have been plaguing the games and delivered a nice slice of continuity by setting the game in and around the other two entries in the series. Let’s take a closer look!
“I know you want my jaggedy pixelated body, Jill!”
Resident Evil 3 was released in Japan first (under the name Biohazard 3) on September 22nd 1999, with the US release coming two months later on November 10th, and us here in PAL land had to wait until March 17th 2000…
The game was later ported over to PC, the Dreamcast, and once again oddly enough, the GameCube. When it was originally released on the PS1 it came with a demo disc of Dino Crisis, a Resident Evil-like game with dinosaurs rather than zombies.
Whoops, wrong floor…
So, tank controls are still a thing, but I am happy to report that Nemesis adds in the ability to turn 180 degrees quickly, meaning it’s easier to turn and run, plus you can now run up most stairs without having to press X in front of them. All very handy. There are also explosive barrels and other objects you can shoot and use, which are easy to spot given they are also pixels against a pre-renedered background like the player and enemy models.
Apart from that (and the ability to create your own gunpowder) everything is pretty much the same. More enemies on screen again, and you’re constantly stalked by Nemesis, the same way you were stalked by “Mr. X” in the B Scenarios in Resident Evil 2, though this time there are a lot more encounters and with more variety. There is just the one “scenario” this time, playing as Jill Valentine, but there are several multiple choice sections that can lead to different ends and outcomes, so there is still some replay value.
There is a single minigame this time, called “The Mercenaries: Operation Mad Jackal”, which sees you play as one of three soldiers from Umbrella’s UBCS squad and try to make it from one location to the other, increasing your time by killing enemies and taking shortcuts. You can see the blueprints that lead to the more common Mercenaries mode that appeared in Resident Evil 4-6.
Graphics and Sound:
The old “hold the shotgun upwards to explode zombie heads” method!
Not much to add to this section. The character models are still obviously blocky and pixelated, but have some better detail on them. They pre-renedered backgrounds still blend well, most of the time, and the soundtrack is still spooky and tense. The voice acting is… okay, much like Resident Evil 2 it slips into the bad section more than… average, yet never reaches the “so bad it’s funny” original Resident Evil voice acting, which is some weird paradox in that it technically a good thing, but is somehow not… Secondary character Carlos is the worst offender, which makes his line that “all the ladies love my accent, it drives them crazy!” all the more funny… oh it drives them crazy alright…
Not many iconic cutscenes in Resi 3, but this is definitely one of them!
You play as Jill Valentine, trying to escape Raccoon City after the T-Virus outbreak seen in Resident Evil 2. She eventually teams up with some mercenaries from Umbrella’s Biohazard Countermeasure Service, and is constantly stalked by Umbrella’s latest B.O.W. “Nemesis” which has been programmed to hunt down and kill all remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. That’s it really. It takes place both before and after Resident Evil 2, and rather fittingly ends with Raccoon City’s complete annihilation, which caps off the original trilogy nicely.
Final Thoughts (Then):
While the first game was amazing and unexpected and the second was “oh my God, a new Resident Evil!”, Resident Evil 3 was “can’t wait to play that!” but didn’t hold the same excitement as the other two. I mean, it can be said for most things that go past two entries, the first is great because it’s unexpected, and the second is greatly anticipated because how much you liked the first and want more. That being said, I played through it, and a few years later did so again, but that was it. I haven’t played it half as much as the previous two. It was good, as proven by playing through it twice, but the bloom had come off the rose, so to speak.
Final Thoughts (Now):
Much like Resident Evil 2, Nemesis was fun to play on given the story told has yet to be remade, and at least it had the improvements to the tank controls so it was made more bearable. The Nemesis stalking system is still fun, as is revisiting the police station from 2 and generally how the game wraps itself around Resi 2 with a Resi 1 protagonist, but it still feels dated. However, it’s still very enjoyable, just not if you have no nostalgia for the original Resi games, if that’s the case, then…