an Underappreciated gem.

User Rating: 9 | Resident Evil 0 GC
Resident Evil Zero takes place before the events inside the Mansion. Rebecca Chambers and the Bravo Unit sets off to investigate the leech infested Raccoon City. Unfortunately their chopper goes down and the Bravo unit scatters across the forest. Rebecca finds herself inside a moving train filled with Zombies. Soon, she runs into a criminal name Billy Coen, wanted for the murders of innocent civilians. Eventually the train crashes and the two agrees to partner up to survive and find the secrets of Umbrella.

If you've played any Resident Evil game before, you'll know what to expect here. There are the staple fixed camera angles, the one directional running, the door opening sequences, and the zombies galore. Of course, staying true to the roots of the series isn't a bad thing, however Capcom added a partner system which is a good thing, but it does have some drawbacks.

You'll be controlling one character at a time. With the tap of a button, u can manually switch to the other at any given time. If your partner is close enough to you, you can exchange items and manage inventory spaces with your partner. The only difference between the two is Rebecca can mix herbs and chemicals, and she can crawl through small areas. On the other hand, Billy can push heavy objects and take more hits. For the most part, you'll be using Billy as a tank character with your partner covering you from behind. You'll have to manage your partner's health points and give them orders for survival.

The partner system works because it opens up windows for puzzles. Sadly, most of the puzzle either requires your character to split up to open a door, push a crate, or fetch a certain item. It doesn't do much to elevate fear, and it feels like a rehash of puzzles from previous titles.

Your partner AI isn't all that great. They seem to stand idle for the most part, and will only attack if an enemy approaches close enough. Because of their lack of quick reaction, they make great diversions in boss battles and that's not a good thing.

The monsters are abundant and they'll put up a fight. You got the trademark zombies who are still slow as ever. There are simplified monkeys and Hunters, both are really fast and powerful. There's also a new enemy that's covered in leeches and is very annoying. Their super fast, they'll hit you off-screen, and they'll explode on you when near death. For the most part, you'll want to run from these guys unless you have Molotov cocktails to spare.

Gone are the convenient storage boxes. Added is the ability to drop or pick up items on the spot. This new feature is good in which your character can access any equipments by opening up the map screen and scrolling through the inventory. The map records the items that you've picked up and labels them onscreen. Now the only problem with this style of inventory management is the inconvenience of backtracking to pick up a particular item. Another problem is the item limit per room. As much as you'd like to stock all your weapons and items in one room, there's is a set limit of items you can only drop in a particular area. Thus it becomes inconvenient for players to manage their inventory all over the place when instead, they could access a storage box to save time. Granted, a bigger inventory would be nice as well.

Visually, RE0 is eye candy all over. The interior of the train is especially dramatic with people laying dead on the train with their arms moving, rain pouring, and the sound complements the mood really well. The characters blend in well with the pre-rendered backgrounds, however there are cases when items are harder to pick up than it should be. Judging distance is difficult, at times you'll have to align perfectly with the item in order to pick it up. Its not a major problem, but it does get irritating.

The music is subtle for the most part. It builds up into bursting orchestra when in danger or a presence of a leeched zombie. The sound effects are strong and complements the music well. Zombies will drag their feet and moan, hunters make *tick tick* noises, water splashes when you walk in them. From steel ladders to wet/dry surfaces, the sound adjust accordingly to the terrain.

Resident Evil 0 is a treat for everyone. There's enough action to cater new fans. RE veterans will appreciate the same formula they've grown to love. There's plentiful cut scenes and beautiful backgrounds that makes backtracking a treat for the eyes. The addition of the partner system doesn't do much to increase tension, however its refreshing and a nice welcome. There's also neat unlockables like the infinite rocket launcher, the trademark locker key, and the Leech Hunter Mini game. This game is currently a bargain bin, treat yourself to one of the most underappreciated titles ever, there's lots of scares waiting for you.