By this point, Resident Evil tale is a well-trodden one. Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield are the main characters, and they find themselves trapped in Raccoon City, surrounded by zombies. It seems the T-virus has swept through the city and transformed the entire populace into flesh-hungry critters looking for the last few uninfected survivors. Leon, conveniently enough, must face all this chaos on his first day on the job, while Claire is looking for her brother Chris, who had set off to stop the evil organization Umbrella. The game was originally released for the PlayStation, reissued with Dual Shock support, ported to the PC, and, surprisingly, crammed into a super-duper extra-large cartridge for the N64. Well, Capcom isn't playing favorites and has decided to offer the game, again, on the Dreamcast. Clocking in at a budget minded $19.99, RE2 for DC is a fairly attractive value for Dreamcast owners who haven't already played it on another platform.
Resident Evil 2 may be just the thing for you if: You have never owned Resident Evil 2; you like owning every available version, you are a Capcom completist; or just have way too much money for your own good. Everything offered in the PlayStation Dual Shock version is offered here, plus more. Like the PS version, there is the standard mode and an arranged mode, which lets you start the game with powerful weapons and unlimited ammo. Also included is a mode that lets you play all the previously hidden bonus games, the 4th Survivor, Tofu, and extreme battle. This proves to be great fun for people who just want to try the extra modes without having to meet the original requirements of the PlayStation version.
The graphics obviously look very good. They run in high resolution and move at a sweet 60 frames per second. The backgrounds look better than they did in the underwhelming PC port, although loading times seem to be about the same as in the PlayStation version. Sadly, Resident Evil 2 has a rushed feel to it, as Capcom didn't see fit to redo any of the textures in the game. One early example of this is when the zombies crash through the gun-shop owner's window. The glass is a pixelated mess that reveals the reuse of the original made-for-PlayStation textures, especially when highlighted against the otherwise improved graphics. The characters don't seem to benefit from any particularly wonderful polygon increase, although they are crispy-clean in their new high-resolutions. Additionally, the sound is no more than an easy lateral from the PlayStation to the Dreamcast, with the same crunch-crunch-crunch footstep sound that has always been an aural staple of the series. Everything sounds the same, so don't expect any miracles in this area.
As ever, if you're a fan of the series, but you haven't actually bought Resident Evil 2, this is certainly the best version you can buy. All the pros and cons of the series are maintained here, and the new hardware doesn't do anything to add or detract from the game. Resident Evil 2 has always been a great game, and this is no exception. It's a great game to own, especially given its low retail price, but this version is not an essential purchase.