Spooky Games: Resident Evil 2

While we can barely take the heat we are looking at yet another amazing Spooky Game this week Resident Evil 2.

Wait, so I barely had time to recover from my return visit to Condemned: Criminal Origins, and you mean to tell me it’s already time to take another walk down the spooky hall of fame? Oh man, the things we do when we love playing and writing about video games. Ok let’s see, just give me a moment to finger through my “spooky titles that I played in the complete dark even though they scared the bejeezus out of me” rolodex and choose the right one for a quick trip down memory lane. Oooooh, now this was a good one, in fact, one of my all time faves…RESIDENT EVIL 2!!!!

As a gamer, two unique days (out of many) stand out to me. As for the first, I will never forget, it was a beautiful day some time back in 1996. I was in high school, and one of my best friends said “Hey man, you need to come over, I just got this game called Resident Evil for my Playstation and it’s sick!” I agreed and also told my other best friend of the plan. What I failed to mention was, my friend’s invitation was an “ASAP” request, and so, when the lunch bell rang, we left school, grabbed a bite to eat, and the 3 of us walked over to my friend’s house (who lived right next door to the high school), skipping the last 2-hour block of our schedule in the process. Don’t worry, no need to panic, this is something that we customarily did, especially with Blockbuster also in walking distance where we typically rented games to play as we skipped school. Wait, that didn’t come out right. (2nd attempt) Don’t worry, no need to panic, we were all excellent high school students who sometimes didn’t find it necessary to attend the last block of a schedule that featured a class named “Research I & II” where all we did was surf the internet all day and play Worms (classic game by the way)! Why waste our time there when we could be playing video games in the comfort of a friend’s house when his parents weren’t home? Ok fine, (3rd attempt), kids DO NOT EVER SKIP SCHOOL FOR VIDEO GAMES OR ANY REASON. We were young and stupid, and more importantly, wrong! But on that day I was introduced to Resident Evil and never looked back.

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The second unique day is when I purchased Resident Evil 2 (the successor to the above “hookie worthy” title) and started my journey on what would prove to be my favorite installment in the entire series. Now, don’t misunderstand me, Resident Evil 2 probably wasn’t the greatest in the series, that title is actually reserved for Resident Evil 4 hands down. Nevertheless, I’m still partial to RE2. Anyone else out there remember opening that packaging for the first time to find not one, but two discs inside! Consider that this was 1998, and I had never seen that before. There was a separate disc for each protagonist, one for Leon Kennedy, and one for Claire Redfield. Naturally I played through Claire’s version of events first. And it was such a wonderful experience being able to later put in Leon’s disc and see what was happening with him during certain events on Claire’s disc.

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Ok, so even though Resident Evil focused on combat, exploration, and puzzle solving…it was impossible to ignore the elephant in the room, or better yet, the elephant hiding in the corner. The sheer terror of this game not only increased heart palpitations, but it literally made me jump out of my chair on a few occasions. Not just the zombies, but oh man, the dogs. Those damn dogs! Their footsteps in the hallway of the police station still haunt me. I’m not joking. I am convinced that I can play RE2 this very second and still be spooked by those dogs. And let’s not even talk about the Lickers. These things need no introduction from me, because the developers already took care of it in the spookiest way possible right here…

What you just witnessed was the complete opposite of what I did. That was obviously the gameplay of someone who has already played this game before, because I can guarantee that 99.9% of gamers did what I did at that moment which was made an immediate U-turn and got the hell out of dodge, opening the first available unlocked door you can find, checking your inventory and map, and trying to decide if it was “mandatory” to go through that hallway to progress through the story. This is after screaming a few expletives and wiping your hands on your pants to remove the sweat. Later in the game, one of those things crashed through a mirror after you picked up the Eagle Stone. Challenge to all of you reading this: ask ANY gamer who has played RE2, and I will bet everything I own that every one of them remembers the time that Licker came through that mirror. Why? Because they probably had to go to the restroom afterwards! Ah yes…Memories! Back when “survival horror” was…well…survival horror! So…are you ready to play?

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