You, the master of porting

Resident Evil 2 was one of the most popular games of its time, and like millions of other gamers, I played it! Unlike most of them, though, I only went about five minutes before I was ready to hang it up. The aimless progression and clunky controls, along with the fact that I was completely new to survival horror, quickly convinced me that I was better off sticking to safer territory like Final Fantasy Tactics.

After that, I wrote off the series as one of those things I found interesting but would never be able to fully appreciate, like giant novelty Hamburgers, or curling. It eventually bucked that status with Resident Evil 4 and its accessible, streamlined gameplay, but now, while I’m as stoked as anyone else for RE5, I feel a niggling urge to go back and account for the origins of the series. My only impediment has been…well, they still don’t look like a very good time.

Some hold out hope to see the old games completely remade in the image of RE4, but even I can see that would detract too much from their original atmosphere. A good middle ground might be the addition of motion controls for things like aiming weapons, which defined Wii Edition as the best version of RE4 — and, indeed, are now planned to augment a port of 2002’s remake of RE1. Unfortunately, we might not get a chance to test out the theory: Resident Evil Zero, also ported to the Wii earlier this year, never made it out of Japan, and RE1 could easily follow suit.

[[image:nn_080924_arklay_01.jpg:Run, Ji–no, that’s spinning. You’re spinning left. Spin right. Hurry!! Okay–run, Jill! He’s insane.:center:0]]
There’s some cause for optimism, though. Regarding passing on localizing the RE0 port, Capcom’s Christian Svensson specifically cited the fact that the game simply wasn’t very well-liked in the first place; essentially, it’s damaged goods. The RE1 remake, on the other hand, sold well over a million copies and was praised almost unanimously. Rereleasing a six-year-old GameCube game might reflect poorly on the Wii, but RE4 all but proved that the addition of motion alone can justify a port of an aging title. I do hope it comes out here, just on the chance I could have a renowned game in a format I could finally tolerate.

And if not, well, I’ll still have the vicarious route.

10 thoughts on “You, the master of porting

  1. I hold back my general disdain for Resident Evil 4 for now, and just ask if we know how the motion controls in RE0 and evidently this port of RE1 will work? Really, you only aimed up, down and straight in the old RE games to begin with. Motion controls made sense in RE4 thanks to the over the shoulder shooting, but I really don’t see how they could enhance the old games. Seeing as I know next to nothing about the RE0 port, did I miss something about how they handled it in that?

  2. I think the motion controls in RE0 were just like… stabbing motions or something. Either way, the RE1 remake is a completely amazing game. I like it as much or more than RE4.

  3. I loved the remake on GC(it was actually scary instead of just ugly), but I don’t see how motion controls could do anything but complicate the whole mess. The backgrounds were prerendered on GC, too, so its not so simple as adding a new camera to the mix.

  4. I just picked up RE2 for GC this week, so far having played through Leon’s story. Yeah, its scare tactics are largely archaic, but I found the gameplay fluid (esp. for a fixed camera) and the pacing pretty much perfect (finished in 4 hours, which rewarded me with only a C ranking). Plus, I still jumped as monsters broke through windows and laughed at the campness of the story. Fun, for me at least.

  5. In general, the B Side stories (When you play the other character after your first choice) have the better scares, even if they’re archaic. There’s a particular one on Claire’s B-side, which is still among one of the best in a horror game, even if it’s a simple jump scare.

  6. I really don’t see how adding motion controls to a port of a fixed-perspective pre-rendered game would make it better. I believe the only thing the waggle added to the Japanese port of RE0 was that the angle you held the remote determined if your characters were auto-targeting the enemy at a high or low angle, which was something you could do rather intuitively with traditional controls anyway.

    Seems like another cheap cash-in port to me.

  7. I think most people would be more interested in added IR than motion controls, although I don’t know how it would help the first RE. Precision aiming was never the issue. Still, I haven’t played RE since the PS1 version, so I might buy it anyways if it comes to NA.

  8. Precision aiming was just motion’s contribution to RE4; it could be something entirely different for RE1. Since this port was just announced, I was speaking hypothetically.

  9. There must be some confusion, because this isn’t about Dragon Quest. Remedy this at once. Although I am also looking forward to RE5 and also find the early games not very much fun, so I guess I can relate.

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