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Made in GameCube!

Yes sir, that's how I define the games created specifically for the said game console. And it was the main reason why this here website got made.

Website? Actually this is only a humble fan site. And it's dedicated to the 3 Resident Evil games that in my opinion, broke new ground in regard to the direction the franchise was to take, as it entered the 21st century. All of those 3 games are games that were created exclusively on a single Nintendo console: the GameCube. Now, I hope you don't get the wrong idea that the site is dissin' all those RE games that came out on non-Nintendo systems.

It's like this... very few websites cover in a specific way, the RE games that came out for the GameCube. I personally feel that 3 of those games, Resident Evil 0; Resident Evil 1 (RE-make) and Resident Evil 4 were significant in the direction the franchise took in terms of content, gameplay and eventually, in becoming an appealing franchise once again. It used to be that only the RE die-hard fan base acknowledge it's existence. They were for the most part, quite comfortable with the old gameplay routines, slow pace corridor skulking and fixed camera angles. All the things that made the franchise hard to digest for most gamers that weren't so in love with outdated gameplay mechanics. I mean, all those gameplay elements were probably pretty hot in the late 90's. But they started to feel inadequate and stale. It was no secret that the series gameplay was commonly mentioned as the main reason for it's lost of luster and attractiveness.

The numerical series creator, Shinji Mikami, understood that a change in direction was needed in order to revitalize it. He basically took a dump on the old adage that says: "If it ain't broke, why fix it". He probably though on the follow up to that adage, that says: "Some things don't have to be broken to need fixin'... because they can also ROT". So, Mikami went ahead with the changes to energize the franchise. And the funny thing is... he decided to perform this brave endeavor not on a Playstation machine, where the series was born.... but on the... (drum roll)... GameCube.

Why the GameCube? Most were surprised with the decision. Including (I guarantee you), many GCN owners. There was a simultaneous WTF? heard all over Mushroom Kingdom when the Resident Evil franchise moved into the neighborhood. Again, why did the GameCube became the anointed one?

Well... there was the little known fact that the GameCube was actually more powerful than the PS2. Most didn't noticed that because very few developers made any real effort to push the cube to it's limits. Most saw the tiny purple box with it's mini-DVD's and thought that it was a toy with barely enough power to render Tetris blocks. But some where able to dish out some pretty lookin' games. Factor 5 with it's Rogue Squadron series, Retro Studios with the Metroid Prime saga and Square received a special award for the graphics and designs featured in their Crystal Chronicles game. And yet, Production Studio 4 had set it's mind in pushing the graphics capabilities of the GCN to the next level.

The PS2 still had an edge over the cube in the demographics arena, though. Most "mature" gamers were to be found on Sony's console. The cube was suppose to have like 8 and 12 year olds as it's core base. I mean, that's what most believed, right? So, many were questioning what Mikami was smoking when he decided to take a "mature" franchise to an "immature" console. And on top of that, the PS2 had a HUGE user base compared to what the cube had at the time. So if Mikami was looking to reach more customers and make a lot of money, he was going to the wrong game console.

Now, I believe that Mikami emigrated to GameCube, particularly because it's user base wasn't traditionally tied to the franchise and therefore they were more open minded to the changes he wanted to make. At least more open minded than the ultra-conservative RE hardcore fan base. Hell, GCN users were just happy to have the RE franchise. So they didn't complained as much about the changes or whatever Mikami was planning to do with the numerical series. I also think that the technical capabilities of the cube played a part in the whole thing. But then the Xbox was even more powerful. So, maybe mikami liked the cube a lot better. Whatever the reason, it just happened.

3 games were to be created from the ground up for the purple one. Resident Evil 0; Resident Evil 1 (RE-make) and (gasp!)... Resident Evil 4. The first two games contributed gameplay, audio and control elements to the third. The RE-make was especially designed to be the building stone where RE4 was to be erected. If like me, you have played the RE-make to death, you'll be able to notice the influence the game had on almost every aspect of Resident Evil 4.

The unique use of lighting, sound and "realistic" textures to create a very creepy atmosphere. Like Star Wars, the RE-make universe and all that was within, looked used and lived-in to the extreme. Walls and doors had paint that was peeling apart. Metal structures were red with rust. The grass and trees would create noise when hit by the wind. You would even see a bug crawling on a certain tree (something you would see again, in RE4). It was a world that was filled with life... and also death. Then you had Mikami's personal and controversial search for more dynamic enemies (faster zombies... Crimson Heads, anyone?). That would lead him to do away with zombies eventually in RE4, replacing them with more faster and intense enemies.

With RE-make, you also felt that the creators wanted gamers to connect with the characters. To the point that the very last boss battle had you defending the life of a comrade, and not just trying to run away and survive. That same feeling was explored a lot more in RE4, were you (playing the part of Leon), had to defend and guard the life of another at all costs. Never mind having to survive and live to tell the tale.

With RE, you also saw some prototype gameplay elements that were later used on RE4. The way two characters have to work together to solve a puzzle or overcome an obstacle. And the need to keep them both alive, or else. The use of strategy became more of an issue in this game. No more item (magic) boxes meant that you had to learn to administrate your inventory to the max. Something you would have to do again in RE4, where such boxes were also a no-show.

RE was more about exploration and collecting clues. Some puzzles required you to solve them fast or at least, to think fast. Like the last Boss Battle, where you had to perform several actions, aside from shooting at the enemy, so you could defeat it.

I was reminded of that during the battle against the Verdugo in RE4. Where shooting at the enemy was not enough. I had to lure the enemy to certain gas tanks... and that would make it vulnerable to my blasting.

Anywhoo, I created this fan site as an homage to the games that "resurrected" the RE franchise. Games like Remake and Resident Evil made possible the creation of Resident Evil 4, a game that re-directed the series to new and exciting horizons. When before the series was anemic and recycling old stuff, now the franchise has received a shot of vitality, thanks to RE4. Because after winning the overwhelming acclaim of BOTH critics and gamers (plus winning more awards that ANY other RE game in history), RE4 will probably make it easier for Capcom to innovate the gameplay and take some more risks on Resident Evil 5. And that will ensure the series a very long life.

I'm aware though, that some individuals among the RE hardcore base disputes any relevance to what Mikami and his team achieved with the 3 RE games produced for the cube. They claim that those games were disappointments in terms of sales. Which is a big fat lie. All of them sold well above a million units each. And that's quite an achievement on a console with merely 11 million users (and not even half that many users when RE1 & RE first came out in 2002).

They also claim that Resident Evil 4 was a hit because the people that bought it, were unaware of it's contents. Of what it offered in terms of gameplay and story. They say if people knew the truth, the game would not have sold as it did.

Their claims hold no water. Let's not forget that a lot of gamers (especially RE fans) knew in advance what RE4 was about in terms of gameplay and general content weeks and weeks BEFORE it was released. Info on the game was available all over the net. Trailers, previews, interviews, etc.

If the game was as bad as some of it's harshest critics believe, then those first 320,000 GCN users that got RE4 during the first 20 days of it's release, would've made it known to the world. And sales of the game would've stopped cold in it's tracks and not gone on to sell half a million by June of 2005.

Then you have this little but important fact: 9 full months passed until the PS2 got a version of RE4. That was more than enough time for PS2 users to get informed on how good or bad RE4 actually was. They had the advantage over the GCN owners of having read full RE4 reviews, seen trailers and even speed runs of the finished and complete game. Well as it turns out, freakin' RE4 sold even better on the PS2 than it did on the Cube.

Wii owners had even a bigger advantage. Years had passed since RE4 had been originally released. RE4 already had an established reputation for being a quality title by the time it hit the Wii. So the good sales that followed was no real surprise.

The fact that RE4 has managed to become a million seller on every single platform it came out for during the past couple of years, is proof enough that it's not only an excellent game, but that it has lasting appeal.

But hey, who cares about the fanatic hardcore base? Not Mikami. He gave them the finger. Not the critics. They gave RE4 2 thumbs waaay up. RE1 and RE got pretty good scores as well. Yet the most positive thing was that the games scored well with those millions of players who bought them. Check the user reviews of each of the 3 games at gamerankings.com, metacritic.com, amazon.com or at most gaming sites. The scores prove my point that the games are well appreciated by players.

And not surprisingly, I am one of those players. And thus here is my way of showing some love for those games. I really enjoyed playing them all. Lisa Trevor's being more powerful than a Tyrant, Billy Coen exaggerated tattoo design or Ashley Graham lack of knowledge of martial arts and survival skills... that was all irrelevant to me. It was in fact, part of the fun and B-movie flavor that Resident Evil games seem to provide. And that's a good thing too.

So, this is my excuse for making this site. Hope you find something here, even if it is only a desperate desire to bash my head in. And believe you me, if there is any franchise out there that manages to invoke the rabid fanboy/girl in anybody, Resident Evil is it. So let the hate mail begin! I already have a trash bin prepared for it.

Thanks for you visit and especially, your time.

Pikminister




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Resident Evil 4 All is an Anakenobi (a.k.a. Pikminister) production. This site is not an official Resident Evil/Biohazard website. It is a creation of a fan of Capcom's famous survival-horror franchise. This fansite is not related with or endorse by Capcom.

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