Graphics: 8 out of 10
Capcom have taken the familiar environments from the PlayStation original, such as the mansion and the laboratory, and have recreated them as high resolution pre rendered backgrounds. On top of this, there are a host of all new areas to explore, and some of these have a really creepy atmosphere. The extremely cheesy live action intro has been thrown out altogether, and a much much scarier CG movie takes its place. As for the characters, the boxy polygonal Chris, Jill and company are now highly detailed 3D models. Overall the game looks great - not quite in the same league as the fully 3D Resident Evil 4 that came long later in the Cubes life, but definitely one of the better looking games for the system.
Sound and Music: 8 out of 10
The first release of Resident Evil is fairly infamous for it's poorly written and badly delivered lines, classics like the "Jill sandwich" line and the "master of unlocking". The script has been completely rewritten and rerecorded, which if you loved the PS1 game for its B-movie atmosphere could be seen as a bad thing, but now the game as a much more serious tone and is spookier as a result.
The sound effects do a good job of putting your nerves on edge, with background effects such as mechanical gears clanking, strange abominations moaning in the night, and the wind blowing through the trees. Musically the game is just as good as it ever was, with familiar composition taking their place side by side with some new pieces.
Game Mechanics: 8 out of 10
Mechanically, the Gamecube version of Resident Evil does play pretty similarly to the original but there are a few differences that Capcom have introduced. The major one is probably the "crimson head" zombie. You see, you may think that you have killed zombies, but leave their corpses lying around for long enough and they will get back up again with a ruby coloured noggin. These guys are far tougher than your common variety of brain muncher - they can run much faster, pack a mean wallop and take more hits to take down. It's probably better in the long run if you can avoid meeting one of these chaps, and there are ways and means to to that.
With a bit of clever planning, you can use fuel canteens and the lighter to burn the bodies of certain zombies (which prevents them from getting up again), leaving a relatively safe path open for you to explore the mansion. On your first time through the game this may be difficult, but I have completed this game so many times now I have the ideal route memorised.
Detractors of the franchise will often chastise the "tank controls" and the fact that if you want to aim and shoot you have to be rooted to the spot to do so. Take this away though and it really wouldn't be the same game, as the limitations do add to the fear factor. If you are looking for a game in the series with improved controls, then maybe take a look at Resident Evil 4 or 5 instead, as they have taken things in a more action oriented direction, but personally I get on with the old fashioned style just fine.
- thanks to Interghost for allowing me to use his Resident Evil video review on the site
Innovation and Cleverness: 4 out of 10
Being a remake, Resident Evil for the Gamecube as little scope or reason for innovation, but the addition of the crimson head zombies and the new/rearranged puzzles do a good job of shaking things up for those who have completed the game before.
Value and Replayability: 7 out of 10
The game takes a decent length of time to play through for the first time - I would estimate around 10 hours or so. Then you can play the game as the other character using the same save file, which changes the way the end of the game pans out slightly. On top of this, there is a normal difficulty mode and a harder one, and of course playing as Jill is slightly easier than playing as Chris as well due to her having more inventory space and the lockpick from the start.
Overall: 8 out 10 - Recommended
Resident Evil is a undisputed classic, and Capcom have done a fantastic job in updating it. It definitely needed it becuase good as the PS1 original was back in its day, it is certainly showing its age nowadays. It is a great shame that Resident Evil 2 never got the same treatment, as that is my personal favourite entry in the series. One final note: this version of Resident Evil was ported to the Wii, with the only change being that the graphics were formatted for 16:9 televisions. Seeing as the Wii can play Gamecube discs though, I see little point in spending more money on it when the GC version does the job just fine.