Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THEPLAYGAMER3: RESIDENT EVIL CODE Veronica X










Resident Evil Code: Veronica, released in Japan as Biohazard Code: Veronica (バイオハザード コード:ベロニカ Baiohazādo Kōdo: Beronika?), is the fourth installment in Capcom's Resident Evil survival horror series, originally released for the Dreamcast in 2000. It is notable for being the first Resident Evil title to debut on a non-Sony platform, in contrast to the first three installments, which were originally PlayStation games and then ported to other platforms. An updated version of the game, titled Code: Veronica X (完全版 Kanzenban?, lit. "Complete Version"), was released for the Dreamcast in Japan and for the PlayStation 2 worldwide in 2001. This revision was ported to the Nintendo GameCube in 2003. Code: Veronica X includes updated and new cut scenes spliced into the main game along with mild graphical changes.

Gameplay

Code: Veronica is the first Resident Evil game in the main series to use 3D backgrounds instead of the traditional pre-rendered ones. Despite this, the camera does not follow the player around, but swings between semi-fixed angles. However, two weapons in the game (the Sniper Rifle and the Linear Launcher) can be fired from the character's point of view. First person view mode is also available in the game's unlockable Battle Game minigame.

Gameplay remained largely unchanged from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (which was developed in tandem with Code: Veronica); features such as explosive oil drums and a 180-degree turn having been carried over to this game, though the dodge feature was removed. Items from Resident Evil 2, such as upgradeable handgun parts and "side packs" for larger item capacity are included, as well as new weapons such as crossbow arrows mixed with gun powder and anti-B.O.W. rounds for the grenade launcher. A unique feature of Code: Veronica is the inclusion of various dual wielding pistols, allowing the player to target two enemies at the same time. Some of the more subtle improvements in Code: Veronica include the addition of continues, allowing the player to retry a scene after a game over, and the ability to pick and use a healing herb when the character's inventory is full.

Code: Veronica features two protagonists, Claire Redfield and her brother Chris. Unlike previous games in the series, Code: Veronica forces the player to take control of Claire for the first half of the game and then start the second half with Chris. All of Claire's weapons and items left in the item box are available for Chris to pick up in his half of the game. In addition, a third character, Steve Burnside, is briefly playable during the game's first half and Claire herself is playable during a short portion of Chris' scenario.

Like previous Resident Evil titles, there are hidden features that are unlocked after meeting certain requirements. After completing the main game, a Battle Game is unlocked in which the player can choose from one of five characters (Chris, Claire with her normal and one secret outfit, and two unlockable characters, Albert Wesker and Steve), travel through a series of rooms, clear each area of monsters and eventually defeat a character-specific boss in the quickest time possible. Both the main game and the Battle Game feature their respective unlockable weapons.

Plot

The game begins with Claire Redfield raiding an Umbrella Corporation facility in Paris in search of her brother, Chris Redfield. During the infiltration she is captured and imprisoned on Rockfort Island. Soon after arriving, a man named Rodrigo Juan Raval releases her from her cell, since she is not much of a threat considering the outbreak of the T-virus on Rockfort. Trying to escape from the contaminated island, Claire teams up with inmate Steve Burnside, at the same time being confronted with the island's commander Alfred Ashford. Meanwhile, Albert Wesker is on a mission of his own to retrieve a sample of the T-Veronica virus developed by Alfred's twin sister Alexia. His unit is also responsible for the outbreak of the T-virus on Rockfort Island.

Claire and Steve eventually escape via plane, but Alfred sets it to autopilot and flies both of them to another Umbrella facility in the Antarctic, in hope of freeing his sister from her 15-years-long cryogenic sleep she took after the injection of the T-Veronica virus, to counter the flaws of the virus. After another fight with Claire and Steve which ends in the protagonists escaping the facility via a digger, Alfred limps to Alexia, heavily injured. He witnesses her awakening moments before drawing his last breath. Alexia summons giant tentacles and crashes Claire's and Steve's digger, recapturing them.

Chris Redfield arrives on Rockfort after having been contacted by Leon. He learns from Raval that Claire is long gone. Raval is soon killed afterwards by a giant worm. Searching Rockfort, Chris has an encounter with Wesker. Just as his old superior wants to finish him off, Alexia appears on a screen laughing. Stunned by Alexia being alive, Wesker changes his mind and returns to the Antarctic. Chris eventually finds his way there, and is reunited with Claire who sets out to find Steve. As she locates him, she discovers Alexia conducted an experiment on him, injecting Steve with the T-Veronica virus. Steve mutates into a reptilian monster and tries to kill Claire who escapes to a prison cell, where she is attacked by another of Alexia's tentacles. Still in his mutated form, Steve breaks through the bars using his immense strength and rescues Claire. The tentacle drives into his chest and retreats. Steve mutates back to his human form and dies. However, before he dies, he professes his love for Claire.

At the same time, Chris and Wesker confront Alexia. Overwhelmed by her strength, Wesker escapes and leaves Chris to fight her. His victory is only temporary, as Alexia resurrects after the battle. Meanwhile, Chris activates the facility's self-destruct system to release all locks, freeing Claire from the prison cell. Alexia confronts him a second time, this time leading to her ultimate destruction. Chris runs to the emergency elevator and catches a glimpse of Wesker, whose men also retrieved Steve's body to use for further experiments, as he is the only subject injected with a sample of the T-Veronica virus. Chris convinces Wesker to release Claire who then runs to the plane, waiting for her brother. Chris is overwhelmed by Wesker in a fight. Both are separated by an explosion. Wesker vows he will satisfy his desire for revenge the next time they meet. Chris reunites with Claire and both set off just as the whole facility blows up. Chris swears to take down Umbrella once and for all.

Development

Code: Veronica was developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 in collaboration with Nextech and Sega. Project supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto officially announced the game for Sega's Dreamcast console on October 6, 1998. Although Code: Veronica was described by its developers as the genuine sequel to Resident Evil 2, it is not a numbered entry in the Resident Evil series. Okamoto explained this decision with the team's intention to use numbers for games on the PlayStation, and names on other video game systems. Code: Veronica was originally planned to be published in April 1999, but was postponed to the end of the year. It was eventually released in Japan on February 23, 2000. The Japanese version of Code: Veronica contained two difficulty settings ("Easy" and "Very Easy") in addition to the default "Normal" setting found in the American and PAL versions of the game. "Very Easy" starts the player off with the Rocket Launcher and an unlimited supply of ink ribbons. There were two versions of the original Dreamcast release in Japan: a standard edition and a limited edition. The limited edition came packaged with a red slipcase and features a different title screen, with Wesker's face visible on the background.

Re-releases

Resident Evil Code: Veronica X is an updated version of the original game, released for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 in 2001, and for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003. It is almost identical to the original in terms of gameplay, the only major difference being having to find a serum for Claire, if she is poisoned in the Nosferatu battle, after she is rescued with Chris in the mansion, where they later fight Alexia for the first time. It also features nine minutes of additional cut scenes spliced into the main game, as well as mild graphical changes. On March 23, 2011, high-definition remastered versions of both Code: Veronica X and Resident Evil 4 were announced to be in development for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as part of the Resident Evil Revival Selection. This compilation will be released as a retail product in Japan on September 8, 2011, and published digitally for the PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Games on Demand service in North America within the time frame of September and November 2011.

Wesker's Report

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Resident Evil, and to summarize the events of the previous installments in the game series, Capcom released the fictional documentary Wesker's Report. It was written by Hiroki Kato, the director of Code: Veronica. Shinsaku Ohara translated Kato's completed script in three days, before the voice-over team recorded the narration in Canada. The actual direction of the video and the montage of game footage was handled by Takao Ogasawara, who completed the task on a tight deadline. Narrated by Richard Waugh in his role as Albert Wesker, Wesker's Report offers details on how the character returned after his death in the first Resident Evil, and how he came to be working alongside Ada Wong in a new organization.

A video version was available on a limited pre-order bonus DVD that came with the re-release of Code: Veronica in Japan. The disc included a directors interview titled Directors Hazard and was also packaged with the game compilation Nightmare Returns. Japanese text versions of Wesker's Report were later released on the official website and included in the Biohazard Collector's Box, while a standalone video version on DVD without the directors interview was made available in North America as a pre-order bonus and via the company's online store. A slightly revised video version was released as part of the Anniversary Special DVD that covered both the tenth anniversary of Resident Evil and the fifth anniversary of Devil May Cry.

Survivor 2

Code: Veronica was adapted into Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (Gun Survivor 2 Biohazard Code: Veronica in Japan), a first-person shooter released in 2001 as a co-production between Namco and Capcom. It is the sequel to the previous game, Resident Evil Survivor. The arcade version runs on the Dreamcast-based NAOMI arcade hardware. Gun Survivor 2 has no bearing on the plot of Code: Veronica and the events of the game are actually depicted as a dream in Claire's mind at the end of the game. A PlayStation 2 version of Gun Survivor 2 was released in Japan and the PAL region, where it utilised the G-Con 2 peripheral. Although often mistaken for a light gun game, the arcade version of the game uses a fixed machine gun that serves as a joystick that can be pushed in four directions and rotated left and right to move the player and rotate the view, as well as to fire the player's weapons. The game runs on a timer that counts down when an area is entered, and if time runs out, the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis will start pursuing the player and attack them. Only certain arcade machines had 2 player support.The PlayStation 2 version of the game contained "Dungeon Mode", which is a series of long levels that have to be completed within a 30 minute time limit. Claire Redfield, Steve Burnside, Chris Redfield and Rodrigo Juan Raval are playable in dungeon mode.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is a rail shooter gun game for the Wii based largely on the events of Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica, but with many plot details changed.

Other media

As with previous Resident Evil games, a Code: Veronica novelization was written by author S. D. Perry. Although the novel was first published on December 1, 2001, it is based on the original game and does not take into account the added events introduced in the later version of the game. As with the previous novelizations by Perry, the original character Mr. Trent appears as a mysterious stringpuller behind the plot.

Code: Veronica was also adapted into a manhua by Lee Chung Hing (who also did a similar adaptation of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis), published in Hong Kong during the original game's release. An English version of the comic was published as four collected graphic novels by Wildstorm in North America.

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