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Resident Evil 2 Discussion (Nintendo 64) [game]
Resident Evil 2 on the Nintendo 64
9.05/10 from 20 user ratings

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07/01/24, 17:02  
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I played my brother's copy of this a few years back, but recently picked up my own cartridge at a retro game store for fifty bones. Totally worth it! Here's why you should nab Resident Evil 2 for the N64 as well:

-It's a miracle port with some crazy history. Look it up! A small team called Angel Studios (now Rockstar San Diego, apparently) had a million dollar budget and a single year to cram a 1.4 GB game across two PlayStation discs into a paltry 64 MB cartridge. Unless my math is off, that's a compression of 1/20th the size! RE2 has gotten a reputation of being one of the most interesting N64 ports because of the team's dedication and their clever use of shortcuts.

For instance, to cram the FMVs in this cart (yes, they're pretty much all there), they had to do some crazy techniques such as reducing the resolution, halving the framerate, and doing some fancy smoothing so you don't really notice, especially on a CRTTV. It's definitely lower-res but it works. There's even one scene where they have two identical FMVs based on your player, with the only difference being Claire (or Ada's) single voice-over line. They cut one of them and kept the Claire one for both scenarios, hoping players wouldn't notice that Ada sounded like Claire for one line. Pretty clever!

-The N64 version is still a great port despite its concessions. The videos and voice clips are fuzzy but the N64 really pulls its weight in other ways. The visuals are nicer than the PSX version if you have an Expansion Pak. The load times are nearly nonexistent. And for those with limited tolerance for tank controls, there's a very intuitive control scheme option that lets you play the game like a more standard third-person adventure (such as Zelda). Some purists may scoff at this, but I see it as akin to RE4 Wii Edition's pointer controls: easier, but really fun. There're also push-button unlocks for those that don't feel like doing things the hard way, adjustable blood color and dismemberment levels, and even an Item Randomizer mode, three things that aren't in any other version!

-This is a terrific game period. How good is RE2? I first played it a couple years ago, after playing through the RE1 remake countless times and RE2's own remake as well, and I still think I like it better than both! It's impressive how tense the game manages to be despite its age, its environments rich in atmosphere thanks to smart visual and audial design. The music and sound effects really add to the experience. The story is earnest and has a lovely emotional core.

The A and B split is really pronounced in this game; you can play as Leon first and then Claire, or vice-versa, and all four scenarios can differ pretty strongly from each other. You'll run into new characters, new monsters, and go through areas in different ways based when you play as each character. This alongside its fairly brief runtime makes for a strongly replayable game, especially with the ranking and unlock system. It's just got a lot more content than I expected for a 1998 title, and it feels like a lot of love was put into it.

So go try it if you haven't yet, especially those of you with a lot of love for the N64! RE2 is a great addition to the collection from both a gameplay and historical context.
07/01/24, 17:17   
Edited: 07/01/24, 17:21
I'd say I prefer the remake but the original was obviously a pretty epic game too. And it did some things better than the remake, like the way the multiple routes works. Albeit I only played through it once, many years later, PS version.
07/01/24, 20:06   
The N64 version is my favorite version of the game, even if its not the best (Dreamcast is best). The lack of load times, EX Files, Randomizer, new control scheme, however? Wow this game really brings it.

I might play through it again in a couple months for Shocktoberfest.
07/10/24, 05:04   
I've never played RE2 so I have nothing to add, but StarCraft 64 is another crazy port. While it isn't as elegant since all but the opening cinematic have been replaced by stills and a majority of the voice acting is missing, it retains all of the regular missions in their entirety, as well as all missions from the Broodwars expansion pack, and a multiplayer mode exclusive to the N64. It's still one packed little game pak.
07/17/24, 23:12   
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