Mini reviews: Resident Evil HD and Alchemilla

Posted: January 21, 2015 by ryanlecocq in Reviews

I’m just going to cram these both into one short article, because they are both horror games and can both be covered briefly.  One is just an HD version of a game many of us have played and the other is a short fan mad Souce game.

Resident Evil HD

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This is a remastered version of the Gamecube remake (styled REmake by fans), which adds little, but allows PC players to experience one of gaming’s masterpieces in a playable port for the first time.  I say playable because a truly awful PC port of the original version was released and quickly forgotten in 1998.  I have played every version of this game (including that bad PC port) and if you have waited this long to experience the original Resident Evil… well you actually might have made a good call.  For those of us who have played RE, this version is just another new and improved release.  Considered objectively though, this is by far the best way to play it.  The graphics are not only in HD, but the backgrounds and character models have been retouched as well.  The sound is completely uncompressed and combines with the visuals to make the horror more compelling than ever.  Although it’s basically a given, the usual Steam features like Achievements and such have been added as well.  For those of you who have only played the PSX release, I would still recommend picking it up, as the changes made in the Gamecube version are compelling on their own.  It’s not just the zombies rising again as Crimson Heads sometimes, the mansion layout and many of the puzzles are also remixed.  Unless there is some future virtual reality port, this is the definitive edition of the godfather of survival horror.  For $20, it’s pretty easy to justify, considering it will entertain you far more than recent horror games at full price.

Alchemilla (Silent Hill fan game made with Source)

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Alchemilla is obviously a labor of love.  Although no assets are borrowed from any official Silent Hill game, Alchemilla expertly recreates the look and feel of the original Silent Hill.  Well, more like a Disneyland ride version of the original Silent Hill.  Alchemilla has no combat, no inventory, no notepad and really nothing else but the atmosphere and the puzzles.  Those two elements however, are the parts of Silent Hill that most of us remember the most fondly.  Much like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Alchemilla is more like a tour through Silent Hill than playing one of the main series games.  You see the sights, hear the sounds, but never have to take on a boss with your iron pipe because you ran out of bullets.  I enjoyed my few hours with it, even more so because it was free and required nothing more than having the Source SDK and a tiny download installed to play.  The visuals are not cutting edge obviously, as it’s made on a 10 year plus old engine, but the developers did an excellent job of making it look like an HD version of the original Silent Hill.  If you are eagerly awaiting the new Silent Hill game and have already played all the others to death, here’s a free nostalgia trip.

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