HAPPY FUN TIME RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS
Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams Bob "WhatsHisFace" Something-Or-The-Other on February 14, 2020
Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, assorted human beings and other life-forms! You have made it to our Big Red HQ once again, which means our rigorous safety measures have approved your being here. Lucky you! I must admit, I'm still feeling a bit woozy after consuming what turned out to be a truck full of beer with my dear colleague Dennis "CallMeBackDraft" Aspers who, last I heard, had an epiphany and set out to upgrade the navigational system in our Big Red Timemachine!
This week, I'm taking a new group of hopeful crew candidates with me, so I thought I would take it easy and visit a colorful, cuddly and family-friendly game. That is why I have decided to revisit a fun little game from my youth. So, let's all get aboard our timemachine and set the dial for the correct date. Now, are we all strapped in? Good, then let's the cute 'n cuddly-express underway, shall we? And to get in the spirit of fun and good time, anyone who would like to sing a song is more than welcome to... unless it's "The Wheels On The Bus", in which case you will be mercilessly catapulted into the void of time and space immediately. Well, here we go. As a very wise man once said: "Hold on to your butts!"
Hmmm, the dial on that Diatheseminimium Resonator seems to be a bit off. Oh well, I'll just check it out when we get back home. In the meantime, we have arrived. Candidates, please exit the timemachine in an orderly fashion and don't worry, nothing out there can hurt you. Will the lady in front please stop yelling? Ah, thank you, that's better. You didn't need to start gurgling, but it's an improvement... of sorts. What the hell is going on out there. Ungrateful customers! You bring them out on a nice relaxing trip and they start screaming their heads off. WILL YOU ALL QUIET DOWN, PLEASE?! Okay, that's it; I'm coming out there! Oh great, now the timemachine's door locked behind me. Okay, I swear if I hear so much as one more scream, I'm gonna...
STAAAARRRSSS! *** static hiss ***
Hello, dear readers, this is Bob, the new assistant to King Sadhonker and Emperor Aspers. And before you ask, yes, they make me call them that. But that's alright, because they also have come up with a cool nickname for me. I'm being called Bob "WhatsHisFace" Something-Or-The-Other. Actually, It's Bob Smith, but somehow, they manage to forget. But, back to the situation at hand. Oh boy... King Sadhonker seems to have landed in the wrong destination. But how is that possible? Emperor Dennis just upgraded the navigational system and... oh, right... that's why. In any case, let's make the best of a bad (yet funny) situation and take a look at the game our Big Red Timemachine has inadvertently landed in: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis!
Released in 1999 for the Playstation, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis transported the player to Raccoon City, a full day before the events of Resident Evil 2 and lets them take control of Jill Valentine, the battle-hardened S.T.A.R.S. member we first met in the first Resident Evil game three years prior, in 1996. After destroying the mansion and defeating the Tyrant, Jill must escape the now zombie infested streets of Raccoon City itself. To this end, she will have to kill numerous zombies, solve a number of brain-wrecking puzzles and try and stay out of the overgrown clutches of a brand new model B.O.W. (Bio Organic Weapon), lovingly nicknamed... you've guessed it: "Nemesis". This huge bad-ass monster was created by pharmaceutical giant, the Umbrella Corporation and programmed specifically for the eradication of S.T.A.R.S. members. His presence is usually foreshadowed by his rumbling cry, which goes something like what you heard before Sadhonker's signal cut out...
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis made quite a few changes to the gameplay of the first two games, which had been more or less the same. Because the game was originally planned to contain more action, the environments needed to be more expansive, which is why the developers chose to use the entirety of Raccoon City as their playground. This was the first time that a Resident Evil game made extensive use of large outdoor environments, which gave the game a much more "open" feel. Also, the protagonist's movements were expanded, adding a dodge move, as well as a 180 degree quick turn. And this was just as well, because the number of enemies that could enter the screen at any given time was also increased. Plus, because nothing short than an entire armory of ammo would be enough to stop the Nemesis, being able to quickly dodge, turn and run away was absolutely the best approach whenever you met this colossal beast.
Yes... I said "whenever". You see, the Nemesis took the role of the threatening "Mr. X", seen in Resident Evil 2. Now, while this Mr. X could be evaded by simply leaving the room, the Nemesis wasn't fooled that easy; it would simply kick down the door and follow you into the next room. Now, this may not seem like something new and exciting nowadays, but back then it was absolutely unheard of. All of a sudden, the creaky doors of Resident Evil lost their power of making us feel safe when they closed. Add the fact that the zombies also seemed to have become brighter and could now follow you up and down stairs, nowhere felt truly safe anymore... well, apart from the Safe Rooms, that is!
Another new game mechanic was the ability to craft new types of ammo by combining different types of gunpowder. This enabled the player to craft ammo "on the fly" instead of having to hope on finding the ammo needed. Normal ammo could still be found by scouring the environments, but the crafting system added an additional means of procuring ammo. The player would also face having to make crucial choices along the way, which influenced the outcome of the game. They even sometimes meant the player's untimely demise if the wrong choice was made.
Just like the first two Resident Evil games, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis' graphics revolved around 3D characters and item models, situated in pre rendered 2D environments and also still featured the static camera angles we were used to since the series started back in 1996. The developers did add something quite explosive in this area of the game, however: exploding barrels. Unlike the first two games, in which enemies could only be killed by firing a weapon directly at them, Nemesis let the player shoot at said barrels, which would then explode and damage the enemies close to them. You just gotta love crowd control, don't you?
Although the game could have been a bit longer as far as I'm concerned, it was a truly haunting experience and certainly one I would not have wanted to miss out on. The added threat, ever-present threat of the Nemesis brought you to the edge of your seat and exploring the streets of Raccoon City was a fun departure of the more enclosed and claustrophobic environments of the first two games. I personally think that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis created a perfect balance between larger set pieces and cramped rooms and hallways, which ended up giving the game a more varied approach to the use of environments. Also, the enemies you encountered were more varied than before, presenting you with cop zombies, doctor zombies and a series of civilian zombies. The Nemesis truly felt menacing and powerful and meeting it multiple times throughout the game gave you a feeling of constant dread.
All in all, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was, and still is, a fantastic game and made a worthy addition to the ever-expanding Resident Evil universe. And, following the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake of last year, Capcom is releasing a remake of Nemesis in April of this year. I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on a copy and start reliving this cool game in HD. Furthermore...
Oh wait, the Big Red Timemachine just returned to our HQ. Well, it doesn't really look any worse for wear, so things aren't probably as bad as we feared. Ah, the door is opening. Mr. ...King Sadhonker, are you alright? King...? Anyone...?
RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS