Back to the Past: Resident Evil
When I was a kid gaming for me was a fun experience. No stress or effort was really needed. I owned a Sega Megadrive as my first console and all the games I played were arcade style games that you didn’t need to sit at for ages or put much effort in. I was a casual gamer playing for maybe one hour a day at most. That all changed in 1998. On my eighth birthday my parents got me the Sony Playstation Dual Shock version. I was blown away by the graphics and gameplay but was also hit with games that had difficulty I had never experienced before. To get more games however I couldn’t buy them as I was eight and only recieved a tiny amount of pocket money a week. I had to rent them. Luckily there was a rental store just around the corner from where I lived. On my first trip to the rental shop I saw Resident Evil and that night changed my view on games forever.
I was confused at the cover as it was a photo of a man with a gun with an obvious look of terror on his face. I had never seen this before though I thought it looked cool. Not bothering to read the case I rented it. Back then the age rating with was a 15 and was ignored by both consumers and sellers so I wasn’t stopped. When I got home I grabbed a family sized bag of crisps from the cupboard got a 2litre bottle of Cola from the fridge and sealed myself in my room with my Ps1 and 9” TV. I was expecting some action game where I shot some moldy dead people. What I got was something different.
Resident Evil was the game that started the Survival Horror series and as an eight year old, it scared the crap out of me. I loaded the game and was presented with a selection between two characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. Being a young boy the thought of playing as a girl didn’t appeal to me so I picked Chris. The game loaded and I was treated to a full live action intro. The game had yet to scare me. I had watched old zombie movies before so I just felt normal as I watched the intro. When the game had fully started I was suprised by the graphics. At the time the best graphics I had seen was in things like Sonic 2 for the Sega so these rendered Polygons looked amazing to me. The story has Jill, Chris and their Commander Wesker in the main hall of the mansion they ran into to escape from what appeared to be rabid dogs though the intro wasn’t very clear on that fact. And at the time I didn’t really pay attention to the story.
All I knew was I was Chris a member of Alpha team searching for the missing members of Bravo team. That is pretty much the story. I was then told by Wesker that Barry was missing and that I had to go look for him. So I did and shortly after I encountered a zombie and I soon realised that gaming had gotton real. I now know looking back that Chris was the hard mode and Jill was the easy mode, though it took me a long time to realise that. Armed with a knife I attacked the zombie and quickly died and was treated to my first game over. I repeated this 3 more times until I got fed up, turned my console off and left it alone.