Resident Evil: Deadly Silence

April 9, 2006

Ten years ago, [i]Resident Evil[/i] crept up on the Playstation and has since developed a loyal fan base and several sequels (not to mention prequels and remakes). Last year’s [i]Resident Evil 4[/i] took the game’s fixed camera and classic control style and threw it out the window, and while this was a welcome change, some may feel like the original game play mechanics will never see the light of day again. [i]Resident Evil: Deadly Silence[/i] aims to rectify this by reintroducing the original [i]Resident Evil[/i] to the Nintendo DS. With a faithful translation of the original game and brand new features, fans should find a lot to love here on the DS.

Being a remake of the first [i]Resident Evil[/i], [i]Deadly Silence[/i] needs no introduction among the faithful fans. Everything from the original Playstation classic has made its way onto the DS’s tiny screens. The S.T.A.R.S. alpha team has crashed after being sent to look for Bravo Company, and after finding their dead, mutilated corpses, are chased into a mansion and trapped. In the process, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are separated, letting [i]Deadly Silence[/i] retain the separate storylines of the original game. This feature allows for two different play experiences, with Jill’s campaign being easier while Chris’s being more challenging.

The controls of [i]Deadly Silence[/i] may be hard to get used to at first. For the most part, the game controls very similarly to the original Playstation version. With fixed camera angles in tow, it can be very hard to maneuver your character, especially if a zombie is bearing down on you. While the fixed camera angles are designed to conceal enemies until you turn the corner in order to surprise you, it can also be very frustrating combined with the weird controls to back away from these surprises and before you know it, you’re zombie chow. However, once you begin to get into the game, the controls can actually become a little less convoluted as you get used to them. If you’re coming into [i]Deadly Silence[/i] from [i]Resident Evil 4[/i], though, be prepared for frustration.

Since this is a faithful port, there are also a few things from the original [i]Resident Evil[/i] that aren’t exactly executed well. Ink ribbons make a return, the items which are required to save your game. While the game does have a fairly good supply of these, it can be annoying if you happen to be save-happy like I am, so you’ll have to learn to reserve your saving habits. Another thing of annoyance is the limited inventory space that each character has as well as the weird storage system the game gives you to hold the things your characters can’t. You will probably end up backtracking a whole lot just to make space for a little key you found.

[i]Deadly Silence[/i] also makes use of the Nintendo DS’s features, albeit briefly. The game offers you two modes of play: “rebirth” mode and “classic” mode. Classic mode is the stripped down basic [i]Resident Evil[/i] game, while rebirth mode adds in touch screen and microphone options to the many puzzles, making them a little more interactive. Sometimes entering a room will randomly start a barrage of enemies that you will have to slash using the touch screen, which seems a bit gimmicky. Still, those who dislike it can always go with classic mode to avoid it. In addition, there is also a Wi-Fi mode that lets up to four players play against each other or cooperate together. It all makes the original [i]Resident Evil[/i] much more enjoyable, and the unlockables strewn throughout the game makes this a very long game.

The graphics stay true to the original game as well, and look every bit as primitive. Characters take on the bloated body segment appearance all too familiar with early Playstation games, while the individual rooms have questionable textures for this day and age, although both of these issues are fairly excusable. However, one of the inexcusable things in the game is the terrible voice acting straight out of 1996. Complete with some brief full motion video, the dialogue and voice acting are ridiculously bad, almost so much that it will make you laugh. The voices can actually be very unintentionally hilarious, which, mixed with what is supposed to be a serious survival horror game, ruins the story a bit.

Overall, [i]Resident Evil: Deadly Silence[/i] is perfect for DS owners looking for some horror on the go. [i]Deadly Silence[/i] packs all of a classic Playstation game into a tiny cartridge and will leave fans with not only a faithful translation but with some extra tidbits along the way. People unfamiliar with the series or coming in from the seminal [i]Resident Evil 4[/i] may have a frustrating time with the control system, but those willing to give it a go will probably find peace with the fixed camera and control style after playing through it a bit. With all the nostalgia and new content added into the mix, [i]Deadly Silence[/i] is a great handheld game that will last for quite a while.

Score: 5/5

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