NINTENDO DS REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: DEADLY SILENCE

Still evil, still deadly, after all these years. This port proves the original Resident Evil has not lost its touch, but rather gained some on the DS. by Cole Smith

February 7, 2006 - Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, is a port of the original 1996 Playstation game. It's a great looking game on the DS but it is dated. The Rebirth mode more than makes up for any shortcomings as it is a recreation of the original game with some new content that includes the use of the DS touch controls and microphone. Fans can play both the original and the Rebirth version on this tiny handheld. It features all of the original content including fully-voiced cutscenes.

Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are members of an elite squad known as alpha team. They are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the bravo team that lost radio contact while investigating an old mansion. As soon as the alpha team arrives they are confronted by a series of horrors inside the mansion that range from giant spiders to killer zombies. Presented in the horror genre, the gameplay is loaded with suspense, combat, puzzle-solving and gory depictions. The cutscenes are very poorly acted, but you just can't live without them as you delve deeper into the mysteries of the haunted mansion.

There's a lot more to do in this version than the original. The gameplay hasn't changed much but the Rebirth mode has simply added more action in place of puzzles and exploring. But what's good is that the puzzles are new. The co-op and competitive multi-player modes are also a good addition but since the screen is so small you won't be able to see the other players on your screen. Instead they will be represented by a colored star. I'm not so sure I would recommend this game to Resident Evil fanatics since they've played the series to death but to those that haven't played it or only dabbled in it, there's no question that you must get this game.

One thing that should be mentioned right off the bat is the control system. It's very responsive but it's really awkward to get used to. It took me so long to get used to the original Playstation version that I didn't get into the meat of the game for a week. I would try it for fifteen minutes a day and then give up in disgust, usually flinging my controller at the wall as is my usual immature behavior. To move forward you have to press up. This is really confusing. To aim you have to use the shoulder buttons and then press the action button to fire. I have to admit that it does work well, especially since you always have a point of reference when the camera angles change automatically, but you should note that it does take a while to get used to.

You move through the corridors of the mansion coming upon various monsters around the corners and in the various rooms. Typically there is a lot of exploring and puzzle solving, such as locating keys and activating switches but there's less of that in the Rebirth mode. Weapons such as guns require ammo and while there is usually a good supply, you might not have enough to finish off all of monsters before you can reload. You have to be conservative with ammo, or just be a really good shot.

There are only six slots for inventory so you can't carry a lot of things with you. You will have room for some ammo, a couple of guns, a couple of keys and some health herbs. If you accumulate too much stuff you can place them in a chest for safe keeping, but you have to backtrack to it every time you want something.

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System: DS
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Released: Feb 2006
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Cole