What’s that slight aroma we can sense invading our nostrils as we type this article? Ah, that’ll be faint whiff of nostalgia. Just as well, since this past week has been more than just a trip down memory lane: it’s an inescapable excursion back to the Genesis of one of the most lauded franchises of all time. In case you don’t know your dates, that series is Resident Evil. Yep, it was March 22, 1996 (March 30 in North America) that Capcom’s celebrated survival horror hit arrived on the scene; back in the days when Call of Duty wasn’t even so much as dime in the eyes of Bobby Kotick, Simon Cowell still wore his trousers up to his armpits, and folk played snakes on their mobile phones. Blimey, whatever happened to THAT game.
The pertinent point is, however, that Resident Evil’s arrival on the scene back in the mid-90s was nothing short of profound. Conceived by fresh-faced designer Shinji Mikmai, the series reinvigorated the then-lagging Survival Horror genre, previously established by Capcom’s own Sweet Home and later, Atari’s Alone in the Dark. With Resi, however, Mikami-san took things to the next level. Back in ’96, the series’ use of pre-rendered backgrounds and polygonal character models afforded an unprecedented level of detail, establishing the brand as one of the prettiest games on the market. Just think along the lines of Killzone 3, Heavy Rain or God of War III and you should have a modicum of an idea as to how defining Resi was back in the day.
Swanky aesthetics aside, however, Resident Evil’s most conspicuous feature is that it offered gamers an unparalleled pant-cacking gameplay experience. Marauding zombies leaping out of cupboards looking to tear your throat out, demon dogs salivating at the lips and spooky exploration punctuated by a spine-tingling score ensured PlayStation owners around the globe slept with the light on for months. And then there’s the obligatory topping of cheese-tastic B-movie dialogue, which itself was almost as scary as the undead themselves. Who could ever forget Barry’s legendary “Master of Unlocking” line? Utterly legendary. 40+ million sales later, and the franchise shows no signs of slowing down. In light of this prestigious occasion, the chaps at PSU Towers have dedicated our time to providing a heap of Resident Evil-related goodies for your consumption. Follow the links below to a series of articles highlighting our favourite Resident Evil moments, including top scares, bosses, music tracks and more.
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Here’s to another 15 years of pant-wetting, zombie-blasting antics!