Release Date: 11/17/2000
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Resident Evil has been more about tense action, inventory management, and puzzles more than horror. RE3 polishes up the already not so smooth gameplay of Resident Evil and ports it over to the Dreamcast to make another buck off of it. RE3 doesn’t really have much of a story, but the tense action, puzzle solving, and always looming Nemesis boss make this one of the tensest games of the era.
You play as Jill Valentine (the star of the first game) and are back in Racoon City this time to try and find out what happened during the outbreak. Being a direct sequel to the second game, you visit a few familiar areas and some Easter Eggs are tossed in. Outside of running around collecting ammo, healing items, documents, and various things of that nature you solve puzzles and mow down armies of the undead and genetically modified. New enemies crop up that are freaky and challenging and the only boss in the game is Nemesis who is a tough monster and choices are thrown into the game on where the story goes. These choices impact where you start in locations and how you approach fighting the Nemesis. One choice kept the Nemesis from chasing me around town, but I was going to have to fight him early on. You can totally avoid fighting him in most cases, but he becomes stronger the less you fight him.
I honestly recommend playing this game on easy mode the first time as you get tons of healing items and weapons at the start as well as infinite save ribbons. This mode should be used first for another reason and that’s to learn the layout of the game. Resident Evil is a game where enemy location, map layout, and puzzle solving are a must before attempting harder modes. Now with all that said, I do find earlier Resident Evil games tough outside of just combat as without a guide you can get lost and frustrated quickly as puzzles are obtuse, there might be objects you saw hours ago that you have to go back and get such as the Downtown/Uptown maps in this game. It’s imperative to write things down if you don’t have a guide as you will run around for hours trying to find that one item that you can’t remember.
The story and characters are nothing special but the voice acting is surprisingly decent for its time. We don’t learn much about Umbrella outside of someone going in and trying to pop off the supervisors throughout the city and cover up the T-virus outbreak. There’s no character development or anything like that so you’re mostly playing for the action. The visuals are rather nice, but at this point, the pre-rendered backgrounds were getting tiring and the Dreamcast version is a slightly smoother PlayStation version, but there’s not much of a difference. I would have liked to have seen more modes, better visuals, and new content for a new $50 release, but what we get is mainly for newcomers.
I highly recommend RE3 on the Dreamcast. At this point is the definitive version of the game and the best the series has to offer up until this point. Don’t expect a deep story, have a guide ready, and you’ll be in for a good 8-10 hours of intense action and fun.