Today we are taking a look at the PS2 sequel to RE Survivor, released only in Japan in 2001. This game was also released in Japanese arcades, and I understand that an arcade unit is worth quite a few bucks. The PS2 version is identical to the arcade, and Guncon support is available. Huzzah! A few things have changed from the very mediocre game that was Survivor. Does this serve to make a merely average game into something real Resident Evil fans can enjoy?
Resident Evil Gun Survivor 2 ditches the one (mostly) positive aspect of the original Survivor for a recycled mishmash of stages based on the events of Code Veronica. You play as Steve and Claire attempting to escape from Rockfort Island. Because this is really only part of CV's storyline, several characters aren't present and there are no real storyline sequences. Oddly enough, Nemesis is present as well, mostly just to kill you if you take too long...
Survivor 2's graphics are good and almost identical to Code Veronica on PS2, maybe a bit brighter in key areas. I am also glad to see that the jaggies of FFX aren't present here. I knew that all it would take was time to solve that graphics problem. The characters, Steve and Claire, look the same as in CV, which is good. The highlight is definitely the higher definition Nemesis. He just looks better, even if it is simply a matter of less pixelization.
The music is from Code Veronica, so I must give it a positive mention. Even if it is all recycled music, at least it is GOOD recycled music, not just mostly ambient noise. There are some new tracks but nothing stands out compared to the Battle themes of CV. Nemesis' roars also elevate this game's sound effects.
Gameplay is in the mold of the extra battle game in Code Veronica, but with more action and greater weapon selection. Control is unique in this game, as it uses a quasi Resident Evil control scheme, which is certainly better for a light gun shooter than the traditional tank controls. In order to turn your character, L1/RI must be used. This doesn't work very well for a controller, as it is slow and awkward. Not wanting to buy a Guncon just for this and a few other games, I can't comment on how the Guncon controls respond.
Challenge is this game is pretty easy, and if you have trouble, credits are added as you accumulate hours into this game, so you will eventually beat it. Being able to play with a 2nd player naturally makes the game easier, as double firepower is always a good thing. The replay value on Survivor 2 is surprising with plenty of unlockables, including a hidden boss fight and new playable characters. None of the requirements are particularly difficult to achieve, so I definitely think it is worth it to unlock these extras.
Overall, Resident Evil Survivor 2 is wise to ditch the pretense of a storyline and just focus on action. Much like the recent House of the Dead Overkill, Survivor 2 is action, pure and simple. And it works! Check it out if you are able to play imports, I recommend the MagicSwap software or whatever it is called. I don't exactly do it very often...
- Ugly Bob