Top 5 Heroes
Ada and Leon seem to have a Batman and Catwoman type of relationship, and the feminine side of me thinks “Wouldn’t it be nice if they settled down together?”
The original Resident Evil is legendary for its campy dialogue, and Barry delivers probably my favorite line in the game. No, I’m not referring to the “master of unlocking” line, I’m more partial to “You were almost a Jill-sandwich.”
Unfortunately, there has never been a game that features Barry Burton as the main playable character (I‘m not counting the GameBoy Color game Resident Evil Gaiden). You can play as Barry in Mercenaries mode in Resident Evil 5, but I never played it. As much as I loved Mercenaries in RE4, going as far as to S rank every level with every character in order to unlock all the special goodies, I just never cared enough to play it in RE5. I like the idea they’re going for with Resident Evil 6 and having you play multiple characters, but if I were in control of the direction for the Resident Evil series, I would keep it as a single player game, keep the multiple viewpoints, and Barry Burton would always be included.
He survived the horror of the Spencer Mansion in the original game, he rescued his sister and escaped Antarctica in Code Veronica, and he stopped the Uroboros virus from spreading across the entire planet (as well as saving Jill) in RE5. That’s a pretty impressive resume. The man has seen the types of living horrors that would drive a man to utter madness. It’s no small miracle that he hasn’t developed a very severe drinking problem, because if I had to kill a snake the size of a bus and lived to talk about it, the first thing I would be reaching for is the hardest liquor I could find mixed with the second hardest.
As well as being a strong female lead, they also show Claire’s nurturing side, as halfway through her side of the story she comes across Sherry Birkin, the daughter of scientists William and Annette Birkin, the former of which being the main man behind the G-virus. Claire acts as a mother figure to Sherry, and eventually escapes Raccoon City with both Sherry and Leon.
Claire’s next major appearance was as the main protagonist in Code Veronica, where she attempted to escape the horrors of Rockfort Island after being captured by Umbrella. While still playing a strong character, we‘re reminded of the fact that she‘s still a young woman, developing a semi-romantic relationship with the most annoying character in all of Resident Evil: Steve Burnside. Partnered with her brother, Claire and Chris are able to take down the T-Veronica virus-infected Alexia Ashford and escape Umbrella’s secret Antarctic complex.
Claire also reunited with Leon in RE: Degeneration, which is easily the best film featuring the Resident Evil name. The movie is considered a part of the official canon of the series, though not considered to be a crucial installment in the story arc. But if you’ve never seen it and you’re a fan, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Playing as Hunk in Mercenaries is incredibly satisfying. Using him results in the game being a breeze, but even though Hunk is essentially the “win” button, his unique abilities make the somewhat tense situations of Mercenaries incredibly fun. Shooting a ganado in the face, rushing toward them and snapping their neck is something that never gets old. Or shooting the legs out from under someone, setting them up for what I call the “Hunk Punt,” where he basically punts the enemy’s skull out of their head, makes for another satisfying way to conserve ammo.
Top 5 Villains
Albert Wesker is to Resident Evil what Bowser is to Mario, it just doesn’t work without him. The ending of RE5 seems to insinuate that Wesker is finally dead, but then again, if he weren’t, it wouldn’t be the most befuddling thing to happen in the series. Whenever Capcom decides to call it quits with their beloved Biohazard (which doesn’t seem like it’s going to be anytime soon) I think it needs to end with a final, epic showdown between Chris and Wesker.
I’d also like to point out that I think Robert Patrick would have been the perfect actor to play Wesker in the films. Just saying.
So, as you can see, Alfred definitely has a screw loose, and even though he appears in the one RE game I can’t really get into, I still like the story and characters it has to offer (except Steve Burnside. Seriously, I hate him).
Krauser is also a nice change of pace for the Mercenaries mode. While all other characters use firearms, Krauser’s weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Each arrow results in a one-hit kill, but arrows are limited, which brings about the need to be more accurate and to make good use of exploding barrels to deal damage to multiple enemies with just one shot. Also, having that mutated arm doesn’t hurt when in close-quarters.
RE3 was unique in that it allowed the player to make choices, so it was the first Resident Evil game that wasn’t completely linear, as some decisions you make result in different scenarios later in the game. These decisions can lead to three possible outcomes for Nicholai. One path that can be taken results in his death at the hands of Nemesis. The other path can lead to two different results, either fight Nicholai as he flies around in a helicopter, or you can negotiate with him, which allows him to escape from Raccoon City. This leaves his story arc open, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Nicholai replacing Wesker as the primary antagonist of the series (I should note that I haven‘t beaten Operation Raccoon City yet, so if he dies in that game, please disregard that last sentence).
Salazar is adorably twisted. While he may just be a pawn in Saddler’s quest for world domination, Salazar is a much more memorable villain. The second act of RE4 takes place in the Salazar castle, and Ramon doesn’t take kindly to Leon treading on his family’s ground. The two things that make Salazar such a unique character are his over-the-top voice acting (which often results in some pretty good dialogue between he and Leon), and his little person stature. Being protected by two “Verdugo” monsters, Salazar takes great pleasure in being a cocky jerk to Leon.
One of my favorite parts of RE4 is when Salazar goes on one of his trademark spiels, only to have Leon throw a knife, which hits its intended mark and pins Salazar’s hand to the wall. The shocked pause of Salazar’s reaction and his subsequent hyperventilation, followed by Leon’s smirk and chuckle make this one of the highlights of the game.
Top 5 Bosses
Lisa Trevor is only encountered in the remake of the original Resident Evil, and she makes for probably the most frightening experience in the whole series when you encounter her in the shack right outside of the mansion.
This game often receives a lot of criticism, as it was basically pushed out to give fans something to play until Code Veronica, but I really enjoyed it. It was the first one to give you branching paths, and it has a much wider variety of locations than in the two previous titles. But Nemesis is what really makes the game great. The first time you play through, you have no idea when he’ll show up, and in most cases it’s exactly when you don’t want him to. Oh, you’re about to find sanctuary in the Raccoon City Police Station? Boom! Here’s Nemesis! What’s that? Your evacuation helicopter is about to descend to your rescue? Nope, Nemesis is on top of the clock tower, and he has a rocket launcher! Because, why not?
The end of the game results with a final decision: Leave Nemesis dying and let the nuke that’s about to destroy Raccoon City take him with it, or grab the magnum that’s conveniently placed by a dead soldier and get the satisfaction of killing him yourself. I don’t care what anyone says, RE3 was awesome.
William Birkin aka “G”
Top 5 Monsters
Crimson Head Zombies
In addition to their appearance, the only way you can kill them is by using a sniper rifle equipped with an infrared scope (or the Chicago typewriter or rocket launcher, if you want to be boring), which makes it even more difficult on the player. The Regenerator also has a brother, referred to as the Iron Maiden, which is basically just a Regenerator with spikes protruding out of its body to use against its opponents, but I find the simplicity of the Regenerator much more scary.
So, there. There’s a bunch of Resident Evil goodness for you. I’m sure some agree with the lists, I’m sure some don’t. Some are probably thinking “Oh yeah, the chimera was pretty underrated,” and others may be thinking “Wait, who was Nicholai again?” The series has experienced its highs and lows, and I’ve stuck with it through the good times and the bad. Considering how amazing Resident Evil 4 is, and how much I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 (when played with a human partner, at least), I’m very hopeful for the newest installment.