But when played co-op with a friend, it's a great experience. When it came to games I played co-op last generation, the only games I played more than RE5 were the Borderlands games. It's basically just a re-skinned RE4 with updated controls. Lots of people hate this game, but I think it's a very serviceable entry in the series when played co-op with a friend.
If you've never played Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles or Darkside Chronicles, I highly suggest them, they're two of my favorite games on the Wii. For those unfamiliar, they're basically just rail shooters that recount the stories of the main games in the franchise, as well as giving you a ton of bonuses to unlock. They're essentially love letters to fans of the series. Where Umbrella Chronicles covered RE0, RE1, RE3, and an extra scenario, Darkside Chronicles went with RE2, RE:CV, and a new scenario called "Operation Javier" which gives us more details about the past relationship between Leon Kennedy and Jack Krauser, as well as an extra hidden scenario.
Darkside Chronicles gets the nod over Umbrella Chronicles for providing a better original scenario, as well as covering my favorite RE title from the original PSone days and providing more backstory for RE4.
What I found was a return to form for the series. I think Revelations is the best entry in the franchise since RE4. The majority of the game takes place on a tanker ship, and there are sections of the ship that reminded me of the Spencer Mansion, and that's a good thing. Tight corridors, a creepy atmosphere, scarce ammo, Revelations did something that I didn't think the series could do to me anymore: it made me nervous. I've always had a fear of water in games, and the sections of Revelations where you're wading through waist-high water with enemies all around you legitimately made me hesitant to continue. After every water section, I would have to have an internal monologue. Do I continue, or do I save and come back later because I'm too stressed out?
I still haven't played the console port, but I enjoyed it very much on the 3DS. I would consider it a must-have for the system.
When the sequel was announced, I kept obsessive track of the game in magazines. By this time, I was old enough to stay home by myself, but I would still go with my mom on every trip to the grocery store and hang out in the magazine aisle while she did her thing. If any of those issues had information on Resident Evil 2, I would beg my mom to buy it for me. I still wasn't very privy to the game industry, so I didn't actually know when the game was released, but I remember one day seeing it on the shelves at Walden Software and rejoicing. I wasn't able to buy it myself, and I actually remember that the only reason I got it was because I was pouting to my mother that I didn't have any games to play--which was totally a lie--and begging her to buy me the game. She showed up a couple hours later with the game in her hand. I probably didn't even thank her, because I was a crappy 12 year old. Mom, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I sucked so much as a kid, I love you.
The game essentially had four campaigns with interwoven storylines. If you played Act One with Leon, you played Act Two with Claire, and vice versa, and let's not forget the secret campaigns with Hunk and Tofu. This added an incredible amount of replay value to the game. The monsters were scarier, the story was better, and overall, RE2 offered more than its predecessor.
I never owned a GameCube while it was a viable system, but I had a lot of friends that did. I went with the PlayStation 2 and was too lazy to get a job and buy a GameCube myself. Being a big fan of not only Resident Evil, but also Mario and Metal Gear Solid, I was very jealous of my friends because they got Super Mario Sunshine (I don't care what anyone says, that game is great), Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, Resident Evil 4 (which was luckily only a timed exclusive), Resident Evil 0, and of course, the remake of the original Resident Evil.
But it wasn't just a shot for shot remake like the 1998 version of the movie Psycho. They took a game that many already considered great and made it even better. They added new locations, new monsters, and a new boss. Oh, and those last two things I mentioned? They're two of the most terrifying things in the entire series: the crimson head and Lisa Trevor.
The original Resident Evil didn't invent the survival horror genre, it just took it to the next level, and then Resident Evil 4 perfected it. You can argue that it's not so much a "survival horror" game as it is an "action horror" game, but the first time I played RE4, I still found myself with low levels of ammo and an uneasy feeling throughout the game. Before this game, enemies never teamed up on you, most of them didn't run towards you, most of them didn't carry weapons, and you were free from harm the moment you went through the next door. Not so in Resident Evil 4. From the very beginning, you're given examples of how this game is unlike any survival horror game you've ever played before. You're only given one or two enemies to defeat before you're slapped down right in the middle of a huge encounter, complete with an adorable chainsaw-wielding maniac.
The new over-the-shoulder camera made the game both easier to play and scarier, as you could no longer see what's behind you until you turned around, whereas before you were usually given a full view of the room you were in and you can freely navigate between dangers. The first time you use the quick turn to find a Regenerator a mere few feet behind you is enough to make you want to turn off the game. Ask my buddy Luke, because that happened to him and he's also a giant woman.
Many people didn't like the switch from virus-infected zombies to plague-ridden villagers and cultists, but I found them to be much more terrifying. The series had to evolve away from zombies, and the couple of times they brought zombies back (Operation Raccoon City and RE6), the games were straight poo. Even the most ardent supporters of those games have to admit that they're lackluster, at best. Like I mentioned earlier, these enemies knew what they were doing, and they had motivations for taking you out other than "braaaaaaains" or "STAAAAAARS."
The inventory system was revamped, and I was very sad to see it go in RE5. Rather than having a limited number of slots for inventory, you were given a cache case that started out pretty limited, but could be upgraded for more space as the game progressed. Yes, this made the game easier, but the inventory system with the earlier games was just frustrating. You were always worried about carrying too much, because chances were you were going to find an item you needed to keep on you and would wind up having to discard a health item or ammo. Here, you have more space, and items like keys aren't put into the case, so you can fill it to better fit the kind of player you are. Like having a lot of ammo? You can do it that way. Prefer having extra health items? Do it. Want to fill it up entirely with grenades? You can do that, too! There are few things in the game more satisfying than having an inventory that looks like this...
There is no hyperbole when I say that we did literally everything there is to do in this game. We must have beaten the campaign a dozen times, finished all the Mercenaries maps with an S rank with every character, collected all documents and secrets, got all the trophies in the firing range, unlocked all bonus weapons, completed "Assignment Ada" and her PS2 bonus campaign "Separate Ways." We played the game so much that we would impose challenges on ourselves. To Luke's credit, we was able to defeat the gatling gun Ganado with just a knife. It took him about 20 minutes, but he did it.
I have nothing bad to say about the game other than the fact that Hunk was only playable in Mercenaries. For those wondering, Hunk is scientifically the best character in the series. Again, you can't argue with science. Lastly, enjoy this video my buddy Cole made as a tribute to the game.