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Review : Biohazard 3 - Last Escape
Somehow....I am still *alive*....

Ladies and gentlemen, the survival horror game we have all been waiting for....

(At least, I was!)

Welcome back to Raccoon City, a peaceful little town in the grips of a mega-all-powerful-company named Umbrella. Umbrella began experimenting with powerful biological weapons as a result from the T-Virus. In Biohazard / Resident Evil, we see that the experiments have gone terribly, terribly wrong. S.T.A.R.S Alpha team were sent in to find out what happened to the Bravo team sent earlier. As Alpha team reached the site, they were attacked by a host of mutated creatures, including zombified humans. Chris and Jill from returned to Raccoon City only to be laughed at. Chris went on to investigate Umbrella in Europe, while Jill quit S.T.A.R.S. In Biohazard 2 / Resident Evil 2, we see Leon and Claire trying to escape from the city alive. They were the only survivors, as well as Sherry, daugther of the creators of the virus.

In Biohazard 2 / Resident Evil 2, we see that the virus was spilled into the sewer system, as well as passed on by rats. That was how the entire city was infected by the virus. Now, flashback 24 hours before RE2 starts. The city is just beginning to be infested, and virtually the entire town is full of zombies! Jill is the main character in Biohazard 3, and your mission is to escape the city, alive.

Sounds easy? Think again.

Where should I start?  Unlike all previous Biohazards/REs, there is no two player scenario. However, that does not mean that it's boring. For those Jill-lovers out there, you'll be glad to see her again. She's tougher and a lot more braver than RE1! There are also several other characters, some that you will recognize. First of all, there's your old buddy, Brad Vickers. In RE2 Brad was a zombie, and in RE3 we see how he became one. Then there's the Mercenaries, a team of (what else) mercenaries sent in by Umbrella to 'rescue' the civilians. Unfortunately, they were overpowered as they underestimated the seriousness of the situation. You can play Carlos, a Latin guy in the middle of the guy when Jill is..... unavailable.

Now about the enemies. There's over 20 kinds of zombies, dogs, crows, worms, snakes, lickers and hunters. And above all, is the fearsome Nemesis. (In the US version, Biohazard 3 - Last Escape is called Resident Evil 3 - Nemesis). And Nemesis certainly earned his name. He's the Tyrant from RE1 and the Big Guy in RE2 combined in one. He's smart, powerful, and he stalks you everywhere! To strike even more terror into your heart, he uses rocket launchers to shoot at you! Think a room / area is safe? Beware! Nemesis might be lurking there! And he seems unkillable. I think I killed him 5 times, but each time, he's back to haunt Jill! The zombies are also faster and smarter. They'll follow you up the stairs and pounce on you in groups. (Strength in numbers, huh?)

Jill has several new moves, one of the is the most-useful dodge button. Just press the action button whenever an enemy is about to strike, and Jill punches them, pushes them away, ducks and dodges. Exteremly useful, this one. There is also talk about a 180 degree turn, but I was unable to find it, due to the Japanese wording. (What kind I say? I was impatient!) Also, you can skip the non-FMV conversations in Biohazard 3, saving you valuable time! The controls are still the same as previous versions, where forward is always up.

Graphics are improved, smoother and less 'choppiness'. You can clearly see the features of the zombie's face.

There are two modes, Heavy and Light. Heavy mode, I assume, is the normal/hard scenario. I think the puzzles and storyline is the same, only tougher enemies. Light mode is the easy/rookie mode. You get the sub-machine gun with 300% ammo, handgun, shotgun, colt python and infinite ink ribbons. Some of you might want to try the Light Mode to get the feel of BH3 first, then jump into Heavy Mode. (But veterans would probably jump into heavy mode straightaway anyway... @;o)

And what's BH/RE without it's Secrets? In BH3, you can access *five* different kinds of costumes, including her S.T.A.R.S. uniform and Regina's (Dino Crisis) spy uniform! Also, if you beat the time / get a good ranking, you'll be able to play the Mercenaries game. The concept is simple, the gameplay is not. Remember Extreme Battle Mode (RE2)? Well, you get to choose between Carlos, Mikhail or Nikolai. Each have their own difficulty. There's a bomb planted in your body, and you've got 2 minutes to tavel across the map to your destination. If you haven't reached the destination at the end of two minutes, you'll die. You'll be given limited ammo, which can be used to shoot enemies to gain more time. At the end of your 'mission', you'll be rewarded with money based on your skills. Once you've collected enough, you'll be able to buy stuff like unlimited-ammo gatling gun and items.

Biohazard 3 will undoubtly be compared to Dino Crisis, another survival horror game by Shinji Mikami. Some might argue that Dino Crisis is better than Resident Evil, but for me, I love them both!


Verdict! A+! (9.5)

Positives:
Gameplay: A+
Graphics: A
Sound: A
+ Many specials!
+ Skippable non FMV sequences
+ Lots of choices that influences gameplay
 

Negatives:
- Gameplay's a bit too short, since there's only one scenario
- I can't find the 180 degree turn buttons!
- I can't skip the door openings!
 
 


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DJ Lesser (jndoris@tm.net.my)
Jewelle
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