Resident Evil 2: A Unique Take on Handheld Gaming

Resident Evil 2 Review (Tiger Game.com, 1998)
Video resident evil 2 gamecom

Front cover for Resident Evil 2 on the Tiger Game.com.

The Tiger Game.com, infamous for its lackluster library and inferior hardware, surprises us by featuring a game like Resident Evil 2. As ambitious as it is, can this portable version deliver the horror experience we crave? While it does have its fair share of flaws, Resident Evil 2 on the Tiger Game.com manages to captivate players with its scaled-down adaptation.

A Different Perspective on Raccoon City

In this version, you take on the role of Leon S. Kennedy, navigating the undead-infested streets of Raccoon City. The T-virus has turned the town into a nightmare, and your only chance of survival lies within the Police Station. However, unlike other releases, this Game.com edition lacks a compelling narrative. You find yourself completing tasks without clear direction, leaving you slightly confused.

The opening story sequence in Resident Evil 2 for the Tiger Game.com.

A Surprisingly Faithful Port

Considering the limitations of 8-bit hardware, it’s astonishing how faithfully this version recreates the Resident Evil 2 experience. You’ll recognize familiar environments from the console versions, as the backgrounds have been redrawn to accommodate the hardware. Gameplay remains familiar too, with Leon navigating single screen areas and transitioning through doors. Controls may feel clunky, but with plenty of ammunition and a variety of guns to choose from, you’ll still find satisfaction in taking down zombies.

Puzzling Challenges with a Twist

In the Resident Evil series, solving puzzles is a crucial aspect, but this Game.com version introduces some alterations. Not all puzzles have made the cut, making it more challenging to progress without missing vital items or clues. For seasoned players of the console version, this uncertainty adds an unexpected thrill, forcing them to experiment and test different solutions.

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Shooting zombies on the streets of Raccoon City.

A Slow-Paced Game with Technical Shortcomings

Despite its technical achievements, the gameplay engine suffers from sluggishness. Leon’s movement feels cumbersome, and the same goes for the zombies and other adversaries. While the deliberate pace suits the nature of the series, the game’s slow execution becomes a test of patience. Additionally, the lack of story exposition robs the experience of its liveliness. Even simple text scrolls could have added depth, but it seems that Tiger rushed this port to market, neglecting such details.

Recognizably Resident Evil 2

Although the Game.com’s limited hardware prevents polished visuals, Tiger managed to create a recognizable version of Resident Evil 2. The attention to detail in character designs and backgrounds is impressive, considering the rudimentary 8-bit sprites. It stands as a testament to the technical prowess of the developers. However, the animation falls short, resulting in choppy movements that hinder the overall enjoyment.

The inventory screen which looks identical to that of the console version.

Silence and Sound Effects

One unexpected twist in this version is the absence of music. Unlike its console counterparts, it relies solely on ambient sounds and sound effects lifted from the original release. The inclusion of familiar cues, from the iconic “Resident Evil 2” sound byte to the unsettling moans and gunshots, demonstrates Tiger’s effort to recreate the eerie atmosphere. However, the lack of a musical score leaves a void that could have enhanced the overall experience.

A Standout on the Tiger Game.com, Yet Room for Improvement

Resident Evil 2 on the Tiger Game.com may not reach the heights of its console brethren, but it still manages to offer moments of mild enjoyment. Shrinking the beloved survival horror adventure onto 8-bit hardware is an impressive feat on its own. While it’s far from perfect, it remains one of the better games available for the Tiger Game.com, even if it is only average in the grand scheme of things.

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