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+ resident evil: dead aim save room theme

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resident evil dead aim has my favourite atmosphere in a resident evil game, even moreso than other games in the series i love like remake and 3. the game has one of the best environments in a video game, the look, the style, the lighting, the atmosphere, it's all flawless and makes for one of the scariest places i have visited. the spencer rain is fantastic, while your time there is quite short, 2 hours at most, it's not a ship you're ever likely to forget. this is in part because of nobuyoshi sano's amazing soundscape, the ost, what few times you hear it ads to the atmosphere imminseley, on top of the fact the save room theme is one of my favourite songs in any game, but the main reason it helps is everything but the music, the ambient soundscape the game has really sells you on the fact this is a dead ship, that you're one of the only people living around. the ship has many drones and creaks, and the zombie's have great voicework, really selling things. the lighting too ads to this, only the areas you face get illuminated so a good chunk of the level will always be dark, and most area's in the game are like this, but especially on the ship, it makes for a really oppressive atmospere and makes exploration a lot more scary as you can never be quite sure what is in the dark unless you're able to hear the sounds of he dead. the ship looks great too, fancy, cozy even in some area's. the rooms, bars and cafeteria's all have a ton of detail, differing layouts and tons of small items really make a lot of them feel lived in and the ship just looks *nice* in a way that this was clearly an expensive ship, oppulant and very old money, even if it was a front, nonetheless, somewhere you'd want to take a vacation. There's more variety than just that, labs and sewers also make an appearance for the games runtime, which while not as good as the boat, still hve their own vibe and are scary enough.
the game plays like a mix of the original survivor and a more traditonal resident evil game, third person exploration with the light gun style aiming of survivor. it plays well, working with either a controller, a guncon or even a keyboard and mouse, the benefits of the traditional playstyle but the extra aiming ability gives the game its own pace, with enemies reacting differently depending on where shot and headshots sending them flying against the wall, the game even has animations for them hitting and sliding down those walls, which looks very cinematic and makes the environments look even cooler. the rest is all mostly very typical, item and key hunts and exploration, although this time there's very few real puzzles compared to the mainline games, being a much more arcadey experiance and makes it very fun and replayable, but there is one major new mechanic and it works very well, stealth. by holding down a button you will go into a slower stealth mode, this will make you more or less invisible to many zombies in the envrionment, enabling you to sneak thorough some rooms without combat entirely. it's a cool adittion and one that really makes this stand out. there's a variety of weapons too, a few pistols (including a silenced one for stealth), a very fun shotgun,a machine gun, granade launcher, magnum and even a massive lazergun you can unlock for future runs. speaking of unlockables, the game has a bunch, beat it once and you unlock the ability to replay as fong-ling, which while mostly cosmetic, is welcome and how i usually replay, plus new weapons, a new title screen on new game plus, plus other stuff such as starting with all weapons and unlimited ammo.
one thing i really want to mention is the games japanese name, purely because i love it. Biohazard gun survivor 4: heroes never die, it's just such a resident evil name and i wish they kept it for the localised release. the localisation in general is kind of weird, with the subtitles not matching dialogue even remotely and the voice acting being just all kinds of bad and charming but that's very much a positive, it ads a lot of charm, with bruce's silly accent and the dialogue just being dumb, but a fun dumb. The story is super fun too, very optimistic and campy, like a bad B-action movie, exactly what you want from this kind of game, it has a dumb sexy villian with a dumb goal, a villian with a fantastic design too and is another time when they, maybe accidentially(?) basically just made a fetishbait villian, good stuff, keep at it capcom. It's short, simple, has enough character development to be a complete arc and i like it a lot.

cavia are the studio behind this, a small development team in japan who you are most likely very well aware of, before dead aim their library is pretty small, being just a one piece rpg for the gba, which was pretty good, and Nihon Daihyo-senshu Ni Naro, a "dramatic soccer" life sim and the first of many such titles the studio would make, dead aim was for sure their biggest and most ambitous title up to this point and seems to have panned out well for them. also worth noting is the involvement of the band rize, who gave the game it's ending theme and reportedly some of the instrumentals used in other parts of the game.
sadly this would also be the final game in the gun survivor series, while cavia would later go on to make the two chronicles rail shooters for wii, they would play quite differently, and while both are fantastic games on their own, arent quite the same and don't quite have the charm of the few original survivor games we did get. The game does have some slight legacy beyond that though, with bruce and fong-ling both showing up in 2005's SRPG classic, namco x capcom, as playable units but that was the last time either character was ever seen. cavia themselves would go on to do very well over the rest of the years they were active, producing many a classic among jank connesurs, winback 2, bullet witch, ghost in the shell SAC, some really fun naruto games as well as the original, and the best, game in the nier series and still remain one of my personal favourite developers up until their shutdown in the early 2010's following the release of nier and the cancellation of their mistwalker collaberation cry-on.

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