Having Nostalgia For A Game I Never Played
The fully formed remake of the 1998 title, Resident Evil 2, came out this past weekend. I bought it knowing that I was excited to partake in a differently executed vision of a sequel I never played when it was first released on PS1. I also was going into it having loved Resident Evil 7, an evolution for the horror series as it was now in first person. It also brought back mechanics and ideas from the original 3 games that focused on survival and item management more than action and thrills. But after playing Resident Evil 2, I realized when I first started, a lot of the game became familiar to me. I never played it on PS1, nor did I scour the internet for comparison shots of the remake.
It was through a let’s play series that I found myself overly familiar with the game than I realized.
A Let’s Player by the name of Vash (youtube.com/vash12349) played through the original game around 2010/2011. As of now, his archive shows him playing through both Leon and Claire’s campaigns, as well as the second run for both of them. My memory solely remains in watching Vash play through as Leon in the “main” campaign. 11 years ago, I first discovered his channel while I was still getting used to do doing more things on the internet than simply playing Loony Tune games on a AOL portal. I first watched him play through all of Metal Gear Solid 1 on the first PlayStation, and mimicked him to my best ability while I tried to play it as well for the first time. It was a surreal experience. I was looking at my phone, watching what he did next in a video, and then continued to copy on my side. It was not how you should play a video game, especially back then. But it was my introduction to him. A personal favorite let’s play of mine is one where he played through Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Bnqmcwy2o&list=PLA2B8C2A70DF544C0.
It was through his play-through of Resident Evil 2 that I remembered aspects of the original game that I did not think I would remember while playing the remake. From the redesign of the police station, down to how the west office looked and was laid out, I didn’t understand at first how I could remember anything about this game. Even the damn crocodile was something that I knew was going to happen, excluding the trailer that showed a snippet of it in the remake. It had to be through a let’s play. Then I went into the deepest part of my memory and figured it out from there. And yet, while I overall went from loathing to falling in love with RE 2, I don’t know if my nostalgic feelings for the game count as nostalgia. Mainly, because I never played the original in my life. Is nostalgia through a let’s play series the same as experiencing it for the first time in 1998?
No, but it’s not a contest of what can be considered nostalgia for some, and not for others. Everyone experiences their way of remembering and having strong feelings for something, whether a piece of media you played or memories with your family, that touched them emotionally at a young age. Writing this I came to realize how much Vash’s channel really helped me not only understand the different types of games out there, he also helped me in being okay with watching someone play a game that I never played before. Now thinking about, Vash was the first Let’s Player I ever watched as I grew up on the internet. Even though I have stronger nostalgia for his Metal Gear Solid videos than I do for Resident Evil 2, I come to realize that having outside influences for certain things is not a bad concept. It’s only where you don’t give your own opinion on something you playing for the first time, and rather latch on to the opinions that came to influence your purchasing decision. Resident Evil 2 REmake (or whatever Capcom officially calls it) brought back a lot of feelings and memories I would never expect to be flowing back into my mind. But I am happy to have now experienced this game, as well as wanting to give thanks to Vash for influencing me as I moved on to different things in my life. Without Vash, I don’t think I would be the person I am today. And that’s saying something.
With that said, one of the major highlights for me in this game is the Tyrant. The Tyrant was something I sorta spoiled myself on through a review. I tried wiping it from my memory and it worked but I was not expecting the amount of tension that would come my way every time that big man was on screen. He looks like if Nick Valentine from Fallout 4 got hooked on steroids and took a time traveling machine back to 1998. And through time traveling, it affected his skin and accelerated his growth. I hate that dude, but it made for better tension knowing that this dude can just follow me everywhere, and that I have to stay on my toes at all times. I also love how visually incredible everything looks, especially when played on a PC. I looked at the differences between playing on a 4K display, and playing it at 1440p, and it is a massive difference. It will largely depend on whether you want a stronger performing game or a more visually enticing game. I tried to balance it out, and after numerous headaches setting it up, it all worked in the end.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I got a major Hunk to see.