In this review I will take a closer look at Biohazard 2 (Resident Evil 2) re-released for PC by the japanese company Sourcenext in the year 2006. Unlike the original PC release in the US and Europe (here & here), Sourcenext released an optimised version that can easily be installed and played on modern operating systems (Win XP/Vista/7/8). It is the ultimate definite edition of Resident Evil 2 ever created! The only negative: It got only released in Japan! Let’s find out what it’s all about, shall we?
Englisch Translation Patch
As a side note. Biohazard 2 Sourcenext is the only release that got translated into english. There is a patch available (download here) that adds english text for the status-screen as well as the basic lines (“Door unlocked”, “Ammo Taken”). Sourcenext used the same data-structure as the old PC release. To translate the full game, (files, more basic text) it’s enough to just copy the files stored on the US or european CD-Roms in the games installation folders.
Biohazard 2 Sourcenext Patch 1.10 (Download)
The official Patch 1.10 for Bio2 Sourcenext. What it does is unknown to me.
Uncompressed Cutscenes in 640×480 at 30 FPS!
Not only did Sourcenext remastered the FMV’s, they also increased the overall screen resolution of the game to 640×480.
The original had two CD-Rom’s for each character, either Leon or Claire. Sourcenext combined both fitting on one DVD-Rom. Biohazard 2 Sourcenext doesn’t let you choose the language of the installation unlike Biohazard 3 – Last Escape. And it can be a chore to find out what must be clicked to proceed in the installation progress. It’s an trial-and-error experience, but worth if looked forward to what the definite edition of the game has to offer afterwards.
Original vs Arrange Mode
The differences surprised me. Original Mode in Biohazard 2 means that item placement as well as hitpoints are the same as in the japanese Playstation 1 version while Arrange Mode is the mix players of the western (US, Europe) PS1 version of Resident Evil 2 had. It makes perfect sense because a japanese player would assume that Original Mode features exactly what he first played on Playstation and not what western players experienced. This means for western players that Original Mode features indeed less ammo but monsters hit not so hard and eat less bullets before they die (for real). And there is auto-aim.
So Arrange Mode is the item and monster placement western players encountered, which is totally new for japanese players. But there are again some difference of their own! Unlike in the western releases: Enemies hit harder, are literally bullet sponges and the most important difference is of not having auto-aim!
Once the player finished both (Scenario A and B) more difficulties unlock: Hard for Original and Nightmare for Arrange Mode. Both are very unforgiving. Two or even one bite of a zombie kills the player, there are far more of them and they will need 20 if not 30 bullets to get killed. Whoever wishes to get the most hardest experience out of Biohazard 2 doesn’t come around to play the not auto-aim having Nightmare Mode (which is the same mix used for the Dreamcast version).
Specials: Hidden Scenarios
New on the Sourcenext Release is that it is now possible to select the hidden scenarios without to finish the main scenarios A and B multiple times in a row. The Special tab features these scenarios. There is Hunk’s 4th Survivor scenario and the vegan-friendly To-Fu scenario.
Specials: Extreme Battle Mode
The Extreme Battle Mode can also be found there. In this Mode the player picks from characters of the game (including Chris Redfield!) and needs to find 4 randomly hidden bombs in all of the main scenario rooms. Players are given a set amount of typewriter-ink to save their progress. Extreme Battle is the Mode that truly places the Survival back into Horror by randomly placed ammo/bombs and monsters every time they start anew.
Specials: PC only Data Gallery
At its very last, we now come to the positive part of Biohazard 2 Sourcenext, the part which makes this version the ultimate definite edition of the game in the world: The PC only Gallery Mode! Watch artwork, all cutscenes, character model and whatever you like! New content will be added one at a time while playing through the scenarios.
There are two typewriters that won’t save your game equal how much ink you waste on it. Overwriting a savefile leads to its deletion. Take care on these machines:
Biohazard 2 by Sourcenext includes:
– Easy Installation on Modern OS (Win XP/Vista/7/8
– Increased Resolution to 640×480
– Uncompressed Cutscenes (640×480 / 30 FPS)
– Japanese Original Mode with Hard Difficulty
– Arrange Mode with Nightmare Difficulty (same as western release)
– Extreme Battle Mode (Ada Wong & Chris Redfield playable)
– 4th Survivor & To-Fu Scenario already unlocked separately
– a Gallery with Rough Sketches
– a Gallery with Illustrations
– a Movie Viewer to watch all FMV sequences
– a Model Viewer to watch all character and monster models