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Resident Evil Gaiden (Game Boy Color) artwork

I can’t believe it! I’m finally gonna work alongside legends like Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine! And together we’re gonna take Umbrella down, once and for all!

I got sent to some headquarters that looks like a cross between a corn silo and a supper villain’s hideout, but whatever. It’s strange, though. I asked someone what this group was actually called, if it had some cool name like BSAA or something, but he just said ‘aum’… and trailed off.

Whatever that means.

Around 2:30 today I was called into the chief’s office. Seemed I was going to be working alongside the one and only Barry Burton! Survivor of the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City, and good friends of those legends I mentioned! He was Chris’ old partner, y’know!

Those two scientists on the viewscreen in the chief’s office sure looked hard at work pushed them same button and fiddling with the same whatever a hundred times over while I was watching. Was it really so urgent for the chief to monitor these two guys?

Anyway, the chief explained to us that one of Umbrella’s new, deadly BOWs was running amok on some ship, hiding amongst the passengers. Weird. So it could mimic human form?

Apparently we’d also be working along Leon Kennedy, but they lost contact with him a day ago. A whole day… they sure took their time getting this rescue mission together. That was our second objective, by the way. Though why the chief referred to him as Leon S. Kennedy of the Raccoon City Police Department is beyond me. Wasn’t he working with us now? Raccoon City wasn’t even standing anymore; was in poor taste, if you ask me! Why announce him by a previous job? They didn’t do that for me, nor use my middle initial. Strange.

On the chopper ride to the Starlight, I asked Barry what the organization we worked for was called. Why’d they have to be so secretive? He also just said ‘aum’ until I demanded to know what that meant.

Anti-Umbrella Movement.


Anyway, I’ll be periodically writing in this thing as we go through our mission. I’ve never dealt with BOWs face to face before, and figure it’s a good way to keep my head together and my story straight. I’ve heard they can be quite terrifying.

It was weird. Upon landing on the ship, the first thing I noticed was how at a distance Barry’s bright red hair and beard suddenly looked pitch black. Were my eyes already playing tricks on me!?

Before we could even make a move HQ called in with the helpful advice to look in boxes for things. And to then take said things. Thanks, HQ! Why they only armed me with a handgun is beyond me. We’re special ops. Where’s our submachine guns and assault rifles? Frickin’ budget underground resistance.

Oh, well. At least Barry had his trusty magnum I’d heard so much about. No zombie could survive a single hit from that thing. Except this one kitchen zombie Barry told me horror stories of…

It wasn’t long before we came across a yellow herb. That was great! I’d read in an herbal file about those; they’d make us feel far more vital and robust. Maybe let us take on even more than before. But Barry just shook his head and told me it was just a regular herb that’d recover moderate injury.

What a gip.

HQ again called in to inform us they’d detected hostiles in the lobby. How? Zombies were cold; they wouldn’t show up a thermal scan. Something didn’t add up here. Then they told Barry to use his targeting system to take them out. How crazy is that? Look, I know the guy’s damn good and all, a survivor of multiple apocalypses, but don’t pretend he’s literally Robocop. Sheesh!

For someone who’d run into zombies a number of times already, Barry seemed awfully shocked and confused at the first group we encountered. I was less taken aback, and all I’d done is study files. Maybe the legends weren’t true after all…

Even worse, around one bend a zombie from the shadows grabbed Barry. I couldn’t fire; Burton was in my line of sight. But he shoved the thing away and quickly took it out…with a handgun. Just like mine. “Where’s your magnum?” I asked him. He just looked at me like he didn’t know what I was talking about.

Something strange was going on here for sure. And that was even if I ignored the fact that Barry’s aim swung wildly to the left and right, back and forth, over and over, before he downed that zombie…

Heading west to some elevators, we took a pitstop in a bathroom. “Shotgun shells!” I noted with glee, but Barry insisted we couldn’t take them; we hadn’t found an actual shotgun yet. Was this guy out of his mind? They’d be a huge help when we DID find one!

Relieving myself, we pressed on. This was a really odd first assignment. Between Barry’s suspicious behavior, the half-assed way HQ set up this rescue op and our armament, and the various files littered about that just as kindly as HQ had explained how to do things like use a key to unlock a door… Something wasn’t right.

For some reason, the ship’s PA system would blare out this bad, tinny ‘horror’ music all the time. But the weirdest thing was it’d just randomly change when Barry and I went into a new area. Even though it cycled through maybe four or five different tracks at best. Got real annoying real fast. At least the music cut out (for some reason) whenever a zombie groaned. Crazy ass ship.

A random zombie was carrying a very important set of keys. It was good that I took it out, otherwise we’d have been stuck. HQ had advised us to avoid combat, and yet it looked like we had no choice but to kill everything in our path to get the needed items.

Were they trying to sabotage us?

We found a shotgun not long thereafter. Barry wanted to press ahead, so I quickly ducked back into the bathrooms we’d found shotgun ammo in. Crazy bastard; what was he thinking?

On the second floor, I watched Barry deal with a pair of zombies, wondering why he alerted them to his presence before opening fire. He could’ve easily taken them out unawares…

Out on the deck, Barry noted the security room (we were to use the cameras to try and locate Leon) would probably be locked. Guess that meant we’d have to fight everything in our way again.

I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to cause Barry to become so…serious. Every file I’d read on him described him as a wacky, jovial guy; always quick with a joke or a pun. He hadn’t deemed me the Master of Shotgunning or anything yet, despite my proclivity for the weapon. Hell, I earned it, Mr. I’m-Too-Good-To-Take-Ammo.

I dropped the first deck zombie we saw with my shotty. Odd; it had been using a hook on a pole for a weapon. When did zombies get smart enough to use weapons? Was the virus evolving? If this ship reached some small Spanish or African village, say, it’d be a nightmare.

We had to stop this here.

Worse than the weapons-usage, these zombies up here still crawled after us even after I put them down with my shotgun. And ammo was running light. I told Barry our best bet was to blast them, grab any item they might have, and run. We had to find that key before all ammo was gone. If there even was a key.

After ordering me not to take grenade launcher ammo I’d spotted, I’d had enough. Barry was sabotaging the mission. I didn’t know what to do. As soon as we found Leon I was gonna let him know what was up. Get this hack fired or arrested or something.

We FINALLY reached the security room, and to my dismay there wasn’t a shred of extra ammo to be found. Nor was there a trace of Leon. Instead we spotted a teenage girl hiding out. Apparently Leon had found her. Name was Lucia. And as we talked something seemed to be trying to break into her hiding spot and get her.

However, I wasn’t as quick to gallantly rush off to save her as Burton seemed to be; after all, HQ said the BOW could mimic human form. How could I be sure Lucia was really some helpless passenger? Hell, how could I be sure Barry was Barry? I did separate from him to grab that shotgun ammo before. Or that Leon would be Leon when we found him.

Was there no one I could trust?

Still, I had little choice but to tail Burton to the Sun Deck, where he found Lucia under attack by a large…something. Guess she was really her after all, and Barry was Barry. I’d have to make sure not to separate from either again. Bonehead move on my part before, but I was the rookie. Burton should’ve not let me.

We stood between the monster and the girl. It was a hideous freak. Huge, 7-foot-tall behemoth, with skin like stone and dead eyes. My hands shook as I gripped my trusty shotgun, but I stood my ground.

It grabbed out for Lucia with…stomach tentacles (okay?) and attacked Burton and I with its massive fists. It was a short but fierce battle, and at the end of it we stood the victor. The thing dissolved into a grayish blob, which was frankly disgusting. But it squirmed away. I knew it wouldn’t be the last time we’d run into that freak; we were gonna need all the help we could get. Like the damn grenade launcher. Stupid Barry.

Lucia was acting really peculiar, all the same. She hadn’t been hurt. At all. And the way she talked and acted… I dunno. I’d just seen the BOW slither away, but I couldn’t help thinking we still couldn’t trust Lucia. Or Barry still, for that matter.

Whatever. We had to find Leon. HQ called in to tell us that they’d finally unscrambled his last coded message, and to look in the First Class Cabin area. Why? Why would he still be where he was a day ago? I pushed it aside. Not like we had any other leads, and maybe there’d be a clue to his present location there.

First Class was locked. Of course. We’d have to search Second Class for a key. The halls to it were crawling with zombies. I had to wonder why every female zombie had the same haircut, the same blue dress. It was very odd. Like the ship had been a pleasure cruise for a cult.

Searching the Second Class area, we came across some Semtex in a cabin. What the hell was THIS doing in a random passenger room? And how did Barry know it was needed for the Captain’s cabin? Hunting onward, we found a lockpick. I even waiting for a moment with bated breath for him to say it, but…nothing.

Barry was far too stoic for his own good. I really hoped he hadn’t rubbed off onto Leon. I could at least count on him to not be a soulless robot; if we ever found him. We finally found the First Class key (and an assault rifle!!) but on the way to the cabin area Lucia ‘felt’ the BOW returning. Okay… but sure enough the damned thing crashed through a window moments later. This time it easily fell to my shotgun, though. Or so I thought. It popped out from the shadows after I dropped it (how it did that is anyone’s guess) and nabbed Lucia. Right, just grabbed her. Instead of killing her.

Didn’t make a lick of sense.

Down a hole in one of the First Class cabins we found an oddly-blurry Leon. His face looked like a skin-toned blob of flesh. Maybe my eyes were just strained, or maybe he was one of those human-looking BOWs. Who knew?

We set out back for the security room to use the cameras and try and find Lucia. Leon took up the assault rifle that Barry had been ignoring, although he refused to use it in anything but single-shot. Fair enough, I supposed; we still didn’t have hardly any ammo.

Up in the security room we spotted the BOW and girl; Barry was finally thinking with his head out of his ass for once, wondering why the BOW didn’t just kill her. But Leon was all too quick to defend her like a fool. I didn’t know who to trust at this point, beyond Mr. Shotty.

Yes, Mr. Shotty…he wouldn’t let me down. Hee-hee.

Leon told Barry that he’d talked with Lucia, and she explained that she had super-senses and quick-healing. And this…got him to trust her and not think she was a superpowered BOW. Somehow. Sounded like she was Wolverine’s kid sister to me, but if she tried to snikt to me, Mr. Shotty would send her…to HELL…

All the same, we cornered the BOW and attacked in tandem. Between my shotgun, Leon’s assault rifle, and Barry’s…handgun (shoulda brought that magnum, dumbass) it didn’t stand a chance. But even after getting Lucia back it still came after us. We had no choice but to cut and run.

Lucia suggested we head to the refrigerator. Other survivors might be there. In a refrigerator. Whatever, I was hungry anyway. To my dismay, joy, and confusion, we found no survivors nor food in the fridge, but instead yet another key and a grenade launcher (?!?!) to the 2nd floor crew quarters.

Once when got there, the ship was rocked by an explosion. What the hell was going on? If the fire reaches the engine room, the ship’s dust. So our Fearless Leader Barry called in an evac. HQ told him to kindly piss off, that they were gonna fly cuz it was kinda rainy.

Aw, boo-hoo. Their chopper’d get wet. I’m gonna die unless we got that fire suppressed! In other news, apparently the BOW has green skin. We had to be told this by Helpful Quarters, since we haven’t fought it like a half-dozen times already. Thanks, dicks.

First thing I noticed about Leon was that at a distance he looked exactly like Barry, save for the lack of beard and that he wore blue instead of gray… Barry left to go do…something (great he’s gonna be a BOW when he comes back I know it), so Leon and I went to the third floor computer room, blah blah blah, keycard hunt keycard hunt. Suffice to say we kept getting pingponged about the ship just to get this blasted computer running. Whoever designed this ship needs to be tortured slowly and painfully. This fetch quest nonsense was way scarier than bright green and purple zombies of 3 different varieties. Sight.

We kept finding items that Leon instantly knew about the problems they’d be needed to solve. I guess he was here before us, but still. Seemed odd. He also knew we’d be traveling to a sub later, just stating “It’s on the map.”


The oddest thing happened. I led a hook-wielding zombie back a ways down a thin corridor out into a large open space, so that we could juke around it and get down the corridor unimpeded. Got the zombie out there…juked around it…and when I got back down the corridor it was there again. HOW!? This a ninja zombie or something?!

Turned out Leon had the same penchant for not taking ammo with its proper gun (a !@#$! rocket launcher this time; I’m gonna kill him) and swinging his aim back and forth while fighting zombies. He, like Barry, swung the guns back and forth even faster for the heavier weapons. Which doesn’t make any sense, but the whole aim swinging didn’t make any sense to begin with. At this point I’m almost used to this kind of moronity.

Found a fire extinguisher. Which was good for dealing with the fires supposed rampaging throughout the ship. Though despite all the backtracking and being bounced around I hadn’t seen a single one yet. Strange.

Finally coming across a much needed key card, I was dismayed to find out Leon lost it immediately after finding it. He just kept bleating “It isn’t showing up in my inventory!” Ridiculous. We JUST picked the damn thing up! He also kept complaining about how he couldn’t check what he had on him or look at the map unless we stopped moving completely.

It had gotten too out of hand. I was pulling out. Completely. Thanks to Leon’s incompetence I was completely incapable of finishing my mission. So I just told the lot of them to piss off and ended my involvement in it.

Later, back at AUMHQ (say that five time fast) they had some wild stories to tell about green-blooded Leons and a Captain Zombie and so on. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I couldn’t finish my mission, and that was utterly ridiculous. All the other crap I’d had to go through was bad enough: Barry not acting like Barry, his screwy way of aiming, Barry and Leon being identical twins, those two bleating about constant red exclamation points, not being allowed to pick up ammo with its corresponding gun, the horrid PA music…but a key literally being lost the instant it was picked up--rending the mission unbeatable--was the last straw.

No wonder Umbrella hadn’t “gone down” in how many years now. I need a damn drink.

turducken's avatar
Featured community review by turducken (April 04, 2009)

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To the word. Seriously, that's crazy (kinda, but makes sense if you've played the game). Anyways.


If you enjoyed this Resident Evil Gaiden review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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randxian posted April 04, 2009:

At first glance, I didn't think the story review would work here, but somehow you manage to pull it off. It was an enjoyable read, and the flaws embedded within feel natural and the whole thing works wonderfully.
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zippdementia posted April 05, 2009:

I totally disagree with the above statement. I thought this was, to be frank, a painful read. Story reviews are hard to pull off and mostly work by being brief and to the point. This one meanders for many paragraphs.

Sorry, I didn't like this at all.
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randxian posted April 05, 2009:

I normally don't like story reviews either, but I enjoyed this one.

If nothing else, it is better than the other review for this game. The guy in the other review talks about how his friends show up and make fun of him for still playing kiddie video games before passing a bong around.

It's bad enough forming friendships with people who don't share similar interets, but it's worse when they have tolerance for your hobbies. If they have such a huge problem with you playing video games, maybe it's time to get some new friends who don't.

Plus he insinuates that the main selling point for the RE series as a whole is that it impresses your friends when you blow a zombie's head off. So it doesn't matter whether or not YOU enjoy the game; all that matters is that your friends like it. C'mon man.
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zippdementia posted April 05, 2009:

See, HMD's review works for me because, though it has a gimmick, that gimmick is surrounded by an actual review. Just when it starts to drift too far, HMD reels it in and shows you how it works.

This review is more like a blog post. If it didn't say RE: Gaiden at the top, I'd have little idea of what he was talking about.
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randxian posted April 05, 2009:

I just have a hard time giving credibility to some guy who seems more worried about what his friends think about his video game habits than his actual opinions. It's like he's saying this game is bad because it's on a small screen and all his friends can't huddle around and be impressed. I mean c'mon.

He even admits these people barely play video games. Why should I care what they think? I want opinions from people who actually play games.

Edit: To be fair, I suppose after he's finally done talking about imrpessing his friends, the rest of the review isn't too bad.
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turducken posted April 05, 2009:

It's fine; I'm not too in love with it myself. It was originally meant to be a review for a tourney, but I missed that deadline. I didn't mind that too much because I also felt it was garbage and barely a review.

I was then persuaded by Emp to finish it, so here it is in all its long-winded glory.
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EmP posted April 06, 2009:

EmP is always right. I see this as proof.

I enjoyed the read. It was long, but didn't feel it and I learnt about the game indirectly while having a laugh. Gaiden's a dumb title, so it was a good pick to lampoon it. My favourite lines were the ones ripping into the fact you needed X weapon already to pick up X ammo and the sly nod to RES 4&5.
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overdrive posted April 06, 2009:

I enjoyed the review as well. Seems to fit in with the theme of Lewis' competition, as well.
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randxian posted April 06, 2009:

sly nod to RES 4&5.

Yeah, I liked the foreshadowing used in that line as well. I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoyed it.

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