Resident Evil Archives I and II Bundle Paperback – Oct 26 2012
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BradyGames, an imprint of DK and a division of Penguin Random House Inc., is the world’s leading publisher of strategy content for PC and console video games. BradyGames understands what gamers—both casual and hardcore—want and need from strategy guides. Every guide features in-depth content, detailed screen captures, quick-reference tips, and professional strategy. Prima Games is also a leader in the digital strategy realm, offering interactive maps, streaming video, searchable online guides and apps, and a full website at primagames.com.
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There are 544 pages total from the two archives. Archives I covers Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Archives II covers Resident Evil 4 and 5.
The content covers the stories, characters, creatures, items, art, timeline and keyword profiles. There's a lot to read, uncover and reminisce about if you've played the games.
I like the character and creature profiles. For the characters, they are really detailed in the background. Also included are relationship maps that show you who's linked to who. The stories and profiles serve as a good recap to how the plot has evolved over the many games, and years. There are plenty of video game screenshots with the narrative.
The concept art includes character designs, creatures and background art. While there are many pieces, they are printed rather small so it's not easy to see the details.
Overall, this book is a must-buy for all Resident Evil fans. It's quite a bargain considering the price and the amount of content included.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Archives I covers Resident Evil 0 to Resident Evil Code: Veronica
Archives II covers Resident Evil 4 and 5
I think there is a tremendous wealth of information in these books, especially for someone like me who's only knowledge of the Resident Evil franchise has come from just the movies. The first RE game I ever played was Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City. I also have Resident Evil 6 Archives so now I have a fair chunk of Resident Evil games to play through. Due to the wealth of information I thought some of the illustrations were quite small but this might be due to the fact that these are screen captures from older games in a resolution that's sub-standard today. But that would be my only complaint.
Now, material from Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City and Resident Evil 6 are not presented. Perhaps there will be a Resident Evil Archives III...?
If you love the Resident Evil series you will love these books. If you're a Resident Evil n00b like me, well for the games at least, you will find tons of background and information on Resident Evil.
Here is a quick breakdown of what each book contains:
Resident Evil Archives Vol. 1 - 304 Pages (Covers Resident Evil 0, RE 1, RE 2, RE3, and RE Code Veronica)
The Layout of Vol. 1 is as follows:
Resident Evil Archives Vol. 2 - 240 Pages (Covers RE 4, RE 5, RE The Umbrella Chronicles, RE The Darkside Chronicles, and RE Degeneration)
The Layout of Vol. 2 is as follows:
Visual Work (Art)
Extra (The two Chronicle games and Degeneration)
As you can see from above, both books cover just about everything you could want about the main installments in the Resident Evil series (the most recent installments like Revelations and 6 are not included). The books do a good job of breaking down the storylines for each individual game. Don't get me wrong, there is no substitute for actually playing the games and getting every ounce of the plot, but the books do a commendable job of breaking down the plot of each game and catching up old and new fans of the series. The Character and Creature sections also do a nice job of complementing the Story section by giving you further information about the many characters and enemies in the RE universe.
The Item section actually covers all the items you pick up throughout each game. This section might seem unnecessary to some, but it is kind of neat to see how many items all the games actually included, not to mention how many were reused throughout the series (remember the crank). The Art section includes concept art, background images, and so on. The Keyword section includes more information about the different organizations, facilities, and viruses found within Resident Evil series. The Database basically includes transcripts of all the files you can pick up while playing the Resident Evil games as well as some additional content.
Like I said before, these two books include just about everything you could want to know about most of the main installments in the Resident Evil series. However, there are a few negatives worth mentioning. For one, while reading Vol. 1 I did pick up on a few errors, minor things at times like an image from one game being tagged as being from another. I also noticed a bit of an inaccuracy with the time frame from an event that took place around RE 0 and RE 1, as well as other little things here and there. None of this makes Vol. 1 unreadable or worthless, but hardcore fans will probably pick up on some of these errors. I also can't comment on if these are the same errors the original release of Vol. 1 had or less as I never purchased the original release. Vol. 2 for the most part is fine and if you do pick up on some errors, it is nothing major at all.
Now my only other issue is that of missed opportunities. For example, Vol. 1 includes a decent art section which even has some concept art for Resident Evil 1.5 (the original version of Resident Evil 2). Unfortunately we only get about three pages of art for Resident Evil 1.5. Yes you read correctly, only three pages. This feels like such a wasted opportunity. I do not deny, most of us can just search online for images and videos of RE 1.5, but it would have been great to get some additional content for it within Vol. 1 of this bundle. Certainly this is not a deal breaker or anything, just disappointing, especially for someone like me who enjoys concept art so much.
One last disappoint for me would be the lack of any behind the scene content on the Resident Evil series. I know these books are supposed to be like encyclopedias for the Resident Evil series and not making of books, but it sure would have nice to have some interviews with the developers or other things like that. They could have included vintage interviews and I would have been happy, maybe even a look at the Capcom offices where the games were made. Again, the lack of any of this is not a deal breaker, just disappointing (at least to me anyway).
Regardless of my minor complaints, the Resident Evil Archives 1 and 2 bundle is truly worth the money. There is so much content include in both volumes that they truly justify the price point. This is especially true if your new to the series and want to catch up on games you missed. However, even long times fans will probably find something they like in these two books, whether it be the art section or any of the other numerous sections included.
So I was very excited to see Archives I and II come out as a set!! And at a very, VERY reasonable price. Im a huge nerd when it comes to the RE franchise (I dont really include the movies in with that, since the storyline is quite different from that of the game, though the movies are good in there own right.) Yes, it maybe be a video game series, but i absolutely love the storyline, and how it all ties together, even all these years later since the first game came out. These books also fill in many of the gaps left open from the games, tidbits you might not have found out in the games. I literally can not be bored looking through these. Im not quite ready to take them out of the packaging, but I wont feel as guilty looking through my older copies.
If your a fan of Resident Evil, enjoyed playing through the games through the years, Id definitely say this is a one set of books to add to your collection.