Burning Attack: Ruining Resident Evil

Hold the holidays: some characters are getting hideous redesigns in the new Resident Evil 3DS games. James asks why in this new Nintendojo column.

By James Stank. Posted 12/21/2010 12:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

James Stank's Burning Attack 01

It seems as though Capcom just can’t settle on character designs for its Resident Evil characters. I, like many people, was furious at the changes that they made to Chris for Resident Evil 5. Chris had never been a guy with muscles that could rival Hulk Hogan’s. Chris had simply been an athletic guy that was an expert at taking down zombies. But when 5 rolled around, Capcom decided that being athletic wasn’t enough. He had to have muscles big enough that would allow him to beat giant boulders.

The ending to 5 was a joke, and Capcom knows it. However, Chris wasn’t the only character to get a revision in 5. Resident Evil’s Master of Unlocking, Jill Valentine, also received a character redesign, albeit a minor one. Jill’s hair became blonde, but other than that, it was basically the same Jill from every other Resident Evil game. Her face stayed constant, and has stayed constant throughout the entire Resident Evil series. From Resident Evil to Umbrella Chronicles to Resident Evil 5, Jill Valentine’s design has never changed.

But it seems that all good things do eventually come to an end, as for some idiotic reason Capcom has decided to change the way Jill looks in the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations for Nintendo 3DS, and she isn’t the only character to be getting a makeover either. I was upset when Chris was changed, I really was. But how else would he be able to push that huge rock? (sarcasm) I still don’t like it, but it is a change that I can live with, as it makes him more different than Leon S. Kennedy. However, since I began playing the Resident Evil titles, Jill has been a favorite character of mine, and I am furious that Capcom would even consider giving her a new design.

It looks as though Capcom wanted Jill Valentine to be a little closer to Lara Croft. Looking at the new Jill makes me sick. I know that Leon looks slightly different in the movies than he does in the games, but he looks close enough for you to tell that it’s him. Had I not known that this was Jill’s redesign, I probably would’ve thought that this was a brand new character, as she looks completely different from “real Jill.”

Since the remake of Resident Evil, Jill has been modeled after actress Julia Voth, but no longer. New Jill seems to have more color to her skin and a completely new face. Her eyes aren’t the right color, and her lips certainly aren’t the right size or shape. Everything about this “impostor Jill” is new. If they really wanted to have a Resident Evil character look like imposter Jill, why not make a new character instead of ruining an old one?

But I’m not done yet. Claire Redfield, Chris’ sister, has also been redesigned for her appearance in the other upcoming 3DS Resident Evil game, The Mercenaries 3D. From the images that Capcom released earlier last week, it appears as though Claire decided to dye her hair. Claire’s always had auburn hair, but it looks as though she now prefers black. Without going into specifics, her body doesn’t match the one she’s always had, and like impostor Jill, has a new face as well.

At least Claire’s revisions aren’t as significant as Jill’s, but it still begs the question: why? Why would Capcom suddenly decide to revise some of the most beloved Resident Evil characters? To me, it seems as though Capcom doesn’t care what fans think. If it did, it would know that fans would be incensed about such ridiculous changes. Not only that, but I thought that the designers would’ve paid attention to what happened with Sucker Punch earlier this year. When Sucker Punch revealed the new design for Cole, the hero of inFamous, fans were furious. However, Sucker Punch listened to the complaints of its fans, and created a new Cole that was closer to the original.

But Capcom isn’t Sucker Punch, and these changes are likely here to stay. How would you feel if tomorrow Nintendo revealed a new design for Mario? You’d probably feel upset, if not betrayed, and that’s how I feel about Capcom right now. Changing Chris was bad enough, but changing Claire and even Jill too? Capcom has gone too far this time. I was really looking forward to playing both new Resident Evil 3DS games, but now not as much. Revelations had so much going for it. It was supposed to be a better mix of action, along with classic Resident Evil elements such as puzzles and horror.

Now it seems as though Revelations is going to be a tough pill for Resident Evil fans to swallow. Capcom simply doesn’t care. It knew the reaction that these changes would garner, and yet went ahead with them anyway. I can only wonder which Resident Evil characters Capcom will ruin in the future. I’m sure Leon will be next in line.

5 Responses to “Burning Attack: Ruining Resident Evil”

  • 1332 points
    Andrew Hsieh says...

    “How would you feel if tomorrow Nintendo revealed a new design for Mario?”

    Wind Waker says hi :P

    I’m not a huge fan of Resident Evil, having only played the first, fourth, and fifth ones (and I didn’t even beat the first one on account of I’m way too easily frightened), but I can see why you’d be upset. How’d you feel about Jill in RE5? That was a pretty crazy change, too.

    Somehow I do think that RE is one of the franchises that Capcom likes to change the most, though. I guess ‘cos people have already tried survival horror and attempted to push it to its limits already, and Capcom thinks it’s already somewhat of a dead horse? I don’t know. Perhaps I need to play more of RE to find out, though, since right now it’s difficult for me to understand why it’s a horrible thing that RE is changing.

  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    I’m not a particular fan of the Resident Evil franchise but I’m one of these people that embraces change fairly easily. And didn’t Chris enjoy a redesign so that he fit more cohesively into the very different world of Resident Evil 5? I for one think that his aesthetic works well with both Shiva and the game as a whole.

    What’s your opinion on the Devil May Cry reboot, Dante’s transformation is even more night and day than those featured in the RE franchise and the entire world appears to have been taken along for the ride. Though I must say, I am more excited than ever to play a DMC game so maybe it’s all for the best.

  • 393 points
    James Stank says...

    I didn’t mind Jill in RE5. Besides the hair color, she was the same character. If you compare pictures, she still had the same basic look that she has always had since the REmake. I gotta say, I’m not liking the new Dante though. Again, he’s been a character that has always looked the same, whether it is Devil May Cry, or Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. And while Link did change, I was okay with that, because it is a “legend” and not every Link is the same one. Where as here, Jill decided to get plastic surgery, (Revelations takes place between 4 and 5) saw that it made her look horrible, and decided to get it again to change her back to how she looked before, just in time for 5. If they want to reboot the series, that’s fine with me, but I don’t want them changing all the established characters in the current RE universe. Bond showed that he could reboot, so I would’ve been okay if this was a new design for Jill, as Craig was for the new Bond. But what Capcom is doing is taking Daniel Craig, and calling him Pierce Brosnan. You can’t do that.

  • 441 points
    Terr says...

    I would like to start by saying that I am a huge RE fan & have all the games of the series in some form, most of them in their original form.

    What they did to Chris in RE5 was a little disturbing, but I wasn’t angry about it. In fact it made a lot of sense, although maybe they went overboard for it. Chris actively decided to bulk himself up considering the new threat of the Virus was now mutating into something that was stronger than zombies. I think the new changes aren’t too bad.

    Though if they fuck with Leon, we will see some mad rampaging going on ;)

    Seriously though, it’s the story & the game that compel me, not what a character looks like omg the eyes are different wtf? Also, Wesker is so not dead. The original Tyrant got dropped in lava & had an RPG thrown at him & he’s still alive & Wesker is 1000x stronger than he was.

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