I remember the first Resident Evil game, it reminded me of a more adult Alone in the Dark, with pretty spiffy graphics for the old PS1 and some top notch game play albeit a little hard...ok...a lot hard. But what shone out in the mighty Resident Evil for me was the immortal line.

"Take this Jill, it's a lock pick...you better have it, since you are the master of unlocking things." Yes the voice acting was crap, totally, but it was kind of cool crap as in cult TV crap.

Then came the next incarnations, RE 2 was probably the best, it had just that right balance of gore, terror and utter feelings of hopelessness. They abated quickly when you sorted out that boss or you solved that puzzle and in the words of the wise you felt as though you kicked some right ass. Resident Evil 3 was more of the same with a wider and more well thought out plot. But 3 lacked the appeal 2 had because you always were running from Nemesis. IMHO this really spoilt the game, he turned up too soon and too many times. I prefer to be stalked by a little psychological terror myself. It's that which does not kill you makes you stronger, and it's that which you can't see. Scares the hell out of you.

So on the PlayStation 2 we're faced with Resident Evil Code Veronica X, the same game as those folks on the Dreamcast had? Well kind of, there's actually a lot more to the PS2 version that I can see, and I've seen both. I am afraid I prefer the PS2 version of the game to the DC version. Sorry guys. So what about this game eh?

Well CVX picks up with the welcome return of Claire Redfield from RE2 fame, she's on the trail of her missing brother and she's going to kick some Umbrella ass to find him. Of course things don't always go as people plan or want them to, so we have the start of the game with Claire in a cut scene and running for her life, goons everywhere. Claire is captured and taken to a remote secret island stockade, and you can bet before long that you're going to be knee deep in Zombies before the first few scenes are over.

I'm going to pinch from the back of the box for a moment and type out their statement about the game.

Everything you feared and more!

Experience the most terrifying chapter in survival horror as it transforms onto the PlayStation 2.

After narrowly surviving the horrific onslaught in Raccoon City, Claire Redfield now seeks clues in search of her missing brother, Chris. To her horror, she discovers Umbrella Corporation's insidious activities are not isolated to the remote, mid-western city. No. Something much more larger is going on here...

Code Veronica X boasts these as its features.

Flesh-eating zombies and horrific beasts haunt Claire's every move?

Yep they do...I have to admit there's more pound of brain chewing, gut swallowing and bile spewing undead in this game than all of them put together and they're utter buggers to put down, often you'll find yourself pumping six or eight shots of pistol ammo into the weakest and praying to find some more ammo before they chomp you good. They shamble, groan and moan in hordes often seeming relentless; ah the good old days are back. Reload gun, shoot, run like hell, shoot some more.

Stunning environments - Real-time 3D allows for flickering lights and moving shadows?

Yes they did it at last, they moved away from the pre-rendered backdrops of the old games and created some very nice and detailed graphics for the locations, using real time lighting effects they have immersed us once more into the dark world of undead hordes and twisted mutations. And when I say nice I mean nice, it's still not using the Ps2's power to the full extent but it's very well done. The areas are perfectly formed and give you just the right amount of detail without going overboard and the undead are suitably urgh looking. Urgh = Ugly, Revolting, Gross and Horrid. The in game engine is used for a lot of the cut scenes in the game as per usual but it's really good, for once the voice acting and the story are driven along nicely, complimenting each other. A rare thing to see in the RE games.

Learn the secrets of Umbrella Corporation's activities through incredible never before seen FMV cut scenes?

I wouldn't go so far to say incredible, cause they're not all that mind blowing, say compared to the Square soft Companies slick FMV. But hell yeah they are wickedly good and showcase the new systems ability to run smoother and more detailed FMV, they get my vote.

Huge area to explore - bigger than all previous Resident Evil adventures?

They're not lying at all, I have to say once more IMHO this is the biggest, boldest and best RE game yet. They puzzles are all logical and pretty easy to solve, there's not too much to-ing and fro-ing, but you don't mind that when you are immersed in the game world and wanting to beat the bad guys into a pulp, save the planet and rid the world of the evils of Umbrella for good.

Unlock hidden games and game modes - Battle mode, First Person mode. Play as hidden characters?

Yeah this is more like it, this is what we want to see, options, options, options. I love unlocking things, beating scores and trying to unearth new game modes and costumes. It's one of the things I liked in RE2 when you found the clothes shop and you could change costumes. That made it a lot more fun to me. And CVX has gone one step further by putting in a fair few new modes of play.

Finally CVX includes a demo of Devil May Cry, and if you don't know what Devil May Cry is you better start saving those coins because when DMC hits the shelves gamer's heads are going to be turned right around. The inclusion of such a game demo in with CVX is a masterstroke of genius in itself. I'm going to kick some serious time aside for a moment and just enthuse about it. It takes the genre of action/platform and horror into a new step, you actually feel powerful as Dante the main character and the control system is a joy to use. But that's enough for now, I promise a deep and gushing review of this monster game when I get my paws on it.

Back to CVX. Well what more can I say, it truly is a sign of the times that the RE games have come of age and this is the one that's kicked up the notches on all counts. The weapons, the monsters and the environments are all fantastic, the controls are pretty much the same and the method is instantly familiar to those of us who have played all the previous incarnations of the game. Claire can move around freely and climb onto and off things as per usual; she can even shove some boxes and things around with great ease.

The voice acting and sound effects are pretty good. I wouldn't say the actors are going to win any awards since the dialogue can sound a little stilted at times, but this is certainly a very good attempt at decent scripting and voices this time around. My wife still cringes to this day when I say. "Take this Jill it's a " Since her name is Gill and I can't resist, wind up merchant that I am.

So is CVX worth it? Hell yes, go out and buy it now and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Resident Evil, and then allow your jaw to drop at the incredible Devil May Cry, which IMHO is going to take the world by storm just as much as Metal Gear Solid 2.

Until then, I'm off to lay the smack down on some shambling undead with these new guns I've found.