Resident Evil Zero HD Review – Back To Its Roots!

Resident Evil Zero HD is the re-release of the 2002 Gamecube release of the same name. It is a prequel to the original Resident Evil, which also got a HD release recently. Since Resident Evil Zero’s initial release, it has also been re-released on the Wii under the name Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero. Resident Evil Zero HD is releasing for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC and is being published and developed by Capcom.

In Resident Evil Zero HD, you follow the story of the S.T.A.R.S Bravo team sent to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders in the Arklay mountains near Raccoon City. Bravo team was sent in prior to the insertion of the Alpha team who are the focus of the original Resident Evil. You get to take control of Rebecca Chambers, a new recruit of Bravo team, and Billy Coen, a soldier on the run from his war crimes. On the way to the mountains, Bravo team finds Billy Coen’s prisoner transport flipped and his escorts dead. Then, they stumble upon the Ecliptic Express, a train owned by the Umbrella Corporation which has been attacked. The story of Resident Evil Zero brings you to the origin of everything in the zombie filled universe, and it’s a fun story to let yourself get lost in. It’s a great experience to take a step back from a lot of the recent “blockbuster” Resident Evil releases like 5 and 6. This game is more about the story and the experience rather than the number of zombie head shots or explosions that occur. Billy’s character is fleshed out quite well, but we don’t learn much about Rebecca other than her rookie status. Of course, that’s a lot more development than we see for any of the rest of Bravo team though. Instead of character development, this tale develops an understanding of the original incident that spawned the Resident Evil series.

Resident Evil Zero has the classic Resident Evil tank controls as well as fixed view camera angles, but luckily these can be changed in the HD release. This primarily means that your character moves in relation to the camera instead of their own body, but this can also lead to issues transitioning from scene to scene where it’s sometimes difficult to keep walking in the right direction once the camera changes. Aside from some movement control issues the rest of the controls work well. There are five different presets control schemes from the original to ones that might be more familiar to players of current shooters. Each person might need to spend a bit of time in the menus to figure out which best suits them, but all are quite easy to get a handle on.

The game’s item management will pose a challenge, as players have to decide what is worth keeping in each of their character’s six slot inventory and what is better left behind. That might seem reasonable at the start of the game, but you quickly realize that this isn’t enough space when you have a handgun and ammo taking up a third of your storage. It’s worth noting that some of the items from your inventory that you need to interact with can be quite finicky. Keys will automatically be used to unlock doors, but objects like swipe cards need to be selected from your inventory while you’re already positioned exactly where the game expects you to be. Just don’t be discouraged if an item doesn’t work the first time!

The different difficulty levels found in Resident Evil Zero HD have quite a learning curve to them. If you play the game on easy, you can expect it to be about the puzzles more than anything else. You will still have some tough fights, but standing in place and tanking a boss is a totally viable strategy. For the normal mode, you really need to know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and what you can avoid to conserve ammo. This is the proper Resident Evil mix of tense action, item management, and puzzle solving. The Hard mode is for those who want a good punishment, and you can expect to spend more time running from zombies than engaging.

Once you have completed the main story, you get access to a couple of bonus modes. The first of these, Leech Hunter, returns from the original game. In this mode, you will get full access to the Umbrella Research Center and have to go from room to room killing as many leeches as possible. Based on how many you are able to kill before you die, you will be rewarded with perks for the base game. These rewards can range from unlimited Handgun ammo, to a Magnum in the early game all the way up to unlimited ammo for every weapon. This is a fun way to lengthen the game as you go in trying to beat your previous score. In this mode, zombies also have more health so good luck taking on as many as you can. Wesker Mode is the other bonus mode, and it’s new for this release. In this mode, you play through the full story but get to replace Billy with a powered up Wesker from later on in the Resident Evil games. Wesker has the same bonuses as Billy, but you also have a sprint ability that allows you to cross any room in no time. You also have an ocular blast that will deal heavy damage and cause the heads of all zombies in its range to explode. This allows you to run through the story again at a more lighthearted pace with such a powerful character to play as.

For a 13 year old game, this HD remake does Resident Evil Zero wonders. The models and textures have all been sharpened, yet they retain the same feel. This is one of those games where the HD remake looks exactly like you remember the game looking when you used to love playing it on the Gamecube. However, it’s easy to see just how much nicer the new version is when you put them side by side. One interesting side effect of sharpening up these assets is the somewhat waxy look that a lot of the characters get. You won’t be able to notice it much during gameplay, but it’s pretty obvious once you get into a cutscene. This HD remake also formats the game into a 16:9 aspect ratio, but also supports a classic 4:3 ratio for those who prefer it.

The sound design for Resident Evil Zero HD does an incredible job of mixing with the atmosphere of the game. The audio that you will hear primarily as you walk through the game is of various ambient effects like the rain outside the train and mansion. This can add to the sense of eeriness as your game quickly transitions from near silence to the moans of zombies when you enter a room. It also gives the game a sense of realism that all you can hear as you move around is the echoes of your footprints against the floors.

Resident Evil Zero HD takes us back to before the mansion incident of Resident Evil. It not only fills in some holes in the timeline, but also creates a fun experience full of puzzles and tense fights against an undead foe. Whether you’ve played it in the past or are new to the franchise and want to experience it for the first time, this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Near Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver. Autumn of 2018.

Vancouver City Hall is home to Vancouver City Council in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Located at 453 West 12th Avenue, the building was ordered by the Vancouver Civic Building Committee, designed by architect Fred Townley and Matheson, and built by Carter, Halls, Aldinger and Company. The building has a 12-storey tower (the point is 98 metres above sea level) with a clock on the top.

The building is served by Broadway–City Hall station on the SkyTrain’s Canada Line.

Between 1897 and 1929, the Vancouver City Hall was located on Main Street, just south of the Carnegie Library; that building had previously served as a public market and an auditorium. In 1929, City Hall moved into the Holden Building (built 1911), while the Main Street building became an extension of the Carnegie Library.

After being elected mayor in 1934, Gerry McGeer appointed a three-man committee to select the location for a new city hall; choices included the former Central School site at Victory Square, and Strathcona Park at the corner of Cambie Street and West 12th Avenue (no relation to the current park in the Strathcona neighbourhood). The panel recommended the Strathcona Park site, and City Council approved the selection in 1935, making Vancouver the first major Canadian city to locate its city hall outside its downtown.

Construction of the new City Hall began in 1936 (Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee) on January 3, and the first cornerstone was laid by McGeer on July 2. A 2.4-metre (8 ft) statue of Capt. George Vancouver, by Charles Marega, was placed at the front of the building. It was unveiled on August 20 by the visiting Lord Mayor of London, Percy Vincent. Vincent also presented several gifts to the city, including a civic mace, and a sprig “… from a tree in the orchard where a falling apple gave Isaac Newton the idea that led to his theory of gravity”. The mace and the statue still reside at city hall.

Construction on the building was begun the same year the opened. Construction cost $1 million, and was completed on December 1, 1936. Each lock plate on the outer doors displays the Vancouver Coat of Arms, and each door knob bears the monogram of the building. The ceiling on the second floor of the rotunda was made of gold leaf from several British Columbia mines.

After winning the civic election on December 9, 1936, George Clark Miller became the first mayor of Vancouver to occupy the then-new city hall, on January 2, 1937.

Construction on a four-storey east wing was begun in 1968 (completed in 1970) and in 2012, city staff gradually started moving out when a study found it would not withstand an earthquake. In 1969, a coat of arms was added, and the original building was declared a Schedule A heritage building in March 1976.

Toshiba laptops through the ages

Toshiba’s 35-year run in the laptop business is at an end, but what a journey it has been.


Toshiba was among the first vendors to offer consumers personal computers that were small and affordable enough for our homes. 

In a time where the phones in our pockets have far more power than PCs ever could hope to have back in the 1980s, it seems odd to think of when laptops were out of the reach of most of us — but this is one industry that has completely transformed over the past few decades. 

Let’s take a look at Toshiba’s PC career, starting with the first consumer-grade laptop made available in Europe, until the present day.

1985: The world’s first laptop?

In the 1970s, hobbyists created a market for home PC assembly kits, leading to the creation of Apple II in 1977, various Sony desktops, and the IBM PC in 1981. 

Toshiba was falling behind in this evolving market, having focused on Japanese word processors. While the company had formed a PC unit, the department was running on a deficit and Toshiba was on the verge of giving up. 

However, according to the Toshiba Museum, the firm believed a PC focused on “mobility, smaller size, and power-saving” could save the day — and it did. 

In 1985, the T110 debuted in Europe, described by Toshiba as the “world’s first laptop PC.” The T110 wasn’t perfect — using a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive rather than the 5-inch standard at the time — and cost 500,000 yen ($4,700). However, at least 10,000 were sold, giving Toshiba the drive to develop new models. 

1986, 1987: Toshiba T3100, T5100

The Toshiba T3100, a PC equipped with a 640 x 400 resolution, 9.6-inch orange gas plasma screen, operated on the Toshiba MS-DOS 2.11/3.2 OS — as Microsoft Windows builds were not yet mainstream — and came with an 80286 CPU running at 8MHz, as well as a 3.5-inch 20MB hard drive.

Basic setups offered 640KB memory, but this could be upgraded to 2.6MB. The T3100, weighing 15 pounds, was considered portable back then.

In 1987, the T5100 Desktop Portable 386 came on to the scene. Toshiba said it was the only portable PC using the Intel 80386 engine, which at the time was more commonly found in larger and more powerful desktop computers. 

Weighing in the same as the T3100, the MS-DOS 3.2 PC (.PDF) was geared towards business users who needed computers able to work with office applications and databases. 

An 8/16Mhz 80386 processor, an internal 40MB Winchester hard disk, a 1.44MB 3.5-inch floppy, 2MB RAM — upgradable to 4MB — and a 640 x 400 resolution gas plasma display completed the setup. 

1989/1990: DynaBook J-3100SS

Dynabook, Toshiba’s PC arm, has been around for decades and a product of note, released between 1989 and 1990 was the DynaBook J-3100SS. 

The J-3100SS was an A4-size notebook PC that used an LCD 640 x 400-pixel display and was far lighter than previous designs, coming in at 2.7kg. An Intel 80386 processor and 1.5MB RAM were standard — but this could be upgraded to a maximum of 3.5MB — as well as a 3.5-inch floppy and a 20MB hard drive. 

1992 to 2000

From 1992 to 2000, Toshiba released a number of laptops improving in function and specifications every year.

Released in 1992, for example, the DynaBook V486 J-3100XS portable PC featured a memory boost, coming in with 4MB as standard but upgradeable to 12MB. The DynaBook EZ486P was one of the few portable PC models sporting an inbuilt printer, whereas the DynaBook GT-R590, introduced in 1995, came with two operating systems pre-installed; Microsoft Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. 

As we moved into 2000, the DynaBook DB70P/5MC was developed in deference to a growing demand for devices able to support media playback. It’s a world away from our current consumption of streamed media, but back then, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, and DVD-ROMs were sought after, and this laptop was marketed as the first of its kind able to write to CD as well as play DVDs. 

2001: Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600

A year later, Toshiba launched the Satellite Pro range, a line of laptops (.PDF) intended for business and power users. The Satellite Pro 4600 series was offered with a range of Intel processors, a wireless LAN module, and accessories designed to switch from a laptop to desktop setup in the office. 

2005: Portégé M100

If you explore Toshiba’s laptop history, you can’t forget the Portégé range. In 2005, the launch of the Portégé M100 signaled a move to Intel Pentium M and Intel 855 chipsets, coming in as a thinner and lighter model than previous business PCs. 

This laptop, too, sported a far better battery life than its precessors — going from roughly two to four hours on a single charge — and also came with 40GB storage and 256MB RAM. 

2008: The gaming scene

During its long stint in the laptop industry, Toshiba also dipped a toe into the gaming world. In 2008, Toshiba launched the Qosmio X300 series, stylish laptops designed with gamers in mind. 

The flagship 17-inch laptop sported an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 and Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 processor, NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GTS/9800M GTS SLI graphics, 4GM RAM, and 520GB storage. 

2016: Business pivot

From 2008 to 2016, Toshiba developed a range of consumer and business laptops, improving over time in processors, memory, chassis, and speed. 

However, Toshiba began to break away from consumer models in 2016 to focus on the enterprise market, as shown with the 2017 release of the Toshiba Portege X20W-D. 

The 1.1kg Toshiba Portege X20W-D is a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet, sporting a 12.5-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics, and the Windows 10 operating system. 

2018: Sharp

In 2018, Toshiba sold its PC business to Sharp for $36 million, with 80.1% of shares transferred over. 

The company’s PC unit also rebranded to Dynabook, pivoting to enterprise-ready laptops including the TECRA X40-E, Portégé X30-E, and Portégé X20W-E.

2020: End of an era

In August, Toshiba formally exited the laptop business with the final transfer of its remaining Dynabook shares, 19.9%, to Sharp. 

The Japanese tech giant has weathered accounting scandals, nuclear power plant lawsuits, and drastic restructuring efforts to survive, and now, the company sees the future in industrial and energy solutions, digital signage, and the manufacture of IT components including semiconductors.