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Resident Evil: Deadly Silence

"What is it...? What IS it?" Barry Burton, still struggling with what passes for acceptable voice acting, hopes it "isn't Chris's blood."

Anyone who's had to uncurl their toes from the horror of this opening scene will know exactly what it is: a direct port of the PlayStation original.

This is partly true. Deadly Silence does contain a Classic mode; an exact replica of the original, complete with its unintentionally amusing dialogue and horrendous intro.

The transition to the DS, however, isn't particularly funny. The handling of the original's full motion video, for example, with the DS resizing scenes in a messy patchwork of grainy fullscreen and badly compressed black-framed footage, suggests it's a long way from being optimised for the hardware.

The problems aren't confined to video, either. Returning to the unwieldy combination of fixed camera and rotational control is one thing.

Adjusting to it on a substantially smaller screen and confidently aiming at an approaching zombie from the extremities of the current view is another entirely. It's difficult not to feel disappointed.

Rebirth, Deadly Silence's rearranged version of the original, does at least offer some hope.

It promises a more action-oriented reworking, with new puzzles, a less stringent approach to ammunition and the opportunity to slash at approaching zombies with the stylus. But the latter issue causes some concern.

Standing alone, the zombies offer a pleasantly tactile approach to killing, but the way you encounter them is inconsistent, with some rooms automatically changing to the new perspective while others do not. The drastic difference in appearance to the rest of Rebirth's presentation is also too jarring.

Capcom, then, still has its work cut out if it's going to convert this rather frightening early code into its usual high DS standards.

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