Moving on to the beginning...
So I bought the Resident Evil Remake as soon as it was re-released on the Wii (as 'Resident Evil Archives'), played Jill's game, liked it enough that I played it through a second time, and then moved on to Chris' game. That I only actually finished this weekend. Having managed to become quite skilled at traversing the mansion as Jill, it was a bit of a shock to play as Chris and suddenly lose two of my inventory slots, and find that all my favourite short cut doors now required a 'small key' in place of Jill's trademark lock pick. Coupled with the fact that I just found Chris to be a less interesting character than Jill (a straightforward action hero compared to Jill's more subtle and cunning heroine), I didn't get that far into his story before I stopped playing.
But Chris is also the lead character in Resident Evil 5, where he's found both a more interesting outfit and a much stronger personality, so I kind of felt honour-bound to try and finish his origin story before completing RE5. Obviously, I failed, but I got there in the end. :-P
So I've now finally completed (special masochistic game modes aside) the original Resident Evil game (or at least, its prettier update). One thing that struck me throughout is just how much unlike its sequels it is. I don't just mean that this game really does force you to carefully conserve ammunition (there were times when I was dodging past zombies with only a couple of bullets in my gun), but there's also a lot less story in here. Most of the game really is just exploring this creepy mansion, unlocking doors and solving puzzles. When you encounter other characters, it's never really to advance the plot so much as to foster a sense of life (or un-life) in the mansion.
And as a game that's primarily about drawing you into this carefully realised environment, Resident Evil succeeds brilliantly. This remake was (appropriately) one of the last Resident Evil games to use the infamous static camera style, before RE4 introduced the influential over-the-shoulder perspective, and I think it demonstrates how well developer Capcom had honed the formula. The camera angles and controls do (unfairly, but deal with it) create a sense of fear about what may be just out of view, and playing into this is a sublime use of light, shadows and careful framing to create striking visuals - whether it's lightning throwing the shadow of a previously unseen zombie across the room, or the feet of a hanged corpse swaying steadily in the corner of your view.
I'm often saying that the things I care about most in games are the characters and the locations, and in both these respects I think you can say the Resident Evil remake is visually striking, over-the-top and memorable.