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Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles for Nintendo Wii
Platform: Nintendo WII Genre: Action/Adventure Rating: PEGI 18 Publisher: Capcom Release Date: 22/09/2008 Resident Evil: The Umbrella... Read More
Platform: Nintendo WII Genre: Action/Adventure Rating: PEGI 18 Publisher: Capcom Release Date: 22/09/2008 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a brand new game in the Resident Evil franchise, with familiar locales from the entire series. This action/shooter hybrid reveals the back story behind the fall of the Umbrella Corporation by exploring locations from Resident Evil 0, 1, 2 and 3 as well as new never-before-seen locations, such as Umbrella`s stronghold. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles combines first-person, light-gun style combat with interactive pathways, multiple weapons and new enemies to create an entirely new Resident Evil experience that could only be delivered on the WII GAME. Using the WII GAME Remote as a gun, players can experience breathtaking combat against a horde of zombies and various creatures in dynamic first-person perspective. Minimize
10 Reviews from Epinions.com
Jan 12, 2009
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles - Playable Encyclopedia
Pros: A solid rail shooter that offers a detailed history of the series
Cons: Its brevity makes it a rental for all but series fan.
The Bottom Line:
I cannot recommend a game that can be completed in under ten hours. While the series lore is nice, it doesn't warrant more than a rental.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles proudly continues the traditions of the Resident Evil series. Its pretty, has awful dialogue and, above all, is a blast to play, even if the scare factor has been lost over the years. Although very short (about 10-15 hours for a run through), Umbrella Chronicles makes the series proud.
Following the stories of Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3 and a new scenario in the Russian tundra (which does have series implications), Resident Evil tells the older stories in a smooth, streamlined manner. Through the previous game’s files and recycled trailers, the Umbrella Chronicles is an express line to the lore of the early games. What is surprising is that although the game itself is brief, it holds all the history of the series in a visual, playable encyclopedia. With the coming release of Resident Evil 5, all the lore is a nice refresh course for those who have not picked up the earlier games in a while.
The Wiimote is a perfect fit for the point and shoot interface of Umbrella Chronicles. Umbrella Chronicles uses every inch of the wiimote to create a simple, yet surprisingly adaptable control scheme. Players shoot with the trigger button (B) and go into knife and grenade mode while holding A. Players can also quickly sort through their weapons, up to four at a time and weapons can quickly be reloaded by quickly moving the reticle of the screen. There are times when this is poorly detected living the player open to attacks, but in general it is accurate. Using the on-screen reticle as a guide, players can accurately shoot down the hordes of undead. I have not found any problems with the accuracy of the reticle, although after playing for a while I found that shooting with only one hand on the wiimote could lead to a serious dip in accuracy.
So thank goodness that the Nunchuk attachment is optional for those who want to look a few inches in the cardinal directions. The only time this screen movement is necessary is when the game moves along the rails too quickly for the player to acquire new files and ammo. The problem is that the screen movement is fighting an uphill battle, and in general gives the player one to two more extra seconds. Other than screen movement it can perform the same options of the Wiimote (Change guns, grenade, etc).
Scenarios take ten to fifteen minutes and with 21 scenarios, the game can be completed in around six to seven hours, making it a pure rental. However, those who want to perfect their game and unlock all the files and lore will be looking at a 15-hour game. While this still does not push it past the realm of rental for most gamers, the lore makes more sense to fans of the Resident Evil series. I play this game mostly as a quick pick up, as there is nothing as refreshing as blasting zombies with machine guns and magnums.
And after those 21 scenarios grades are handed out. Grades are handed out after each scenario is finished and can be quite harsh. Grades are based off of critical hits, enemies killed, objects destroyed, time spent and files (Resident Evil History) found. High grades are a rarity, as they require players to be on top of their game in all the requirements. Grades allow players to power up guns, unlock additional lore, and unlock the sub-scenarios in the game, which offer insights into previously unseen stories of Ada, Hunk and most importantly Wesker (Who makes a strong push to be the main character of this game). These sub-scenarios are a nice contrast to the already told stories in the main track and offer extra difficulty.
Even on the easiest setting, Umbrella Chronicles is an unforgiving game, attacking players with a steep learning curve. The monsters quickly eat up all forms of ammunition, requiring players to aim for critical hit spots that are very briefly explained by the game. One of the unique features of the game is that ammo of secondary weapons, anything but the handgun, is saved after each scenario. The strategy of saving the ammo from the earlier, easier levels so that it can be used on the more demanding levels later in the game should be taken verbatim. There is nothing wrong with entering a stage with 1200 machine gun rounds.
Health quickly depletes, forcing players to scramble and miss shots as they try to survive before the needed healing herbs. While this cannot replace the atmosphere that the early games held, it holds the tension nicely like Resident Evil 4 did. Rather than set up a creepy, foreboding environment, Umbrella Chronicles attacks quickly to send players scrambling for survival.
Considering that most of Umbrella Chronicles environments are fixed they look pretty solid, about Resident Evil Remake level, and the detail of enemies falls somewhere around there. While it will not dazzle like the current generations graphics, it is a pretty experience nonetheless. And if you compare it to the House of the Dead series, well then Umbrella Chronicles blows the competition away.
While the musical score will not set the world on fire, it turns the dial from simple to creepy. Often recycling music from other games, Umbrella Chronicles finds a niche and is able to help create a tense although not overly frightening atmosphere. The sound effects are all recycled from previous games and, just like then, fit nicely. There is the occasional problem of muffled enemies, but it comes up only in certain stages.
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles is not the first rail shooter in the series, but it is certainly the best. With a generally intense atmosphere and solid, but difficult, gameplay, this game is a delight to pick up and play every once in a while if it can be found for cheap. Otherwise Umbrella Chronicles is best served as a rental, unless you are a fan of the Resident Evil series.
Compared to Resident Evil 4 (Wii Edition): While Umbrella Chronicles is not as pretty as RE4, it does cover more story than its much-hyped relative. Umbrella Chronicles is simpler, shorter and in general a step-down. But that is to be expected when compared to the series flagship game. While RE4 is a must own, Umbrella Chronicles is a rental for most. **Winner-Resident Evil 4**
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