Light gun games were all the rage back in the 90’s. Area 51, Lethal Enforcers, Mad Dog McCree, and Virtua Cop all had huge followings, not to mention the mass quarter-munching love given to the leaders of the pack: SEGA’s House of the Dead franchise and Namco’s Time Crisis series. I myself have fond memories of spending long afternoons in the arcade, virtually blasting bad guys, saving the world, and spending a considerable amount of my paycheck in the process. Eventually arcades began to fade off into obscurity as console and PC gaming became a more satisfactory solution, allowing us to get our game on without the vapid expense, or the constraints of business hours. Nowadays, with consoles putting a greater focus on motion controls, it seems only natural for the light gun rail shooters to get a bigger push, and what better way to do it than by meshing it with popular franchises?
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles first saw the light of day almost five years ago on the Wii. Back then, the Wii hadn’t quite lost its footing amongst the core audience, so this sounded like a good fit. As it turned out, it was more than a good fit, as the game was well received by both critics and fans alike. Offering easy and intuitive controls, along with a whole new perspective on the franchise cannon, Umbrella Chronicles was a crowd pleaser, so it came as no surprise when a sequel followed just two years later.
"Resident Evil Chronicles HD is easily one of the best choices among the Move-enabled games available today."
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles was very much like its predecessor in the fact that it was an on-rails shooter, and again provided a new perspective on Resident Evil history. It even bettered The Umbrella Chronicles in a lot of ways, including more-polished visuals and quite a few control tweaks. However, it didn’t sit quite as nicely with the critics as Umbrella did, most notably due to the handy cam-like presentation (NOTE TO DEVELOPERS: shaky camera work is almost always a bad thing). Nevertheless, the game did complement the franchise, and both are usually listed as among the recommended titles for the platform.
Flashing forward a few years, Sony has entered the Wii realm with their own motion controlled offering: Move. Bearing a lot of similarities to the Wii, Move can facilitate pretty much anything that the Wii can, only with more precise controls, and a much beefier piece of hardware to power it. Now both games are available on the PS3 (digitally, by way of PSN) in the form of Resident Evil Chronicles HD, essentially a port of the two with, as the title implies, a new coat of paint. If you missed it the first time, this is certainly the best option now.
Covering events from Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, and 3, as well as some unique material made specifically for these games, experiencing the series like this is a must for any fan of the franchise, or the on-rails shooter genre as a whole. Iconic scenes, such as the infamous zombie dog jumping through the hall window in Resident Evil 1, are back, only this time you’ll see it head-on. I don’t know if I can honestly say that the scare factor is the same, but it is still a real treat to see all of these moments from a new angle, not to mention the story that is spun by mixing parts and pieces from several titles, as well as offering bookend material between the existing stories which help flesh out the history.
The controls see a nice bump with the accuracy of Move, but beyond the shinier eye candy, nothing has really changed. Those of you who did play these games on the Wii and had issues with the mechanics won’t find any respite here. In fact, just the jump between the two games makes the differences in how each one controls very apparent. Unfortunately, since nothing else was changed, the shaky camera that plagued Darkside Chronicles also returns. It’s an irritant, for sure, but not bad enough to overshadow the rest of the package.
Little bothers aside, I had a blast with both games. They look great on the PS3 (especially Darkside Chronicles), and playing through some of the best sequences the series has to offer from a whole new perspective is quite fun. There’s plenty of collectibles to find, and weapon upgrades in the second game help keep things interesting as you proceed. However, if you have already finished these in their non-HD release, there’s little reason to come back unless you are a die-hard fan. On the other hand, if you haven’t given these games a spin, now is the time. Resident Evil Chronicles HD is easily one of the best choices among the Move-enabled games available today.
Release date : 2012-06-26
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Capcom
Gameplay : Shooter
Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?
Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.
Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.
Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?