Review: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

Review: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Review: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

Light gun games might seem like the most perfect choice next to sports games for the Wii. Oh sure, we don't need a "light gun" on the Wii what with the console's use of accelerometer based controls as well as the newly released Wii Zapper. Regardless, it makes sense for a system that makes use of movement and control to fully appreciate the fun that a proper on-rail shooter can provide.

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is one such shooter that lets you take on that traditional first-person shooter perspective that games like Time Crisis made so popular in the arcade during the late nineties. But rather than be cheeky and string a few levels together with a loose story like so many basic shooting games, The Umbrella Chronicles tries to put together the stories from a few of the past Resident Evil games in a way that's easy for new players to get into and fun for veteran Resident Evil gamers.

You'll follow the lives of people currently in the midst of a zombie infestation headed up by the evil Umbrella Corporation and just as the title says, you'll "chronicle" the events of the dark company and attempt to take down their secrets one at a time. This means you'll be fighting bats, zombies, mutated dogs, zombies weird monkey things, zombies, really big scorpions and... wait-- did I mention zombies?

The controls are really easy as you just aim and fire. Eventually you'll start to pick up that the game would prefer you to conserve your ammunition as some of the monsters are much easier to beat with say a shotgun than a standard infinite ammo crappy pistol. You'll also pick up health and gun upgrades over time but be aware that because the screen moves somewhat quickly at points, you've also got control of where you look with the Nunchuk's directional stick. This means you're not limited to where ever the screen wants you looking which is quite cool.

The sound isn't bad and while the graphics don't look like the best Resident Evil game, they're still dark & moody with enough blood to keep you happy for a while.

It's not all shooting either. Some of the extra things you'll have to do that don't include shooting include holding a button down while swinging your Wiimote to fend off animals you can slash with a knife as well as waving and swinging the controller to dodge bosses. While this makes the game more interesting than your average shooting game, the encouragement to use the Wii Zapper makes this less than ideal as waving your controller or press the A button repeatedly just isn't that easy when using the Zapper.

What works so well though in The Umbrella Chronicles is that it's constantly fun. While it doesn't last all that long and you'll only get around 4-5 hours out of it playing by yourself, that's still considerably longer than many of the stationary shooters available now. And while it's not very scary, it is quite a lot of fun for Resident Evil fans and anyone who's never picked up a Resident Evil game.

Developer: Cavia Inc
Publisher: Capcom
Classification: MA15+
Formats: Nintendo Wii
URL: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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