I’ve spent a few lifetimes playing Resident Evil on the Wii this evening, and it wasn’t good. Now don’t get me wrong, I love shooting zombies, but I prefer it when I can control what I’m doing a bit more. In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles it feels as if you’ve been turned into a brainless zombie from the very start as you lumber slowly down corridors, or lurch painfully around corners. If I was to storm a zombie infested mansion with my well armed buddy I’d also hope they’d fire a shot every once in a while…
The level design felt predictable, and the lack of control over where I looked or went meant that some of the nicely rendered models might as well have been flat images, as I was hauled to the latest camera point of view. If the lurching wasn’t bad enough then the slow rate of fire, and questionable physics of the game just made it painful to play. It didn’t matter if the level was played on Easy or Hard some of the end of level characters were just boring, dull, and repetitive. I know Nintendo (and Mario in particular) has the motto of “Third times the charm”, and in Mario it is entertaining to do something three times and be rewarded by some small prize. Resident Evil:The Umbrella Chronicles, however, takes this to a new level, where you must pull the trigger a hundred times or more, and reload endlessly on the (helpfully infinite ammunition equipped) pistol. Grenades always fall in the same dull arc regardless of where you throw them, and the sword has a razor like swish and not a whole lot of effect.
Once you’ve fought one giant snake, you really, and I do mean REALLY, do not want to have to blaze away at it again in a dream sequence five minutes later. It wasn’t that exciting the first time. So for that reason alone (along with the bad level design, shaky physics, and lousy game-play) I’d suggest giving this game a wide berth!
However, if you can find a copy of Mario Galaxy, or Wario Smooth Moves, then you’ll have an enjoyable evening of family fun ahead. Oh, and if you want to shoot something with your Wii zapper, Links Crossbow Training (which comes with the zapper as a teaser game) is actually remarkably addictive, and entertaining!