Game Review: "Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles" for the Wii

12/10/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Michael Lee

"Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles" is a tribute to "Resident Evil" fans everywhere, because only true fans will enjoy this on-rails shooter. Gameplay is flawed, the appearance is messy, and there seems to be a few of bugs in the game that haven't been worked out. On a positive note, there is a plethora of “Resident Evil”-related content and you'll have a chance to revisit classic “Resident Evil” moments from a unique perspective, which fanboys and fangirls will love.

The first thing you should know is that this is a shooter and not a third-person action title like traditional “Resident Evil” games. You use the Wii remote as a gun and you blast your way through hoards of zombies. Furthermore, this isn’t a new adventure game in and of itself. While you will play some content new to the “Resident Evil” universe, the bulk of this game is a rehash of previous titles played through a shooter's perspective.

The story starts with Leon Kennedy and Jack Krauser in South America looking for a sinister character named Javier. During their pursuit, they run into a mess of zombies, which makes Jack ask Leon about his experiences with the Umbrella Corporation. Through the telling of his story, you’ll get to play through the events of “Resident Evil 2” and “Resident Evil Code: Veronica." Much of this will look familiar to “Resident Evil” fans, but what “Darkside Chronicles” offers is that it bridges the gaps between titles and thus makes the story more coherent.

Let’s start with the appearance. I found the graphical aesthetics to be a little disappointing. The characters look decent, but the zombies and backgrounds look either bland or overly gritty to messy. There also were times when you could see a difference between interactive backgrounds and non-interactive backgrounds. While I do give Capcom points for effort, it seemed as if they were trying to do something the Wii wasn't fully capable of and settled on something that looked substandard. Also, there seems to be some contrast issues. The brights were too bright and darker areas were basically pitch black. Some parts of the game, like the sewer segments, were way too dark and you ended up blindly firing away hoping to make contact. They do give you a flashlight, but the circumference is so small that it was like shooting with the help of a laser pointer. While the in-game look is below average, the FMVs looked very sharp and there are tons of it, so fans will enjoy that.

Another glaring problem with this game is the camera.--it’s constantly moving. If you can imagine that the “Blair Witch Project,” “Cloverfield” and a game console somehow had an illegitimate child, then that child would be “Darkside Chronicles." The persistent swaying back and forth made getting clear shots much harder than it should’ve been. While the movement does create an atmosphere of heightened tension, it also makes the game almost unplayable. There also is a problem with headshots. It didn’t register all the time, which also led to some frustrating moments.

The great thing about this game is the amount of content it has. The game offers full details of characters, bad guys, weapons, in-game notes, etc. Just going through all the extras alone will take a few hours. The game also is very long. Shooters tend to be a bit on the short side but this title is surprisingly lengthy. Also, the game has a grading system similar to "Resident Evil 4" and an online scoreboard. So, hardcore gamers can revisit certain levels to get perfect grades or high scores.

Overall, I found this game hard to recommend even for rental. Only “Resident Evil” super fans will really enjoy this game and they probably will purchase this regardless of reviews, so I guess everyone wins. While it’s surprisingly long and there’s a decent amount of bang for the buck, I think those bucks could be better spent somewhere else.

View the trailer for "Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles" below. Thoughts?

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  1. bcgirl said...

    Good review. I played this game at a friend's place and I also was not impressed with the graphics and the color contrasting, but I enjoyed the reminiscent storyline.

  2. David said...

    I have the first RE rail shooter on the Wii and really enjoyed it, but I wasn't too sure about this one.

  3. smartshopper2 said...

    Glad I read this review b4 Christmas, bought Res Evil 4 for wii as a gift instead and it was a big hit.

  4. David said...

    I agree with the review. I purchased this the other day for $30 on Amazon and played through it with my brother in a day. If you're a hardcore fan of the series, it's not bad for 30, but I couldn't possibly see spending any more than that on it.