Personally, I like the rail-shooting genre. I remember going to the arcades and playing House of the Dead many, many times. Sadly though, it seems like a dying breed. A good thing, however, is that many rail-shooters have made it onto the Wii, such as House of the Dead 2&3, House of the Dead Overkill, and Dead Space Extraction. I think it is also cool that Capcom has thrown their hat into the genre, and have released two Resident Evil Rail-shooting games. I am going to be reviewing both of them, but I will start with the first one, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. Did they do a good job? Or is it just as lame as the other cheap looking rail-shooters on the Wii?
The main story of Umbrella Chronicles is basically a retelling of three games in the Resident Evil series. The three in question are Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3. The also has another story that takes place in the cold lands of Russia, I think. If you have played any of the Resident Evil games, then you will have no worries about knowing what’s going on.
The game play in Umbrella Chronicles is a classic rail-shooter, where you can control one of two characters during the single-player mode. You, of course, have your pistol that has unlimited ammo, which is good since it would just be impossible to get through the game if you kept running out of ammo for every gun. You also gain other weapons during the game, like machine guns, shot guns, rocket launcher, and you get the idea. Your main form of healing is, of course, green herbs. You can also pick up healing sprays, for when you die, they can bring you back to life, which is pretty cool, since I will talk about the difficulty in just a second. When a zombie latches onto you, you can do a counter-move and knock them back, and killing them from time to time. You use your Wii remote to also pick up items like files and such. You can also play with another person, but you share the same health meter. There are multiple paths, which require another play-through, which is nice since it gives the game replay value.
The graphics for the game look amazing, and the new cut scenes are also very impressive. The in-game graphics are also nice, even if you find a graphical flaw from time to time. The music is very intense, and fits the situations from fighting Tyrant to shooting sharks and zombie dogs. Now, the first Resident Evil is infamous for really bad voice acting, but I say the voice acting in this game is pretty good. Yeah, there are the occasional cheesy lines, but you get the idea. If you’re a fan of the scripts in Devil May Cry, then you won’t mind the scripts in this game. The difficulty is increased in this rail-shooter, which is good since you won’t breeze through this game in a couple of hours, like you would in House of the Dead Overkill.
There are some gripes that I have with this game, though. While I enjoy the game’s difficulty, it kind of requires you to play with two players. The reason why I think this is because the later levels in the game get really tough, especially during the retelling of Resident Evil 3. When you’re playing a rail-shooter you want to feel embraced by its atmosphere. However, there are some things that take you out of it, like when you’re knifing crows, leeches, and zombie vomit. I also hate how a headshot does no justice in this game. I mean, when I shoot something in the head, it better fall flat on its back. While I know every zombie game needs a shotgun, I just hate how it takes so dang long to reload. I have died multiple times due to the long load times with the shotgun.
Even with its minor flaws, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a fun game and I would recommend buying it if you are a fan of rail-shooters. I will say though, that I would only buy it if I were going to play it with a friend, since I would rather not fight the same giant worm for 2 hours. Now, I will just have to see how Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles holds up.
This game gets an 8.1 out of 10.