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House of the Resident Evil - Destructoid

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Q: What do you call yourself?
A: Bennett, mostly. I do go by the alias Red Beret, though, and any variation thereof.

Q: What are your qualifications?
A: I don't have any.

Q: Does that stop you?
A: Of course not.

Q: So, why "Hit or Miss?"
A: Because the general response to a blog post could go either way, and I'm okay with that. I feel that it reflects the fact that this is a place for people to share their opinions... good or bad.

Q: I see. Tell us more about yourself.
A: Well, I consider myself a casual gamer. I mostly play through games for the story rather than the challenge, and I very rarely play games online, as I don't have great Internet service. I play on a wide enough genre spectrum to stay in the loop with most things, but generally I pass on anything I don't take an interest in... no point in diversifying my portfolio if I'm not gonna have fun with it, eh?

Currently, I'm in possession of a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360. The Wii has not been turned on in the past month, and I'm pretty sure it only exists as a paperweight or a conversation piece--I'm not sure which. Maybe both. Actually, it's kind of useless as a paperweight, because Nintendo decided to devise this little... stand thing, so you can't really pick it up in that convenient way most paperweights can be picked up. So I guess it's a conversation piece. People can ask me, "Oh, you have a Wii?" and I can say "Oh, right, that's what that is."

I suppose I can count my computer, too, but I don't, since I can't really play games on it (its loss).

When I'm not gaming, I do "normal" things like eat and sleep, and when I'm not doing any of those, I rock the AirSoft scene (6mm Mercenary FTW) and post my opinions in the public domain, where unfortunates such as yourselves may read them, haha!
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Ever since my first visit to an arcade, I've been a pretty big fan of light gun rail shooters, including Confidential Mission, the Jurassic Park games at places like Frankie's Fun Park, and most of the House of the Dead titles. Thus, it was a pretty standard purchase when I walked into my local GameStop and bought Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.



I figured that it would be a great game, and I was pretty much right. I'm a huge fan of the Resident Evil games (I've played up through Nemesis, so I'm not sure about the others, sadly enough), and as I said before, I'm a big fan of the rail shooter style. It couldn't possibly miss, could it?

Folks, I'm rather torn as to how to rate this. The Umbrella Chronicles is a game that is both absolutely fantastic and frustratingly difficult at the same time. Unlike other Wii titles that I've encountered, the graphics were superb and finely detailed. The story, I was relieved to see, also details the events of the segments (it covers the events of Zero, the first Resident Evil game, and Nemesis, as well as making allusions to Resident Evil 2 in sub-missions) quite accurately. Of course, there are some details that are fuzzy in my memory, but I was fairly impressed with how the story turned out.

Players are also able to select their weaponry from a growing arsenal as they go along, and any ammunition for a weapon that isn't expended during one level is available for the next. Players are able to upgrade their weapons with the points they earn from their ratings, and are scored on a letter system based on kills, headshots, damage taken, the time it took to get through the level, and items collected.

Zombies could either hit you or bite you, and some of the more mutated specimens had other special attacks. Generally, you could get away with a "grapple scene" after instructions flash up on the screen. If you follow the instructions, your character will dodge and in some cases execute the enemy attacking them in one hit.

That said, combat could be rather irritating. The zombies and other creatures you face can take a helluva lot of damage. Even if you're just facing down a regular, non-severely-mutated zombies, it takes the better part of a magazine to put them down. Headshots are recommended, even encouraged, but there are segments that had you completely surrounded. That by itself isn't the issue--Resident Evil zombies have always been able to take a lot of damage. No, what's irritating is that you don't always have time to aim, and you don't always get a chance to "shake the zombie off." This results in you getting beaten to a pulp while being able to do virtually nothing about it.

It's worse in multiplayer--the players have a shared health bar, and if one player fails to follow through with the instructions for a "grapple scene," both players take damage. So, even if you're doing everything right, you can still get killed if the person beside you is doing everything wrong... this doesn't exactly promote friendly feelings of well-being during co-op sessions. God help everyone if the situation is volatile enough, haha (I've seen people beat each other over less significant things than a video game).

Also, the difficulty levels don't seem to affect anything other than how much damage enemies do. On easy, a zombie can kill you in about ten hits. On hard, that goes down to four. I didn't play long in "Hard" mode, so I don't know what the deal with items and such is there, but I know I got killed a lot quicker, haha.

Still, in the end, I've got to give this game an 7/10. I loved the fact that they stayed true to the Resident Evil canon (though I was disappointed that it left out a few characters--Nikolai being amongst them, that magnificient bastard). It's definitely tougher than most of the light gun rail shooters I've played in the past, but I don't like the way the multiplayer works, and as far as I'm concerned, there's no point in playing a rail shooter if you don't have a buddy on board.

Still, worth checking out if you've got some free time and extra cash.



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