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LONG BLOG

Wii REVIEWS: Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles:

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For those reading one of my Wii review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

The Wii is often mocked for its game library, yet, it actually has a solid list of exclusives that are unavailable anywehere else. Though only Nintendo games were avilable where I am from, I was always intrested on other games. Hence, I decided to play the top 50 Wii games as chose by Gamesradar in this list:

http://www.gamesradar.com/best-wii-games-all-time/

I decided to go back and play those 5o games and review them, atl least those that intrest me and those that I hae not played before. Origianlly, I post most of my stuff in a football forum "Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.

Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

47- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles:
Year: 2009.
Genre: Rail Shooter.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom, Cavia. 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

As the second Rail Shooter released by Capcom in the Wii, The Darkside Chronicle obviously benefits from the learned experiences of the team. Not only is it obviously better graphically, but also manages to have a tighter aiming and a cleaner interface.

Outside of the more obvious upgrades, The Darkside Chronicles manages to add more flourishes to itself, and almost manages to transcend the genre. Still, this is a game that is meant for Rail Shooters and/or Resident Evil fans. However, this is also a game I would recommend to anyone even remotely interested in either.

The Darkside Chronicles is probably among the pinnacle Rail Shooters.

"Just another one of Umbrella's failed experiments"

I will continue to reiterate; Umbrella is probably the most evil corporation in videogame history. While the company doesn't directly act in this game, their previous legacy is still the driving force for the narrative.

While the first chronicles game focused on Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine and their respective story-lines, The Darkside Chronicles retells the story of RE2 and Code Veronica as well as adds the excellent Operation Javier storyline. This means that the game focuses on the story of Leon and Claire (Chris's sister). This makes for a better story, because Leon and Claire are simply better characters than Chris and Jill.

Unfortunately, the game does not have the huge presence of Albert Wesker as it did in the first game. Yet, the new Operation Javier manages to compensate well. Especially by being a new fleshed out tale, the added scenario also explores the past relation between Leon and non other than Jack Krauser from RE4.

Additionally, the storytelling of this game is just better. Besides actually retelling the stories in a concise and personal way, the game doesn't only rely on archive files to flesh out the tale. While not as deep as the actual games themselves, the game manages to cultivate a sense of urgency that was sorely missing before.

Unlike the first game, where the story was hidden in the archives, The Darkside Chronicles actually does a decent job of showcasing the best parts of the stories it tells. Whither its the fate of the Birkin family, or that of the Ashfords. And not to be outdone, the Javiers putt in their contribution as well.

No Wesker: -2
Great Retelling: +4
Operation Javier: +3

Chris has nothing on Krauser's Cannon Arms


"Something strange. It smells like... like a battlefield"

Similar to the first game, the character you choose has no effect on the gameplay, which is usual Rail Shooter fare with an infinite handgun and several side weapons. Yet, it seems like Capcom learned a lot from making the Umbrella Chronicles, and it shows.

In the first game, I bemoaned several factors for non-ideal aiming. If I could, I would go back and dock more point from The Umbrella Chronicles because this game simply has much better aiming which makes the first unforgivable and clunky. While still not perfect, and prone to shake without using a peripheral, it is still possible to sting along a series of head shots, and I feel more culpable when missing shots than the game itself.

This culminates in the cleaner look, which allows for a better aiming reticule, as well as enhanced feedback. Switching weapons is now simply done by pressing a directional button instead of scrolling through all of them to get to that beautiful rocket launcher. Grenades are their own weapon slot and no longer its own attack, and you can keep most supplies through levels. Better still, you can store herbs to use when you really need them instead of wasting them on full health.

I am no closer to being an expert at Rail Shooters, but I feel that practice would pay off when playing this game, and the gameplay feels satisfying.

Yet, two aspects might prove uncomfortable for some. The first is the removal of any camera control, which means you cannot look around as you could in the first game. The second is the shaky cam which is used throughout the game.

Since I played this right after the first game, I missed the ability to control the camera, and wish some limited control was available. As for the shaky cam; I honestly think its an overblown complaint. Not only does it add to the first person experience, but it rarely detracts from your aiming, since you character steadies their aim whenever you actually need to shoot stuff. However, it might make it harder to get the archive items (I didn't get all of them) but I am not sure.

Generally, this a better Rail Shooter than the first, and a better game because of it.

Better Aiming: +3
Cleaner Interface: +2
Quick Weapon Selection: +2
No Camera Control: -3
Linear Corridors: -2

These guys were in an orgy before the outbreak happened


"Come on now trenchy"

Since this game spans three timelines and three generations of B.O.Ws, we have more to deal with besides the Zombies which are thankfully varied in design if not in actual intellect. From the hunters and their variations to the lithe Anubis, we are tasked with handling a variety of foes.

Generally, each level has a healthy dose of variety, and no particular enemy feels cheap or forgivable (besides the bats). For RE fans, its cool to see the development of the Hunter class of B.O.W as well as the variety of bugs that are turned into nightmarish monstrosities. I am yet to see a camel scorpion zombie, and if I do, I am going to run far away.

As the pinnacle of the experience, the boss battles rarely disappoint in Resident Evil game and this one is no exception. From the human like Tyrant in all their terrifying power to truly frightening behemoths, the boss fights are intense.

When the boss's healthbar shows itself in the screen, you realize you need to throw in the gauntlet and let loose with everything you have. In many ways, the game does so as well, as it stretches itself both visually and mechanically to offer increasingly unique fights.

Not to be confused, you are still shackled to the rails as per the genre, but each boss fight has a combination of QTE dodges, as well as attacks that can be cancelled with the right firepower. However, acting more than a visual spectacle, these fights demand more accuracy than the usual horde, and are the most difficult parts of the game.


Boss Fights: +3
Varied Enemies: +2

Here comes Trenchy!!!!!


"When you look at the depth of the abyss it swallows you whole"

There can be no arguing, the Darkside Chronicles is a beautiful game SD graphics be damned. Whither it is showcasing the beautiful vistas of "South American Country" or the dreary streets of Racoon city. In gameplay and in CGI scenes, this is a game that is among the best on the Wii and the PS360. A lot of it is due to the excellent direction of Capcom, as well as impeccable lighting.

Hence, the game' varied locations all look great, and add to an atmosphere that is lacking through the genre's gameplay. With mansions suitably looking extravagant and filled with knick nacks, and a village that looks to have been obviously populated before an unspeakable catastrophe claimed many lives. This visual and stage design is even better than that or the disappointing RE5.

With this added graphical capability, the monstrosities conjured by the game's directors come to life more vividly, with a special kudos to one of the best final boss designs in a series renowned for its boss designs.

Shedding the plastic faces of the PS2 era human characters, Leon and Claire look and act more believably than previous iterations. However, for some reason, that jackass still looks like a jackass even with the visual upgrade.

Adding to the beauty of the game is its soundtrack and audio design. With both the music and the sound effect playing a crucial part in underlying both the prevailing mood or urgency of each situation. While not exceptionally brilliant, it still manages to complement the game well.

The VA deserve a special mention because they all do their job admirably. While some lines are cheesy and could have been cringe-worthy, the delivery of said lines made them passable and in some cases somewhat funny.

True, a Rail Shooter doesn't struggle to showcase stellar graphics, but such effort is to be commended by Capcom.

Beautiful Graphics: +5
Nice Soundtrack: +2

Here is a frontrunner to the worst father award


In Conclusion:

For a game particularly made for two fan bases, it has a lot to offer to both. With excellent retelling of loved RE stories as well as much appreciated back-story on Krauser, as well as great Rail Shooting gameplay., The Darkside Chronicles hits both demographics well.

Additionally, this is a game that I think manages to be fun for different players. The story is concisely told, with player unfamiliar with the source content mostly able to follow through, and the game itself being really well done.

Much better than the first game, The Darkside Chronicles is another point for Leon in the Leaon vs. Chris debate. Everybody hates Chris anyway.

Final: 44/50

 

*****************************************************************

"Looking Back at Destructoid's Review:"

So, this game was reviewed by the current Editor-in-Cheif Jonathan Holmes himself way back in 11.20.2009, and he gave it an 8.5. Since he alreayd liked the first game, Holmes was bound to love this one. After hitting the "jump button" (where is that in the keyboard) to find out, a breif philosophical discussion on the meaning of darkness ensues before Holmes tells us why he liked the game. "Where many on-rails shooters are content to offer a short, standard arcade adventure, The Darkside Chronicles offers a campaign experience on-par with just about any action/horror game out there. If you don't like the on-rails genre because you think the games are always too short or too shallow, you may want to rethink those notions. Games like Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space Extraction are evolving the genre in a fantastic way, and that's something you might not want to miss out on."

The comments section wasn't too busy at the time, and noted was the absence of any person thinking about how much the game is going to sell. Most notably, this game (at least the time) marks the point Chris Carter bought a Wii:

"Just bought a Wii and the first one came in the mail today ;D"

I think Chris liked this one better than the first. 

Holmes was previously worried about me going back and reading what he considered a non-well-written review, but he should be glad that Hiltz liked it:

"Great review, Holmes. I can always rely on Destructoid for their well written reviews unlike some other review sites and magazines like IGN and Edge.

I'll be picking up this game very soon."

One reader is all that counts JH. But apparently Mortoes thinks the review is too long:

"Does the review need to be this long? "Game moves around for you, you point and click at things." Bam. Game summarized. Another amazing Wii game."

You can't win them all, can you.

 

 

"Sales Data:"

I am generally not intrested in the sales of the games I like, and I don't measure my penis size through the sucess of games I like. However, sales data is intresting in studying market trends, people's general intrest, marketing strategy, genre effect, and other factors. Which is why I am going to check the sales data of every modern game I review (Gen 4 and beyond).

Despite being better than The Umbrella Chronicles in everyway, this game wasn't better in the only way that mattered to Capcom. While it managed to sell a respectable 1.1 Million copies, it fell 400 Thousand copis short of its elder sibling. Still, this makes it one of the top earners of the RE spinoffs, and still one of the best earning Railshooters in the Wii.


"Tips"

1- There is no countering in this game, so don't get them close.
2- You can switch weapons into the quick selection slots in the pause menue.
3- Shoot the heads (DUUUUH!).
4- Brake stuff in the environment to get gold.
5- Use gold to upgrade your weapons.
6- Focus on upgrading your handgun first.
7- But an aiming peripheral if you are a fan of Rail Shooters.

"Next Game"

Gamesradar are perfectly right to put this one in the list instead of The Umbrella Chronicles. In fact, if Operation Javier was a full fledged RE game, I would guarantee it being a hit. Now that I am done with Rail Shooters for the moment, I might change the den like it was before.

The next game in the list is at #46, Sakura Wars: So Long my Love. This sounds like a very Japanese game, and it should be interesting since it is based on the Sakura Wars media franchise

Stay Tuned


For Previous Wii game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/wii/resident-evil-the-umbrella-chronicles/screenshots

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Thanks to the excellent work of community member Dango, now I have a cool infographic of my top 20 games. This list is not my final one, but what I thought off at the moment. If you notice, they are presented in chronological order:





Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
My Blogs