Monday, January 21, 2008

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles mini-review

The Umbrella Chronicles is a spin-off light-gun exclusive for the Wii. The title refers to a collection of stories that ties up the events behind the Umbrella Corporation by letting the player visit certain key events in Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. The gameplay revolves around the Wiimote and Nunchank extension and operates in a similar fashion to Resident Evil 4: Wii edition. However the game is an on-rail shooter, therefore the freedom of exploration is very limited.

To be honest I haven't played a light gun title in years since the exhausting a certain The House of Dead (can't remember which one) in the now defunct Trocadero SEGAworld, so it was a surprise that I found this title to be pretty entertaining. The concept of playing light gun games on home consoles isn't entirely new, and the familiar Resident Evil settings didn't offer anything new but the gameplay does provide a unique opportunity in making a franchise title fun. Unlike normal Resident Evil games, the entire premise of The Umbrella Chronicles isn't meant to provide a survival horror experience. It is still a requirement to reach check points, but doing so in an 'arcadey' fashion did give me more of a chuckle than even Resident Evil 4 ever did. The gameplay is pretty shallow, and there is nothing new to be gained storyline wised, but at least it did offer me one entertaining evening a month ago. Graphically the game is very similar to GameCube Resident Evil remakes. It isn't anything special and is something to be expected of a quick Wii cash-in title like this.

With a price tag of £35, The Umbrella Chronicles doesn't really provide a whole lot of value. It may be fun, but overall it does lack substance. My advice: rent it.


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