Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... game but I was pretty impressed by everything else. For those who have played Resident Evil games since the first Playstation game, t... more
You're gonna need that umbrella for the bloody rain, trust me.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)
Member Name: BTlover
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)
Advantages: Long game, pretty sweet light-gun mechanics.
Disadvantages: The bizarre inclusion of movie info, but the reducing of characters. O_O
Just like the zombies in the games themselves, Capcom has resurrected its gun survivor franchise and has unleashed Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles on unsuspecting Wii owners. The last gun survivor game here in the US came out in 2003 (RE: Dead Aim) and was actually a pretty decent offing. Umbrella Chronicles turns Resident Evil 0, REmake (the Gamecube version of Resident Evil 1), and RE3 into light gun games, and throws in an all-new location to boot. This is one nostalgic trip down blood soaked memory lane for Resident Evil fans. But people just looking for a good time will find it here as well.
RE: UC takes players on a nostalgic filled trip through RE0, the Remake, and RE3 in light gun shooting form, and it's all narrated by captain bad-ass himself, Albert Wesker! Relive the train of death with Billy and Rebecca; walk the halls of the terror-filled mansion with Chris and Jill; lead Jill and Carlos through the zombie apocalypse of Raccoon City, all the while using your Wii-mote as a gun to blast anything undead or otherwise that stand in your way. All of this ends in a brand-new scenario that takes place in 2003, with Jill and Chris leading a team of commandos into "movie tie-in city"-I mean, an Umbrella stronghold to finally put an end to the T-virus creating corporation once and for all. You also get the chance to unlock extra sub-scenarios where you'll play as Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, and other characters that have supporting roles in the games. Ever wonder how Wesker came back to life and escaped the mansion before it exploded? Or how Ada was able to survive the horrors of Raccoon City? Well, here's your chance to find out!
For RE fans, these abridged versions of the RE games are sure to make them jump up and down with glee, although the game does lack RE2, RE: Code Veronica, and RE4. Code Veronica I can understand, since it got it's own gun survivor game for the PS2 that was only released in Japan. RE4 I can understand as well...this is the UMBRELLA Chronicles after all, and RE4 takes place well after the dismantling of Umbrella. Which leaves the weird exclusion of RE2, which is pretty disappointing. I'm also disappointed in the severe lack of Barry Burton in the Remake scenario. How could you, Capcom?
Like I said before, the game is broken down into 4 main chapters that have three main scenarios each and 2-4 sub scenarios. You start off with RE0, and then move on to the Remake, then to RE3, then finally the Umbrella facility. The sub scenarios are unlocked by either beating the main scenarios first or by getting a good score in the main scenarios, which I'll talk about later. After you choose which scenario you want to play, you can then choose which character you'll be playing as, and which weapon you'll use to complement you infinite-ammo pistol. Then you start your game and off you go.
Your main goal in RE: UC is to shoot first and ask questions later. Zombies, dogs, hunters, and many other classic RE villains stand in your way, so get that trigger finger ready. You use the Wii-mote to move the crosshairs on the screen to what you want dead, and use the "B" trigger to fire. Flick the Wii-mote in any direction to reload your weapon. The "A" button on the Wii-mote is you action button, which lets you pick up items and weapons by putting the crosshairs over them and pressing it. By holding down the "A" button and waving the Wii-mote, you do knife attacks on foes that get to close for comfort, and pressing the "B" trigger while holding down the "A" button will throw grenades. Finally, you use the analogue stick on the nunchuck to pan the camera. I was also able to use a Wii-Zapper for this game, but besides helping to steady your aim a little, there's not much difference in using it instead of the regular Wii-mote. I do wish there was a configuration for the Wii-Zapper where you could take the crosshairs off the screen so the game plays more like an arcade light-gun game. Maybe next time.
The environments you go through in RE: UC are pretty much the same as in the regular games, so be prepared to recognize a lot of places. However, for RE3, the designers seemed to have felt that it would take way to much time to redesign RE3 locations, so they have Jill and Carlos go through locations featured in the Resident Evil: Outbreak games instead (the police station was featured in RE: Outbreak File#2, so it was already ready to go). I'll leave it to you to figure out why I call the all-new Umbrella facility scenario "movie tie-in city", but I will say that in the future those horrible "movies" need to stay as far away from my Resident Evil games as they possible can! Anyway, every environment in the game is pretty much fully destructible, and destroying things can possible yield weapons and hidden files that contain a ton of back-story on the Resident evil saga.
The majority of the game has you blasting away the numerous zombies that appear on your screen. Zombies can take quite a bit of ammo to take down with your normal handgun, so naturally you'll probably want to aim for their heads for a quick kill. However it's not that easy, as every zombie's critical hit point that will cause their heads to explode is located right in the middle of their foreheads, and UC requires very precise aiming to hit that sweet spot. When there are a bunch of zombies coming toward you getting closer and closer to eating your face, it can become extremely difficult to get these critical hits off and quite possible make the average gamer annoyed. This may also force them to switch to a shotgun, magnum, machine gun, or grenades to keep them at bay; wasting ammo for the challenging boss fights you'll face at the end of each scenario. This is especially evident in the RE3 chapter, as zombies are thrown at you in great numbers in pretty much every scene (I still think that RE3 is the best part of the game however, as the last main scenario in the chapter has Nemesis stalking you throughout the police station in some awesome moments). Oddly enough, I found it extremely easy to hit the critical points of every other enemy in the game, including fast moving zombie dogs, infected monkeys, spiders, chimera, hunters, and lickers. Most of the time I was able to take out these enemies with some well-placed handgun shots, so...go figure (packs of hunters though can prove to be difficult). Other actions you can take against zombies include counterattacking when they grab you by shaking the nunchuck, which leads to an animation of your character kicking zombie ass. However, the more you do these, the harder they become to do. You regain health in UC by picking up green herbs, and picking up a first aid spray will regenerate your health one time after you die. You'll also run into those "button-pressing or Wii-mote waggling" action cut-scenes that all those games seem to love today.
At the end of each scenario in a chapter, you'll square off against a boss. Pretty much every boss in the game except for a few new ones in the sub-scenarios and the Umbrella facility scenario is taken from the actual RE games, so be prepared to face the giant scorpion, leech men, the Yawn, Lisa Trevor, the giant earthworm, and Nemesis in battles to the death once again. Bosses have a health bar that must, of course, be whittled down to zero to defeat them. Thanks to UC's precision aiming and some well-protected weak points, boss fights can be quite the challenge. Most boss attacks can be avoided but either shooting them or performing an on-screen action to dodge them, though some bosses seem to have some attacks that are completely impossible to dodge. It may be just be my slow trigger finger, but dying for the eighth time on Nemesis because I could never stop his tentacle attacks can make for a frustrating experience. Still, that's what you save your more powerful weapons for, and a lot of the boss fights are entertaining.
After you beat a scenario, you get a letter rank based on such actions as time taken to beat it, the number of enemies you've killed, and critical shots (which only count zombie critical hits). You then get a certain amount of "stars" depending on your grade, which can then be used to upgrade the weapons you have picked up (can't upgrade the pistol, unfortunately). Getting a good grade in certain main scenarios is also the only way to unlock certain sub-scenarios, so replays may be needed. It's a good thing you can still earn "stars" to upgrade weapons when you replay scenarios, though.
If there were any other complaints (besides the sometimes frustrating precision aiming and the automatic boss hits), one of them would be that some people might find shooting zombies...repetitive and boring. Surprising, I know! Another has to do with weapon changing. Specifically, if you use up all the ammo available for a weapon, that weapon doesn't disappear from your inventory. So trying to switch to your handgun after using up your last magnum shot can be frustrating and lead to free enemy hits as you scroll through all your empty weaponry. I would have also like it if gunshots did more damage to zombies, like blowing off limbs or chunks of flesh. The dumb, jerky motions they make instead get lame after a while. At least they drop to their knees with a shot to the leg.
For the first three scenarios, all the backrounds are lifted from the respected RE game and faithfully recreated here (except of course for RE3 using Outbreak levels), but they lack the fine polish and detail the Gamecube and PS2 originals had. There are some ugly textures and bland sections, but like I said before they are all almost fully destructible. Character models are still pretty good, with the main characters lifted straight from the Gamecube titles and zombies and other enemies showing nice detail up close. Props on the nicely redone Nemesis as well (and props for not giving in to "movie tie-in city" and making Carlos look like Oded Fehr! *goes to puke*). Cut-scenes are also pretty well done, basically acting like abridged versions of the RE games, it also helps that a lot of them are narrated by Mr. Cool himself, Albert Wesker. Runs pretty smoothly throughout with 480p and widescreen support.
Music and sound effects in RE: UC are decent. Zombies moaning, dogs growling, hunters shrieking, are all taken from previous RE games. Music sounds like a mix between the regular, moody RE compositions and some techno beats, most likely to complement the arcade feel of the title. Like previous RE titles, voice work ranges from decent to downright hammy, but nothing as bad as "master of unlocking" or "It's a weapon!!!" (seriously Capcom, where the hell is Barry?). Captain Charisma himself, Albert Wesker, speaks most of the dialogue in the game. One of my favorite moments in the game is actually going through a RE3 sub-scenario, and having a lot of cross-talk come through the character's radio that include citizens calling for help, some very corny rock music, and people basically going insane. Dolby pro logic 2 support is always appreciated.
CHRONICLE YOUR BUTT TO YOUR LOCAL GAMESTORE
For a light gun game, RE: UC lasts pretty long, taking 10-15 hours to complete. After that, you could replay the game on "hard", or go back and replay any scenario you want to take different paths that some of them present, find hidden weapons and files, or shoot for an "S" rating to unlock an archive item, which is basically a key item from the original game with some back history attached to it. You can also play each scenario in co-op mode with a friend (or if you think your badass, in duel Wii-mote mode!)
No question about it: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a must have for hardcore and casual Resident Evil fans, and even people who just want to shoot zombies for a while. Despite some annoyances and some stupid movie tie-ins, this is one piece of video game nostalgia that Wii owners don't want to miss!
Summary: Finally, a light-gun game that's good, as well as a Resident Evil game that fills in all the holes.
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