Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection Review

By Alex Rubens - Posted Jul 17, 2012

Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection is the perfect way to introduce newer fans of Resident Evil to some of the greatest moments from Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 and Code Veronica while also being a competent light gun shooter at the same time. Two player co-op works like a dream and allows for quick drop-in drop-out gameplay, something that many rail-shooters seem to forget.

The Pros
  • Perfect way to introduce new RE fans to the series
  • Improved Move controls are better than ever
The Cons
  • The camera in Darkside is so shaky that it might cause motion sickness in some players.
  • Button-mapping is somewhat weird and needs to be changed around in the settings.
  • Still looks like a Wii port, so the textures aren't as fresh as they should be.

Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection Review

After the Resident Evil series skyrocketed in popularity with the release of Resident Evil 4 and 5, Capcom has been hard at work trying to give fans a new way to catch up on the series without needing to play the original titles. They were often hindered by poor controls, bad graphics, and brutal difficulty spikes, all of which make it much more difficult for fans to return to them after playing with the much improved control scheme from RE5.

Remastering the Wii releases of Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles, Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection helps to bridge the gap between games of the series using a light-gun format. It’s the easiest way for new fans of the series to catch up on anything that they might have missed in a fun, simple format.



Remastered Wii port is still a Wii port

Both Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles have been greatly enhanced by their HD makeovers, but there’s still some areas that remind you that you’re still looking at Wii textures and cutscenes. Objects appear fuzzy if you move around too quickly and the cutscenes don’t look as smooth as they should. That’s not to say that it’s really a problem though, it’s somewhat expected when porting from an older system, but it’s still something to take note of.

That said, it’s not something that you should have too much of an issue with. Both Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles are rail-shooters and that rail moves extremely quick, especially in Darkside Chronicles, so it’s somewhat easy to miss that when focusing on the action. The basic shooting is much easier with the Move controller than it was with the Wii remote and that increased fidelity makes for a much less stressful experience. Once everything was calibrated, I didn’t have to worry about things not working as they should, they just worked. If something did happen and I offset the calibration by moving around too much, one simple button press allowed me to recalibrate the sensor; back in the action in less than ten seconds.

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Darkside is under my Umbrella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay

The differences between the two titles are quite noticeable, Umbrella Chronicles is clearly the older of the two, but it also feels the most complete. Darkside feels like it is trying to be the edgy older brother of the two, but comes off feeling misguided. The enemies are more infected human than zombie, as the onscreen characters seem to point out countless times, but they aren’t the real enemy. It’s the camera itself. Unlike Umbrella Chronicles’ smooth rail system, Darkside seems as if it’s taking place from the perspective of the character’s viewpoint, making everything shaky. It makes for a sickening experience that left me unable to actually shoot any zombies.

I get that it’s attempting to be more than a simple rail-shooter by putting you in the place of an actual human being, but it ends up being more nauseating than revolutionary. I found myself losing my reticle in all the shaking, which is a decidedly bad thing in a rail shooter.

Everything is extremely clean and neat in Umbrella Chronicles though, which allowed me to focus on shooting some zombies rather than figuring out which was was up. The control mapping is much better in Umbrella too, having one switch to toggle through weapons, rather than mapping weapons to specific face buttons on the Move controller. Shaking the Move controller to reload and counter-attack zombies who manage to get close enough feels extremely responsive and requires little effort; unlike the frantic shaking that was needed to get the Wii remote to register the same movement.

Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection

Grab your partner and shoot some zombies

Umbrella’s smooth camera comes into play even more during co-op sessions, as it can be confusing enough to keep track of which reticle is your’s in the first place, let alone when the camera won’t stop shaking. Local co-op play is supported throughout the entire Chronicles HD Collection and while it’s a slight disappointment that they didn’t take the opportunity to add online co-op, it works better in a local environment anyway.

You’ll need two Move controllers, but the game doesn’t require the navigation controller, so that lowers the barrier of entry quite a bit. Once you’ve got a plan of who does what, it feels just as if you’re standing at the Time Crisis machine in your local arcade.

It isn’t often that a light gun rail-shooter can be used to accurately portray story elements without it coming off as a cheap way to mask the load times, but Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection does just that and does it excellently. Sure, Darkside Chronicles might have some camera issues, but both titles are still exceptionally great games that make it extremely easy to catch up on the long-running franchise without having to dig up consoles old enough to play the originals, let alone suffering through their unplayable control schemes. Both titles shine through the Move-support and are the perfect way to introduce new fans to the series.