(http://www.residentevil.com/darkside)  Rated Mature by ESRB.   Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles is the sequel to cooperative shooting game, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles.  Capcom has improved on the prior arcade rail shooting game system from Umbrella Chornicles by weaving a new story and adding many new features that enhance the gaming experience.  The result is a polished arcade rail shooter that brings a more authentic gaming experience closer to the original Resident Evil adventure games.  Some of the new features that improve this game include in game inventory menu, cinematic camera system, and dynamic difficulty adjustments. Darkside Chronicles’ storyline is not a recapture of all the old Resident Evil stories like Umbrella Chornicles.  Instead, the plot is presented through the eyes of Leon Kennedy from the Original Resident Evil 2.  The story is placed after Resident Evil 4, U.S. Government Agent Leon partnered with Special Ops Agent Jack Krauser is sent to South America to investigate the mysterious disappearance of young girls and a new viral outbreak.  As the story progresses, Leon refers to past events of the Resident Evil timeline and the players will re-experience the Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica Events.

(http://www.residentevil.com/darkside)  Rated Mature by ESRB.   Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles is the sequel to cooperative shooting game, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles.  Capcom has improved on the prior arcade rail shooting game system from Umbrella Chornicles by weaving a new story and adding many new features that enhance the gaming experience.  The result is a polished arcade rail shooter that brings a more authentic gaming experience closer to the original Resident Evil adventure games.  Some of the new features that improve this game include in game inventory menu, cinematic camera system, and dynamic difficulty adjustments. Darkside Chronicles’ storyline is not a recapture of all the old Resident Evil stories like Umbrella Chornicles.  Instead, the plot is presented through the eyes of Leon Kennedy from the Original Resident Evil 2.  The story is placed after Resident Evil 4, U.S. Government Agent Leon partnered with Special Ops Agent Jack Krauser is sent to South America to investigate the mysterious disappearance of young girls and a new viral outbreak.  As the story progresses, Leon refers to past events of the Resident Evil timeline and the players will re-experience the Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica Events.

**WARNING** The following Video May Contain Content Inappropriate for Children**

 

Graphics:

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles can be counted amongst the better looking games on the Wii. Its realistic 3D style of presentation is sufficient to convey the horror and suspense expected of a Resident Evil game. The game plays out as a rail-shooter, like the shooters found in arcades, but the clever use of 1st person camera angle is where this game shines. Being a chronicle, or records of past events, the game immerses the player into the horrors of Leon’s and Claire’s nightmares through their eyes. There are many moments where the camera would shake as though it is carried by one of the characters, but these moments are generally reserved for in-between fights so that it doesn’t hinder gameplay. When the characters themselves show up on-screen whether during a CG movie or in game, they bear enough distinct characteristic on their faces and outfits that long time fans will have no problem recognizing them.

 

Sounds:

Like its graphics, the sounds in this title bring an immersive terrifying and adrenaline-pumping experience. Composed by the writers of the 2 past titles, the intricately orchestrated soundtrack is appreciated between the intense action as well as the eerie environment. The various gun sound effects are satisfying most of the time, with a few quirky moments when the handguns started sounding like cap guns. The few lines of voice acting besides the gasps and screams bring some life to the characters, despite some of the characters being convincingly cheesy to their own true selves.

       

 

Gameplay:

As games are concerned, rail-shooters are fairly self-explanatory. This game is no exception, the player only needs to pick up the Wii remote, aim, and click the trigger button to fire. Simplistic as it may sound, there are a few mechanisms that enhance the game play experience. There is an inventory that allows the player to store and switch out weapons during the missions, and the player may also use the herbs collected through the game to restore health from there. Between missions or from the main menu, the player may utilize the “customize” option to upgrade weapons by using money collected during game or awarded at the end of each mission. Unfortunately neither herbs nor ammunitions are available for purchase, perhaps to maintain the level of difficulty. Playing the game is highly suspenseful as the player doesn’t have control over the character or the camera. Holding one’s breath while playing could be especially hazardous here since there are a lot of extended suspenseful moments. But the action is satisfying when they come, and they come often. There maybe a strange empathy with the characters after overcoming one of the epic boss fights that require more than just pointing and clicking, in a moment of bewilderment as both the player and the characters ponder where to go from there.

 

With the new dynamic difficulty system, the game changes the level of difficulty according to the performance of the players.  Even the most veteran of arcade rail shooting fans will find this game entertaining and challenging.  For players new to this genre, there is automatic aiming system in Easy mode to help the new player enjoy the suspense and ease into the challenge. Another way to ease the difficulty, grab a friend for the 2-player co-op mode. There is nothing quite like the near-life experience of working hard through a horror tale with a buddy, or the near-death experience when both players run out of ammo while half a dozen zombies rush them.

 

Innovation:

The Darkside Chronicles is mostly comprised of the story from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica. But instead of simply replicating the survival horror adventures, the tales are re-created as a rail-shooter from the first person viewpoint of each segment’s main protagonist. If there are any questions about this game’s atmosphere, this game isn’t any less scary even with unlimited handgun ammunition. On the other hand, this game paces through the storylines of both of those 2 titles fairly quickly, so much that a horror game night with this title is just as viable as a horror movie night. Plus there is the segment of Leon’s assignment in South America that will please fans who are looking for new plot material.

       

 

Longevity:

Completing the game once will unlock a secret chapter with Jack Krauser being the main character, who shows a darker desire and undertone during the final portion of the events in South America. Aside finding money for weapon upgrades, there are numerous archive items tucked away in each stage. Finding these archive items will unlock character and voice files available for players who want a deeper level of familiarity with the Resident Evil series.

 

Conclusion:

With the slew of new improvements and features, Resident Evil Dark Chronicles is definitely one of the best arcade rail shooting game on the Wii System.  For shooting fans who do not have games like House of the Dead or Ghost Squad for the Wii, they should consider buying this game if they are looking for a 2-player cooperative arcade shooting game.  As for gamers who own the Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and other arcade Rail Shooting Games, this game is a strong contender in the arcade rail shooting genre with its new dynamic difficulty adjustment and in game inventory menu system.  Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles is one of those games that will have you and friend glued to your television and clicking your Wiimote until you have completely finished the game.

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