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RE: The Darkdside Chronicles

Reviewed on: Wii

Cavia Inc.
Publisher: Capcom
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

The Resident Evil franchise has always been about man against monster, but Capcom’s latest spinoff; Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles introduces a new conflict to the mix – the battle of style versus substance. Just when you begin to enjoy your time with the zombie rail shooter, another design flaw pops up, and you realize just how flawed and unfinished the game truly is. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s a cheap type of fun.

Going in, you should know that The Darkside Chronicles isn’t a proper Resident Evil game, instead it’s a rail shooter much akin to last year’s The Umbrella Chronicles. The game begins with Leon S. Kennedy and Jack Krauser in search of a supposed Umbrella Corp contact in a small South American Village. Of course, this is a Resident Evil game and before long the duo is surrounded by zomb…ahem…infected villagers and are forced to shoot their way out. What follows is essentially the video game version of a sitcom clip show; the duo remembers some of the moments they’ve fought the Umbrella Corporation. Throughout the campaign, you’ll revisit locations from Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Resident Evil 5 from a different angle.

" you’re being forced to sit through advertising while playing..."


This “Hey remember the time…” type of storytelling may make series diehards salivate, but to others it just comes off as lazy. I may have played the hell out of Resident Evil 2 years ago, but I’ve never touched Code Veronica and really have no desire to. To be fair, the game does do a decent job tying in each story to the game’s main plotline enough for you to follow along but you can’t help but feel like you’re being forced to sit through advertising while playing, which is fine for an expansion pack or budget title but The Darkside Chronicles is a full-fledged $50 title. I want a new experience.

The main problem with The Darkside Chronicles is that it really doesn’t succeed in anything it sets out to do. As a Resident Evil game, it’s forgettable and as a rail shooter, it’s criminally flawed. You’ll travel through preset routes (minus a few points where you’ll get to choose between routes) and shoot everything in front of you – or at least you’ll try to. In an attempt to be more realistic and moody, The Darkside Chronicles employs an unreliable and shaky camera that you’ll curse throughout the game’s campaign. Like most rail shooters, the game is built on precision shooting – it’s how you’ll advance and it’s how you’ll pick up items. It’s incredibly frustrating to miss shots and items (there’s no going back to pick up things up once you’ve passed them) when you know you would have been on target if it wasn’t for the camera. There is an auto-lock feature, but it’s only available on the easy difficulty, and it itself isn’t incredibly reliable.

"The game becomes deridingly more enjoyable when playing with another person..."


Most of your time in the game’s campaign will be spent randomly shooting around the screen to uncover hidden items and secrets. Combine that with the fact that you’ll be required to look after your “partners” who all seem incapable of taking care of themselves. You’ll have to monitor their health and ammo, all while trying to pay attention to your own character. The game becomes deridingly more enjoyable when playing with another person, but sadly they won’t be able to join in mid game, you’ll have to leave the game and start the current level over to add another player.

You know those ghost house attractions at local fairs? The ones where lame looking ghosts seemingly made of material from the local discount hardware store pop up at you? I’m pretty certain that these attractions were some of the main source material for the developers of The Darkside Chronicles. Completely void of anything creepy or even novel, The Darkside Chronicles relies on cheap thrills that barely count as horror.  Enemies will come out at you in the most predictable times and most disappointingly – when it doesn’t make sense. You’ll have just cleared an area, with a closed door behind you, but somehow a fresh group of zombies will have materialized between yourself and said door. Apparently the infected can teleport now – who knew?

From its uninspired plot to the cheap thrills and flawed mechanics, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is an incredibly disappointing experience. Die-hard fans of the series will appreciate the different takes on classic locales, but even they will forget the game much quicker than previous titles. With much more impressive games like the phenomenal Dead Space: Extraction available on the Wii, you’ll be best served to bypass The Darkside Chronicles entirely. 



CHEATS USED: Wii Trainer

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles isn’t a terribly difficult game, but the trainer, featuring unlimited health, ammo and easy enemy kills is certainly a welcome addition. Even if you have no trouble getting through the game’s levels, it’ll at least make the disappointing experience that much quicker.

What the trainer could use however is the ability to make your partner capable of holding their own. I would honestly enjoy the game much more if I wasn’t always worried about their health and ammo.



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