A Few Comments on Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles

March 29th, 2013

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A few years ago, in the midst of a rail-shooter bonanza for the blog, I wrote a series of articles on Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. Most of what I said in those posts is also true of its sequel, Darkside Chronicles, but there’s a few comments I’d like to make specifically about the second game:

Shaky Cam – During the transitions between shoot-outs it’s nausea-inducing. During the shooting sequences themselves, it’s just obnoxious. Given that the hit boxes for enemy weak points are still quite small, the hit box for critical hits are tinier still, and the enemies occasionally approach from some distance, the shaky cam only makes it harder to aim accurately.

More Talky-Talk Sequences – More than the original game, the characters talk their heads off about the supposed horror of the situation. Since the sequencing of the shoot-outs, perspective control, mechanics, game elements, and interplay with enemies aren’t structured around creating scares (some good ideas on this here), there’s an odd and somewhat comical disconnect between the fear the characters are expressing and the fear the player is not participating in. I reckon that about 2 hours of my play time was spent inactive, waiting for the characters to shut up.

Sudden Attacks – One technique which is sure to guarantee frights, and Darkside Chronicles reuses over and over again, is sudden enemy attacks. Whether zombies pop out of nowhere or interrupt one of the game’s excessive dialogue sequences, the player is caught off guard and must quickly react. This cheap trick often frustrates as the window between seeing an enemy and them taking a bite of your neck is short, indeed.

Run Away Sequences – Sometimes the characters will spot a group of enemies and quickly turn around and run because “there’s too many of them!”. The player can take a few shots before the viewpoint is suddenly yanked away from them. Given that “too many” tends to be just as many as the player had face earlier in the level, these sequences are frustrating and illogical. If anything, these sequences only encourage reckless shooting.

I played this game on Wii and would recommend a standard Wii-mote and nun-chuck setup.