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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles on Game and Player

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

Jeremy Steeves  //  December 6, 2007

Flawed, but a great way to spend a few evenings.

or a console whose quality games can be counted on one hand, the Wii has done well. With the release of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, no one was expecting gold-star reviews, but perhaps just something to pass the time until the next Resident Evil. Now, seeing as the release date for Resident Evil 5 has been pushed back into 2009, there will be no shortage of time to pass. Umbrella Chronicles may not be able to fill that gap completely, but give it the chance, and I think you'll find it's a great way to spend a few evenings.

Instead of moving the story along, Umbrella Chronicles recaps the events of prior titles. If you've played some of the past Resident Evil games, you'll notice that the review of events is pitiable at best. In reality, it's merely the locations and characters of these past titles that are used in Umbrella Chronicles. Much like the House of the Dead series you once saw at the arcade, your character's movement is scripted. All you have to worry about is aiming your light-gun. If you happened to have invested in the Wii Zapper, you're able to map the remote's motion sensitive controls to the Nunchuk for ease of use. Once you've figured out what setup you find the most comfortable, you're ready for zombie hunting.

Those aren't friendly zombies.
The mechanics behind Umbrella Chronicles take some getting used to. Headshots are either impossible to attain, or simply unfair in nature. Hit-detection is strong, compensating for shallower elements. Given the Wii's limited power, the game is fairly good-looking — a noticeable difference over that of the GameCube. There is one major issue for users wishing to play on a widescreen television: the game leaves black bars on both sides of the screen due to incorrect display in 16:9. You have been warned.

Add to the experience:
play with a friend.
It was obvious that Capcom had to work to maintain the level of tension felt in previous Resident Evil games. For an "on-rails" shooter, there really aren't many scare moments. Despite this, the action is so intense that stopping to scratch your nose can result in your character's death. Selecting weapon and kit upgrade incentives are, based on your play rating, available after completing a chapter. While some may find a reason to play though the campaign multiple times, I couldn't. Not to say the game isn't fun, but knowing exactly how events are going to unfold does spoil the repeat experience.

While not without its flaws, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles was a lot of fun. It brings the arcade shooter into the living room, and teaming up with a friend makes the adventure all the more enjoyable. It's hard for me to recommend purchasing the game based on its little replay value, but if rental is an option — go for it. It was fun while it lasted, if only it lasted a little while.

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles






NA Release

November 13, 2007


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Fun played with a friend
  • Looks good for a Wii game


  • Little replay value
  • Awkward mechanics
  • Displays incorrectly in 16:9

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