Capcom released the sequel to their on-rails offshoot of their horror staple this week. Surprised no one has brought up yet, so I'll be the first with my initial thoughts.
Darkside Chronicles, like its predecessor, retells the horrifying events of Resident Evil 2, Code Veronica and a new story exclusive to the game, one of two reasons to get the game. The second is Capcom's revamping of the on-rails formula while staying true to the RE franchise giving the light gun genre a new home on the Wii. Considering it was new territory for Capcom, Umbrella Chronicles delivers the arcade fun plus added replay value and Darkside Chronicles continues that tradition though it differs in good and bad ways. First, the good....
Graphics = Amazing,
I'm not a stickler for graphics. Even when I do compliment, it's usually to point out an interesting style or rocket off on a tangent. Despite "last-gen limitations", Capcom does a great job so far on CGI, environments and character models and kinda shows they're willingness to dive head first with A-game despite the system, unlike other developers (stares at Konami).
All Weapons Included
In UC, you're only allowed to carry one weapon (besides handgun) from inventory in stage selection. This made you think hard about selection but now all the weapons collected (plus ammo) are carried over to all stages and accessible at any time via menu. Magnum, rocket launcher, shotgun, etc, all within easy reach but there's a catch. More on that later.
There be gold....everywhere!
By everywhere, I mean lights, fruit, fuse boxes, paintings, lights, stuffed animals, trash bags, metal railings, chairs, pillows, lights, old boxes, rotten meat....did I mention lights? So yeah, there's gold to found. I wonder why no one else noticed? Anyway, it's more reason to go bullet crazy out of everything that isn't dead and rotting or do what I do, throw in a grenade and kill two birds with one stone. Then, use the fruits of your fortune to upgrade your artillery. Nice!
Nice change of controls.
Waggle, waggle, waggle. That's what you do to reload. Well, DC still does the same thing but a simple motion of nunchuk is better. Control stick works on weapon selection, so there's no cycling through and grenades are a selectable choice, not requiring to hold A AND B. Low on health, press the + button to replenish health from stockpiled herbs.
Nice change of story.
Darkside Chronicles starts out with the game's own story. Leon and fellow mentor-soon-to-be-nemesis, Krauser, in the South American jungle investigating a powerful man named Javier in the area with possible ties to Umbrella. Unlike UC, where replaying RE 0, 1, and 3 before unlocking the game's original scenarios and extra characters. After each chapter in "Operation Javier", Leon recalls the events of RE 2 and VC in great detail a.k.a. lots of levels to explore. (Just beat the RE2 section and that had 8 stages) The story (so far) was thorough but in UC fashion, a few significant snippets were cut out and if you want the full experience get your hands on the original RE 2, sliding myself into bad aspect of Darkside.
One good thing about UC was the ammunition gauge surrounded the aiming cursor always giving you an indication how much firing power is left. Capcom had a bring notion to move the thing to the upper corner. Now, my eyes have to constantly peer away from the action to avoid being in a situation where the enemy has me by the balls and I'm stuck reloading my dam shotgun. Why ruin a good thing?
An earthquake?! No, it's the game.
Capcom certainly wanted players to get first person experience but can we do it without the obsessive shaking. It makes boss battles a bit tricky to handle when there's an earthquake every 3 seconds. At least follow Dead Space Extraction's example and add an "shakiness" bar.
Forced Two Player Co-op
This is more neutral, than good or bad. Each stage has you playing one of two characters, a life bar to each. On occasion your partner will get mauled by a zombie depleting his health, so it's best to keep on eye on his health cause it's game over if his or your life bar is gone. So far, it's hasn't been liability but there's a good chance becoming a real issue later in the game as Darkside Chronicles is tough.
Remember that flipside I mentioned earlier? Yeah, this is it. From the get go, zombies won't give you a moment's peace and they can gobble up that life bar in a heart beat. These frenzy freaks rush out of nowhere at anytime in a split second and don't think Quick Response Events will save the day. Outside of boss battles, QRE only occurred for me twice! So keep your finger on the trigger at all times cause these undead want to bite first and waggle later.
Boss battles are another story altogether. Beating these guys requires precise aiming, correct timing and lots of fire power to spare, otherwise you're lunch. How hard can they be? Let's say I fought G 2nd, 3rd, and 4th forms in a row after battling a parade of super lickers and giant moths. Even when their health is gone, they keep coming back for more. For example, fighting Tyrant's final form, after weakening him, you have to fire a rocket launcher at the right moment, otherwise, he'll catch the dam thing and send it back at you. All the while regenerating itself. So, it's hard....BUT doable.
My advice is upgrade the submachine gun's power dealing out massive damage in no time. Don't bother with the shotgun either. Reload times are painfully slow and can't be upgraded.
So has anyone else bought this yet?