Another Resident Evil, Wii classic arrives on the PS3 in glorious HD. Dust off those Move controllers, Raccoon City’s finest, because we’re going zombie hunting.

Reviewing Resident Evil Chronicles: HD Collection for the PS3 is pretty much a cut-and-dry affair. For light gun enthusiasts and/or advocates of the original Wii rail shooter offerings, you can’t go wrong here. Ditto for Resident Evil fanboys looking to advance storyline via a different gaming genre.

To elaborate, Resident Evil Chronicles: HD Collection is truth in advertising to the nth degree. It’s literally an HD update to the Wii’s 2007 Umbrella Chronicles and 2009 Darkside Chronicles. The update is thankfully quite substantial, with terrific audio-visual polish worthy of the ‘HD’ designation. Moreover, the Move and Navigation controller work together like a dream. In exception to the spectacular controls of Killzone 3, I’m yet to see a Move title with such incredible precision. Both Umbrella and Darkside are literally pin-point accurate, with picking off zombies and/or environmental elements examples of this technology done right. Unlike Time Crisis and other targeting-centric Move titles, this Collection thankfully avoids the frustration factor of cheap miscues stemming from poor motion detection.

Related, it’s incredible what a difference two years in development cycles make. Umbrella looks and plays akin to the worst of the House of the Dead Series, a campy, poorly-scripted and semi-cartoony take on the rails shooters that entertains but never wow’s. In contrast, Darkside’s storyline, gritty feel and better aiming mechanics combine for a true, retail feel. It’s not that Umbrella is bad, per se, rather Darkside is that much better.

What both have in common, however, is an impressive knack for turning what could’ve been static, on-rails experiences into surprisingly dramatic, semi-intense affairs. While Darkside’s boss battles extend a bit too long, the path to these battles in both offerings are chock full of last-minute escapes in what appears hopeless situations. The Resident Evil experience surprisingly translates well in Chronicles, where a sense of dread is omnipresent. I’m amazed at how many battles I escaped by a thread, likewise how proper pacing can overcome a semi-forced, on-rails reality.

To keep things interesting, both titles offer dual-branched paths within levels, also a varied amount of weapons to employ. Each weapon thankfully has a unique feel and purpose, ones well beyond faster fire and/or exploding bullets. Melee attacks – when timed right – are surprisingly inspired.

Criticisms, however, do creep in. Precise aiming isn’t as much via on-screen feedback. Sometimes heads explode when fired upon, other times not at all. Enemy weaknesses are supposed to be visually identified but don’t always appear as they should. Flying targets prove difficult to lock in on, period. Moreover, there’s little reward for ‘drive-by’ enemy kills, meaning, players can avoid engaging with a high percentage of enemies sans penalty.

Thankfully, however, neither title – as mentioned above – feel as if one’s getting the short end of the zombie stick. A fair amount of health items are scattered throughout, keeping players barely alive but still kicking until the next level plot twist. The sense of barely escaping, time and time again is literally palm sweating fun. Checkpoints are simultaneously reasonable, meaning deaths won’t set one frustratingly back. Also and as with most on-rails offerings, multiplayer stands as a key value-add.

The albatross of Resident Evil Chronicles: HD Collection is its cost of entry. Thirty dollars is a fairly high price point for a couple gussied up, on-rails shooters, and ones likely to attract only a niche crowd.

Resident Evil Chronicles: HD Collection combines two solid Wii on-rails shooters in an expensive albeit strong package buoyed by terrific Move controls. Fans of Resident Evil and/or the genre will find much to like here.

  • HD upgrades are noticeable
  • Excellent Move controls
  • Terrific pacing and feel
  • Expensive for what it is
  • Umbrella Chronicles is dated
  • On-rails, for better or worse
Quote: "Resident Evil Chronicles: HD Collection combines two solid Wii on-rails shooters in an expensive albeit strong package buoyed by terrific Move controls."
Reviewed by Paul Stuart - 07.24.12 - Platform Reviewed: Playstation 3

Similar Games: Time Crisis: Razing Storm (5.6) | The Shoot (6.6) | Killzone 3 (8.0)


Resident Evil
HD Collection




US Release
June '12



Players 1
Trophy Support
PS Move Enabled
Price $27.00