Justin Lee On November 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Ever since the Nintendo Wii came out, I looked forward to top notch arcade style shooters like House of the Dead and Time Crisis.  The only problem is many of my favorite on rails arcade style shooters have not been released for the Wii, with the exception for House of the Dead and the “classic” Target Terror which I still play sometimes for kicks.  Then came along Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles in 2007 for the Wii, a very good arcade style shooter that can fill the void…now Capcom has released the Wii exclusive sequel Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is a re-telling of past Resident Evil games and a new separate story line exclusive to the Wii.  You will recognize some of the stories from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code Veronica.  While it gets confusing with the jumping back and forth in the story telling, you’ll get the hang of it after the first two missions.

The story in the game is much deeper than your average arcade style shooter, the story is told very well through pre-rendered cut scenes and in game cut scenes.  This also includes some corny dialog between the main character Leon S. Kennedy and the people you’ll encounter throughout the game.  You’ll start off in the “present “ where you are on a mission to find Javier deep in the jungles of South America, of course when you arrive in the village you will find zombies instead of villagers.   You will then keep flashing back and forward to other Resident Evil story lines, the first one being Raccoon city.

Of course, what is a Wii arcade style shooting game without a 2 player option?  While you can’t hop in and out of the game on the fly like in Dead Space Extraction, you can hop in and out after each mission by simply pressing the button 2 on the 2nd player Wii remote.  You also share the same ammo/gun pool, so the game will be slightly harder on Normal or higher.   During the 2 player mode, you get to save your friend because they are being attacked by a zombie, if you don’t shoot the zombie in time, you both die and must use up a continue(huh?).  Also along the lines of dying, if EITHER player gets to zero health the game is over.  Slightly a frustrating example is if you are at 80% and player 2 is just died, the game is over, it won’t let you continue solo.

When you first start the game, you’ll be impressed how much the graphics have improved since the previous game Resident Evil the Umbrella Chronicles.  If you weren’t holding Wii remotes in your hands, you might pass this game off as next gen console game, we played the game on a 40” HDTV with Wii component cables and it looked great.  There are some very impressive lighting effects and rain effects that add to the creepy mood of the game.

The gameplay is pretty straight forward, you wave your Wii remote to reload your weapon or wait for all your bullets to drain and it will automatically reload for you.  Holding the Wii Nunchuk in your left hand will let you slash with your knife if zombies are too close, the Nunchuk also allows quick access to the weapons screen where you can assign weapons to the D pad on the Wii Remote.  Shooting zombies on screen is easy with the blue or red crosshairs and the game will also show you where hidden weapons are (if only for 2 seconds) to pick up using the A button.

There are quite a number of cool regular zombies as well as interesting bosses and boss battles where you must dodge their attacks by pressing a random button (A or A + B).  One boss battle we got stuck at and seemed to have a problem was where a rocket launcher was “given” to us and we had to fire it at the correct time.  During the heat of the battle we couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t on our D-Pad, little did we know we had to “pause” the game and go into the weapons to equip the gun and then fire it at the proper timing.  Even after equipping it and draining the rocket launcher to zero; the game ended up in a loop where we could not defeat the boss because we were out of Rocket Launcher ammo.  After dying and continuing the boss battle, the game “fixed itself” and then kept spawning new rocket launchers when we ran out of ammo allowing us to defeat the boss.

Just like with other arcade style shooters, the game will move through the level on its own.  There is an artistic style camera motion that may get some gamers nauseous.  The first person “wavy” camera view does add to the scary feeling of the game, but sometimes it just moves a little too much and distracts you from shooting zombies.  The trick to the shaky camera is, if the camera is swinging wildly, don’t bother wasting ammo on the zombies on screen, most likely your character is about to make a run for it down a hall.

There are fun things to collect in the game and upload your high score on the Nintendo Wifi network.  While there is no online feature, if you finish the game, you can play from the 2nd player "view" which changes up the game play slightly the second tiem around.

Over all, Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles is a great addition to the Resident Evil franchise, even though it is a arcade style shooter.  While it isn’t a true Resident Evil game, you will still have a blast with this quite long 12 hour adventure to fight the evil Umbrella corporation on the Nintendo Wii.


Smooth gameplay with lots of zombies to shoot around every corner. Easy point and shoot with the Wii Nunchuck and Wii Remote.


Great looking game, you could pass this off as a next gen game.


Slightly corner dialog, but over all good audio and music.


Odd bug during a boss battle, a few typos in the sub titles but over all a great game to play alone or with a friend.

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