"Rail Shooting in HD"
Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection by Capcom and Cavia is a compilation of 2007's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, and 2009's Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Both titles have been upgraded to HD resolution and are compatible with the PlayStation Move. Making the move (no pun intended) to the PlayStation, these titles have remained unchanged aside from slightly smoother graphics, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Set in between various games in the series and sometimes drastically retelling the stories of some of the mainline games in the saga, a big part of the game's allure is its story. The first title in the compilation The Umbrella Chronicles, tells how the antagonist corporation behind the series' trademark enemies was put down before Resident Evil 4, while The Darkside Chronicles retells the scenarios of Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica with a third newer chapter.
The gameplay in Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection also takes a drastic turn from traditional Resident Evil gameplay. Everything here is on rails, as players simply shoot enemies as they see them, but everything isn't as simple as it sounds. Ammo conservation is vital here, because although players have a handgun with unlimited ammo, it’s pretty weak compared to the other guns available in levels with limited ammo. Throughout levels, players earn gold by shooting and collecting objects in the background, which can then be used to upgrade weapon capabilities such as capacity, damage, and reload speed. Herbs and first aid sprays are here also, and they're used to heal temporary damage and preventing a game over when running out of health, respectively.
While the gameplay is different from other rail shooting games, gameplay expectations have to be adjusted to the different play style, ammo conservation being the most notable. With the genre originating from the arcade where there was only one weapon to worry about and unlimited ammo, players trying to rush through the game to see the story may eventually hit a point where they may have to replay previous levels to earn gold and upgrade weapons. The continue system doesn't do anything to alleviate the pressure either, starting players over from a checkpoint with full health, but not full ammo.
Another feature of the game that is unique to HD Collection is the shaky camera, which only adds to the game's difficulty at certain parts. At one point, the game instructs the player to shoot a chain off of a canister in order to lay a trap for a boss, a task that took up all of my health items before I was finally able to complete it.
Aside from the learning curve, Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection is one of the most packed rail shooters on the market and has everything that a fan of the genre could want. There's story to draw in fans of the series, and the gameplay makes things a bit easier to get through it than the games it draws it stories from. Replay value is through the roof, with plenty of levels available, side stories to unlock, and weapons to upgrade, giving those who may run through the titles quickly plenty of reason to come back. On top of this, all of it is playable with a buddy in co-op mode, which is integrated into the story in some places where players have to save their partner.
Being the latest in a series of upgraded ports from the Wii to the PlayStation 3, there is not an awful lot to say about Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection that hasn't been said already. The HD releases are pretty much the same games that were released in 2007 and 2009, and they are solid titles that make good use of the PlayStation Move and stand up well today.
GameDynamo's Score for Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection (PS3)
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