"Brainless Fun Killing Brain-Eaters"
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a title that's better than it should have any right to be. The game is Capcom's attempt to take a single extra mode from the console games and expand it into a full retail title for handheld gamers. In most cases, this quick and dirty cash-in would lead to a mediocre offering. But despite this, The Mercenaries 3D proves to be an intense, addictive, and entertaining title that will provide hours of gory fun.
- In your face! -
People not familiar with Resident Evil shouldn't be deterred from buying this title due to the series' convoluted narrative, because there is no story to The Mercenaries. Players pick characters from throughout the series' history (including such standouts as Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker, and Barry “Master of Unlocking” Burton) and are cast into environments from RE4 and RE5, forced to survive as long as possible against a horde of zombies. In addition to not being eaten, players will have to extend the timer and rack up combos by killing zombies in an endless streak. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is basically a score attack mode stretched as far as it can go, but Capcom takes it quite far.
What helps Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D succeed is the care Capcom put into the basic design, squeezing every bit of depth out of an admittedly shallow concept. The gameplay itself is extremely intense, and while it is not scary in the traditional sense of Resident Evil survival horror, you will still be at the edge of your seat. Unlike other RE games, The Mercenaries allows players to move and shoot at the same time, but doing so forces them into a first-person viewpoint and reduces their movement speed and firing accuracy. This gives you the sense that you're constantly running away from the monsters, with your bullets giving you just enough breathing room. This becomes especially intense as the monsters get more difficult, and giants wielding one-hit-kill chainsaws won't allow you any room for error.
- You better not miss -
In addition to making The Mercenaries a fun game in and of itself, Capcom has packed the game cart with plenty of extra content. There are dozens of missions across several immersive environments, such as the run-down Spanish villages from RE4 and the cold industrial facilities of RE5. There are several characters to unlock, each with their own unique weapon set and alternate looks (which range from impressive to sexy to, in the case of Barry, rather unnerving). Scores are kept for each mission and character, and meeting specific criteria will earn players both skills to customize their characters' abilities and achievements (known here as medals) acknowledging exceptional feats. To top it all off, there is a robust two-player-mode that allows you to find partners from around the world via Wi-Fi.
If you do not care for score attack titles that reward only immediate reflexes, you will likely not enjoy Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. But, if you just want to shoot zombies, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better handheld title.
GameDynamo's Score for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (3DS)
Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
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