8 hours 37 minutes and 2115 killed things later.

#1 Edited by Rallier (1947 posts) -

I fed this guy grenades, quite effective. 
Oh my that was a ride, I just finished the main story line in the Darkside Chronicles and my trigger finger hurts. I only finished the main story line so i still have the secret scenarios to go which i tried one of and failed at the boss (6 times...) and SECRET mode which i also tried and failed miserably in. Looking at my final stats the combination of my fastest times on every scenario the game is 4H30 long, a time i could probably lower by replaying them since I've spend quite a penny upgrading the main handgun. I almost never used any of the weapons that consume ammo and spend all my gold upgrading my main infinite ammo gun which still is not fully upgraded, I'm sure that on hard it is impossible to do this but on normal it worked. I died only 16 times on throughout my play-through on normal so that was okay.
I'm really looking forward to attempt and complete the secret scenarios since it looks like they will reveal what actually happened with Krauser (who is awesome). I sort of wish they would make a RE game in the style of 4 on the Wii in which you play as him after seeing him be all-round bad-ass during operation Javier. 
The (main) story was enjoyable, nothing mind-blowing but this is a RE game so that was to be expected. The game actually did not scare me at any point but i guess that it is not really what it intends to do, it is really atmospheric though especially the Code Veronica section. The actual text bits that you can find by shooting every object you see to pieces are really interesting and give some of the characters more depths and explain some in the events in greater detail, i highly encourage everyone to read them when they find new ones.  Some of the letters you find I found to be really moving.
I also just read Giant-Bomb's review of the game and was pretty amazed how it is extremely non descriptive of what the game has to offer, oh well. It is not a perfect game but it is most definitely a fun experience that I enjoyed every second of so far.
#2 Edited by Meowayne (6168 posts) -

I agree, I came to quite enjoy the game, especially towards the end. It helped that I played through it entirely in Co-Op, though. I was sad to see it end, even though it is the longest arcade shooter in existence, I think.  I can see myself having another go at the "Krauser's Thoughts" mode, and I haven't touched the SECRET (giggle) mode yet.
The entirety of the "Code Veronica" chapters was excellent. Almost made me wish they had scrapped the RE2 part and built more on Veronica. 
I am definatly more favourable of the game now than I was 1-2 hours in. The game starts very slow and unsatisfactory, and gets considerably better once you have progressed through the story, slipped into the your "Shoot everything!" mind, started upgrading your weapons and start looking for those headshots and unlockables. 
I have since read a review that is overly long but very well and very precisely describes what is fun about the game. 

Of course, most folks won’t be playing this game for the story; it’s that co-op shoot-’em-up fun they’ll be after. On that front, Darkside Chronicles delivers. There is always, always something to shoot at in this game. Sometimes it’s a zombie who’s far enough away that you can safely try to score a bonus point headshot, or maybe it’s a cow-skull-faced skinny bat-mutant freak that’s jumping around the room with a manic glee; or maybe you’ll be just shooting the numerous destructible items in the environment for the chance at grabbing one of the game’s 200 or so unlockable items. Heck, maybe you just like to shoot stuff and see it explode via the power of the Havok physics engine. Whatever the case, there’s no shortage of opportunities for gunfire here. I think the longest I went without firing a shot in the game was a five seconds, and that’s just so I could stop distracting myself for a second and check out the graphics.

If this is how RE 5 would look on the Wii, then sign me up. Sure, there are a few environments and enemies that have that high-end PS2 feel to them, but they’re a rare exception, and not the rule. More often than not, the game looks as good, if not superior, than Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Normal mapping, reflective textures, bloom lighting, that Havok physics engine I mentioned before, and some good old-fashioned artistic skill go a long way towards making Darkside Chronicles one of the best-looking “realistic” Wii games to date. The character animation is also worth a shout. While the game looks good in stills, it’s a much superior experience in motion. While witnessing the first boss jump in and out of the surrounding swamp, whipping its tentacles in and out at rapid speeds, and generally doing its ideal to intimidate the fuck out of you, you won’t be thinking about whether the game is in SD or HD. In those moments, this game delivers just as well as anything out there today, regardless of the console it’s playing on.

My favorite visual piece of flair, though, is probably the game’s way with a headshot. Darkside Chronicles may have the best-looking zombie headshot in recent memory. The blood spray and skull-shatter are just plain excellent. More than that, though, it just feels satisfying to pull one of these shots off. I know I might sound like a violence-crazed maniac when I say this, but the way you can decapitate zombies in The Darkside Chronicles might be the game’s greatest attribute.

Like in The Umbrella Chronicles, headshots are especially satisfying in The Darkside Chronicles because they’re so hard to pull off. Thought they’re a tiny easier in this sequel, you still need to aim at a very specific spot on the zombie’s forehead, then shoot fast before they shamble out of your sights. If you hit the wrong part of the necro-noggin, the zombie’s head will be knocked back from the impact, requiring you to wait for it to slowly fall back in place before you can have another go. In that amount of time, the zombie (or any of the other enemies in the area at the time) may have already gotten close enough to attack. Balancing risky “offensive” headshot attempts with more defensive “kill whatever is close to you as fast as possible” firing, with the previously mentioned item hunting, makes up the meat of The Darkside (and Umbrella) Chronicles gameplay. It’s a formula that adds a lot more depth than what’s found in more arcade-style on-rails shooters like Home of the Dead: Overkill, or even the relatively deep “blow their limbs off, stupid!” stuff found in Dead Space Extraction.

Talking of Dead Space Extraction, The Darkside Chronicles employs a similar “home video”-style first-person camera technique that I think people are either going to love or hate. Personally, I love it. Having a dynamic, unpredictable camera does a ton to make the game feel alive and keep the player from getting comfortable. That said, if you think you might get frustrated by having a bunch of zombies snatched from your line of sight as the camera runs off in the opposite direction, or feel like it’s “cheap” to make a game a tiny tougher by limiting the amount of time you have to get a shot in before the camera moves you on, then you’ll probably will get pissed at this game more than once.

So the camera may cause you to miss a shot now and again on your first few tries, but that’s just part of the shmup-like level memorization that you’ll need to apply if want to see absolutely everything that The Darkside Chronicles has to offer. To unlock all of the game’s content, you’ll have to replay its 20+ levels quite a few times. At least three of those levels are secret (and one of them involves shooting giant bricks of zombie tofu), so you might not even get to them until you’ve done some searching (heck, I’m not even sure I’ve found them all yet). As far as types of unlockables, you’ve got the movies, audio files, text files, achievements, and character models, adding up to over 200 in all. I’ve put nine hours into the game so far, and I’m nowhere near unlocking everything.

On top of replaying levels for unlockables, you can also go back into a stage just to collect money (used to upgrade weapons between levels) and ammo. Even after all that’s done, you can still replay levels just to try and nab a high score, which can be uploaded to the game’s online leaderboards. In short, if you like playing this game, Capcom has given you hundreds of hours of reasons to come back to it.

Okay, enough with the praise list. Here are the few things I really didn’t like about the game. For one, it’s got typos. Actually, typos don’t really bother me, but they’re worth mentioning for the grammar police in the audience. For example, the game sometimes spells “government” with an extra “T” in the middle, which I know would drive some of you nuts. Personally, I was much more irritated with the game’s sometimes-painful dialog. I’m a longtime fan of unintentionally bad Resident Evil dialog, but in The Darkside Chronicles, the dialog sometimes seems intentionally bad, like it’s trying to be ironic or something. For instance, Leon (the game’s main protagonist) now calls the once truly frightening Tyrant-103 “Trenchy” as he avoids his attacks, which just totally ruins the horrific mood. As expected, Steve Burnside (Claire’s emotional boy-toy in the Code Veronica segments) has more than a few painful lines of his own. If I remember correctly, he actually says “Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! What’s this, a videogame?” in the middle of a life-or-death struggle. It’s truly Ed Wood-quality stuff here, and it doesn’t work just as often as it does.

There are a few other things I could nitpick, like a few of the tougher bosses being a tiny unfair the first time you play them, or an unbalanced difficulty curve (like many RE games, things get too simple towards the end after you’ve become a walking tank), but none of that does any serious damage to the game’s capability to deliver on fun. For any RE fan, The Darkside Chronicles is a must-buy, as it includes the prettiest renditions of RE 2 and RE:CV ever put to disc, as well as that all-new scenario that features new essential background info on previously introduced characters, as well as some awesome new enemies and bosses. For the Wii-owning on-rails shooter fan, the game is also sure to please. It’s got as much content as, if not more than, any other game of its type on the console, coupled with online leaderboards and literally hundreds of unlockable trinkets.

Where many on-rails shooters are content to offer a short, standard arcade adventure, The Darkside Chronicles offers a campaign experience on-par with just about any action/horror game out there. If you don’t like the on-rails genre because you think the games are always too short or too shallow, you may want to rethink those notions. Games like Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space Extraction are evolving the genre in a fantastic way, and that’s something you might not want to miss out on.

 I agree with the last statement in particular. I would never have called me a fan or favourable of the arcade shooter genre before I played OVERKILL, and I announced my regret at "Extraction" being on rails and Capcom releasing another rail-"Chronicles", but I have come to love what is being done with the genre, and I am almost reluctant to say this, but I actually can't wait for the next arcade shooter to plunge into. 
It's sad to see how many people are skipping these games purely out of superficial prejudice.
#3 Edited by Rallier (1947 posts) -
@Meowayne: More Veronica would indeed have been really nice, it is the most atmospheric part of the game. I plan on playing through them again in co-op to S-rank them and gain some gold to upgrade my guns before a try and tackle Hard which not that surprisingly is really hard. I played through Chapter 2 of the South America storyline and lost 3/4th of my health thanks to those things that jump out of the water, I did manage to beat it though but my was it stressful. Completing a level on hard without using a continue actually grants you a "medal" so about the whole last 2 pages of the "medal" section will be filled up if you manage to beat all the scenarios on hard without using an continue. Quite a shame that those medals do not unlock anything though, I really hope that Capcom ends up doing something more inspired with them if ever there is a next Chronicles game. 
Did you try and get any S ranks already?  It is really counter intuitive but when you've upgraded your pistol to the maximum power level scoring a headshots becomes extremely hard because most of the zombies especially in the earlier chapters will die in one shot and the area you really have to hit  is the tip of the skull.

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