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Jonzor's Video Game Reviews (41)

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Batman: Arkham Knight 4.5/5
Magicka 4/5
Bravely Default 4/5
Awesomenauts 4/5
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon 4/5
Far Cry 3 4/5
Halo: Combat Evolved An... 4/5
Crysis Warhead 4.5/5
Crysis 4.5/5
Final Fantasy: The 4 He... 1.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: A ... 4.5/5
Borderlands 2 4/5
Final Fight 3/5
Command & Conquer 4: Ti... 1.5/5
Resident Evil: Revelati... 3.5/5
Bastion 4/5
Defense Grid: The Awake... 4.5/5
Borderlands 4/5
Mass Effect 3 4.5/5
Mass Effect 2 4.5/5
Mass Effect 4/5
Batman: Arkham Asylum 4.5/5
Ikaruga 4/5
The Legend of Zelda: Oc... 5/5
Mario Kart: Double Dash... 4.5/5

Next 16
 

Resident Evil: Revelations   Nintendo 3DS 

New title: "Resident Evil: Good, Not Great"    3.5/5 stars

Resident Evil: Revelations is a game with a bit of split-personality. Or a lot of split-personality. Probably a lot.

In many ways, the game sort of seems caught between the game it wants to be, or the other game it wants to be, or the amount of work put into the graphics and details, or the lack of work put into the graphics and details, or the controls it has, or the controls it could have if you bought the Circle Pad Pro.

For the record, before playing this game I’d played quite a bit of Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, which roughly controls the same as Revelations as far as the basic running and shooting. I only mention this because I have a feeling playing this game without a Circle Pad Pro would be quite a bit tougher without having run through a lot of this sort of stuff before.

The difference is that without the Circle Pad Pro, aiming and shooting as you walk is a serious chore. The game likes to throw a lot of surprises at you around corners, or suddenly falling from the ceiling. Being able to fight as you avoid danger in many of the cramped hallways that this game takes place in would have been a huge help from time to time. I also feel like being able to move and shoot would have helped compensate for the fact that I didn’t feel like I could move very fast when trying to put distance between me and trouble.

But at the same time... a lot of the game is paced so slowly that playing without the Circle Pad Pro isn’t a big deal. So the game nearly exists in limbo between being playable without the improved controls... while sometimes being frustrating without them.

The uneven difficulty thanks to the controls highlight the uneven level design and pacing. A majority of the game takes place aboard a cruise ship, full of hallways and small rooms that you’ll be revisiting. Other parts of the game, however, take place other places in the world in larger, outdoor areas in extremely linear, higher-action, one-off segments. My problem with this design is that exploring in this ship is a little clumsy and slow thanks to always stopping to open a door. Not to mention how hard it is to get excited about exploring tight hallways and storage rooms. The large outdoor areas, however... never really get used to their full potential.

A lot of the “exploring” takes form of scanning the room with a device designed to locate hidden ammo and health. I didn’t get this at first, so early in the game I was AWFULLY low on ammo. You also earn extra health items for scanning enough enemies. Scanning enemies for health seemed counter-productive to me, since I usually TOOK DAMAGE trying to get my scanning done... basically wasting the extra health I was trying to earn. Many enemies can be scanned AFTER you kill them, but not all of them, and it seemed like scanning a dead enemy often didn’t grant me much progress towards my herb.

I just wasn’t really a fan of the exploring+scanning pacing of a lot of the game. The pattern just felt repetative and clunky after a while.

Walk 10 steps through hallway.
Open door.
Scan.
Walk 10 steps through hallway.
Open door.
Scan.

Over and over. It felt like a lot of tedium just to make sure I didn’t run out of ammo, since you’d be in a lot of trouble if you didn’t do your due diligence.

The boss fights were a mix of good and bad. The first real boss fight was pretty frantic and pretty tough. There were some set-piece bosses near the end that were a good change of pace. I didn’t care for at least one in the middle... it basically felt like the designers set me up to just dump a bunch of ammo and lose a bunch of health, since it was essentially in a hallway without a lot of room to maneuver. Not a coincidence that this felt like it would have been easier with the Circle Pad Pro. Let me give you a tip as well... learn how to use the “dodge” mechanic. It’ll turn that last boss fight from a pain into a cakewalk.

So what about the visuals? Well, they were excellent, when they tried to be. The environments were all very impressive with lots of obvious work put into them. The human models also looked quite good. The same can’t be said for the enemies, however. This may have been the most bland enemy set in any Resident Evil game I’ve personally played. On the cruise ship, most of your enemies are one of three types of solid-grey humanoids. Just... a blotchy grey pattern over a misshapen human form. The same bland grey pattern, just slightly altered models so you knew which type of monster it was. Really... really lazy there, Capcom. There were other types of monsters, but even they weren’t always exciting. A zombiefied wolf and lizard-man both had FAR more work put into them than the aforementioned grey goons, but they tend to appear in such large groups that even they start to get a little tired. Just like... 2 dozen of the same lizard man over and over. There was very little mixing of enemy types to keep players on their toes.

I played basically the entire game with the 3D on, to no ill-effects. The 3D was alright, but I’ve played other 3DS games that had a more pronounced and effective depth to them.

I can’t say I was much of a fan of the story. Stories in the Resident Evil universe don’t carry the weight that they used to, thanks in part to SO MANY spin-off games. This game was centered around the terrorist organization Veltro (created specifically for this game) and the infestation of the city of Terragrigia (brand new city) which was then completely destroyed to stop the virus. Now some time has passed and it seems Veltro is up to no good again, so the BSAA (first appearance: Resident Evil 5) is on the scene to investigate.

I just... don’t care about any of this. At this point, the Earth has had SO MANY large-scale, public biological attacks that they’ve lost their effect on me. New virus, new villains, new giant infection of a population... the continuity of Resident Evil was a strong point previously, but trying to create a world where all these different groups have all kinds of access to so many different types of biological weapons simultaneously is making them lose their punch. There’s just not much point to story continuity when the only thing that’s the same from one game to the next is the name of the heroes. And it didn’t feel like this game was about “saving” anything or “stopping” anything, it just felt like I was there to “kinda get a feel for what happened”. The story just had no weight or urgency to it.

I did like some of the new elements to the game. Finding assorted weapon upgrades and swapping them around to buff your weapons was a nice change over the standard buying of upgrades to firepower, fire rate, etc... This allowed you to sort of build the weapons to behave the way you wanted them. Fast-firing shotgun with a tighter spread? Sounds good! Slow firing machine gun that hits like a truck? Done! And if that doesn’t work you can move the upgrades around however you want to turn that machine gun into a fast-firing gun with a huge clip and then see how that works. Finding these upgrades was a better incentive to explore, as well, since not many of them were found by using your scanning gadget, so you actually had to take risks killing tough enemies to see if they dropped something or take the long way around the ship to see if you have the key to a safe now.

I also kind of like the new take on multiplayer. This was sort of a twist on previous Mercenaries game modes where you tried to get to the end of an area quickly with enemies scattered along the way. No endless onslaught of enemies, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You randomly find new weapons and new weapon upgrades, and you’ll also have the chance to buy some from a store between levels with the points you earn for beating levels. I can’t say if I like this better than Mercenaries or not, but I’ll certainly give it a good amount of play. My one real beef with the multiplayer is that two players can't open a door and walk through... they each have to open the door individually and go through.

Probably the biggest miss was not including coop in the story... but giving you a pointless computer partner for nearly the whole game. They shoot enemies... but I honestly question if their bullets did damage. They can’t take damage or die, so you don’t care about them. Sometimes they were useful if you could get an enemy to hit them instead of you to save you from some damage. If I’m trying to think of ways to make my computer partner affect gameplay... you’ve done something wrong, and it just highlights even more what this game is missing by not having story coop.

There was a frame here for a good game. The gameplay basics from games like Resident Evil 4 or Mercenaries 3D that are here are still good. But so many other parts of the game are like a roller coaster. Sometimes the controls are fine, but sometimes it’s like they’re trying to make me go buy the Circle Pad Pro. Sometimes the graphics are really polished, but some of the enemies are just boring to look at. The differences between “exploring” portions of the game and “linear” portions of the game don’t feel like changes of pace, they feel like a game without an identity. All in all, I enjoyed the game, but a few issues that I didn’t care for seemed to kind of stick with me the entire game and keep me from really getting into it.

 

 


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