Tag Archive: chronicles

Don’t forget to bring an Umbrella

Serving as a refresher course on the bulk of the Resident Evil series before Resident Evil 6 hits this October, Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection pairs the previously released Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles for the Wii, gives them an HD facelift, and delivers them on a silver platter for less than $30 on the PS3. And, considering the amount of content here, if you haven’t played these on-rails renditions of the original classic Resident Evil game—or the originals, period—you should definitely jump on this bargain.

But if you’ve played these titles previously and remember all the way back to 1996 (when the first Resident Evil released), there really isn’t much here that you haven’t already seen. Not to mention that if you lack a Move controller, you’re out of luck altogether. Sure, seeing the original Resident Evil titles from a first-person, on-rails arcade-shooter perspective might be interesting, as they offer slightly different takes on the in-game events. Aside from reliving the major beats of this iconic survival-horror franchise from a different viewpoint, though, there’s just nothing new to suck you in.

Umbrella Chronicles follows Resident Evil Zero, the original Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. What’s interesting here, though, is that the between-level narration comes via the viewpoint of the franchise’s longtime antagonist, Albert Wesker. The final level is original to Umbrella Chronicles (though not the collection) and offers you the chance to play as Wesker as he attempts to remove Umbrella’s most important files from a Russian stronghold while Chris and Jill try to take it down.

Darkside Chronicles follows Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica and also sees its own original chapter (again, not original to the collection) that centers around the personal loss of many of the series’ more popular protagonists.

I will say that if you’ve never played these games before, there’s a chance you could easily get addicted if you’re a lightgun fiend. The action plays out like a classic arcade game, with plenty of collectibles in each level that help flesh out the Resident Evil backstory. And, much like the Wiimote did during these games’ first run, the Move controller works perfectly for on-rails action like this, especially if you’ve got the Sharp Shooter attachment.

Again, the major drawback here is that if you’ve played these games before, there’s really no point in picking them up again aside from the promise of crisper graphics—and this isn’t a title that, by itself, is going to sell you on a Move controller. But if you haven’t played these games and have a Move controller, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking to kill a few hours with some classic arcade lightgun action based on a story millions of gamers already know and love.

SUMMARY: Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection is a solid pairing considering the price tag, but with nothing new besides the HD facelift, there’s little here to entice veteran players.  

  • THE GOOD: Plenty of content for the low price point.
  • THE BAD: Nothing new aside from the improved graphics.
  • THE UGLY: Nemesis is even uglier in HD.

SCORE: 7.0

Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection is a PS3 exclusive.

Originally Published: December 22, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed the Playstation Network port of the 2007 PC game Dream Chronicles.

Originally Published: December 16, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii.

Man vs. Machine. vs. Mutant

Originally published: April, 24, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

Hundreds of years in the future, the wars of man will unearth an unholy relic that could spell the doom of the human race. At least that is according to the new Sci-Fi Action movie Mutant Chronicles.

The political boundaries of the world in Mutant Chronicles have merged over the centuries into four main industrial super powers, two in the east, one in central/western Europe, and the Americas. A thousand years before, an evil alien device that turned humans into nearly unstoppable humanoid zombie killing machines (say that five times fast) had crash-landed on the planet and only by the different peoples banding together was the machine banished far below the earth and sealed away.

As the four feuding super powers continue to struggle over control of the planet, the seal has been broken and only an elite force, composed of representatives from all over the world, can silence this ancient evil once again.

The movie stars Tom Jane as Major Mitch Hunter, one of the leaders of the group selected to attempt to infiltrate the abominable alien machine, and Ron Perlman as Brother Samuel, the head of the religious group entrusted to uphold the legacy of the original collective that sealed away the alien device.

I had a chance to catch up with Ron Perlman about this movie, several of his past roles, the future of the Hellboy series, and much, much more.

– to listen to my interview with one of the greatest character actors out there, Ron Perlman.

I felt this movie had such great potential, but fell short in the end. It was like a combination of The Punisher and Resident Evil with even less writing and even more generic action sequences. The story is loosely based off an old-school pen and paper RPG (Role-Playing Game); like Dungeons and Dragons, but with Necro-Mutants and automatic rifles. Mutant Chronicles had the source material to deliver a solid action experience, but poor writing and character development left you wanting more from the experience.

The acting, at least, was solid from everyone involved. Tom Jane basically reprised his Punisher role in this as a solider-of-fortune so it wasn’t a stretch for him to succeed in it. Ron Perlman is one of the most underrated character actors out there and did a phenomenal job playing another great one to add to the long list he’s compiled over the years (some of which we spoke about in our interview above). The supporting cast did well in the few moments they were called on to rise up and take a scene including a short scene with John Malkovich as a political figure during the beginning of the Necro-Mutant invasion.

This isn’t a bad movie, but it isn’t a great one either. There were a lot of spots that dragged on with too many gaps in the plot, which is typical when taking a plot from an old-school RPG if you don’t take it upon yourself to fix these holes with additional writing. I walked away with seeing enough action and enough sci-fi, but I still needed something else from the plot to make it feel complete.

It also felt like the movie couldn’t decide if it was going to concentrate on the action, the sci-fi, or the zombie aspects a lot of the time and this tug-of-war keeps you from becoming totally immersed in the fantasy.

The movie is an hour and 51 minutes and you have to figure that if they could have tightened up the movie to somewhere around the hour and a half mark and wrote a couple more minutes of really concise dialogue then it might have flowed in a way that would have left a better feeling in my gut when I left the theatre.

Mutant Chronicles gets 2 out of 5 for Ron Perlman dominating his role as usual and some average action sequences.

-Ray Carsillo