Nintendo 3DS Review: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

The first M-rated Nintendo 3DS game has tense single player action; two-player co-op via network play and a Resident Evil Revelations preview coming soon on the 3DS. With a name like Resident Evil, players can always expect combat, melees, blood, gore, and endless action.

The Hype

For the first time Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D delivers the intense Mercenaries gameplay experience on a handheld console. Featuring re-mastered stages from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, it’s a race against time as players try to defeat as many enemies as possible before the countdown reaches zero. The fast-paced, combat intensive action of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is available both as a solo experience or gamers across the world can team up and enjoy two-player co-op via network play.

In Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D gamers will have the opportunity to tackle the game’s missions with legendary Resident Evil characters from past and present and face off against some of the most terrifying enemies, such as the Executioner and Popo Karimu. Playable characters include Chris Redfield, Krauser, Hunk, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and, making her debut in a Mercenaries game, Claire Redfield.

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D includes the addition of an all new Skill Slot feature. With this players are able to fill three skill slots from a selection of 30 skills including improvements to weapons performance, reload speed or melee abilities and customize characters to best suit their style of play. While the gameplay will be familiar to those who have previously played Mercenaries, changes have been implemented to take advantage of the new hardware, most notably transforming the stages and characters to full 3D plus the ability for players to move and shoot and the addition of touch screen functionality to switch weapons on the fly.

  • Resident Evil Revelations demo included
  • 1 or 2 players – Ad Hoc and Nintendo Wi-Fi connection
  • 30 missions of intense Mercenaries action
  • In-depth skill and abilities unlock system that encourages and rewards replaying
  • Choose from legendary past and present Resident Evil characters, including for the first time in Mercenaries, Claire Redfield

The Reality

This third-person horror shooter contains mandatory tutorials, an auto-save option, and core content based on previous stages from the Resident Evil 4 and 5 games. Main game modes are single player and DUO game / two player co-operative through local and network online connections (game required for each player).

The eight-character set has varying strengths and weaknesses – Albert Wesker, Barry Burton, Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, HUNK, Jack Krauser, Jill Valentine, and Rebecca Chambers. Unlockable character costumes add some variety while the enemy character set is relatively basic.

The basic baddies are the Majini, infected by the Las Plagas parasite, and white skinned Los Illumandos cultists wearing black robes. Enemy AI is pretty challenging. Just watch their face and arm movements to see when they will attack. The animations look worse than actual damage as Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W.) factor into each situation.

Developers center on gameplay instead of a story as players aim for the highest scores possible within a standard time limit format. These time limits quicken the pulse while time stoppage provides healing…best done while hidden. The circular health bar contains the familiar “green for good” and “red for bad” schemes. In a crisis, keep smashing the Y button to raise health.

The drab environments (eight total designs) have enough depth and contrast for easy navigation. The uniform look in the settings and zombie characters help players recognize targets easily. Item grabbing would very challenging without the helpful visuals / text identifying each item and what it does. Health healing herbs blend  into environments too well, but their shape helps spot them. Players can use herbs on themselves (A button) or give to their partner in two-player mode.

The all-new skill slot feature rises as skill points and rankings increase fighting abilities. Players populate three selectable spots from a 30-skill cache. Careful choices and mindful strategy in this feature pays off while adding more meaning and less mindless killing.

Players equip the skills to increase them in each character. Putting down evil requires efficiency here, especially since there is a time limit, so developers let players personally customize all their offensive options – melee actions, reload speed, and weapons. The melee actions have excellent response time plus they save valuable ammunition. Reach the highest level on each skill to get some surprising bonus abilities. High scores are displayed by character.

The 30 missions have different levels within – three or five for high challenge plus EX mode challenges. Earn medals and get a grade B or better to clear a level. Hidden medals also appear after extensive stockpiles, so players definitely have rewards for the effort. More side missions where environments play a bigger role would have been a nice addition.

Various firearms and grenades pack enough punch to get the job done. Item and weapon switches are easy with the direction pad or on the inventory touch screen. The d-pad works better since the nearby analog stick is already being used for movement. Holding the L button for great strafe moves while quick turns keep enemies from surrounding.

The well-crafted sounds and yells definitely let players know when they are doing damage while the visuals often glorify a well aimed head shot with a decapitation. Helpful camera views keep targeting easy with first person and over-the-shoulder views. Make sure the auto-save option is on; the game saves when exiting the results screen. The playable Resident Evil Revelations demo is located in the special features menu. This upcoming game is set on a cruise liner and features the Jill Valentine character.

Review: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

Where to Buy: Amazon and other stores

Price: $39.99

What I Like:  high replay value, graphics, character rendering, visceral gameplay, shooting mechanics, physics, quick melee attacks, control layout, additional ability to play through levels

What Needs Improvement: only one save file, needs more content, some odd animation jumps, no online player leaderboards, more side missions where environments play a bigger role, demo is nice but could use that memory for cutscenes for backstory on each character while relating backstory to skill set

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews

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