Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed!


This post could have been entitled "Bastard bloody bollocking Blockbuster", for it was at that wretched establishment, that I had placed my pre-order. So, on my way out for a romantic meal with Mrs. K, I suggested that we nip out and pick up my game. (Romantic meal out of the way, my weekend was mapped out with UC until I went to bed on Sunday night.) So we pull up at Blockbuster and I ask Mrs. K if she wants to come in and enjoy the moment when I receive the most coveted game I had ever bought. She sensibly (and predictably) said she would wait in the car. I strolled confidently up to the counter to collect my prize AND... and... and... NOTHING!!!

Those stupid fuckers must have fucked up their distribution or something, because they weren't getting the game till 3 o'Clock the next day! And this just wouldn't do... 'Cos I'd planned my entire weekend around this sucker, including Friday night! I had the (rare) permission to just indulge my gaming passion, to dominate the main TV of the house and to be excused for household chores for the weekend. BAH!




So I rang around the main game stores in Manchester (UK) and they said they had loads of copies. I then suggested to Mrs. K that we would go and have our meal, then I would casually saunter out, and grab my game. But what did my saintly wife suggest? That I would enjoy my meal more if I had the game in my posession. God love her! And thus, I trudged through the wind and rain, battling against hostile Christmas shoppers, to secure the game. Eventually, after a beautiful curry, I stepped through the door and unwrapped the game.


AAAARRRGGGGHHH! the electrical spaghetti underneath my telly was so confusing, that my Wii remained unplugged and powerless. Not that much of a problem you might think? Imagine a TV, connected to a VCR, a DVD, a Dreamcast, a PS2, a Sky Box and a Wii, all with their power sources plugged into one of those six pronged multi plugs, eventually leading to one 'health and safety' risk. Their cords were entwined like a mass of warring cobras, but eventually I managed to get the Wii plugged in. PHEW! OK, ready to play right? AAAARRRGGGGHHH!(2)The fucking Wiimote's batteries had died! Damn! I then had to send my biggest ugly son over to the shops to grab some AA's...

OK! On to the game! Well I was always going to love it wasn't I? As a lover of Light Gun games both in arcades and on home consoles (House Of the Dead, Virtua Cop, Confidential Mission, Death Crimson OX, RE:Code Veronica Gun Survivor ) and as a relatively recent devotee of the Resident Evil franchise, it was a no brainer that this would deliver on every level! And it does! In spades!



My Wii sleeps most of the time, whilst the Dreamcast, DS, PS2 and even Saturn get regular attention. The only games that have brought it to life are Red Steel (uncompleted) and RE4 (lovingly completed and oft replayed.) But as I knew it would, Umbrella Chronicles means that it will be the only console that gets played until the game is completed. I had hoped to play it with the Wii Zapper. After all, Light Gun games are partly fun because you hold a big gun! But the Wiimote on it's own is a fine substitute. The B button makes a perfect trigger and the fact that it is just a cuboid shape doesn't detract from it feeling more like a gun than a regular controller.


Graphics? Gorgeous! I may revise my opinion when I get "the kids" ;) a 360 for Christmas, but being a largely Retro Gamer, I'm massively impressed by some of the graphics on the Saturn. Therefore, when hit with the graphic spleandour of 'last gen' games like RE4, Shenmue, Code Veronica, the RE remake for the Gamecube, or God Of War, I'm blown away!!! Needless to say, although Capcom have recycled a lot elements from it's 'last gen' RE releases, the end result is nothing less than sumptuous to look at.


Gameplay? Fabulous! It's 'pick up and play' potential is excellent. There is something of a tutorial on the first level, but it doesn't take long, and soon the use of Wiimote (and to a lesser degree the nunchuck) comes as second nature. And as I've often stated before, the joy of brainlessly blasting at zombies encapsulates for me the joy of escapism that video games should supply. It's fun! Pure unadulterated fun!


But the real joy of the game, comes from the fact that it was created by Capcom, as a nod to all the diehard Resi fanboys. All the geeks (like me) who have swallowed the Umbrella saga wholesale, who have played the games, watched the films and want to tie up every inch of the storyline.


Narrated by Wesker and connecting every unsolved mystery from the story, it's a Resident Evil gameplayers dream. I'm actually sad enough to have spent hours trawling the Internet, to read every Umbrella file or memo, in order to map out the whole Resident Evil saga correctly. And it's actually a powerful way of wrapping the story up of the last and last but one gen excursions.


The Wii isn't powerful enough to house Resident Evil 5. Hopefully I'll be travelling that particular journey on the 360. But Wii owners couldn't say they've been neglected by Capcom. Both this, and RE 4 Wii edition, are essential purchases.



Where am I up to in the game? Well I've played through the RE Zero chapter of the game. I've never played the Gamecube's RE Zero (but I will) which means that the Rebecca Chambers/Billy Cohen storyline was unfamiliar to me. I loved it though, and I've now completed the RE Zero chapter of Umbrella Chronicles. But now I'm almost wetting myself, because I'm now playing as Jill Valentine, back in the Spencer Mansion where it all started. I know what's behind every door, what is about to happen in every room, enjoying seeing it all in tear inducing graphic glory and it's one of the most sublime gaming experiences that I've ever had.


Gripes? Well OK, there's one or two! No criticism of the game as such. other than the fact that it doesn't feature any revelations or gameplay from RE4 or RE:Code Veronica, but hopefully that means Capcom are saving it for Umbrella Chronicles 2.


To sum up, I must say that although I've enjoyed video games since the mid seventies 'Pong' era, on a variety of consoles and computers, it's only in the last couple of years that I would consider myself a 'gamer'. I now live and breathe videogames, research them, read about them, play them and comment on them. I even have two websites about them and contribute to two more. I subscribe to Games TM magazine and spend hours on the Internet looking up games I've never even played on consoles I've never owned. And I've researched enough (and played enough on about 15 different formats) to know that Capcom's Resident Evil franchise is a must for my fellow gamers.



And if there is one game that encapsulates the back catalogue of this wonderful series it is Umbrella Chronicles. If you own a Wii, go out tomorrow and buy it. If you're disappointed I'll personally reimburse you. But you won't be. One of the pinnacles of the Wii's releases so far, I couldn't give a flying fuck about Super Mario Galaxy or Metroid Prime 3 Corruption. It's all about the Umbrella Chronicles. This is Father K, for Wiikly Sermons, signing out. Now over to you Ted for the sport and weather...

13 comments:

gnome said...

So, in a nutshell, buying games -even during the internet era- is a pain, you have an amazing wife, kids can be useful, I have to buy UC, that was a brilliant post and you were right on GamesTM. Excellent!

Junlee said...

I didn't even know you had this blog FatherK!!!

Very nice!

And I want to play this game, but I don't know when I'll be getting it.

fatherkrishna said...

Why thank you Gnome. Yes I do have an amazing wife in the wonderful Mrs. K, buying games CAN be a pain in the arse, and even my biggest brute can be useful. (In truth I love him dearly!)

Junlee! How the hell are you? I'm thrilled to see you here, and my most heartfelt apologies for not visiting your blog more often!

You know your Ginger/Red head status makes you one of my adopted sons! LOL! :)

FUNNYMAN said...

What exactly is the timeline on this game? Before or after the original Resident Evil?

fatherkrishna said...

I guess before, 'cos it namechecks and references Resident Evil 0, (which as the timeline goes}pre-dates RE1, so I guess it starts from the very begining. (And that's a very good place to start!)

It's a fabulous game and as 'next gen' as anything on it's technologically superior cousins!

NebachadnezzaR said...

Looks like a great game indeed. Unfortunately I don't have a Wii (yet), but I'm more than entertained right now thanks to Shenmue II.

The first time I played it I got bored when you have to get 500 to see Ren of Heavens (cool name, uh?), but now I picked it up again and I'm already at Kowloon, just about to finally meet Yuanda Zhu (I hope that this time I actually meet him, after the previous set ups...)

Junlee said...

LOL, I love that word...ginger!

I'm proud to be one of your adopted sons! :D

FUNNYMAN said...

I played this at a friends house recently, but I thought it was average. To be perfectly honest, I have had more fun playing the Resident Evil games on my Gamecube and PS2.

fatherkrishna said...

Wow! Nebacha! You're playing Shenmue 2? *Rushes over and gives Nebacha a big hug...*

It is in my humble opinion THE best videogame of all time!

Damn I'm jealous! Maybe the death of your 360 was an act of God...

Junlee! I'm so thrilled to have you here! If only J would pay me a visit... Then my life would be complete...

But he never comes here no more... I think he hates me... :(

Funnyman! God! You're hard to please! I just bought "the kids" a 360 "for Christmas" so it looks like I'm genuinely gonna be "next gen" soon!

Kane and Lynch! Bioshock! The Orange Box! RESI 5! GOW! MWWUUAAAHHAA!!!!!!

FUNNYMAN said...

What can I say? I have high standards.

J said...

I was enjoying the lowdown until you mentioned that you liked Code:Veronica Gun survivor. That game was horrendous. You should have a zombie set on you for liking that game.

I hated that Code: Veronica, but it should've gotten a scenario or two in Umbrella chronicles. I can understand not including RE4 because in all honesty that game is pretty recent. People still play it, have the events of that game fresh in their minds and there isn't a great deal Umbrella chronicles could reveal that wasn't already disclosed via Ada's missions. Plus, the whole light gun, first person style wouldn't really add to any of the tension that RE4 offerred as standard anyway. If anything, placing any events of RE4 on rails would take away from the tension. I personally think it was more of a crime that Capcom didn't include RE2. That game is so pivotal to the whole RE plot and is the best game in the series alongside RE4. It also would've meant that we got to see Claire and Leon in action and that we fans wouldn't miss the omission of Code: Veronica and RE4 so much. I love RE2 so much and it was my Saturday morning ritual for months whilst I was at school to complete that game as quick as possible with only a maximum of 3 saves. (I managed it with only 2 saves a couple o' times! :P)

Overall, good review FK! I should warn you that Resident evil 0 is pretty cack though. That game is so overlong and boring. The only good thing about it are the graphics and that you don't have to burn the zombies bodies like you did in REmake, so there's no crimson heads. It also doesn't explain much of the plot, neither does it explain why or how you end up in a couple of locations from RE2. Play it if you must, but you've been warned. I'm a hardcore RE fan and even I had to force myself through RE0.

fatherkrishna said...

God J! Thank you for such a fine and considered response to the post!

I was arguing with my middle Ginger (Martin... the Don of videogames in our house), that he was about to enter RE2 territory after completing the RE1 saga of Umbrella Chronicles (with the Zapper coincidentally), when he rightly pointed out that we were revisiting RE3...

Having played RE1, RE2, RE3, RE4, RE:CV, RE4:Wii Edition and dipped into some of the side quests this year, I thought I could comment on the franchise with an authorative voice...

But evidently I can't!I don't know shit! I've got the RE remake for Gamecube (unplayed) and was going to seek out and buy RE:0...

Now I'm not sure I'll bother checking out either!

Thanks for your thoughts, comments and advice!

I love you J!

J said...

It's a shame that Resident evil 2 hasn't been re-made. I think if any RE game has been long overdue for a re-make, it's number 2. For some reason despite it being one of the more critically acclaimed titles in the series and one of the most awaited - it's one of the RE games that many folk late to the series haven't played. I've been rooting for Capcom to give RE2 the REmake treatment, but Capcom obviously don't love me like you do FK.

:(