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Portable Gaming: Resident Evil Revelations Review

Resident Evil Revelations Delivers Big on the Small Screen

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Portable Gaming: Resident Evil Revelations Review

Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS.

Image © Capcom

As a manly man, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m afraid of a few, um, things. A hyperactive imagination, for example, makes me a complete wreck when watching horror movies. I also can’t swim so I have a fear of drowning. Plus, I’m claustrophobic so I don’t do that well in tight spaces.

So you could only imagine my reaction when I booted up Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS and realized that the latest installment of the popular survival-horror series was taking place inside the corridors of a monster-infested ship drifting at sea. Seriously, Capcom? Are you really gonna do this to me?

Fortunately, I’m nothing if professional so I strapped on a Depend, turned all the lights on, sucked my thumb and started playing the game. Just kidding. Seriously, I’m just kidding. Someone please believe me. After all, Jason Hidalgo always mans up when the going gets tough, baby!

“So, Jason, would that be like the time you ‘manned’ up in college and got thoroughly schooled at Bomberman by a female classmate who was already tipsy after drinking a few shots of vodka?”

Um, shut up.

Anywho, back to Resident Evil: Revelations. In this particular chapter of the Resident Evil franchise, you find series mainstay Jill Valentine stuck inside the distressed cruise ship Queen Zenobia while attempting to track down former partner Chris Redfield. As with any Resident Evil game, your goal is to solve the mystery behind this latest outbreak of the sort-of undead while facing hordes of nasties that would love nothing more than to get up close and personal with you. Along the way, you also get to see the story through the eyes of other characters, adding a bit of variety to the game.

The first thing I noticed with Resident Evil: Revelations is that the game looks nice for a portable. In fact, it looks especially better in 3D, making if the first game I’ve ever played on the system where I had the 3D slider turned on the whole time. Production values for the game are also excellent. I’ve played my fair share of portable games from a popular console series and most of the time, they play like a poor man’s version of whatever IP they are based on. Resident Evil: Revelations, on the other hand oozes console quality the same way blood generously oozes from various corridors of the game. It definitely does not feel like a half-baked portable effort.

Gameplay also feels more action-oriented than past entries in the series. You still have the clunky control scheme from past games when playing with the base setup for the 3DS. Slap on a Slide Pad or Circle Pad Pro attachment, however, and the controls get closer to what you see with modern shooters. At the very least, it allows you to be more nimble when controlling your character — a big plus when dealing with enemy swarms or intense boss fights — so I’d recommend using the peripheral with this game if you have it. Meanwhile, the addition of a “Raid Mode” sprinkles some multiplayer fun to the game, which further adds to the fun factor.

Drawbacks include a less scary atmosphere overall. I know, I know, that sounds weird coming from a scaredy cat such as myself. For folks who like to play these games for scares, though, the fact that I was mostly relaxed while playing this is a testament that the game is not bladder-busting scary. It certainly helps that supporting character Raymond Vester, who wears a, um, vest, sorta-kinda looks like Conan O’Brian. I don’t know why but that immediately makes me not scared of anything. Having an AI partner with you for most of the game may be a factor as well. Speaking of AI companions, they are just about as useful as Mr. Bean in a fight. Obviously, this helps ensure that you do the killing yourself but having dead weight AI partners who shoot and shoot to no effect ruins the immersion a bit. The game also doesn’t have as much exploration despite the addition of a scanner tool for finding hidden stuff.

Overall, though, Resident Evil: Revelations is a great game that sports console quality gaming on the small screen. It’s arguably the best third-party game on the 3DS to date. As such, I highly recommend it to fans of suspense shooters or even just action fans in general.

  • Final rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Cost: $39.99
  • System: Nintendo 3DS
  • Genre: Suspense shooter
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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