Resident Evil revelations

It seems like the Resident Evil Revelations games have been released for as many consoles as Skyrim and Minecraft. Now, we can add the hottest new console to the list, but how does the came compare on the Switch? It's...it's fine. It's pretty much the same game that you've probably played in at least one other place, assuming that you have a particular love for Resident Evil games anymore. While the Nintendo Switch version adds a couple new bells and whistles, it's unlikely to be enough to draw in anybody who wasn't interested enough to play it in one of its previous incarnations.

While the Resident Evil franchise seems to have found new life via the first person/VR experience of Resident Evil 7, the two Revelations titles were Capcom's first attempts at recapturing the horror route of the franchise that started to get lost in the two previous numbered entries in the series. While both titles are available separately for the Nintendo Switch, they're similar enough that it makes sense to review them together.

The plot of the games is your standard Resident Evil story. It's mostly gibberish that only holds together as far as is necessary to put characters you're familiar with, like Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield, in dark and dreary places where zombies, or at least zombie-ish monsters, jump out and try and eat you. Both games play through in an episodic format, though only the second Revelations game was actually released that way. You explore the dungeon of choice, picking up ammo and health and trying to use as little of each in order to survive to the end.

The Revelations games certainly feel like classic Resident Evil, which is their key selling point for fans of the original parts of the series. The major difference is that rather than using a fixed location camera and tank controls, where you can move or shoot, but not both at once, Revelations shifts to an over the shoulder camera that allows you to aim your gun and move at the same time. While this is mostly a welcome updating, it does mean that when there's a monster sneaking up behind you, you won't necessarily know it until it's eating your face. On the one hand, this is frustrating, but then again, it does amp up the tension.

The biggest addition to these games is the ability to use the Nintendo Switch motion controls. By putting a Joy-Con in each hand you can use one to aim your gun at the screen. While this is supposed to give you finer accuracy, I found it to be endlessly frustrating. Whenever you draw a gun your targeting reticle defaults to the middle of the screen, meaning that if you don't already have your arm set in an appropriate, and comfortable, position, you end up swinging your arm into weird places in order to aim where you want. While this could probably be overcome with a bit of practice, I found that it was just easier to quit and go back to a Pro Controller.

The frustrating motion controls are mostly annoying because my favorite version of Resident Evil 4 is the version released on the Nintendo Wii. I found the motion controls there to be clean and precise. The Wiimote felt like I was aiming a gun. It never feels like you're aiming a Joy-Con here, just like you're swinging it around.

The episodic format of the titles certainly lends itself to portable gaming, and the Switch does a solid job here. There are some motion control options here as well, but I found them even more unwieldy than the Joy-Cons separately. But in a standard configuration, Revelations works well enough. The original game was a 3DS title first, after all, so it lends itself to being played on the go.

Also, be aware that Resident Evil Revelations 2 will eat almost the entire internal memory of your Switch. if you haven't invested in an SD card yet, you may want to put one on your Christmas list.

If you're a fan of the old school survival horror of Resident Evil but somehow haven't given these games a try yet, there's no reason not to play them on the Nintendo Switch. Having said that, motion controls alone aren't enough of a reason to give this one a second look.

This review was done with a Nintendo Switch version of the title provided by the publisher.

5 / 10 stars
Rating: movie reviewed rating

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