I just want to start out by saying the first thing this game made me do was laugh. Laugh out loud in fact. If you’ve played a Resident Evil game in the past few years, you no doubt know the voice that says the game’s title once you press start on the main menu. Now imagine that dark, undead serial killer voice saying “Resident Evil: The Mercenaries Three-Dee.” It’s funny, and I can’t help but laugh.
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D was one of those titles, that when announced, came with a pause of excitement. The game looked great and played well during demos, but it’s also just a mini-game that has been bundled with the main Resident Evil games for a while. Before I put down the money to buy this game, I had to ask myself: Is it worth paying full price for something I’m used to getting as a free bonus? The answer is both yes and no.
Game Play: 6/10
If you’ve played any of the Mercenaries mini-games before, you know exactly what to expect here. You’re tasked with killing as many enemies as you can in a small amount of time. The game is divided up into small missions, each with about two minutes each once you get past the numerous training missions. You can extend your time on a mission by breaking one of the many time bonuses in the game. There are 30 in the game, but too many of them are wasted on learning how to control the game. Really Capcom, you dedicate one ENTIRE mission to learning how to work the slide pad?
The point of the game is to get a high score (though, stupidly, you can’t share these scores with others). Each enemy you kill gives you more points, and if you keep a kill streak going you’ll get even more points. As you progress in the game, more difficult enemies are thrown at you, and at some points you’ll have a boss battle. But the game play really doesn’t change: you just keep shooting until you’ve killed all you can kill.
The game starts out with just three characters: Chris, Jill and Hunk. As you advance and complete more missions, you unlock more characters, but none of them really matter once you get Jack Krauser. Why? Because has a bow and arrow with unlimited arrows. While every other character has to run around looking for ammo, Jack can rest easy knowing he has the cheapest weapon in the game. And the arrows are powerful, usually taking down an enemy in two shots. Quite frankly, it almost makes the game cheap. Thankfully though, killing zombies is fun, killing them before time runs out is exciting and killing them with a friend can be heart pounding.
The graphics in RE:TM3D are probably the best the system has seen, but they are not consistent. While the player character and environments look great, enemies in the distance run at a lower frame rate than the rest of the game. It really does take you out of the experience as do the occasional dips in the frame rate. Overall though, the game does look amazing and is the first title I’ve played that really shows off the power of the 3DS. If only it were more gory.
I was really surprised how well the controls in the game work. The touch screen is only used for quick switching of weapons, but the rest of the game controls much like Resident Evil 4 did. That means you do have to stop and shoot, but that’s what separates this title from just a run-and-gun 3rd person shooter. However, the controls are not what I’d call intuitive. If you take a leave from the game, you really do have to remind yourself which button does what.
Most, if not all, of the game’s music comes from previous entries in the series, and it sounds just fine coming out of the speakers. The sound effects, however, don’t really live up to the great things we’ve heard from Resident Evil. Explosions are muted and everyone sounds the same in death. Each of the weapons has a nice sound effect to go with it, but it is hard to hear over the sound of the music, which is the prominent thing coming out of your speakers.
There really isn’t a lot to this game besides killing enemies. With no story, the only thing keeping you playing is your desire to unlock all the characters, missions and get high scores. If you’re a high score junkie, you can find a lot to love with this game. If you play long enough, there are also skills to unlock which can tilt the missions in your favor. It’s also a great game to play with a friend (though do it locally, because online didn’t fare too well). For others, you’ll probably tire of it by the time you’ve unlocked everything.
There is no Streetpass or Spotpass functionality, which means no downloadable missions or characters (sorry Leon).
Probably the best part of the entire package is the three minute RE: Revelations demo. With better graphics than the main game, this tiny slice of horror heaven really shows you what the 3DS is made of.
It’s disappointing to see this game as Capcom’s follow-up to the excellent Super Street Fighter 4 3D. That is a full featured fighting game that looks great and really shows what Capcom can do when they spend time and money on a title. And that game was just a port. RE:TM3D is an “original” title and should have been a lot more. Unfortunately, it’s not, and many people will probably get a serious case of buyer’s remorse once they pop it in their system. I didn’t, but even I know this game should have been better.
And don’t get me started on the one, permanent save file…