It's been nearly a year since Nintendo released the 3DS, but there's yet to be a game targeted specifically at older gamers. Does Resident Evil: Revelations fit the M-rated gaming 3DS void or leave zombie-deprived gamers wanting more?
While my time with the 3DS has afforded my countless "wow" moments thanks to the occasionally brilliant 3D screen, it's never truly impressed me in terms of graphics alone. This is where Resident Evil Revelations fits in. It is easily the best-looking 3DS game on the market right now, producing visuals on par with something like Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube.
Speaking of Resident Evil 4, Revelations delivers an experience similar to the franchise classic, in not only controls, but tone and atmosphere. Of course being on the 3DS platform demands some tweaking, but the transition to handheld has been seamless.
Revelations introduces some new gameplay, specifically the ability to scan for items using a special device. For me, this made things a little easier than I had hoped, considering Resident Evil games usually force the player to be smart with things like ammo conservation. Almost every room you enter contains hidden ammo or health, so the redundancy of performing scans became a bit tedious after a while.
Playing Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS also forced me to come to terms with the system's top 3D screen. After sessions of just 20 minutes, I found myself becoming frustrated with its size. Perhaps this is a result of all my recent time with the PS Vita, but it's safe to say comparing the two screens in terms of sharpness and radiance is night and day.
Resident Evil games are all about atmosphere, and while the game's score and sound design are top-notch, I found a bit of a disconnect in terms of full visual immersion. That said, it's tough to fault Capcom for this. Revelations is another example of 3DS game that doesn't necessarily need to be played in 3D.
While I didn't use it with my time with game, Revelations can make use of the new right circle pad accessory now available for the 3DS.
Make no mistake, Resident Evil Revelations would be a fantastic game regardless of its platform. It's a must-own 3DS title and the perfect first entry for an M-rated game in the 3DS' small library.
Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS is the sort of game the Nintendo 3DS needs, desperately. And more people need to know about it, because it's precisely the sort of game that shows how graphically capable the 3DS is over its DS predecessor. Ominous, atmospheric, and broken up perfectly into bite-size pieces, Resident Evil Revelations (not to be confused with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries) is an excellent portable experience, and works as well in 3D as it does in 2D.
The type of "horror-thriller theater" that Resident Evil represents suits the intimate 3D experience that the 3DS provides: the claustrophobic hallways and tight corners feel even more so on a handheld. It's unfortunately a bit of an awkward experience control-wise; an opening dialog box asks if you'd like to use the Circle Pad Pro, a peripheral that's being launched simultaneously with this game. A second analog pad would help for turning one's head around the virtual spaces; otherwise, players are reduced to using their thumbs on the 3DS lower touch screen, which, along with the trigger controls and menu controls, can make the game hard to use in critical moments.
Still, between this game and Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater, the 3DS may finally be proving its worth as a more hard-core game system...just as the PS Vita readies for launch. If you ever wondered what Nintendo's handheld is capable of graphically, check out this game and wonder no longer.