Is Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection yet another case of “what you see is what you get?” Yes. The hi-def re-rub of 2007’s Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and 2009’s Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles takes Cavia’s on-rails shooters from Wii to PS3 with relative ease, especially if you’ve got an ideal PlayStation Move setup at home. The collection doesn't offer up the prettiest games, but they're still a fun romp, especially with a partner.
REC HD Collection is available digitally via PSN, and although Capcom is promoting both games as a bundle package, it’s possible to buy just one game, should you prefer. Both are fun, but for what it’s worth, The Darkside Chronicles' refined mechanics – even with its jarring shaky-cam motif— outdo its predecessor and we still feel that it’s one of the best light-gun shooters of the past few years alongside House of the Dead: Overkill and Dead Space: Extraction, both of which are also available for Move.
Mechanically, the Move wand adds more precision and sensitivity for headshots than what was seen in the Wii games and improves the experience. We tried the game out with just the wand, with wand and navigation controller in-hand, and with a Sharpshooter. It does support Dual Shock, but we'd consider that a last resort. The games are versatile enough to enjoy with a Move wand alone, but if you’ve got a Sharpshooter, it enhances gameplay by providing both an arcade-like experience, as well as a certain amount of ergonomic advantage – there’s a greatly tactile feeling to slapping the peripheral to reload instead of shaking a wand offscreen.
Visually, both games have increased resolution, but they’re not necessarily the prettiest games. Cutscenes look muddy and the transition is more jarring than it was on Wii. The years haven’t been so kind to Umbrella Chronicles, in particular. Considering that it wasn’t a very pretty game on Wii five years ago, the transition gives the environments a slightly muddled look. You’ll likely be busy shooting at whatever’s coming your way too often to fixate, but it bears mentioning.
The other caveats associated with the Wii releases – it’s best played with another on-the-couch friend, the games are designed to fill in plot holes and are designed for huge fans of the classic games – still very much apply to this version. You’re really going to get the most of out these games if you’re not playing them in solitude, even if both titles feature online leaderboards.
Overall, if you’ve got a PlayStation 3 and two Move wands, the promise of two light-gun games in a bundle isn’t a bad deal, though The Umbrella Chronicles is the weaker of the two games. The package is versatile enough to support a variety of play styles, including the Move Sharpshooter, and, as with the Wii titles, it’s a great romp through the backstory of the Resident Evil series. Approach it with caveats in mind (and preferably a friend to play with you), and you’ll have a good time with it.
Worth buying if you haven't played the Wii games, but with some cautions.