[3DS] [Capcom] 
Reviewing Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is like taking a trip down memory lane. My indisputable hype for this excellent-looking title following up to its release was quite shocking considering how the finished game turned out. This standalone package, containing an upgraded version of the love it or hate it Mercenaries mini-game from the fourth and fifth instalments in Capcom's popular Resident Evil franchise, received anything but critical acclaim from many journalists just before it came out. I'll be truthful in saying that I'm one of those strange people who absolutely adores Mercenaries mode. I was addicted to the stellar piece of after-game content in Resident Evil 4 and ended up playing it a fair bit. So, despite notoriously low review scores, I thought I'd enjoy the expanded 3DS version of the game, and I must say that quite frankly, I did. A fair bit, as a matter of fact. However, that's not to say that the many problems surrounding this game that journalists. In fact, The Mercenaries 3D is infested with technical flaws in almost every department, which is odd considering it's such an enjoyable game if you're a fan of past Resident Evil games' Mercenaries modes.
Normally when reviewing any game, I tend to choose a linear structure that allows me to describe all of the brilliant bits of the title, occasionally touching on minor nit-pickings that surround these aspects, and in the penultimate paragraph, move on to the striking flaws (if any). This certainly won't be the case with my review of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, as there's so much bad in this 3DS title that I can't help but point out these many errors throughout this whole review. Still, with all this negativity and talk of flaws, Mercenaries 3D still does a lot of things right. The most obvious of things that impress about the game are the brilliant visuals, which are no doubt up to the standard many 3DS games don't quite meet. These great graphics are made even more impressive when you turn up the 3D depth slider as the 3D in Mercenaries, while not the best I've seen on the system (that boast would go to Starfox 64 3D), still implements a superb usage of depth, making the entire foreground stand out more so than the background. Not to say that this isn't something we haven't seen before on the 3DS, but at least the 3D effects complement the superb visuals of this title. Unfortunately, it's clear that some sacrifices had to be made to keep this game a looker that maintains a steady frame-rate. Equip a sniper rifle, look down the scope and zoom in to near maximum and you'll see that pretty much everything in the far distance looks like a heap of manure visually, not to mention a heap of manure with a rather choppy frame-rate. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D isn't nearly as disgusting as that analogy made it sound, though, so forgive me. Moving swiftly onwards, the next thing that makes Mercenaries 3D an improvement over its predecessors comes in the form of longevity.
|Barry picked the wrong time to mimic that impression of an orangutan Ed did in Shaun of the Dead. Then again...|
When you do get round to the missions that you'll actually have fun with, however, things get extremely addictive and very enjoyable indeed. The concept of Mercenaries mode goes something like this: You, as one of the eight available Resident Evil characters in either of their costumes, must use an array of weapons to mow, cut and blast down as many enemies as possible in order to earn as many points as possible. Quite often bosses that reap a large quantity of points are chucked into the mix, also. Sound simple? That's because it is. The real challenge and strategy of the game comes in the form of battling against a different kind of opponent: time itself. A daunting and ever closing in countdown is placed at the top of the screen, and when this timer hits zero (or if you've cleared out every single enemy in a stage) the game ends and the points you've earned are submitted, awarding you with a rank ranging from a very poor E to an exceptional SS. So, how exactly do you fight this evil, invisible beast? Two ways: The first of which is smashing up time statues, a number of which are found in each level. By performing your selected character's stylish melee attack in the direction of one of these statues with a tap of the Y button, you'll earn a specific amount of extra time depending on the statue you smash. The strategy of the game comes through keeping up a steady combo of enemy kills whilst making your way towards and obliterating each and every statue in order to earn the best possible score.
|With only four seconds left on the ever-daunting countdown, it's a good thing that Jill's about to smash this Time Bonus, eh?|
|In online co-op, you can support and heal up your partner as seen in this screenshot. You won't see a scene like this too often when you play the game, mind.|
|Ever wondered what happened to the old, black-suited Stig from Top Gear? Wonder no more! Just don't expect him to make a return, or anything.|