Oh deary, deary me. It seems the poor little 3DS is having a hard time of it, not being able to attract developers with its miscalculated selling point of a glasses-less 3D screen which seems to give more than half of its buyers eye-strain and headaches with any kind of prolonged use. Nobody would blame you if you considered (or actually did) pawn the thing while it was still worth something.
But if you stuck it out on faith that something worthwhile would eventually come your way – something not a rehash or remake of an old title, the likes of which seem to typify the 3DS library to this point – then you’ll be happy to know that Resident Evil: Revelations has finally arrived.
Built from the ground up exclusively for the 3DS, this new chapter in the RE saga lets players take control of Jill Valentine once again as she and her new partner, Parker, investigate a derelict ocean liner looking for their missing anti-bioterrorism comrade, Chris Redfield. Of course, it’s an RE game, so the ship turns out to be crawling with all kinds of nasty, genetically-engineered monstrosities on the hunt for tasty humans.
The graphics are probably the best the 3DS has ever seen – although the 3D does tend to lose its effect after a while for me, so that I have to keep asking myself, is it still on? The gameplay is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the series, fighting tough enemies with limited ammo, grenades and well-placed melee attacks – but with a few new features. The first one I simply have to mention is that it’s the first in the series to have a sensible control scheme. RE: Revelations is the first game on the 3DS to use the new-fangled Circle Pad Pro, which gives players a second analogue pad and two extra triggers to use. The Circle Pad Pro unit makes the 3Ds significantly larger, but it also makes it more comfortable to hold with adult-sized hands, so we won’t get wanker’s cramp any more from bunching our fingers up.
But what that means for RE: Revelations is that we can play it just as easily as if we were playing RE 5 on a home console, with full camera control, dual-analogue aiming – and get this, you can move while aiming. That’s right, your feet are no longer rooted to the floor while shooting! Blimey, that’s a first. Some other first-time features include underwater swimming sections, a dodge system that actually works, a scanner that Jill can use to find hidden items, and weapon upgrades Jill can chop-and-change between weapons at will.
Apart from that, there’s the mandatory rating at the end of each chapter, and a whole bunch of criteria players can attempt to meet to unlock new weapons and upgrades. The game is also fairly long for a portable system. I don’t know if it’s enough to get people to start paying attention to the 3DS again on its own, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun.