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Resident Evil Revelations Wii U review

A masterclass in how to do a standard Wii U port

Resident Evil: Revelations is a good test case for whether or not handheld games can make the transition to consoles. Originally launched to critical acclaim, it stood out because it wasn't just another Resident Evil action game plonked on the 3DS (we already had Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D for that). Everything about it - from the graphics, to the environments, to the enemy design and the perfectly packaged episodic content - targeted a small screen and gaming on the move.

It felt like it had been lovingly created by a team that understood exactly what a 3DS gamer would want and proved that the little handheld could do an awful lot more than cutesy platformers and 2D shoot 'em ups. Understanding your audience and the medium they're playing seemed to be the key in this instance and perhaps that's why the Wii U conversion ends up feeling a little flat.

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Cruise 'N' Ooze

The basic premise for Revelations still stands and it's still an enjoyably cheesy old yarn filled with classic Resident Evil twists and turns. After a terrorist group by the name of Il Veltro releases a bio-organic weapon into the population of floating city Terragrigia, the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) are called into action to clean up the mess. It all goes Licker-shaped and they end up nuking the joint.

Cut to years later and it seems that the decimated Il Veltro may still exist after all. Cue Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and newcomers Parker Luciani and Jessica Sherawat to investigate and ultimately save the day.

The pacing of the story is still really effective. Even though the TV dramatisation nature of the episodic, 'previously, on Resident Evil Revelations...' chapters was designed specifically for gaming on the move, it actually fits the big screen quite well. Your main characters are split up into two teams (plus an extra team later on in the game) and you'll spend the game going back and forth between the two, skipping through time so that the back story can be filled out until you're all brought together into the present day.

Port in a storm

The underlying structure, and even the main gameplay, makes the transition intact. It's a satisfying mix of old and new Resident Evil styles, with modern-day action and production grafted onto a claustrophobic, nerve-shredding survival horror stem of old. But as we've said before, the game isn't the success it should be and much of this is down to a lack of understanding of, and empathy with, the Wii U hardware.

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Fans, this reviewer included, have been crying out for a big-screen version of Revelations since it launched on 3DS. The Wii U GamePad is a heaven-sent gadget for Chris Redfield and co. Hold up the GamePad to scan around the room with the secret-busting Genesis gadget... Use the touch-screen to zoom in and out of 3D maps, touching and highlighting areas of interest and making a note of any ammo stashes... Get radio messages via the GamePad... all that jazz.

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Comments

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  1. onmsam Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 11:19

    from playing the amzing 3ds one and the wii u demo i could tell it was a basic lazy port, but i have heard about resi 7 being announced at e3

  2. Greene-Stuff Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 11:34

    I'll just stick to the 3DS one then... I wish they would bring out a truly solid entry into the resident evil series to NINTENDO

  3. Slinkington Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 11:44

    When they announced this I expected a port. That's what they said it was. And that's what we got... I'm quite happy with it. They did add little touches to graphics/sound and additional Raid characters. I wasn't expecting them to go that far. Be happy!

  4. Olympion Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 12:24

    This could have been the best version of Revelations by far if Capcom had just included the Wiimote + Nunchuck control setup from Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (now THAT's how you make a good port!), but seeing how they didn't, I'm just sticking with the 3DS version.

  5. PuAl Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 13:49

    Seems solid enough. That said, I kinda wish they had altered the episodic format for home consoles. Not that it isn't a good idea (see Alan Wake for how to do it well) but REvelations did it in a manner that just felt gratuitous and cringy. Plus, if I play it again on WiiU, then every time it goes into a 'previously on' spiel, I'll just be reminded of how the sequel to the aforementioned Alan Wake has been indefinitely shelved. So, a great game being stretched a little thin will be reminding me that my favourite game of the last 20 years or so has pretty much died long before its time.

  6. Richard Bates Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 15:12

    i loved this game on the 3ds and have it coming tomorrow for the wii u along with sniper elite v2, i cant wait, i downloaded the demo and was happy with it, i dont have the circle pad pro on the 3ds so i like the controls alot more on the wii u, loved it on the 3ds sure i love it even more on a bigger screen

  7. danbish Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 15:12

    I have to say while it did look very pretty, (especially Jill's bum!), the demo didn't exactly blow me away. Bog standard average port that I think the 3DS original beats. Any why no GamePad scanning Capcom? Why? That was a blindingly obvious move to me. Potential utterly wasted.

  8. KairiZero Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 20:37

    Lazy port or not, I fired this up today and I've got to say its a pretty damn good game from what I've played so far! The graphics are a little bit flat in places and what not, but overall considering its basically just had an upscale and improved resolutions in the textures and what not, it really doesn't hold up bad at all. The lack of gamepad inclusion is a little disappointing as the review points out, as there are obviously much better ways to use it (Zombi U).

    If you've played the 3DS one then its a no brainer to give this a miss, I missed out on it so I bought this version, and I can't say I regret that decision :)

  9. Richard Bates Friday 24th May 2013 at 11:11

    :( nothing from the postman today

  10. imbusydoctorwho Friday 24th May 2013 at 12:40

    Even thought have got it on 3DS,I am very tempted to get it for Wii U.
    Playing the demo on Wii U really did impressed me,so I might get it if I can find it for Ł25.

  11. SUBTERRANEANguy Friday 24th May 2013 at 18:51

    but it was YOUR magazine which hyped this trash port to the hills with a lame 'guess what game is coming to wii u' world exclusive, and hyped capcom because they gave you exclusive access. get the 3ds version if you havent played this- amazingly atmospheric with 3d full tilt and earphones in. lazy ports and lack of dlc for wii u games which the other consoles have is inexcusable, and those companies need to be named and shamed and snubbed by nintendo fans when trusted software for the system picks up. im looking at you, ea (never buying another game of yours again, even when you come crawling back; bioware; sniper 2 makers, etc. )

  12. Destri Sunday 26th May 2013 at 19:59

    Even thought have got it on 3DS,I am very tempted to get it for Wii U.
    Playing the demo on Wii U really did impressed me,so I might get it if I can find it for Ł25.

    It shouldn't be long, I seen it for Ł32 yesterday.. but held off, will wait, like you, Ł25 is a fair price..

  13. KairiZero Wednesday 29th May 2013 at 11:31

    I only paid Ł26 for my copy, not regretting it - its a fun game and the raid mode is a nice addition :)

  14. liveswired Monday 10th Jun 2013 at 20:15

    what are all the complaints about??? Capcom said this was a port from the word go so gamers who did not have a 3DS could experience it.

    It is well ported and is arguably the best looking game on Wii U and is undoubtedly giving those tri core overclocked GEKKOs a good run for their money.

  15. liveswired Monday 10th Jun 2013 at 20:32

    but it was YOUR magazine which hyped this trash port to the hills with a lame 'guess what game is coming to wii u' world exclusive, and hyped capcom because they gave you exclusive access. get the 3ds version if you havent played this- amazingly atmospheric with 3d full tilt and earphones in. lazy ports and lack of dlc for wii u games which the other consoles have is inexcusable, and those companies need to be named and shamed and snubbed by nintendo fans when trusted software for the system picks up. im looking at you, ea (never buying another game of yours again, even when you come crawling back; bioware; sniper 2 makers, etc. )

    The Wii U does not have the install base for DLC etc. Now I am going to lay out my opinion, I think the Wii U is a great little machine for Nintendo games and has a bright future.

    I think you will soon find the issue lies within the Wii U's LACK of processing grunt. I'm trying to find a single interview in which Iwata directly says the Wii U is more powerful than the PS3/360 - he keeps dodging an answer, merely stating developers can find 'tricks' to match the look - so there is only one answer - the Wii U is less powerful than the current gen BUT features more memory to compensate.

    By all accounts knock my opinion down - but really - Wii U owners desperate to claim they have the most powerful console are blaming 'new technology' for all their games looking worse than the current gen. The funny thing is that by this theory ps4/xbox1 games should look worse than current gen systems as well. But this isn't happening - why? these systems have multiple times the processing power of the current crop...and...the Wii U has an overclocked tri core version of Gekko and actually less processing power - this is not a good sign as this means developers are actually producing games on xbox 360 that are beyond the Wii U's capabilities and are having to find tricks and dumb down onto Wii U and use higher res textures if possible to mask other parts of the game - and then of course Wii U gamers are up in arms - it's a nasty cycle.

    The fact remains that the Wii U is a console for Nintendo games and Nintendo fans rarely buy 3rd party software. Why exactly are 3rd parties going to come crawling back to their least lucrative platform?

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