How can one one talk about survival horror without the mention of Resident Evil? It might not have birthed the genre, but it Modernized it in the 90's with Resident Evil for the Playstation, and then later again with Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube. Since then, the series has steadily become more action than horror. I am happy yo report that Revelations fluently mixes both of these elements into one of the best Resident Evil games since the Gamecube era.
Throughout Revelations, you will switch control between 3 characters; Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, and newcomer Parker Luciani. While in control of Jill the game is much slower and puzzle based, like the older games. Meanwhile, when controlling Chris or Parker, things are much more frantic and the focus is mostly on eliminating hostiles. It's a pretty good balance. Just when you're tired are wandering around, you get some real firepower, and jsut when that gets old, you're back to exploring tight corridors.
The majority of the game, in which you control Jill Valentine, takes place aboard a large cruise ship which has been infected with the newly engineered T-abyss virus, which transforms the host body into something reminiscent of Regeneradors from Resident Evil 4. They slowly stagger towards you hop to feast upon you, or maybe impale you with their spiky arms depending on the mutation. They are much more formidable than the zombies we've become accustomed to, and just as unnerving.
the story is that Chris Redfield has gone missing, and Jill Valentine is searching for him - kind of a reverse scenario of Resident Evil 5. Redfield was last seen aboard the SS Queen Zenobia, the vessel upon which the majority of the game takes place. Things quickly go to hell, as Jill discovers the ship has been hijacked by bioterrorists, and the T-abyss virus is running amok.
Soundwise, the game suffers from the 3DS speakers. It's odd because most 3DS games sound really good. I'm guessing the developers recorded the audio as if this was going to be a home console release, and it just didn't translate well. The mutant screams are still bloodcurdling, and the voice acting is great. It's mostly the ambient sounds and gunfire that suffer. Nothing sounds quite as big and bad as it should.
Revelations supports the circle pad pro - for what I do not know, because I do not own one. The accessory is not necessary, however. The controls are set up very similar to those of Resident Evil 4. The problems come from the 3DS's size. This is a console series, and sometimes when things get hectic your fingers cramp up as you are trying to adapt to the situation quickly. I had to take frequent breaks due to this.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best looking games if not THE best looking game on the 3DS system at this current time. I almost had trouble believing how great it looked! It might not be on par with Resident Evil 6, but it gives Resident Evil 4 and 5 a run for their money when the limitations of each respective system is taken into account. The visuals aren't all butterflies are rainbows though - the 3DS' small screen has trouble with the dark lighting, and sometimes I had to strain my eyes to see a bit better. If you want to get technical, I guess that makes for a better survival horror experience, but I feel maybe they should have lightened things up just a touch to take the screen size into consideration. Even on an XL, I could see where there might still be some problems there. The 3D effect is actually very nice, and while I did turn it off for most of the gameplay, I always flipped it on during a cutscene.
Revelations also supports co-op if a friend owns the game, both locally and through the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. All in all, this is a very solid and authentic Resident Evil experience. t is a well made game that is ultimately marred by the limitations of the 3DS - but the system is not to lame so much as the developers who did not take these things into consideration. If you're looking for a more mature 3DS game, or just a portable Resident Evil, Revelations doesn't disappoint. While it is still $40 at most retailers, it is easy to find a copy only for $20.