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The Nintendo 3DS has hadn’t the best launch so far to date for a new console. Its a great piece of hardware that stands alone, fending for itself with a rather meagre assortment of games. But can Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D finally give the fledgling console something to boast about?

If you’ve never played The Mercenaries before, here’s a quick recap. Essentially a mini-game that comes with most recent Resident Evil games, players have to face waves of enemies, killing them and trying to achieve the highest score possible in this min-genocide simulator.

From run of the mill infected civilians to big, angry bosses brandishing a chainsaw with your name on it, mercenaries gameplay generally tends to be a faster and more visceral experience. A timer is ticking away however, which means that battles are always played with a sense of urgency, making defensive gameplay redundant, with offensive playstyles being favoured.

Little has changed in this instalment of The Mercenaries, as the core gameplay elements have been retained with few adjustments. Visually similar to Resident Evil 5, players will take part in around 8 maps that were lifted from iconic levels throughout the franchise history, while infected monks and villagers from RE4, as well as the Majini from RE5, make up the bulk of antagonists in this title.

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Gameplay consists of over the shoulder and FPS shooting mechanics, something that is admittedly awkward to handle at first, but becomes much more intuitive as you progress through the stages. The circle pad is used for movement, and combining it with the right bumper will switch to a FPS view for precise aiming. The touch screen below is used as a handy inventory, giving players the option to quickly switch between weapons, accessories and those ever important, life saving herbs.

Characters are also able to make use of skills, which level up based on performance. Skill such as instant death avoidance, effective marksmanship and health item boosts are mapped to your touch-screen, but beyond some marginal improvements that make gameplay slightly easier, its a feature that is never taken full advantage of, feeling like a somewhat underwhelming addition to the game.

To make up for the learning curve needed for the controls, enemies are generally much more forgiving in RE:TM 3D. You may get surrounded often, but you’ll still find that you have plenty of time to shoot your way out, as most enemies will hover around you for several seconds before attempting to strike you. While it provides some welcome relief to newcomers, once you’ve mastered the controls you’ll find that the game becomes too easy with these walking targets.

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Last Updated: July 11, 2011

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Resident Evil : Mercenaries 3D
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7.5

Darryn Bonthuys

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