Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Resident Evil, and Capcom has an impressive lineup of games to celebrate the occasion. Chief among them is The Mercenaries 3D, an exclusive title for Nintendo's 3DS that exchanges the series' story driven single player campaigns for fast-paced and intense arcade shootouts.

In fact, the title should sound familiar to longtime fans of the series, especially if they played Resident Evil 4 and 5. Capcom took the Mercenaries mode from those games and used it as the foundation for this promising effort, challenging players to slaughter as many monsters as possible within a time limit. They can do this solo, or team up with another person via local Wi-Fi and online, a feature that should significantly increase the game's appeal.

Combat works similar to those aforementioned games, with the familiar over the shoulder view, though players can also go into a temporary first person perspective to dispose of enemies. On top of that, they can move and shoot at the same time.

In addition Mercenaries 3D contains an undisclosed number of locations from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, including the creepy villages at the start of each adventure. Gamers will also square off against enemies from those titles, most notably, the monks and horrific executioner, respectively.

Thankfully, the in-game characters seem up to the task, and the list is a who's who from the franchise. Chris and Claire Redfield make an appearance, along with Jill Valentine, Jack Krauser, Hunk from Resident Evil 2 and the ultimate villain, Albert Wesker. Yes, Chris Redfield and Wesker can team up, just as they did in 1996, albeit briefly.

It also helps that players can customize their inventory and learn new skills along the way. Even weapons will grow stronger over time.

On top of that, this is one of the best-looking 3DS games we've seen. Capcom didn't need to cut many corners delivering near Xbox quality graphics (or at the very least, GameCube) to 3DS, with detailed creatures and spooky environments.

Throw in the possibility of downloadable content, and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D belongs on everyone's list of upcoming games. We'll see you online.