This review won't be incredibly detailed but it will give you a good idea of what the Archives Bundle includes. With my video, I flip through some of the pages of the books to give you a small idea of what they each look like. I apologize for the lighting if it is not perfect, but the lighting in my apartment is pretty low. Also my camera's microphone picked up some load music from outside, but hopefully none of this hurts the video enough and you can at least get something from it.
Here is a quick breakdown of what each book contains:
Resident Evil Archives Vol. 1 - 304 Pages (Covers Resident Evil 0, RE 1, RE 2, RE3, and RE Code Veronica)
The Layout of Vol. 1 is as follows:
Resident Evil Archives Vol. 2 - 240 Pages (Covers RE 4, RE 5, RE The Umbrella Chronicles, RE The Darkside Chronicles, and RE Degeneration)
The Layout of Vol. 2 is as follows:
Visual Work (Art)
Extra (The two Chronicle games and Degeneration)
As you can see from above, both books cover just about everything you could want about the main installments in the Resident Evil series (the most recent installments like Revelations and 6 are not included). The books do a good job of breaking down the storylines for each individual game. Don't get me wrong, there is no substitute for actually playing the games and getting every ounce of the plot, but the books do a commendable job of breaking down the plot of each game and catching up old and new fans of the series. The Character and Creature sections also do a nice job of complementing the Story section by giving you further information about the many characters and enemies in the RE universe.
The Item section actually covers all the items you pick up throughout each game. This section might seem unnecessary to some, but it is kind of neat to see how many items all the games actually included, not to mention how many were reused throughout the series (remember the crank). The Art section includes concept art, background images, and so on. The Keyword section includes more information about the different organizations, facilities, and viruses found within Resident Evil series. The Database basically includes transcripts of all the files you can pick up while playing the Resident Evil games as well as some additional content.
Like I said before, these two books include just about everything you could want to know about most of the main installments in the Resident Evil series. However, there are a few negatives worth mentioning. For one, while reading Vol. 1 I did pick up on a few errors, minor things at times like an image from one game being tagged as being from another. I also noticed a bit of an inaccuracy with the time frame from an event that took place around RE 0 and RE 1, as well as other little things here and there. None of this makes Vol. 1 unreadable or worthless, but hardcore fans will probably pick up on some of these errors. I also can't comment on if these are the same errors the original release of Vol. 1 had or less as I never purchased the original release. Vol. 2 for the most part is fine and if you do pick up on some errors, it is nothing major at all.
Now my only other issue is that of missed opportunities. For example, Vol. 1 includes a decent art section which even has some concept art for Resident Evil 1.5 (the original version of Resident Evil 2). Unfortunately we only get about three pages of art for Resident Evil 1.5. Yes you read correctly, only three pages. This feels like such a wasted opportunity. I do not deny, most of us can just search online for images and videos of RE 1.5, but it would have been great to get some additional content for it within Vol. 1 of this bundle. Certainly this is not a deal breaker or anything, just disappointing, especially for someone like me who enjoys concept art so much.
One last disappoint for me would be the lack of any behind the scene content on the Resident Evil series. I know these books are supposed to be like encyclopedias for the Resident Evil series and not making of books, but it sure would have nice to have some interviews with the developers or other things like that. They could have included vintage interviews and I would have been happy, maybe even a look at the Capcom offices where the games were made. Again, the lack of any of this is not a deal breaker, just disappointing (at least to me anyway).
Regardless of my minor complaints, the Resident Evil Archives 1 and 2 bundle is truly worth the money. There is so much content include in both volumes that they truly justify the price point. This is especially true if your new to the series and want to catch up on games you missed. However, even long times fans will probably find something they like in these two books, whether it be the art section or any of the other numerous sections included.