Thursday, September 25, 2008

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition Review

If all goes according to plan, the 100th review will be posted tomorrow night. It won't be an epic-scale game as I don't have any I'm playing, and I think that that would be cliche anyway. Nonetheless, here is an epic-scale game for sure-- Resident Evil 4 on the Wii.


Definitely Definitive.

Since its original release in the early part of 2005, Resident Evil 4 has reached a total of four different platforms. Originally a Gamecube exclusive, RE 4 was ported with added goodies onto the PS2 and a year later ported to the PC. Now it has been ported to the Nintendo Wii with the PS2's bonuses and the Wii's trademark waggle controls. This rendition of Resident Evil 4 is easily the best, and quite possibly is the one of the best games of all time. Read more to see why.

The debonair Leon S. Kennedy has arrived with a
fistful of boomstick. Wait, wrong hero.

Those new to the Resident Evil series won't be missing out on too much by leaping right into the fourth edition of the franchise. Capcom successfully reinvented the series by doing away with the clunky tank controls (those who've played previous RE games will know what I'm referring to and if not, don't worry about it), fixed camera views, and prerendered backgrounds. RE 4 places the player in the role of government agent Leon Kennedy as he transports to rural Europe to find the whereabouts of the president's daughter, Ashley, who has apparently been abducted by some kind of religious cult. The camera as previously stated is no longer fixed and changes angles as you move around the landscapes and rooms of the game. Instead, the camera stays over the shoulder of Leon so the action is much more up-close and personal.

The Ganados isn't the name of a new reality
show-- it's the name of these zombie-like beings.

Game flow is rather simple. You move from one area or room to another all the while blasting through Ganados-- zombie-like humans, solving puzzles to advance, finding hidden treasure to sell to a mysterious traveling shopkeeper, buying and upgrading your weapons such as shotguns, magnums, and rifles to name a few, and trying to survive the game's many challenges. Occasionally you'll come across action sequences such as waving the Wii remote furiously to run from a rolling boulder-- Indiana Jones-style. These action sequences also occur in cutscenes too, so you never want to put down your controller when playing or you just might die! You can blast enemies at specific body parts to slow them down. Headshots are always good and can make a Ganado's head blow off in a violent mess of crimson. Additionally if an enemy is too close you can draw out your knife and hack them, press the A button to perform a kick while they're stunned, and knock them away from you to buy yourself more time or create some distance.

Quick! Waggle that Wii remote!!

Now you can use the classic controller to play RE 4, but the main draw is playing with the Wii remote and nunchuk control scheme. It'd be like buying a surround sound system and only using one of the five speakers! The control stick moves Leon around, and while holding Z you can run to or from other places in a flash.. er.. a dash. Holding the C button draws out Leon's knife which is great for slashing barrels, nearby enemies, or practicing your mugging routine. You can choose to press A while holding the knife to slash or by waving the remote like a knife. Pressing A is much more manageable than waggling the remote. It's also much easier from my and other gamers' experience. Holding the B button on the Wii remote will stop Leon in his tracks as he draws out whatever gun you're holding. You aim with the pointer on the remote and fire with the A button. The - button brings up the menu where you can look through your inventory, items, key items, and treasures held, as well as notes from the various characters in the game. Lastly, the + button is used when you have Ashley on your side to either make her hold her position or follow Leon.

Remember, kiddies. Rocket launchers are not toys.

Speaking of Ashley, the president's daughter will join your side at various points throughout the fifteen hour main story mode. Now don't think "Oh, God, not another tag-a-long brain-dead NPC that I have to baby-sit!!!" Ashley isn't like that too much at all. She will push down those who try to pursue her, she'll duck out of your line of fire if she's standing in front of you, and Ashley will also cower behind her knight in shining armor, and she will hide in boxes while Leon takes on the surrounding enemies. If Ashley gets picked up by a Ganado, it's your duty to shoot her captor before she gets taken out of the area. If she gets captured or dies, Leon's mission has been compromised and it's game over. Numerous puzzles will involve you and Ashley working together to proceed in the game. These are welcome and never feel tacked on. There's one particular moment in the game where you'll have to shoot at faraway enemies while Ashley attempts to raise up two platforms that are submerged in the water. This is while enemies are pursuing you as well as the isolated Ashley.

user posted image
Ashley creeps behind Leon, always an arm's length away.

There are three main areas in Resident Evil 4-- the village, the castle, and the island. Each have its own flavor and ambience to them. You'll be amazed by the amount of variety RE 4 has to offer in its single player alone. There's nothing more terrifying than hearing the buzz of a chainsaw in the background knowing that that noise is coming for you. Boss fights are placed at various times throughout the game as well from the monstrous fish Del Lago to the giant titan of El Gigante-- the battles are intense and a blast to play through. Resident Evil 4 like past Resident Evils encourage multiple playthroughs as you'll unlock new weapons and costumes to play the game through with.

To round out the package is a set of unlockable modes, the first being called The Mercenaries where you'll play as one of five mercs trying to score the most points in each of the levels. Assignment Ada and Seperate Ways are side-missions that take place through the locales of the main game helping to flesh out the holes in the story. The PS2 extras were not simply ported to the Wii either. They were graphically re-done using the Gamecube's graphics. All this added with a thirty dollar price tag, too.

user posted image
Aiming is a breeze with the new Wii remote controls.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is only thirty dollars, and if you missed out on any of the versions you owe it to yourself to play through this excellent game. No game in a long time has ever had me excitedly hold my controller with a stupid grin on my face while playing. It's simply that good, and if you've only played the Gamecube version you're STILL missing out. I own the GCN and PS2 versions, and I am still enamored with Resident Evil 4. It is indeed one of the best games of all time, and I'd put it high on a top ten list of my favorite games of all time easily. Pick this bad boy up if you have a Wii and $30 lying around. You won't regret it at all!

[SuperPhillip Says]

Story: The president's daughter has been abducted by a group called the Los Illuminados. The Los Illuminados... isn't that redundant like the El Gigante? Eh... never mind.

Graphics: Blows away most Wii games easily. Sad that more games aren't looking like this on the Wii.

Gameplay: Run, stop, shoot, slash, pick up items, complete puzzles, etc. It's all there, and it's all perfect.

Sound: Ominous music, sound effects, and great voice work. The only beef is that most of the Ganados' yelling is repeated a lot.

Replay Value: Play through this game once and it will probably take you 15 hours. Now play through the various side-story missions, conquer The Mercanaries mode, and unlock all there is to this beauty.

Overall: 10/10

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Nice review. Just beat the game myself a few days ago. Very awesome game, on of the best on the Wii IMO.