Archive for May, 2012

Resident Evil 4 (Wii Edition)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2012 by caseystorton

-If you read my Bioshock review way back when, you’ll know that this is one of my favorite games of all time, and for good reason.

-The game starts with some narration from out protagonist Leon explaining a bit of┬áback-story┬áto get newcomers up to speed with the story so far. Unlike the previous games in the series, this one’s plot has nothing to do with the big evil corporation Umbrella. This time, the plot concerns a cult in rural Spain that’s kidnapped the Presidents daughter and has been assimilated by a parasite known as Las Plagas. The story is incredibly basic, and the stuff that gets revealed near the end doesn’t really change all that much of what’s going on. Basically, save Ashley, and shoot a whole lot of bad guys, gals, and creatures while you’re at it.

-The gameplay is what makes the game really enjoyable. Previous games in the series operated on a sort-of auto-aim system with the ability to look up or down to aim for specific body parts. It worked, but not well, which is why the games usually gave you the option to run away. In this one, however, the camera was placed behind the character and went into an over-the-shoulder perspective when you were aiming. You can’t move while you’re aiming, which some might say is out of tradition, as that’s how it has always been, but my instincts tell me that it has to do with the fact that RE4 was originally released for the Gamecube, and that the C-stick was a load of shit when it came to aiming a gun. As such, the controls have you holding the R button to enter aiming mode, looking around with the control stick, firing with the A button and reloading with the B button. You use the same process while holding the L button to use your knife. The controls are very responsive and intuitive, and it never feels like the game is intentionally handicapping you. While the Wii version still has these controls as an option via either a Classic controller or Gamecube controller, the use of a Wii mote and Nunchuck is clearly the better option. The Wii controls keep the controls similar, but add some refinements, like the ability to reload by simply flicking your wrist while aiming, pointing and shooting with the Wii mote, which works even better than the control stick, and being able to knife by simply flicking your wrist, although holding a button to knife is still an option. With these enhancements and the addition of all the extra content included in the PS2 port of the game, the Wii version is the best version of Resident Evil 4 out there.

-The inventory system has also been revamped from previous games in the series, and rightfully so. In the past, characters had up to 8 slots to hold everything they needed, which sometimes meant taking a risk and not grabbing a healing item in order to save space for a puzzle item. In RE4, however, Leon’s inventory is a briefcase with a grid of virtual space, where items can be moved, rotated, and flipped around in any order, as long as everything fits, and now puzzle items and sellable treasures were kept in a separate compartment.

-RE4 also introduced a traveling merchant that will buy anything that you’re willing to sell him, and can sell you new guns, scopes, body armor, health sprays, and upgrades for existing weapons, with new upgrades and weapons appearing at just the right time so that you never feel too weak or too strong to handle any situation the game throws at you. That’s another thing, this game throws tons of different situations at you. At any given moment you could be on a motorboat fighting a giant lake monster, riding a minecart with enemies jumping on whenever they can, letting Ashley drive a bulldozer while you gun down enemies in hot pursuit, or watching a cut-scene with some… intentionally? hilarious dialogue to give the game an air of self-parody that it has been sorely missing. Speaking of cut-scenes, this was one of the first games of the previous console generation to have quick-time-events in its cut-scenes and, by extension, gameplay. I’m sure you’re all going to say that QTEs suck, but RE4 actually implements them quite well, adding tension without ever feeling unfair.

-I could go on for hours about everything great in this game. I could elaborate on the enemies later in the game that can regenerate body parts and actually provide a few genuine scares, the neat mini-bosses that will test your skill and give you a nice reward, The bonus features like alternate costumes that actually effect gameplay, separate campaign as support-character Ada Wong, the surprisingly fun Mercenaries mode, or the luck-of-the-draw mutation things that occasionally come out of enemies that have had their heads removed, but I’d like to keep this under 1000 words, and I’m already over 800. So, Overall, Resident Evil 4 is a fantastic game. It’s very well made in every sense of the word, even having graphics that don’t look half bad, which is a remarkable feat for a seven year old game. Play it. 10/10