Review by ProfSalvador
"A must have game!"
This is my first review so bear with me. Resident Evil 4 is one of the first games that has ever really been worth reviewing to play. It's one of the most exciting, unique and scary games I have ever played. I'll be rating it on 5 different areas. Gameplay, Scare Factor, Visual, Audio and Storyline. This game is rated M for Blood and Gore and Intense Violence. It was made by Capcom. The main character is from Resident Evil 2 and his name is Leon Kennedy. He was involved in an accident with Umbrella Corporation. After the accident he underwent training to become a bodyguard for the President of the United States. Just after his training was complete, the presidents daughter, Ashley, was kidnapped. Leon is then deployed to Spain in hopes of finding her. He has no clue of what he's about to get into...
Most of the Resident Evil's are known for their difficulty in shooting and staying alive. The new over the shoulder shooting style is totally new and works amazingly for a survival horror game such as this. It lets you see more than normal 1st person, but not enough to let you see the scary Ganado thats about to axe your head behind you. The controls are easy enough to pick up and they work wonderfully. Another new thing I loved is the action cut scenes. Cut scenes tend to be long boring movies where you can barely pay attention. If you don't pay attention here, your dead. They involve being in an intense knife fight, running away from a huge boulder, or dodging lasers in a hallway. Also there are parts where you can preform an action such as kicking an enemy on his knees or knocking down a ladder that is coming up onto your rooftop. This adds a little more variation to the game and makes it even more unique. The only part that I really didn't like during the game was a section where you have to control Ashley and your only defense from monks was a fire lamp. Also the AI on Ashley when your controlling Leon isn't the best. She often gets stuck in corners or stands around too long and gets killed. But, its something you can definitely work around. The enemy AI is smart enough by trying to come in at you from multiple different directions and sidestepping some shots, but since they are the closest thing to zombies they aren't very smart. The saving system is still with typewriters but now you don't have to find ribbons to save. As for healing there are herbs, green, red and yellow. You can combine them for more healing power and even some to raise your maximum health.
Scare Factor 9/10
The scare factor is one of the main reasons I love this game. The enemies are scary enough ranging from enormous mutated giants, to crazy Spanish villagers with pitchforks and chainsaws. The bosses are very scary with their strange powers, such as being able to morph in half and still kick the crap out of you. But a few enemies are just beyond scary. How about a huge mutated human that could reach out and pull you in to an ghastly impalement. What about an invisible bug that can hold you down and melt your face with acid. Even normal enemies sometimes die, and terrible parasites erupt from their necks and have a strong urge to decapitate you. This game is just all around scary and I couldn't play it for too long in fear of wetting myself. Plus, the Ovenman. He is a ganado that has been trapped in an oven and when you walk down the hallway he bursts out flaming and tries to suffocate you. If all of those aren't scary enough there is a massive worm in a lake that pulls your boat along and tends to knock you out and try to eat you. Or a crazy man with a bag over his head and double chainsaws running at you.
Now of course the game is great looking... for a GC game. The GC has limitations, but this exceeds a few of them. The gore is very... gory and the scenery such as in the castle is beautiful. The only thing I didn't like was some of the floor textures, but I'm just being picky. The monsters are scary looking enough with ragged skin and ripped up clothing. Also, the castle part of the game takes place in is very intimidating with huge rooms and nice furniture and the bloodthirsty monks trying to kill you every 10 seconds. The water is nice looking in how it flows and reflects the sky. Some of the bosses really break the horizons in visual arts though. The huge worm/Nessy thing in the village lake is really detailed in his body and face. This game pays a lot of attention to details in things most people would just quickly look over, such as paintings on walls and furniture is down to the silverware on the table.
The voice acting for this game is pretty nice. The characters all match their role, such as Ashley being a whiny teenage girl and Leon being a seasoned military man with a few tricks up his sleeve. The audio for the villagers voices sound like they are right behind you so that adds to the scare effect. Of course thats also strange when they sound like they're behind you but they're really not even in the same room. Also the music in this game is terribly frightening. I hated walking into a room and hearing that music that just screamed DEATH!!! Once again being a little picky, the gun noises were a little odd and I remember at one point running on grass and it sounded like tile floors. The voices for enemies tend to have a creepy echo effects which is nice. It's a little added bonus if you speak Spanish before playing this game so you can understand what the villagers are saying to give you a little edge. But, I think I once heard a villager yell something about a banana in a library. But, it sounded really creepy.
Now all of the RE games have ne had too much of a storyline. You sometimes find yourself not knowing where to go or wondering how little sheets of paper got right in front of you. Basically there is a cult called the Los Illuminados who invented a parasite that takes over your body and makes you evil. It's better than a huge zombie invasion and then everybody dies, but there is still a little more to ask for such as, a few more explanatory cut scenes and maybe not such vague villains telling you where Ashley is. The little papers have some useful information such as little fillers in the storyline such as who Salvador was or more specific details and the Plagas. Although some of the papers are completely random such as one explaining different types of parasites. You can get through the game without reading the papers so the game could have gotten off without them. Also it does stay true to the Resident Evil name when you can examine various things for no purpose.
Yeah, I added another part just because I didn't remember. The extras in this game are really nice. The extreme weapons such as the Tommy Gun and Infinite Rocket Launcher make the game very fun. The side mission Assignment Ada is a little break to the game which involves playing a character Ada Wong and finding 5 vials of plaga and running into Jack Krauser. Mercenaries is a fun mini-game that has you take control of 1 of 5 characters, Leon, Ada, Krauser, HUNK, or Albert Wesker. There are 4 different levels where various enemies come out and you kill as many as possible in a time limit. There is also a little bottle cap shooting range in the game that is a fun side game when the game gets too intense. You shoot targets with specified weapons and you earn little bottle caps with character models and a little sound byte. There are quite a few of cuts cenes that are not mandatory to watch which are sometimes funny or very serious. Also after you beat the game you can replay it on the same difficulty but with Leon in a police uniform and Ashley in some sort of pop princess dress. There is also a harder difficulty which is Professional Mode. It makes you take a lot more damage and the enemies are alot harder to kill. In the PS2 version, beating on pro unlocks a laser gun and even more outfits for the characters. It lets Leon use a Chicago Mobster outfit and Ashley wear a suit of armor which makes her invulnerable to attacks. The merchant in the game provides weapons and a place to sell your treasures for money. He also can tune-up your weapons and provides healing items and bigger inventories and treasure maps. At one point he has a challenge to find 10 blue medallions for a free much more powerful pistol for a little challenge.
This game is one of my favorites along with other people. There are a few lacking parts in the game but it is all around an amazing experience. A must have if you own a GC or Wii. If your squeamish, easily scared or not a horror game fan, I don't recommend this game. But other than that its a definite buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/25/07
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