Review by BoyLover X
"The definitive version of Resident Evil 4"
Let me start off by saying that I am an RE4 veteran, having purchased the GameCube and PS2 versions of the game on their first days of release. I loved the GameCube version, and just couldn't seem to put the controller down. It was one of the most exciting and well-balanced action games in a long time. The PS2 version was released later in the year, and I bought it solely for the extra content.
However, the PS2 version was extremely flawed in comparison to the GC version. So gamers had 2 versions of the game, neither of which were complete. The GC version lacked the bonus content, and the PS2 lacked high quality graphics, audio, controls, etc.
Enter Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Capcom's apology to Nintendo fans for bringing RE4 to the PS2 after it had been promised as a GC exclusive. How good did it end up being? Read on to find out.
For the main game, you play as Leon S. Kennedy, the rookie cop from Resident Evil 2. It's been 6 years since the Raccoon City incident, and Leon is no longer a rookie, or a cop. He's a highly trained agent for the U.S. Government, sent to Europe to locate Ashley, the recently kidnapped daughter of the President. He soon discovers that the village he investigates is full of zombie-like people. They're not quite zombies: they're violent and only want to kill outsiders, but they're smart too. You must rescue Ashley and find out what is behind the insanity of the villagers.
The plot does have a few twists and other characters (including characters from previous RE games) that Leon meets, but nothing really mind-blowing happens. The story serves its purpose without having too many cutscenes: just the right amount. Later in the story there are some connections to previous RE games, so RE4 is definitely not an unimportant side story like some people say. It sets up the new story arc for future games.
The graphics were top-notch for the GC, and they have been perfectly ported over to the Wii. The problem is that they weren't enhanced at all to take advantage of the Wii's more powerful hardware. I can't really complain since this isn't a new game, it's just a port, and enhanced graphics were never promised. There are still some jaw-droppingly gorgeous moments in the game. The fire effects have to be seen to be believed, and Leon's character model looks next-gen and is well-animated, especially in the cutscenes when you see facial animation and mouth movements. There are some textures that look pretty blurry by today's standards, and could have been enhanced a bit.
Just as perfect as it was on the Cube. Every gunshot, scream, and piece of music seems perfectly in place. The music always fits the mood, whether it's a quiet ambient piece or loud action packed music. Voice acting is good, which is surprising since almost all of the old RE games had bad voice acting.
The most important part of a game, and where RE4 truly shines.
This game has a lot of escorting Ashley around while fighting Ganados (your typical zombie-like enemy) and other monsters. She's smart enough to duck out of the way though so you can shoot enemies behind her, and she helps you do certain things throughout the game. If an enemy grabs her, you'll have to chase down the enemy and shoot them to get her free. If an enemy takes her to a door, it's game over. Escorting Ashley never gets boring, and she'll always split up with you just before you get tired of watching her.
There are a lot of weapons you get in the game, such as handgun, shotguns, rocket launchers, machine guns, and even the Mine Thrower from RE3. You'll need this variety of weapons to face off against an equally varied assortment of enemies. The different monsters you fight have different weaknesses, so you'll need to pick the right weapon for the right occasion. It's always exciting to run into a new type of monster, and the boss fights are all amazing too.
Your weapons and items are all stored in a large inventory. No more extremely limited item space like past RE games! By collecting money from fallen enemies, or by finding treasures or money chests in secret areas and breakable boxes, you can buy upgrades for your weapons (firepower, speed, and ammo clip size) and increase the size of your inventory. This system is very flexible, allowing people to play the game in many different ways to suit their style.
There are also a few puzzles scattered throughout the game, only some are good but most are small distractions. I guess Capcom wanted to keep some of the old RE spirit alive.
This version of the game also features the extra content that the PS2 version had. The extras are: 5 bonus missions as another character, another costume set, and a new weapon. The new missions are pretty lackluster, and mostly just a rehash of the main game. 4 out of the 5 just recycle old areas! The bonus costumes are cool, but you can't see them in the cutscenes. Very lame. The new P.R.L. 412 weapon is a laser that homes in on enemies and does a one hit kill. Also, you can use it infinitely. It's kind of unnecessary, since there were 3 other powerful infinite-use weapons already from the original version of the game.
Replay Value: 10/10
The main game is about 20 hours the first time you play it. After that, there are the extra missions that show more story which take about 4 hours to finish all together.
You'll want to play the story mode again too, since finishing the game for the first time unlocked a hard mode and extra costumes and weapons. It's also just plain fun to play through multiple times, and to try using different weapon sets. I've played the story mode at least 50 times now.
My favorite extra is called The Mercenaries, which is an insane action game with 4 arena style levels and 5 different playable characters. Your goal is to kill anything that moves, and rack up high combos while surviving on a time limit. It's addicting and extremely replayable, as you attempt to beat your high scores.
The Wii controls are the big change to this version of the game, and the only thing that could have potentially gone wrong. Thankfully, the controls are great. Aiming with the Wii remote has perfect sensitivity and accuracy. Using the knife is easier too: just swing the remote to quickly use your knife and auto-target nearby enemies (you can still access the knife with a button press if you don't like remote swinging). The only downside to the controls is that the game feels easier, although that might just be because I've played the game a lot already. Newcomers may still find a challenge.
Even if you don't like the motion sensitive controls, you can still use the GameCube controller, or the Wii's Classic Controller. These controls function the same as usual, so there's really no excuse to complain about controls for this game.
Overall (Final Score): 10/10
This is the definitive version of a modern classic. It combines the best elements of previous versions of the game while adding the option of using a new control scheme.
Sell your old versions and buy this, or buy this if you never played any version. It's a budget priced release people! You have no excuse to miss this.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/05/07
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