Review by DrDude12472
Cathartic Blasting, but slightly removes the horror aspect.
So this is the game that hangs around in the aether of Resident Evil history, after it stops being awful and before it starts being racist. Well, as racist as it became (I apologise wholeheartedly to the nation of Spain for the content of this game).
The story is as follows: Captain Mincypants (operative name: Leon Kennedy) is dispatched to rural Spain (apparently located in central Europe) because he's a bad enough dude to rescue the President. -'s daughter Ashley, who's been kidnapped by a cult controlled by a parasite known as La Plaga, which has caused their leader to grow massive tentacles, have yellow eyes and be able to summon creatures from the depths of oh my life this story is shocking. Along the way you'll meet a sexy Spanish man named Luis and a whole lot of very menacing peasants (remember dear player, they are NOT zombies, they are NOT).
Yes, it's the old Resident Evil style of narrative, which still manages to take itself seriously despite being absolutely bloody mad. If I were you, I'd advise you pretty much ignore that and pretend you're playing Leon Goes Zombie Hunting.
So you may be wondering how anything with a plot as mad as this (a disease I like to call Kojimism) has crawled to number 7 on my list of best games. Well, if you'll forgive me the lazy use of bullet points:
- The graphics are some of the best you'll see on Gamecube (they were cut back on PS2 slightly because of processing power requirements, so they threw fog over everything) using impressive lighting, a clear HUD and some very nice looking fire effects. You'll run into some clipping issues involving Leon's arm disappearing through a wall, as well as the occasional camera-induced death from not seeing enemies that are crying "Detras de ti, imbecil" (though that might be your fault for not speaking Spanish).
- It has massive replayability, with a main plot you can play through three or four times without getting bored (a good thing too, because on your first time through it's only likely to take around 8 hours, assuming you're one of us regular mortals and are playing on normal difficulty).
- There's something strangely cathartic about conserving ammo on your first playthrough, then Ramboing it up the second time round. It makes things all the more satisfying to be able to slaughter your way through a group of not-zombies you had to claw your way through with a tiny pistol on a previous attempt.
- If you're the sort of person for whom weak enemies and overpowered bosses is a major annoyance, you can pretty much avoid any bosses that are causing you trouble by buying certain single-use weapons that are always available near bosses. I won't spoil any more here, you'll have to play and find out!
- The cultists manage to be more menacing here than all the Lickers from the first games put together into one tongue-y mass. That said, the abundance of ammunition makes them more annoying that actually scary, as long as you're well supplied. There is one breathtakingly scary and well designed part in the military base, but I shan't say more here for fear of ruining the moment.
- They finally kicked that camera from RE 1:3 and replaced it with a camera system that's actually reasonably controllable using an interesting over-shoulder view. It can be a little slow to turn but this can actually add to the tension.
It's one of the few remakes where Wii motion controls have actually made a game more fun to play, though the Gamecube's controls are certainly adequate and intuitive, using the right trigger to aim and the A button to fire. It sounds unusual, but actually works very well, especially in a game where firing precision shots one at a time (rather than spraying) is important, as the A button is easier to use than the analog triggers and helps to avoid accidentally firing.
In conclusion, the only reason this game doesn't get a 10 is not having the improved Wii controls and lacking the extra content from the PS2 version. It's also a little short, but overall the length suits it and for what it is, a silly action-horror game with excellent level design, graphics and sound, it does its job exceedingly well and is very much worth buying.
Pick it up on Wii with good controls and with all the PS2 extras for only a few of your local currency.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Resident Evil 4 (EU, 03/18/05)
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