Review by amlabella

"The best Gamecube game."

The survival horror genre has been around for a while now. The peak of this genre is the Resident Evil series. It has always been able to deliver an experience like no other. But there have been problems with the series that haven't been changed. This has frustrated gamers, but now that all changes. In Resident Evil 4, most of the flaws that the series has had have been addressed. The end result is an amazing game. It mixes in so many great elements. It surpasses all of the other horror games. And in doing so, it achieves something that very few games do today. The best part is, if you are or aren't a Resident Evil fan, you will still probably like this game.

You start the game off as Leon, a government agent. The Resident Evil fans will recognize Leon from Resident Evil 2. Well, this time he's back with a new mission. This time, he is sent out to an eerie foreign town. It seems that the President's daughter, Ashley, has gone missing. And she was last spotted at this town that Leon is visiting. As he enters the first house in the game, he meets a man. He doesn't see a crazy zombie, but instead a quiet man. But when Leon approaching this man, he starts to attack. This is the first of many enemies that Leon will encounter. And all of the enemies are alike. Resident Evil 4 strays off from the formula of zombies attacking you. These enemies are brainwashed humans. As you progress through out the game you will learn more. Not to spoil anything, but it would seem that all of the enemies are in some sort of group or cult. You will learn more about this as the story unfolds. All of the story is told through cut scenes and notes that you will find. These notes may also tell you what will come next while telling you the story. Resident Evil 4's story is great, and has twists and turns that will leave you at the edge of your seat wanting to know more.

The gameplay in Resident Evil 4 is much improved. First off, you'll notice that you'll be playing the game in a new perspective. You will play the game through an over the shoulder view. It's almost like a first person shooter, except you'll see some of the top half of Leon's body. You'll also notice that the screen is different. You'll be playing in a widescreen, which helps deliver a great cinematic and movie-like feel to the game.

The core of the game is shooting. But you'll also be able to use the action button to kick doors, kick of enemies, or other things in special circumstances. But, most of the time you will be blasting away your enemies. In your time during the game, you will meet a mysterious merchant many times. You can either buy new guns from him, or upgrade the ones you have. You improve your guns by paying money to increase the fire power, firing speed, reload time, etc. This helps bring a strategic factor in how you play the game. As usual, you will collect herbs and more ammo. The items that you collect will be transferred to your pack. But there's only enough room for a certain amount of items. So later in the game you may want to buy a new case, but they can be a bit pricy. But you'll want to load up as much ammo and herbs you can. You can combine herbs to create new ones. These new herbs will both heal you and increase your health meter. But a frustrating problem that has always followed the Resident Evil series is back. You have to go to your inventory to change your weapons and use the herbs. This is very frustrating, but can be overlooked, because everything else in the game is put to near perfection.

There are puzzles in the game. They are good, but aren't too hard. The majority of the puzzles in the game are not challenging. But it is a nice change of pace from shooting so many enemies. The puzzles aren't a huge factor in the game, but they are done very well.

Now a problem with Resident Evil 4 that many people may have is dealing with the difficulty. This is a very hard game. Part of that is because the AI is great. They will come at you from behind, or group up on you. Sometimes you may feel like you are trapped by a group of enemies. Also, herbs may be scarce throughout the game, which is a problem. So if you're not too good at games like this, it may take some time getting used to Resident Evil 4.

One of the constant issues with the Resident Evil games has been the controls. But finally this problem has been fixed. The controls are very simple. All you do is hold R, then press A to fire your gun. If you want to use your knife, just hold L and press A. And finally, if you'd like to reload, all you do is press B. The controls are very simple. You wonder why it took so long to address this flaw in the series, but it has finally been done in Resident Evil 4. But it would have been nice if they could have added a couple of things. It would have been great if they could have assigned maybe X or Y as a button to where you can change weapons. That wouldn't have been to hard for the creators of the game. It would have also been nice if you could strafe in the game, as it would have made the game a little bit more simple. But overall, gamers will be pleased with the improved controls.

Also, while playing the game, you will not be able to kill the enemies that easily. In the previous Resident Evil games, you would be able to shoot the zombies in the head once or twice, and they would be killed. But in Resident Evil 4, it's not that simple. Even if you shoot the enemies in the head, they will not instantly die. It may take quite a few shots until they are dead. But you'll also have to use different ways of approaching certain enemies. Sometimes you may want to kill an enemy with no weapons with a few bullets from your shotgun. But if one of the enemies carrying a chainsaw comes out at you, you'll want to shoot at their legs so they fall down. This will give you time to move around before your head gets chopped off. So those are just a couple of examples of how you have to change the different ways of how you'll defeat the enemies.

Possibly the best part about Resident Evil 4 are the boss battles. They are epic, and will be remembered long after you're finished with Resident Evil 4. They are high in difficulty, but that isn't a problem, because you will be awed by the bosses, so you probably won't care that they are hard. What's so great about the boss battles, is practically all of them could be the final boss of any other game. That is the best way to describe the bosses. So when you're playing Resident Evil 4, the thing you'll be noticing most throughout the game will be the boss battles.

The graphics in this game are the best ever to grace the Gamecube. They are possibly the best graphics in any game ever. The various character textures and animations are all achieved to perfection. Leon and the various enemies all look like real people. The various environments are also all great. Most of the time you'll be outside, but sometimes you'll go into buildings. The outside environments look amazing. Especially when it gets real dark, and the rain and lightening appears. And the various enemies at the beginning of the game all look similar, but as you get farther in the game you will encounter many unique enemies that will look very scary. The best part about the graphics are the cut scenes. They are visual eye candy. Everything in the cut scene looks so real, it will make you look at how far video games have come today with the way they do visuals. Resident Evil 4 is at the top of the games that look good.

The sound in the game helps deliver a great horrific feel just like the graphics. You will hear the cry of the enemies form far, and then you'll hear them getting closer and closer until they pop out at you. You'll hear the panting of Leon's voice as he travels through the various towns, woods, grave yards, etc. All of the sound effects help make the game even scarier. Also, the voice-overs are done very well. The actual dialogue isn't too great, but the voices are very believable, and fit right in with the way the characters look.

Resident Evil 4 is like no other game, because it does what very few games do. It delivers magnificent presentation. What the game sets out to do is be scary, and it tries to give a gory feel. It does this with the great atmospheric feel to the game. By the way the environments are done, and the excessive blood and gore. It also does this by the way the enemies act. A lot of the time they will surprise you and come out of nowhere. So, Resident Evil 4 is a very scary game. It delivers a great cinematic feel, so it's almost like you're controlling a horror movie.

In the end, Resident Evil adds up to be the best survival horror game ever made. And it may be a while until anything even compares to it. Resident Evil 4 delivers a scary and dark experience that just about no games do today. It mixes in all the great aspects of a horror game. There are very few flaws, and the flaws that there are will be overlooked because of how great everything else in the game is. As I've said, this game is very scary. If you don't believe, go ahead and try the game out yourself. You won't regret it. It is the best Gamecube game to date, and one of the greatest games ever made. If you have a Gamecube and $50 dollars, I strongly suggest you pick this game up. You'll enjoy the experience.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/14/05

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