Review by lateralus12501

"Resident Evil 4...good but not THAT good."

Hello. I bought this game about 2 weeks ago and I have to say, although it is quite good, it in no shape or form deserves a "10". I will run down the many aspects of the game in a non-biased manner. Hopefully, some people will read this and regard it as the just review, which it is. I will focus on the bad points, because most of you reading this already know the good points, and there are many of good points. There is no denying the presentation in this game is state-of-the-art. It really goes to show that Capcom strove to make use of almost every bit of power the Gamecube contains. Unfortunately, the gameplay and pacing, while decent, just dont fit the stellar presentation. Either way, this game is a must-play. Not quite a must-have as most people say. But, a must-rent is more appropriate. Word of warning, if you didn't like RE before, you will not like this one, even with the revamped parts.

Graphics- Graphically, this is the best game on the GC. The Ganados look truley grotesque and are very well detailed (althought their are only about 10 different models). The enviroments are worthy of looking around in. All of the monsters (especially the bosses) look truley fantastic. Capcom has some of the best graphic designers in the business. Phenomonal. This really goes to show that developers did not give the Gamecube a chance. Somehow I feel as if no company has pushed a console to the absolute limits as Capcom has just done.

Sound-Another strong point in the game. While not a moving, FF-type soundtrack, it instead creates an atmosphere that almost makes the game scary (more on that later). The villagers and cultists have very disturbing voices and grunts. Personally, I think the audio is better done than the visuals.

Gameplay-Oh boy. Now, I have no problem getting killed in games, it really doesnt bother me. This game is a different story. The new aiming system works great, yet somehow this game is more frustrating than past REs. The main problem is the game is to combat-heavy. Put Simply, you are forced to fight too much. This completely prevents the game from being scary. When one sees an enemy, no longer are you disturbed, you are angry at having to fight again. Even the more grotesque monsters in the game just dont have the appeal that the past installments monsters had. If they kept the aiming system and made the enemies less dense, this game could have an opportunity to build quite an eerie atmosphere. Its almost like Capcom is trying to apologize to us for the past REs crappy aiming system. its ok guys, we get the picture, its better, that doesnt mean we want a duke nukem with zombies. You will die in this game. A lot. Not scary. Frustrating. Bottom line- Resident Evil 4 fails to deliver on its own genre's most important factor. Fright.

Another aspect of this game is rather irritating. Note to Capcom, there will never be a gamer that wants to escort people. It is probably the most annoying thing that can be done in games. Especially when they are seemingly unable to protect themselves. Unfortunately the Presidents daughter is exactly what I was not hoping to find in this game. OH YES!! I FOUND HER! Oh crap shes gone. GOT HER AGAIN. shes gone. OH WAIT THIS TIME I CANT LOSE HER AGAIN. Gone. this time shes a zombie. Capcom, please fire whoever came up with this concept. Another thing, are the puzzles really necessary? Why insult our intelligence? Myst for stoners. Physics also make me angry. While u can shoot their legs, and make someone fall down, the realisim is poor. Krauser, i just threw a grenade that sent shrapnel into your knee caps. And no, You cannot walk after that. Even if you have a sephiroth-wanna-be wing. Remember those old SNES games where you died hundreds of times while trying to beat level? This is like that. Maybe not hundreds, but more like 25-50 times. Again. Not scary. Frustrating. There is one area in this game that can be scary, and that is the hospital/lab. That area is very well done and very original. A castle is not. I would play through the game just to get to that short-lived area. Getting back to the combat thing, its kind of ironic. Ok Capcom is going to force us to fight often, yet rarely give us any useful ammo. Nice Catch-22 there Capcom. But, again. Frustrating. Not Scary.

Basically, this game follows a very linear path, which I find to be a blessing. Too many games bombard us with options of where to go. That makes me mad, because most adults simply don't have time to play through a game numerous times.

Controls-This may be nit picking, but if i was Leon, I would not stop and shoot with a giant ogre coming after me. I think Capcom's idea is to make the combat harder to increase our feeling of helplessness, thus trying to make the game more frightening. Personally, I would move when I shoot. I am trying to survive in a village of blood-thirsty zombie/alien-men, I am not gonna stop to shoot. Even something as minimal as a strafe would be welcome. Ok so yea that is nitpicking, but it kinda prevents the player from trying to picture oneself as Leon. Because we would MOVE. But, hey, at least Capcom improved upon the atrocities of aiming and walking from the past installments. Just a little more work on pacing, and I think you will finally have a classic, Capcom.

Story.-Men get infected with parasite. wait, wasn't this on the x-files, and the twilight zone and star trek? Ooh yeah. there was also a major motion picture called "ALIEN" with the same premise. Come on. Capcom. We are not expecting a MGS story, but seriously make it remotely interesting. The voice acting is decent. Im suppossed to wanna protect ashley, not want to shoot her. And Leon tries too hard to be as cool as someone like Solid Snake. The dry-throat voiced hero has been taken by Konami. Get over it. The dialogue is probably what makes the voices seem so atrocious. One of my favorites is the following:

SALAZAAR- "I have sent my right hand after you."
LEON- "Your right hand comes off?"
*Cue crickets.
Again. Not Scary. Funny.

Of course the voices are not an important part of this game, but nevertheless, with the large budget that goes into video games these days, there is just no excuse anymore for average voice acting. I am sure their are talented people who will love to act for a minimul amount of money.

One cool part about this game are the cinemas. Just because you think that you can take a break, you cannot. They throw little simon says-esque moments at you. I enjoyed this, mainly because it isnt something that is found. Unfortunately, we all know Capcom is going to beat it to death, like they do with everything. I wouldnt be suprised if they make a RE that consists entirely of those button-pressing cinemas. Capcom's motto must be, if it works, we will do it non-stop (847253474893 Street Fighters). But, i am going off topic.

In all seriousness, this is a good game. it is enjoyable and can be slightly disturbing at some points. It is worth a rent, but it IS NOT worth 50 dollars. All in all it is fun. Far from deserving of a score that is usually only reserved for games that really deserve it like Zelda and Metroid. This game is overrated. Get over it. I love saying that. If you want to be scared, I would recommend the Silent Hill series. If nothing more, this game is a splendid example of what the Gamecube can acheive graphically. Maybe I am insane or just desensitized, but this game did not scare like I thought a game of this hype would do. It is unfortunate, really, because there are aspects of this game that are like a gold-mine. Hopefully, Capcom will mine in it. That was clever, hehe.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/19/05

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