Today I'll be reviewing what will always be a classic game, no matter how much technological advancement occurs in the future. Quite possibly one of the greatest revamps in gaming history, Resident Evil 4 was originally released for the GameCube as part of the Capcom 5 (see my Viewtiful Joe review) but knowing how that project failed, Capcom developed an updated version for the PS2 and eventually ported it to the Wii with new pointer controls that completely defined the experience. Before Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition was released, one of the few gripes that journalists had with the game was the slightly cumbersome controls. Players had to hold a button to aim their gun and move a pointer in an enemy's direction with the analogue stick before shooting. It was a slow and inaccurate way of doing things, and the Wii Remote pointer controls greatly improve this system. How do I know this? Because I've played through the game on both PS2 and Wii, with my accuracy rating being around 60% when using a standard controller on the PS2 version, and over 95% on the Wii Edition. What with the controls being one of the biggest gripes with older Resident Evil titles, Wii Edition's pointer controls completely define what was already one of the greatest games ever made.
So, what exactly is it that makes Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition one of the best video games around? Is it the superb character design and the brilliant dialogue, paired with excellent voice acting and a distinctive plot? The action-packed yet severely frightening gameplay that always has the player on their toes? Could it be the beautiful visuals and textures found in the distinctively well-designed locales? Or perhaps it's the epic sense of scale that spreads across a gruesome village full of the infected, a deadly castle that is the home of an evil religious cult, and an island in the middle of nowhere that houses an army of insane zombified creatures? In fact, all of these things and more add up to create Resident Evil 4, a game that can only be defined as a true masterpiece in the world of gaming. It's funny then, that this title could have originally been a very different, not to mention nowhere near as enjoyable experience. When Resident Evil 4 was first revealed alongside the other Capcom 5 titles, it looked like a slightly shinier Resident Evil game that used the same engine as it's predecessors. Early footage showed Leon exploring a mansion and solving puzzles much like those in the first 3 games in the series, without a zombie in sight. During early development stages, the director of the game made a particularly wild decision to completely revamp the game they were creating into something out of the Resident Evil norm. As it turned out, this decision was one that changed the series forever and spawned one of the greatest games of all time. Just think, would the survival horror franchise be as popular as it is today had Resident Evil 4 never been revamped? Would The Mercenaries 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil 5 even exist without this decision? Who cares, because this is a brilliant title that no gamer should miss out on. Read on...
|Leon Scott Kennedy spots something in the distance - Let's just pray it isn't a massive sea creature bent on destruction that could potentially kill him. Oh, it is. Crap.|
Outside of the story department, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition also includes some very addictive gameplay. In hindsight, this is your standard 3rd-person shooter that excludes that ability to strafe while aiming your weapons, but that's actually a very poor description. Resident Evil 4 is an almost perfect blend of action-packed segments and genuinely terrifying moments that will have you on your toes while you play. As you move through the game's gorgeous landscapes you'll have to blast ganados with your weapons and take them down with melee attacks, while solving some admittedly rather easy puzzles along the way. At many points in the game, Ashley accompanies Leon and things get more complex, with you giving the president's daughter commands to wait in safe places and stick by you, and protect her from being taken back or killed by the ganado. Of course, with all this going on Leon needs to arm himself. Luckily, help is at hand from the strange yet helpful cockney merchant we all know and love. This merchant sells a wide variety of weapons, from handguns and shotguns to sniper rifles and mine launchers, that can all be upgraded and used to fend off the deadly plaga-infected enemies and the plentiful, enormous David versus Goliath-esque bosses you'll encounter. While Resident Evil 4's gameplay sounds quite bland and dated - it really isn't. Somehow, the lack of an ability to strafe adds to the tension of fending of huge hordes of deadly ganado and the melee attacks and gun noises are very satisfying. It's very hard to stop playing Resident Evil 4 just because of how damn fun it is.
|Of course, Resident Evil 4 saw the introduction of the infamous Dr. Salvador, who's roaring chainsaw brought fear through the ears of many gamers.|
|Some of the extra modes allow you to play as the deadly Umbrella Corporation hired lass, Ada Wong. How does she not get any blood on that dress?!|