Game Review

by Andrew Yoon,

Resident Evil 4

Nintendo Wii

Resident Evil 4
Years after the fall of Umbrella Corporation, Leon S. Kennedy must travel to Spain to rescue the President's kidnapped daughter. However, a parasitic infection seems to plaguing the villagers. Leon must uncover the conspiracy behind the disease, find the President's daughter, and somehow get out alive.

Resident Evil 4 is the same Game of the Year-winning title we experienced back on the Gamecube and PlayStation 2 all those years ago. Now, it makes another appearance on Nintendo Wii, with added motion controls and budget price. Is the game still worth it? Of course. Regardless of age, Resident Evil 4 remains one of the finest action games ever created, and this latest port reminds us that this game is a modern classic.

The franchise's fourth iteration shocked the world by abandoning many of the conventions of the previous Resident Evil titles. Gone were the stilted controls, unfair inventory management, bad dialogue, and fixed camera angles. In the completely reworked game, players are given free aim over their targets. As the camera follows behind Leon, players could experience freedom that the series has never provided.

And yet, even by giving gamers the ability to freely move around and shoot, the team at CAPCOM created quite possibly the most terrifying Resident Evil to date. Instead of using shock tactics, players were faced with overwhelming odds and surprisingly intelligent (and grotesque!) creatures that were incredibly effective at doing one thing: killing you. The Plagas-infected villagers will surround Leon, will break through doors, throw weapons, climb ladders, and more. Of course, the villagers are just the beginning of Leon's problems… Even hinting at the later enemies would do a great disservice to players that haven't yet experienced the game. However, it should be noted that one of the main reasons why the game is so incredible is the way it continuously evolves through its 20-hour runtime. New enemies, new environments, and new tactics are constantly introduced, ensuring Resident Evil 4 feels like a day-long adrenaline rush.

Players have a variety of methods at their disposal to take on the incredible non-zombie forces. Using the Wii Remote, players must now actually aim at the screen. Compared to the Gamecube original, this method does offer a much faster way of playing. Obviously, this does make players a bit less precise, as keeping a steady hand can be difficult in such tense situations. For better or worse, the Wii version of Resident Evil 4 features far more forgiving hit detection than previous iterations. Also, the use of a crosshair on screen, as opposed to using the more natural laser-sight makes shooting (especially long-distance shooting) much easier than before. It's not uncommon to simply point at an enemy far off in the horizon, and wait for your crosshair to turn red and instantly kill the enemy. We tested the game's hit detection and found it comical at times. For example, we aimed a few inches away from an enemy's shoulder. It still counted as a head shot. (And veteran players know that head shots aren't very beneficial later in the game!)

The overly forgiving aim is quite possibly the biggest complaint we have the Wii version. In addition, this port has somewhat slower load times than its Gamecube counterpart. However, with added content from the PlayStation 2 version and true 480p widescreen support, it's clear that this is the best version of Resident Evil 4 yet. Unsurprisingly, the game still looks beautiful, and remains one of the best looking titles on Nintendo's system. Although it doesn't have the same crispness as upcoming Wii-exclusive titles, it still pulls off some impressive special effects. In addition, the character models still rival efforts found on current next-gen systems.

Resident Evil 4 was an excellent game when it first came out, and it remains one of the best games in its genre. Those that never picked up the Gamecube original have no excuse now: this is CAPCOM's fourth chance for you to buy Resident Evil 4, and you won't regret it.

Overall : A-
Graphics : B
Sound/Music : A
Gameplay : A
Presentation : B

+ Still an excellent game. Gameplay has aged perfectly.
Graphics show their age. Yet another Gamecube port.

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