Review by RidleysShadow

Reviewed: 07/03/07

Taking down small armies with a handgun is now more realistic than ever!

By the time I beat this game for Wii, I had gone through the game four times. This is one of the few games where I’m okay with that though. This is probably one of the best games ever made in the last few years. Yes, Wii Edition is definitely a port, but it’s the best port I’ve ever played, good thing Capcom is so experienced with that kind of thing now. Wii Edition adds new controls, slightly (very slightly) updated graphics, and all the extras that originally only the Playstation 2 version got.

Leon Kennedy, from the second Resident Evil, is now working for the president. The president’s daughter, Ashley, was kidnapped and was last spotted in a village in Europe, and the villagers seem unusually hostile. They send Leon, and only Leon, to find and bring her home. You meet a few other people, but the plot doesn’t really do anything to distinguish itself. You find out more about the organization that made the people how they are now and their goals, but the main focus on rescuing Ashley stays the same.

The basic game play in Resident Evil 4 is pretty simple. You have a gun (which can be aimed and fired with the Wii remote) to kill enemies, and you want to find a door to exit. They’ll occasionally have an easy puzzle for you to solve, but that’s about it. Just killing people may sound like it gets boring, but it somehow stays just as fun as it did when you first started the game. Basically you fight people who aren’t zombies, but something different wrong with them. They usually have about four different looks, but do pretty much the same thing. The enemies work together to kill you, like if you go into a house, they’ll throw ladders up to climb in through the windows, and some will try to break down the door. It’s good AI, but they pretty much beg for you to shoot them. As soon as they run at you, they’ll slow down and just kind of creep up to you until you either shoot them or they attack you. While some parts of the game are intense, it really isn’t that scary. Thing may gross you out, but nothing that’ll completely frighten you, especially when you have a ton of ammo and you’re really confident. Enemies won’t usually sneak up on you, but when they do, they’ll announce it to you by making a noise. It may startle you, but you’ll be over it in a second. There are a few different other guys to though, like the extremely hard to kill chainsaw guy, the blind guy with to giant claws, sometimes the regular guys will mix it up by going into turrets or other machinery.

Throughout the game you’ll go through different areas like a castle and island. Each room usually has a different challenge, like killing all of the enemies and getting to the exit, or hitting certain levers to open a path to a door. Throughout the game you will find Ashley, and you’ll basically be escorting her around the deadly areas of the game. She has a few features, like she can hide in certain places, but that doesn’t seem to ever help. You see, enemies will try to kidnap her, and if they do you have to be careful to shoot them and not her. I died a lot of times like that by accident. I thought most parts where you had to use Ashley were pretty annoying, because often you’ll have a group of enemies attacking you and her at the same time so you’ll need quick reflexes. There are a ton of guns in this game, and it will be up to you to decide which ones to buy and which ones to upgrade. There are shotguns, magnums, TMPs, even a rocket launcher that can kill a boss in one hit. You’ll find money by killing enemies or destroying crates and barrels, which will make you want to explore every area thoroughly.

On top of that, there’s a ton of items for you to find. You can find treasures to sell, or find parts of a treasure and combine it with another treasure to sell them for even more. You’ll get healing items, which you can combine with others to make them more effective. The game seems like just a kill fest, but there’s a ton of strategy. On top of that, you can only hold so many items before your suitcase gets full. This can get very annoying if you don’t rearrange everything in your suitcase to fit, because sometimes you’ll have room for it, but you’ll need to move stuff around to make it fit in the suitcase. If you find a lot of items at once you’ll be spending a lot of time making room, which kind of holds up the game. You can’t buy ammo in this game, so you’ll have to find all of it the same way you find money. If you completely run out of ammo, then you can use the back-up knife (via slashing with the Wii remote) but it’s pretty weak and you’ll only want to use it when the enemy is down. There’s also a ton of boss battles in this game. You’ll fight the giant El Gigante, the chief of the village, and other gross monsters. Even the cut-scenes have game play, sometimes a button prompt or Wii gesture will appear on-screen and you’ll have to perform it or else you’ll get a game over.

After you beat the game, they give you a ton to do. There’s Mercenaries mode, where you have a time limit and you want to kill as many enemies as you can with the biggest chain possible, but if let’s say, a chainsaw wielding maniac kills you in one hit, you might lose the will to play for a bit. There’s Assignment Ada where you play as Ada, (a character you meet from the main game, and is also from Resident Evil 2) and you must collect samples around the Island level of the game. Finally, there’s the Playstation 2 exclusive Separate Ways where you once again play as Ada and find out some of the back-story in a few extra chapters. There’s a Pro mode, some extra guns, and new costumes that will also add to your experience.

The graphics are almost the same as the Gamecube version, maybe a little better, but they’re still as good looking as a few years ago. I usually describe this game to people as an action game with a horror-comedy twist, the comedy comes from your character Leon’s terrible, and I mean terrible, one-liners. The music is dark and moody; I was a little creeped out by it at first, so it works well. The game is fully-voice acted, and it’s pretty good, all of the enemies speak Spanish however. They have the same repetitive chants and yells, but it could be worse. I could understand what they’re saying.

The Wii controls are the main feature of Wii Edition, and I think they’re pretty good. Wii gestures for cut-scenes and action prompts seem like a no-brainer, the aiming is good, and the knife is now handier than ever. I think it adds to the experience.

Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition is a port, but the controls add fun, and it’s still the same basic game it was a few years ago, which does have its faults of course. This version has the most extras, the best graphics, and it’s got a $30 price tag. If you haven’t had a chance to play it, go for it!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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