Review by Werts
What are ya buyin'? It should be this game.
Having never played any Resident Evil games before this, I had my doubts. I'm not even sure why I forked out the cash the buy it in the first place. However, I did, and I have zero regrets. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, is, well, the Wii edition of the game. As I haven't played any other versions, I can't tell you how this stacks up against, say, the PS2's version, but take it as a good thing, since there's no way I can be biased towards any system.
I was surprised this game contains no zombies at all, and I feel it's a nice refresher for other games of the genre. As cool as they are, it's really a pain when you see random games on the shelves like "Touch the Dead", and you don't even buy it because it says, "Fight zombies lol!!"
Instead, Resident Evil 4 takes this genre to new direction by introducing an ancient parasite, known as Las Plagas, to the mix. These parasites can control their hosts if they enter the body any way; even inhaling its fumes can get an egg inside you. These parasites are in controlled by the game's antagonist, Lord Saddler. Saddler seems to be the leader of some religious cult who plans to harvest the Plagas to do his own bidding and, as it seems, take over the USA's government and then, the world. You play as Leon, a US agent who is sent to a "lonely and rural part of Europe" to rescue the un-named president's daughter, Ashley Graham. (Since the game is set in 2004, it should be Bush). When Leon finds himself in a Plagas infested town that Ashley happens to be in, it turns into one bloody mess.
Overall, the story is pretty original, although some elements are common. It's interesting, and you normally don't find storylines this deep in most games. Along the way, you run into some old Resident Evil characters, and in turn the character interaction is great and you only want to know more and more of these people and their past. Another interesting point is that throughout the game, you find memos spread about by various characters, both good and evil, and it really puts you into the game's universe. You just end up wondering what type of person leaves their personal files lying around.
The highlight of any game, and this one captures it perfectly. The game takes into mind a new, over-the-shoulder type viewpoint for shooting, and it works great. Special actions are shown at the bottom of the screen at different places, and it's nice to be able to interact with different objects, even if a lot of the times you do things by mistake. For instance, one time I wanted to knock down a ladder so that a bunch of maniacs couldn't climb it up to kill me, but at ladders are two different functions; knock down and jump down. I picked the latter, and I payed the head with my head, literally.
Speaking of decapitation, this game has plenty of it, and even better deaths. Although not TOO excessively gory, the game really isn't child-friendly, and for the better. There are some great death scenes in the game, like a giant bug thing sucking off Leon's face and leaving his eyeballs and skin hanging down while he's on the floor. You've also got a guy with a chainsaw who'll one-hit kill you by nicely chopping off your head. I'm sure parents have a hard time coping with it, but I love how the game implements different death scenes, and it's a blast simply watching them all.
There are various guns and other weapons Leon can use, and the balance of them is very good. For instance, you want a handgun, fine, it's just mediocre. Want something really, really powerful? You can get a rocket launcher, but it's expensive and and you can only use it once per pay. The list goes on and on. Each weapon has its weak and strong points, and it's nice debating with other players just which weapon is the best one. What adds more to the system is that you can buy and upgrade your weapons from the Merchant.
Who doesn't love the Merchant? He's some weird guy who follows you around at various points in the game and sells you items. He also buys things you've found, like precious necklaces and jewels. While this whole concept is pretty typical for a video game, it works. The game wouldn't be nearly as good without the Merchant's selling goodness. Also, this game took the extra step and actually gave this guy and personally, and it's often quoted among gamers. "What'r buyin'? What'r sellin'? Got some RARE things on sale, stranger!"
Plagas-infected people will be the receivers of your bullets, and they'll be receiving quite a bit of them. While the amount of different enemies designs isn't huge, it's still enough to usually have different people coming towards you. Character designs are great, and the game properely adjusts the difficulty level of the characters as you progress. The bosses and mini-bosses are also very well designed, and it's almost always fun fighting them. In addition, the ways in which you fight all these guys is nice: you could be fighting alongside some random Spanish guy in a cabin surrounded by crazy villagers, you could be stuck in a boiler room with two giants heading straight towards you. A battle in which I really like is a part where you're stuck, wait for an elevator, and you're attacked by a really weird mutated bug thing, and you're stuck waiting for the elevator and the longer the battle goes, the more tension there is to survive, and it's really great.
I'm not sure what the previous gens' graphics were like, but all I can say is that the graphics are great. There's really not much to say about graphics in any game, but the attention to detail in this one is evident. You'll see the scars on Leon's cheek towards the end of the game, and you can even see the bones of a skinny character. While they're not jaw-dropping, there's no problems with the graphics and it's nice to look at.
This is where the game really shines. Like any other Wii shooting game, you move the controller to where you want to aim, move around with the Nunchuk, aim with B, shoot with A, etc. But even though it's limited, the motion-sensing controls seriously get you into the game, and that's what the Wii is all about. for example, fighting hordes of Plagas, I suddenly hear someone creeping up behind, I spin, and blow through them with a shotgun. And you think to yourself, "Wow, he almost got me". I'm not sure if that can be recreated outside the Wii. That's what this is all about.
This game, like any other great game, has tons of replay value. Once the main game is finished, there are so many things you could unlock; new guns, costumes, and even a "Seperate Ways" storyline of the game - it shows you what other characters are doing. It's really, really interesting and fun. In addition, there's a new minigame called Mercenaries, which features killing as many Ganados (Plagas-infested villagers) as you can. It's actually frustrating for me to get that great score, but I'm trying. In addition, there's an unlockable movie player and other minigames. You'll be playing this game for a long time.
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is one of those must-have titles. With great controls, great storyline, great extras, great graphics, there's only one way to describe it: great. Games are all about fun, and this one delivered.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (US, 06/19/07)
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