Review by joojy
Reviewed: 11/18/09 | Updated: 06/03/10
RE-imaging the fine masterpiece right here on Wii.
In 2005, there were massive hype of the long upcoming game after nearly five years of waiting: Resident Evil 4. When it finally came out on Gamecube, it blew all of us away with stunning visual effects, beautiful environments and heart-stopping action and has received wide critical acclaim shorty after its release. It expanded to numerous ports including the PS2 and the PC. But now the fine masterpiece has returned to Wii for us to RE-imagined it once again.
You place as Leon Kennedy. The once cop from Resident Evil 2 to a US government agent that has been assigned to find the President's daughter who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult in Europe, 2005. The thing is that the story hardly relates to Umbrella in the previous installments but instead the developers brought in something fresh to the series as when Leon arrives to his destination he encounter enemies that are not those slow, mindless zombies and other grotesque creatures but enemies called "Ganados" who are more intelligent, faster, far more dangerous and capable of wielding weapons. They will at all cost take him down and stop his objective and also countless enemies he'll meet later on
As an overview, Resident Evil 4's gameplay has taken a major step forward as rather being a pure survival horror with third person angles, slow movement, clunky controls and complicated puzzles, it now becomes a third person shooter with a over-the-shoulder perspective and now has a new aiming system which you are now able to target anywhere at the enemy unlike the previous games. The game is now linear meaning you'll hardly get lost and you always go to point A to point B. Despite the changes, it keeps the formula of "stand and fire", meaning you can't move while aiming. While this might annoy some people, it has long been as a traditional staple while it maintains a somewhat cheap, artificial way of of raising tension of what horrors you might faced.
Leon has a numerous weapons and arsenals at his disposal which you can buy from a weapons dealer called "The Merchant" as you progress further into the game. It includes the tradition line-up of handguns, shotguns, rifles and magnums. Each weapons have a certain capacity and can be upgraded in areas of firepower, capacity, reload speed and firing speed. There are also bonus or secret weapons that can be obtained further in the game. You can buy these weapons with money which you can find by the drops of killed enemies or by simply finding them in places. This also applies to ammo which are separated into different types corresponding into for example, Handgun Ammo. There are also healing items called Herbs which are used to heal yourself. There are three types of them: green, yellow and red. You can mix these either giving more healing or even increase your maximum health. All of these are vital to your success. There is also a inventory which can be access which you can change weapons, heal yourself and many more. But you inventory has a certain space limit and can bigger by buying bigger attache cases from the merchant.
The controls for the Wii are fairly simple as you aim with the "b" button you have a laser sighting which you can point and aim with it. To shoot just press "a". You can also knife at enemies by swinging your remote and Leon will automatically hit at whatever the target is close by. You can press "c" to aim with it and do a slightly more powerful knife slash. The controls are considerably easier than the PS2 and Gamecube but sometimes you'll face with some laggy responses which are all mainly minor. This might benefit that the gameplay is easier than the Gamecube and the Playstation 2 but all on all, the controls it feels smooth and natural which makes it a befitting experience overall.
The enemies are a lot smarter and faster compared to the previous Resident Evil games and can wield weapons ranging from farming tools, stun rods, shields, dynamites and even Rocket Launchers. They are capable to do tasks and activities like humans would do and would eventually every now and then they do something unnecessary or simply plain dumb. However, they're not to be underestimated as you have to find certain ways to get past them. An example include to aim for their head or leg since they're their most vulnerable and when they stun for a couple of seconds you can go close up to them and do an "action" button including kicks and other stunts depending on which area you aimed with. But sometimes shooting them in the head sprouts out these parasite called "Las Plagas" which replaces the virus that turn people into zombies. This forces players to think as the head is usually the most vulnerable spot so aiming for the head might not be the best option as you'll almost never know when they come out.
The graphics back in 2005 were on a class of it's own with having inspiring visuals, superb lightning effects, brilliant texture and you can really tell the effort put in from the developers to make the environment in each area look spectacular. The sound is also well paced and smooth with the sound enhances the creepy atmosphere with added tensions towards the player. The cutscenes looks absolutely gorgeous and you'll be amazed how realistic it is and really captures how long it took to make this game. The voice acting is considerbly better although at times it can be really cliched and cheesy but it passable by today standards. The Wii version now supports widescreen which the Gamecube and the PS2 version lacked which mainly due to the technical reasons and also a cost of the wide range of texture. Nevertheless, the framerate is steady at 30 per second so there's nothing to argue in terms of the picture quality. Back then, it the cinematic presentation and it's Hollywood-like visuals really pushed the Gamecube's limits and nowdays, it starting to look abit outdated but neverless it still all-together superb.
After the meaty 15-20 hour main adventure, there are still many things left to do such as unlocking the new "Professional" difficulty which is where you play through the game again with a totally new file but the enemies hit harder, you take more damage and so on. There is also the fast paced Mercenaries minigame which you are given a time limit and kill as many enemies as you can before the time runs out, Separate Ways where you play as Ada and it shows you insight into the original storyline in her perspective. Then there's Assignment Ada, a minigame where you again control Ada to collect 5 Plaga Samples and escape the desolated island. The game also let you to play through a 2nd round of play from the previous you beat in and lets you carry all the weapons and items you have in for added replay value. With hit ratio %, each chapter, you can shoot for "100%" meaning that there are records to be beaten. With so much to do, you'll be hooked in for several months making it a very enjoyable experience.
So back in 2005, were we expecting an revolution in survival horror? No... but an cheap budget interactive movie filled with sights, screams and thrill that will be forever remembered in our memories for how it shines. Now? Not really, but despite adding nothing really new, it is still one hell of a hide to relived once again. Well done, Capcom.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (AU, 07/05/07)
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