Evil Crosses To Wii
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I like to think that I can smell a gimmick when it comes around, so when they made a Wii release of Resident Evil 4, my metaphorical nose went haywire.
"Bwah? RE4: Wii Edition? It's gotta be a scam."
RE4 is my hands-down, absolute favorite game. (The best part has to be the dingy jail right after the chopper goes down. I mean, what are those creepy, bagged jiggly bits?)
The series itself has hit some snags for me. While Silent Hill dealt with supernatural themes, a personal preference on my part, the RE series preoccupied gamers with pure science fiction. Zombies and disturbingly familiar settings of the series captivated me, but when the bio-freaks started attacking in the high-tech labs, my interest always seemed to wane. So when they said they were taking the zombies completely out of the 2005 Game Cube release of RE4, I became a little worried but also a little intrigued.
Tossing out a group of core enemies could only hurt the franchise, right?
How wrong I was.
After going through about four different games titled RE4 and scrapping them (or, in the case of Devil May Cry, changing the name), the current incarnation hit the streets and started making waves in the gaming community. However, I didn't give RE4 my full attention until it hit the Playstation 2.
It was while playing this game that I came to a simple conclusion: God must hate Leon Kennedy. After putting him through the whole Raccoon City debacle, I didn't think there could be more in store for Leon, but as he took on the job of keeping the president's family safe, he shows us just how bad his luck is.
The majority of us know and love the story of RE4, because the majority have played it to rags. (If you don't know the story very well, a more in-depth review can be read right here..) That's my problem with the release of this game on the Wii. So what was the point of digging the title up again? I want something new with which I can invest my time. RE4 is a great game, sure, but what is Capcom doing differently that warrants bringing it back?
Reviewing a game that previously came out for a different platform but is now out for the Wii is becoming a trend. And true, here there are some nice differences here. The Wii version of the game is far more interactive than on other consoles.
To aim your gun, you point the remote at the screen. You will see your red targeting dot floating there, and simply have to put it over the head of an enemy before shooting, which seems very natural. Also, those action sequences are not too clunky here like they are on other controllers. When a giant boulder is suddenly rolling at you, instead of being forced to tap the X and O keys like with the PS2, you might have to shake the Wii controller from side to side vigorously. This adds a tactile feel to the game that mimics the feeling of actually running away, and is much more fun (and natural) to implement than just random button mashing.
But really, there is not too much new here except for a sneak peek of RE: Umbrella Chronicles that I could have found on the Internet and the fact that FPS rates are more consistent throughout the gameplay.
So again, the only real advantage of this game is that the developers were willing to spend ample time on Wii controls for a multi-platformed game. RE4 works wonders with the Wii remote. The integration is great, the button-pressing side games have been made easier, and the aiming is fantastic, but this is hardly enough to warrant spending cash on it if you have a previous release of the title.
Granted they aren't asking the full $50 for the game (dropping the price down to a mere $30), and even though the controls are enjoyable after you get the hang of them, RE4 still isn't worth the cash.
I do applaud Capcom for giving us a promising taste of what they are willing to do on the Wii, but without the frills to attract us, I don't know if the cost of producing this game will prove beneficial for them.
If you happen to have a Wii and you haven't played the game at all (and if you haven't, who are you and why are you reading this?), then I would suggest you get moving through this strange Spanish-speaking world of horror and delight as soon as possible.
Based on the fact that I still had a blast replaying this game for the 4th time, I'm keeping with a rating of 5 Gems even though I've set the Value rating at 3, because to give RE4 anything less than 5 would be blasphemous.
James Maddox is a writer based in Marietta, Ohio. His experience living and dealing with gamers in Korea has uniquely shaped his opinions on games and the industry.