Review: Fall in love with head worms all over again.
Resident Evil 4 became an instant classic after its 2005 GameCube release. The game reenergized the largely stagnant Resident Evil series by adding a heavy dose of action into the survival horror gameplay. Just like all good sequels, Resident Evil 4 managed to stay true to the series' roots while adding enough new elements to create a fresh experience. This is evident beginning with the enemies. The zombies in Resident Evil 4 weren't just mindless rotting corpses, but rather parasite infected humans who would sooner ram a pitchfork down the player's throat than bite them. The result was a game that everyone could enjoy regardless of whether or not they were fans of the series. Given the game's success it was only a matter of time before developer Capcom brought it to other consoles. PC and PlayStation 2 (PS2) versions soon appeared. Both of these subsequent editions featured new content but lacked the visuals of the GameCube original. Fortunately, two years after the game's premiere, Capcom has decided to throw the best of each release together into a definitive Wii edition that takes advantage of the system's unique controls.
Aside from the controls, the Wii release features no significant alterations to the gameplay. The game showcases the same gut-wrenching thrills and action as Resident Evil 2's Leon Kennedy embarks upon his epic quest to free the President's daughter from a Spanish cult. Every detail from zombies to typewriters is the same as previous incarnations. This includes a vast array of upgradeable weapons, a menagerie of monsters, and varied environments (such as the infamous zombie dog hedge maze that caused players everywhere to shriek like little girls). Some fans may have wished for more variety, but Capcom clearly decided to follow the ?if it ain't broke, don't fix it? philosophy. This is hardly a bad thing since Resident Evil 4 is perhaps one of the best-designed games in recent memory. Oh, and yes, the game still possesses the B-movie storyline and cheesy dialogue that players can't help but love.
Instead of the previous releases' laser sight; here players use the Wiimote to freely aim a green crosshair. When the player hovers the crosshair over an enemy, it will turn red to indicate a clear shot. Meanwhile the player uses the Nunchuk's analog stick to move Leon, while drawing Leon's weapon and shooting are delegated to the Wiimote's B and A buttons respectively.
Using Leon's knife is much simpler and less clunky than in previous editions. The player slashes with the knife through flicking of the Wiimote sideways. The game will also auto-aim the knife at the closest enemy or object, making the blade even more useful in giving enemies a tonsillectomy. Overall, the knife is a much more effective weapon than before.
For the most part, the new control is intuitive and arguably the best of any version to date (control using the Classic Controller or a GameCube controller is also still an option). The only pitfall is that it serves to make the game slightly easier. Headshots are now a breeze to pull off. Likewise, some of earlier editions' more challenging segments like the mine cart ride or sniping portions are significantly easier to get through. Nevertheless the game is still challenging. Enemies are still tough to defeat and come at the player in swarms. The game also grows less generous with ammunition and save points in later levels.
This version features all of the PlayStation 2 release's extras. Chief among these is the Separate Ways side story where players take control of secondary character Ada Wong. This extra game is worth playing since it expands on many of the main story's plot points. Other extras include additional costumes and a trailer for the upcoming Wii release, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles.
This Wii edition looks about the same as the GameCube version. This means that while the graphics are still excellent and highly detailed, the game looks slightly older than some current generation titles. On the other hand the high quality sound, from the growls of zombies to the adrenaline pumping music, maintains its immersive and frightening qualities.