Resident Evil 4 Review

Resident Evil 4 for the Wii is finally out. After months of waiting, reading previews and talking to developers, the final thing is ready to be played! So…was it worth the wait?

Yes, and no. Having already come out in the past, I won’t go into a lot of the details about what RE4 is, or what the plot entails, as most people know that by now. What I will go over is what makes the Wii version different, and if that’s worth paying more money to buy a game you may already own.

Obviously, the big attraction is the Wiimote controls. When I first started, I admit that they seemed annoying, and appeared to be Exhibit B in the trial against developers tacking on Wii controls just for the sake of having them. After about an hour, though, I realized that they really do make the game much better to play.

To move, you use the nunchuck. Holding it in your left (or right if you’re one of them leftos) hand, the analog stick controls Leon’s walking. Since it is a Resident Evil game, walking will never be enough; to run you hold in the Z button on the nunchuck. If you quickly press the Z button and down on the analog stick, Leon pulls a 180, and you quickly turn the opposite direction.

What takes the longest getting used to is the use of the remote, especially when aiming. To aim you hold the B button (on the remote), which brings Leon into firing mode. One thing I noticed is that the reticule is a bit bigger in this game, so there’s one benefit. When Leon is aiming, pointing the remote at the screen obviously aims in those spots. What’s difficult, though, is turning.

Using the analog stick on the nunchuck, you move Leon’s field of vision right, left, up, and down with the corresponding directions. Unfortunately, this is a lot harder than it sounds, especially in chaotic moments. It’s very likely that several times in the game you’ll end up dying or being forced to use an item because you end up looking at the ground while trying to fight some of the villagers off. It’s a minor issue, but it seems much worse due to the time(s) of its occurrence.

Despite that flaw, the shooting in RE4 for the Wii is far better (and more fun) than in the last two versions. Something about holding the remote out like a gun to actually shoot just makes it more fun. What isn’t fun is the knife combat. You can either pull out your knife by holding C on the nunchuck (will we ever get used to all these weird button names?), or by flailing the remote around like an idiot. Slashing the remote is supposed to cause a quick knife attack on screen, but the game has trouble picking up the movement, so you’ll often just look like a spaz when your friends walk in.

Visually, the Wii edition is the superior one, and it also allows HD support. Unfortunately, that means the nuances in the graphics and the outdated effects are much more noticeable. A few years ago, this game would have been stellar; now, it’s about par for the course. Guess that shows just how fast this medium is evolving…

Long story short: if you own RE4 on the Cube or PS2, you may want to put some thought into it before buying this one. It’s still the same RE4 we all love-it just has some new control mechanisms. If you’ve never owned the PS2 version, that may help your case to buy, as this features all of the nifty additions Cube owners never got. Still, at its price, it’s hard to tell people not to buy this game, whether they’ve played it before or not. Buy it to own the superior version to one of the greatest games ever; buy it to experience a Wii port done right. Oh, and if you’ve never owned RE4 before, you have no excuse to not get this game-no shame in showing up to the party late, as long as you get there.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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