Resident Evil 4 was first released for the Nintendo GameCube back in 2005, then later on the PlayStation 2 and PC. Both the latter versions included a bonus mission and bonus weapon but fortunately weren’t really worth shouting about. Even without these extra’s the GameCube version was generally accepted to be the best because of its faster loading times (even though it came on two discs as opposed to the single PS2 disc) and better joypad controls. Fast forward a few years and as a warm up exercise to Resident Evil 5, Capcom have decided to rerelease Resident Evil 4 for the Wii with an upgraded control system. Was it a good move or a waste of time? Well there’s only one way to find out, a review of Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition…here we go.
Because Resident Evil 4 is an old game (and you’ve probably played it already) we’ll gloss over the basics to save time. Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 2 returns as a special agent sent to rescue the President’s daughter (Ashley) who has been kidnapped; he is dropped off on the outskirts of a Spanish village to start his search. Sure enough it’s not long before he notices something is up. Upon entering the first house in the village to ask if the owner had seen Ashley, an axe wielding yokel tries to chop his head off. Well fortunately Leon has a gun and knows how to use it, so dispatching this freak isn’t too difficult. But unfortunately the gun shots attract another bunch of aggressive villagers wielding weapons and so the fun begins. The camera zooms out over Leon’s shoulder and it’s time for you to take over. Your mission to find, rescue and escape with Ashley takes place over many environments and you’ll encounter many types of enemies. The brain-dead Zombies of the original Resident Evil’s are gone and now you have baddies with intelligence. The villagers can use weapons, climb ladders and force through windows and doors in an attempt to get at you. Later on Monks, Monsters and Soldiers will put up a stronger fight and attack you in groups of large numbers; you’ll need some serious weaponry to deal with them. It just so happens that you’ll encounter a mysterious tradesman who will sell you weapons and upgrades, if you happen to find enough money or treasure that is. There is a nicely sized range or weapons to buy ranging from Pistols, Sniper Rifles to Automatic shotguns and Rocket Launchers. They all start of relatively low powered but can be upgraded in categories such as fire rate, ammo count and reload rate. You’ll also find health in the form of first aid sprays and herbs lying around, just like with the weapons you can store them in your Attaché Case. Resident Evil 4 was a welcome change of format for the Resident Evil series, with the camera now over the shoulder (which has gone on to inspire games like Dead Space) the game felt much more action paced than its 3rd Person fixed camera predecessors because you were no longer controlling a clunky character that could only move and shoot in limited directions. The basic puzzle solving from the original Resident Evil returned with little upgrade, keys to find, special objects to locate and but apart from the occasional sequence puzzle you’ll be spending most of your time rootin and shootin. The boss battles are still as fun as they ever were and the surprise quick time events cleverly let you interact with the FMV sequences.
Resident Evil 4 for Wii is a cracking game and still deserves the praise it originally gained even after four years. The new control scheme which lets you aim at the baddies on screen by pointing your Wii Remote at the screen like a gun works exceptionally well and it doesn’t take long at all before it becomes second nature. Unusually the B trigger button on the Wii Remote doesn’t fire your gun but locks the camera so you can move Leon’s head as well as the on screen reticule around, tapping the A button then fires your weapon. It’s taken a while but Resident Evil Four and Metroid Prime 3 have shown how the Wii can have a fun and accurate aiming system that puts the 360 and PS3 to shame.
Graphically Resident Evil 4 for Wii does look a little dated, we would have like to have seen the muddy textures and grainy FMV tidied up a little but as a budget release that was a little too much to hope for. However the Wii has been subjected to many newer titles recently which look a lot worse and as such Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition actually still shines brighter in the looks department than many of the casual shovelware you may have paid more for on Wii.
It may be a Wii-make but the new control scheme brings fresh life to this already classic game and it’s certainly wet our appetite for Resident Evil 5 for 360 and PS3. In the mean time Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition is a great and cheap title to buy and fully deserves a 9 out of 10 rating and is an essential purchase for those who never played it the first time around. If you did play it back in 2005 then you may not wish to play through the same game just to experience a new control scheme but you will be missing out on what is probably one of the top 20 games of all time.
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