Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition Review

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Graphics: 9.0
Sound : 9.5
Gameplay : 9.5
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 9.3
Review by Andy "The Body" Levine
Resident Evil 4 was one of the most groundbreaking titles to be released on the GameCube over two years ago. Unfortunately, the PC port suffered due to a control scheme that just didn’t translate well using a keyboard. As such, we were skeptical to hear that a Wii version was being released simply because we’d hate to see one of all times favorite earn a bad reputation. Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk has proven to be a tough task for game developers of all genres, but thankfully Capcom was able to bring new life to one of our all time favorites.

On any system, Resident Evil 4 can feel a little awkward to play at the very start. Instead of being able to run and gun zombies as you please, you have to enter an aiming position before you can fire. By holding the ‘B’ trigger Leon, the main character, will be able to aim his selected firearm using a reticule. Other version of the game used a laser sight, but the reticule is a little more forgiving considering how you aim with the Wii Remote, which arguably isn’t as easy to use as a control stick. Walking around is done using the control stick on the Nunchuk, and you can easily start running by holding down ‘Z.’

The best thing about the ported control scheme is the inclusion of motion sensitive actions. While you still have the option do reload your gun or slash your knife using tucked away buttons, it’s a lot more fun to slash your remote at any creeper who gets too close. Resident Evil 4 is perhaps most notorious for its cutscenes that require you to act out of the blue. One second you’ll see Leon walking down a path, and before you know it a command will come up prompting you to sprint away from a boulder by swinging your remote back and forth. Not only does this force you to stay on your toes at all times, but often times quick reflexes can save you from being hit by surprise enemy attacks.

It took a surprisingly short amount of time to feel comfortable maneuvering around the death-filled Spanish village, whereas games like Red Steel were just impossible to warm up to. The new knife locks-on to nearest target and cut it to pieces, so there’s no need to fumble around with the controls if you’re low on ammo. The inventory system is identical to other versions, so you can effortlessly browse through your weapons and health kits with ease. It would’ve been nice to have an on-the-fly weapon switching ability so you don’t have to pause the action every time you want to pull out a different gun, but the system currently implemented works fine anyways.

Everything else aside, Resident Evil 4 is a captivating horror thriller that can easily be considered as the best game currently available for the Wii. The sheer variety of weaponry available is enough to satisfy your thirst for blood, and the assorted environments, tricky puzzles, and hordes of different enemies all make for an experience that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Weapons, ranging from magnums and pistols to semi-automatic rifles and even a rocket launcher, make it fun to experiment to see what makes certain enemies tick. Sometimes you’ll follow up a few quick pistol shots with a skull-crushing kick to the head while other times a nice incendiary grenade will torch your enemies in an inferno of destruction. You’ll always be facing new foes or you’ll have new weapons in hand, making it nearly impossible to find any monotony here.

In terms of additional content, there’s nothing exclusive to the Wii edition. The minigames included in the PS2 version, such as the alternative viewpoint in Assignment Ada, are all still here and as fun as ever. The last thing you should be worried about is replayability though. After completing the story once through there’s still a ton of incentive to keep playing, including fully upgradeable weapons and even alternative costumes. Sure the horror factor won’t be as strong a second time through, but it’s still hard not to be even a little spooked.

The visuals are much improved from the GC version, especially thanks to support for better display resolutions. There are a few rough edges here and there and the environmental details are far from rivaling what the Xbox 360 or PS3 are capable of, but it’s certainly nice to see that the Wii isn’t just about cartoon-themed games. Some of the monsters will make you squirm in your chair and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a zombie burn to death, and the overall near-cinematic quality of the entire game only adds to the excitement. Furthermore, in terms of sound you can expect the same creepy murmurs and intensity building soundtracks as before, but now there’s more thanks to the speaker on the Wii Remote. The new features include hearing static whenever the walkie-talkie is initiated, a swooshing noise when you use your knife, and you can even hear ammunition clang around when you reload. Now half the time you won’t hear anything because the sound on-screen can get very loud, but it’s still cool to hear the sound of a gun reloading in your hand.

If you’ve never had the chance to play Resident Evil 4 before, then there’s simply no excuse not to pick it up for the Wii. Although obviously it’s not as groundbreaking now as it was two years ago, there’s no arguing that RE4 is one of the best, if not the best, games out for the Wii. With its enthralling storyline and addictive gameplay, Resident Evil 4 is one game that should not be missed.