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Old 02-08-2005, 09:28 PM   #369
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Resident Evil 4
Gamecube Nintendo

Waitaminute... isn't the "4" supposed to
go AFTER the "Resident Evil"?

Resident Evil 4 has been one of the most talked about games lately. Hell, it is THE most talked about game right now, actually. And for good reason. It is a fantastic game in just about every respect, and an absolute must-play. Fortunately someone called Capcom and informed them that the gameplay in previous Resident Evil games sucked incredible amounts of ass. Capcom was dumbfounded. "Resident Evil sucks to play?" they responded. "Yeah, it sure does" commented the caller. "The camera angles are weak, the control is crap, and the fun... well there isn't any fun. I suggest you add some fun." Capcom was amazed. Never before had they ever considered adding fun and enjoyability to a Resident Evil game. For Resident Evil 4 they decided that they would try to incorporate these mythical features. Fortunately they did, and now Resident Evil is a completely new game for the most part, it is fun to play, easy to control, and is actually worth owning!

According to the manual, you're supposed to shoot the zombie's feet.

Story: 5/10
The story is OK. In fact it can be kind of engrossing at times. But there are a few things that bring it down. First of all are many references to previous Resident Evil games. There are even characters from those games that make an appearance here. To put it bluntly, they DON'T fit into this game, nor do references from past games. Capcom should have known that since this game was actually good it would attract a whole bunch of new players that enjoy well made games. These players will only be confused as to what the hell is actually going on. Wesker, Ada, Krauser.... let it all go, Capcom! The other thing is the typical cliché stuff, like escaping from an island because, of course, it is going to blow up. Why does it need to blow up? I killed everyone there already and took everything valuable. Why? Because the writers aren't that great, that's why. But you don't play this game for an amazing story... or at least I hope not.

Leon calmly runs Shenmue style from the same boulder that chased Indiana Jones,
the dragon in Panzer Dragoon Zwei, and many other game characters.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics are absolutely amazing. I really did want to give them a "10", but there are a few things that prevent me from doing so. First off, here are the things that could be attributed as "flaws" but are OK by me. #1: The game is letterboxed. The Gamecube does not have the power to run it full screen... too much processing would be required. #2: The game runs at 30 frames per second instead of 60. These are EXTREMELY MINOR issues. In fact I am glad that the game is letterboxed, because I can zoom in on my TV and suddenly I have a full screen wide image (albeit with less resolution). I could not do this if the game was full screen, as I would be cropping off part of the image. The zooming adds a bit of "grittyness" to the game which enhances the mood, in my opinion. And the 30 frames per second helps make it feel more movie-like (re: dramatic) than 60 frames per second would. Beyond this the game is rendered and presented without equal. Everything simply looks awesome. Lots of drab colors (very appropriate), great use of lighting, real sense of perspective, and just sheer awesomeness. What I do detract a point for is the clipping. There is one point in the game where a monk gets on a machine gun in the middle of a room. He was trying to shoot me and I ran into a room and all doors were closed. Even though I was completely seal off from the machine gun that was still being fired, its shells were flying THROUGH THE WALL into the room where I was. What the hell? There are times when you can see enemies behind closed doors, as their graphics are clipping right though the door (though they can't hurt you). And when a zombie is walking towards you and you blast it's head off, it will keep walking RIGHT THROUGH YOU and then fall to the ground. I cannot give the graphics a "10" when they have huge problems like this. It just makes it look, well, "unfinished". But these issues are also minor and the graphics are still outstanding, damn it!

El Gigante looks like that one thing from Lord of the Rings. However when Leon hangs
on a ledge, he doesn't purposely let go FOR NO REASON like Gandalf did (in the movie,
anyway). That's cuz Leon thinks at least somewhat logically.

Sound: 8/10
The sound does a wonderful job as well. It is presented in Dolby Pro Logic II and the surround sound is quite convincing. It was great hearing zombies through my left and right surrounds. I would know where they were and I could turn around and shoot their heads off because I am da shizzle. Very good ambient sounds create the perfect mood for the game. There is some music and it is good, but none of it is memorable or worth buying the OST for. But it is fitting and gets the job done and is not in any way to be considered "bad". The voice acting is pretty cool for the most part as well, and there is quite a bit of it. When I got to the boss fight with Krauser, everything began to sound a little distorted. After the Krauser battle (easy) the distortion goes away until you get closer to the end. I assume this effect was intentional, but I did not care for it.

This guy won't be using his right shoulder again. That'll teach him to speak Spanish!
If he tries to speak French then his head will be the next to go!

Gameplay: 9/10
Wow. Where to begin? First of all the game controls extremely well. Yes, turning can seem extremely slow when you are aiming your weapon, but it was never an issue for me during gameplay. I feared that this game would control crappily like previous Resident Evil games, but I was proven wrong right away and I absolutely fell in love with the game. There is lots to do, collect, buy, and upgrade. There are even sub mission like shooting talismans and practicing at a gun range. The game can become quite frustrating, but it is never "too hard" which I am thankful for. It's more "challenging" than "hard", in fact. I really got sick of fighting El Gigante. He's not overly difficult, just extremely annoying. I hate it when ANY game repeats bosses. It shows lack of creativity. No boss should be repeated in any game ever, period. Most of the bosses are extremely easy once you figure them out. For instance once I got to Krauser I thought he was the hardest boss ever. He wouldn't die, moved around extremely fast and could take shots like nobody's business. But then I stumbled onto something. I eventually beat him without firing more than a few rounds and using only 1 or 2 herbs at the most. I was proud of myself for discovering that trick! The last boss isn't as easy as magazines like EGM might lead you to believe. In fact it took me two tries to get past him. EGM made it sound much easier than that. The "escape" sequence after that really sucks ass because of HORRIBLE controls, and I died many, many times (sometimes for seemingly no reason) due to the crappy controls (and also my busted Gamecube controller which happened the first time I fought Krauser). I must get a new controller tomorrow.

This hatchet tossing zombie is about to bet Bobbitized in the worst possible way!
And I know that they are technically not "zombies". But to me they sure are.

One aspect of the game that pissed me off was escorting Ashley, the President's daughter around. My enjoyment of the game decreased significantly when she was around. I hated looking out for her sorry ass. And Leon isn't even interested in getting into her pants! But it was fun to leave her alone in a room, smash my way through 6 more rooms of zombies, press the button which makes Leon say "Follow me" and wait for her to run back to me from a quarter of a mile away. Despite the flaws that I mentioned, the gameplay of Resident Evil 4 is so good that it easily makes up for them. My first time through took me a little over 17 hours total. I had heard reports of people taking an average of 21 hours their first time through. I wasn't hurrying or anything. Maybe everyone else spent 4 extra hours of their time at the shooting gallery. Or maybe other people didn't know that you can run if you hold the li'l red button and ended up walking everywhere. Once you beat the game, you even get a few cool things. "Assignment Ada" is a goal-based quest which sheds some new light on things. And "The Mercenaries" is a arcadey shoot-em-up which exists for pure arcade thrills alone, along with rockin' music, playable characters to unlock and a time limit. Hell yeah!

Beware of the twin-chainsaw wielding dudes and dudettes. This game
is definitely NOT for anyone under 5 years of age.

Wrap up:
This is probably the best game for the Gamecube. Do not pass this up. It is worth owning a Gamecube for. It is worth owning NOW. It is a quest game that I didn't get bored with. That should tell you something. This game rocks HARD!
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