follow us:

Latest News

Uncharted 4 out on March 18 with multiple special editions
One of gaming’s iconic character, Nathan Drake, and his eight-year globe-trotting adventure, will conclude in the fourth chapter on March 18, 2016.... [read more]
Get the led out with The Taken King in the official launch trailer
Bungie released an official launch trailer for the upcoming Destiny expansion, The Taken King. ... [read more]
Dat Rocket League
O.G. and Harlem talk about their newest addition: Rocket League. There are some other games but OMG ROCKET LEAGUE! ... [read more]

Latest Articles

Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most p... [read more]
It doesn't matter how you get your Gjallarhorn
Destiny has seen its share of ups and downs. From the amazingly unbalanced Vex Mythoclast Fusion Rifle to its poor story, players have had plenty of reasons to trash the game. And now, the ultimate storm of garbage has landed. The Destiny community lost its mind when the Gja... [read more]
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Beta shows that the series still has some fight
The Gears of War: Ultimate Edition beta has ended and it has been an experience. With only multiplayer available to play, I was in game after game of Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill. With a shiny new presentation and new features, is this attempt enough to re-ignite th... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Batman: Arkham Knight Review: A fitting end for the Dark Knight
Rocksteady Studios did the unthinkable in 2009 by making a game based on a comic an actual GOTY contender. The follow-up, Arkham City, continued the pattern of quality and faithfulness to the comic making for another great game. To finish off the series, Rocksteady is back w... [read more]
Heroes of the Storm Review: The WoW of MOBAs is here
MOBAs are becoming more and more common as the competitive arena of choice. League of Legends and DotA changed the face of eSports by putting the new genre in the spotlight. Blizzard has entered the fray with their answer in the form of Heroes of the Storm.... [read more]
Dying Light Review: What happens when you do Dead Island correctly
Zombie massacre simulator is the description that comes to mind when I think of Techland's Dying Light. With so many implements of undead doom at your disposal, you can easily lose yourself in trying every weapon and item you come across. The real question, though, is does t... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric Review: Citizens of Earth Review (Wii U)
Remember Earthbound? Well, Citizens of Earth is like Earthbound, but not really. 8-Bit Eric explains why. ... [read more]
Let's Play - Her Story Pt. 1-3
Her Story is a different take on the adventure genre formula. There's a mystery to be solved, but instead of solving puzzles or talking to people, all you have to do is search for the right video. ... [read more]
O.G. Preview - Skyhill is 99 floors of random horror
Developed by Mandragora Studio, Skyhill is a different take on the "survive the zombie apocalypse" gameplay. Rather than having a whole world to explore, Skyhill puts you in a hotel with 99 randomly-generated floors. ... [read more]
Resident Evil 4 Review
Posted on March 22, 2009 by Original-Gamer.com

We have come to the conclusion of Retro Resident Evil Reviews, with Resident Evil 4. This game was a reinvention of Capcom's classic series. Not only did it change the gameplay for the better, it brought in a whole new audience (while also creating a most vocal bunch of detractors). As we see in the current political climate of 2009, some people just do not like change, even if it is for the better.

Resident Evil 4 first started development shortly after Code Veronica was released and would go through 3 versions before arriving at its finished version on the Gamecube on January 11, 2005. The previous versions include the game that would ultimately become Devil May Cry, a haunting version that featured creepy dolls and Silent Hill type scares, and the most promising version that had the over the shoulder camera of the final as well as a hook man that would stalk you throughout the game. Alongside Resident Evil 1.5, these versions should really be released on a bonus disc, just so series' veterans can see the evolution of RE4 into the masterwork that it eventually became.

Resident Evil's storyline is set in 2004/2005. Leon S. Kennedy has been in secret training with an anti-Umbrella group to hone his skills and now works for a branch of the US Secret Service, protecting the President's family. It was when he was about to take over as the protector of the President's daughter, that she was abducted on her way home from her college in Massachusetts. Leon has received intel that she has been spotted in a remote area of Spain, so he immediately sent overseas to check it out. The game begins just as Leon is heading toward Ashley Graham's (The Prez's daughter) latest confirmed location, with two Spanish policia in tow.

The graphics in Resident Evil 4 really elevate the Gamecube, doing things visually that you thought was only possible on Xbox or other systems. Again it was Capcom who once again showed not to write off a system as graphically inferior just because some consoles are easier to program for than others...

Details abound in RE4, from the new look of Leon, right down to his sexy cowlick and bomber jacket, to the impressive vistas of the Spanish countryside. The village is often mentioned as the best section in the game, and I think that the visuals have a lot to do with all the praise. The village has a real dingy look to it, like it is out of time, but as you seen more of it, you recognize plenty of modern technology. It is a real visual trick to accomplish. A village of Spanish peasants that quickly transforms into a modern terror haven, where danger lurks around many a corner.

The visual detail is also rich in the backgrounds, from twisted trees and snags to rope bridges to massive lakes, the village is a sight to behold. The first time I played the game, I was nervous as I crossed the suspension bridge over the lake near the first El Gigante fight, simply because of the note that mentioned Del Lago. A great tense situation, even though my concerns were mostly unfounded. Too bad.

Speaking of the first playthrough, I almost totally missed a visual detail that is definitely great, hidden background treasures. From crows to bird's nests, there are a lot of hidden areas to shoot for treasure and items that one can easily miss due an initial playthrough. The best games always force you to see the game a different way on subsequent playthroughs.

Ok, enough on indirect visuals. Let's talk about the enemies. RE4 definitely continues the Resident Evil tradition of very inspired enemy design. From the plain looking villagers all the way to the Comillos and Novistadors, Leon's adversaries are a menacing lot. The initial shock of fighting what seems to be little more than pissed off villagers gradually yields to the tragedy of their current existence. This doesn't mean that they are any less effective at making the player feel unease. I especially like when you shoot them in the shoulder and they wince back, then quickly recover with a great glare in their eyes. Make sure to shoot them again quickly...

Last in this overally long section on graphics are the bosses. These uber enemies are some of the most visually imposing creature creations in gaming history. The funny thing is that all of these monstrosities really just spring from the same type of affliction that affects the villagers. What Capcom was able to do creatively with such a simple idea is a work of genius. From El Gigante to Del Lago to Garrador, you won't forget these bosses easily.

Don't worry, gentle readers. Music will not go on as long. And this is simply because Resident Evil 4 failed to reverse the emerging trend that started with Resident Evil Rebirth on the Gamecube. The score in RE4 is still good, and rather effective in-game, but frankly, these, for the most part, are not good musical compositions. There are some highlights to be sure, but it is far too ambient for my liking. And as you know, ambient music can be a bitter pill to swallow for outside the game. I don't quite regret buying the game's score on CD, but I am wishing it had been available on iTunes or suchlike so I could have just gotten the highlights.

These highlights include Hard Road to the Castle, The Theme of Krauser, and Back Fire. Krauser's Theme is very ominous, which is definitely reflective of his character. Back Fire is a piece that makes me very nostalgic for past RE scores. It is a great action piece that hearkened back to the action fest that was Resident Evil 3:Nemesis. Sounding rather Ramboish in its booming horns and sound presence, I really wish more of the score had been written with the game's obvious emphasis on action taken into consideration.

Sound effects in RE4 are not really an improvement for Resident Evil, as past games relied heavily on such for scares. You could often hear something, but not see it. I can only think of one time such a technique is used in RE4, just before you meet the Novistadors for the first time. What the game does excel at is the taunts/threats of the Spanish enemies. There is a myriad of sayings that the enemies can use and many of them are situational, say if they are right behind you... Great stuff. I can't type Spanish well, but they say everything from "Grab him" to "A Stranger" to "Kill, Kill, Kill..." This well thought out vocal presentation does a lot to instill the scariness that has been removed from other parts of the gameplay.

Gameplay in Resident Evil 4 was regarded as a massive change to the core RE gameplay, but the truth must be told. The only thing that really changed in the gameplay was the lack of static backgrounds and a new aiming system. It is because of these two great changes that the game really feels like something completely new. The controls are actually the same, move left or right to turn left or right and so on. It just felt different, and perhaps served to show detractors that the old RE control scheme was functional for those games.

The free aiming system is a huge improvement, as you can now trip up enemies by shooting them in the ankles, or stun them by shooting them in the faces, through which the game's context action system comes into play. Leon can do roundhouse kicks to the face or short kicks, all meant to give more breathing room to the combat when facing multiple enemies at a time. A great new feature that the forthcoming RE5 definitely seems to expand on.

The old inventory system is also gone. No more magic item boxes and limited item capacity. Leon instead has an attache case that can be upgraded. Whatever you can fit into it, you can hold. Ammo takes up one slot for a certain amount of ammo, and weapons can be placed in multiple orientations to allow you to fit it all. Also treasure and key items finally have their own inventory space, which eliminates second guessing about which item you going to need at what time. I really like this system and it was a long time coming.

Another new addition is the Quicktime events. Sure, other games like Shenmue and Dragon's Lair had them in the past, but RE4 uses them like they are new once again, in that they are very well integrated into cutscenes and boss fights. Never take your hands off the controller, lest you find yourself dead all of a sudden! A latter cutscene makes especially great use of QTE events, and is fun to watch every time.

Lastly, we have the new money and merchant system. Money is dropped by defeated enemies or found throughout the game and can be used at any of the traveling merchants, who always seem to be one step ahead of you. You can buy weapons, bigger cases, and weapon upgrades. To afford these items, you can also sell unwanted supplies and treasures that you can find throughout the game. I also like the merchant's Australian accent. "Ah, I'll buy it at a high price!"

Challenge is something that is up to the player; at least in the way I understand it. In the original Gamecube version, I am told that the game adjusts its difficulty (number of enemies, herbs dropped etc.) based on how much the player dies, is hurt, and suchlike. I think this was removed from the other versions of the game, mostly because the First Aid Sprays that you can buy no longer accumulate. You can only buy them if you have like no other healing items, which is a change for the better, but can make the game harder I guess.

Besides trying to explain this system (that may not even exist anymore) Resident Evil 4 is a pretty easy game, especially if you use the environments to your advantage and are not overly trigger-happy. Of course this opinion comes from a veteran of Resident Evil games, but if I had to chose the easiest RE game, this would be it.

Replay value is very high for this game, there are difficulties to unlock, some very neat bonus weapons, bonus modes, and other content that you'll definitely like. To put it in perspective, I played the Gamecube version of this game 5 times, the PS2 4 times, and the Wii 5 times so far since 2005. I would say that serves to define RE4 as having great replayability.

Now we need to discuss the ports of Resident Evil 4. Gamecube fanboys were annoyed when Capcom went back on their GC exclusivity promise for RE4 a few months before the GC release. As it was going to be released about 9 months later, I was not even sure I wanted to buy the Gamecube version, perhaps renting it would be enough?

That all changed when I saw the review scores for RE4, I expected it to be a very good game, but not necessarily one for the ages. I decided it wasn't worth the wait based on these outstanding scores. So the question became, would the PS2 version be worth getting as well?

The funniest thing during the wait for the PS2 version was the reaction of Nintendo fanboys. There were funny movies people made of RE4 on the Gamecube comparing it to the forthcoming PS2 version. As the PS2 was graphically inferior, people used massive hyperbole by suggesting that the PS2 version would have Atari like graphics. Very amusing.

Anyway, when the game came out, I ended up buying it simply because there was some extra content. Coming from the person who bought the PS2 Code Veronica port mostly because it had 5 minutes of new scenes, one can see it doesn't take much to convince me to buy a new version if I love the game.

The PS2 version has quite a bit of new content, but the most advertised was the inclusion of 5 chapters for the mysterious Ada Wong, known as Separate Ways. This would depict what she was doing while Leon was off saving Ashley. It is a lengthy addition, and adds some unique storyline elements, like the fate of a certain character. It is also fun to see familiar events from Ada's point of view. Separate Ways makes the PS2 version worth it just by itself.

The biggest concern was this version's graphics. Capcom put a lot of effort in making RE4 look as good as possible on the PS2 and they did a great job. While quite a few areas look noticeably grainier and more washed out than the GC version, (check out the inventory screen) some places actually look better (zoom in with binoculars when you first get to the village to see proof). The PS2 version also features true widescreen 4:3 support, whereas the Gamecube was merely letterboxed to give that illusion.

Due to the addition of Separate Ways, we have some new music, such as a new Ganado theme and an underground shipyard, both of which can be counted alongside the best pieces of the original score. The new weapons have fun sound effects, I especially like the ping sound of the bowgun bolts. Very destructive.

Gameplay is pretty much the same as the Gamecube version. Little changes abound, mostly for balancing issues or regional changes. For whatever reason, some of the weapon stats were changed in the PAL Gamecube release of RE4. These changes, like higher firepower for the Red5 and Bolt Action Rifle are incorporated into the PS2 version. Ada's new scenario has some new weapons, like a pretty lame shotgun (which might be better if you could upgrade it: weapon upgrades are not a possibility in Separate Ways, lame...) and a awesome bowgun. Be careful how you use the bowgun, as you may end up hurting yourself!

In challenge, the PS2 version is probably a bit easier than the Gamecube version on Normal due to the more powerful weapons. There is also a new weapon for Leon upon beating the game in Professional difficulty, which is definitely harder in one scene towards the end of the game. Lastly, Leon and Ashley have a new costume each, one of which makes going through the game somewhat easier, especially as you can use it as you play Professional.

Replay value gets an automatic increase, as you need to beat the game to unlock Ada's new scenario. If it wasn't for the gameplay changes, I would have been pretty annoyed at this. But I guess that there is no other way, it couldn't have been like the later released Devil May Cry 3:Special Edition. It is also nice that there is a reason to play through Professional mode besides higher difficulty.

In summation, Resident Evil 4 is probably the greatest RE game and one of the best games I've ever played. Some lament that fear and jump moments have given way to gunplay and increased action, but it really is for the best in keeping Resident Evil at the forefront of video game excellence. I say play RE 3 to see that Resident Evil has been doing that for quite a while.

RE 4 is a must play, a must own, a must replay, a must everything! I've tried many times to make a Top Ten Favorite Games Ever list, and I usually don't get past 3 or 4. It is just that hard to name the best of the best. I do know one thing though. Resident Evil secures its place as my number 2. If you've not played it, I can't fathom why, there really is something for any kind of gamer in the masterpiece that is Resident Evil 4.

 

Original-Gamer.com - Original-Gamer.com og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for September?

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Mad Max
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
SOMA
NBA 2K16
Destiny: The Taken King
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
FIFA 16
Tearaway Unfolded
NHL 16
Blood Bowl 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Super Mario Maker
Forza Motorsport 6
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Dat Rocket League


Resident Evil 4 Review

Resident Evil 4 Review

Resident Evil 4 Review

Other Gaming News From The Web