[Review] Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

18 Jun

(This review is geared towards people who have played the original versions of Resident Evil 4 for the GCN and PS2. I’ll briefly go over the core gameplay, but mostly I’ll be focusing on the new features exclusive to the Wii edition.)

Resident Evil 4 began as a highlight of the Nintendo GameCube’s library before making its way to the PlayStation 2 with a few added features, and finally the Wii with new motion controls. The core gameplay is the same in all versions of the game, making any version of RE4 a definite buy for any serious gamer.

Despite the series’ popularity, many were turned off by the tank controls and fixed camera angles of past RE titles. Capcom did an excellent job transforming the gameplay of the series into something modern gamers can instantly appreciate.

While the game takes a few steps away from its “survival horror” roots by adding checkpoints and an option for do-overs, the limited ammo and healing item aspect is still present along side a few welcome additions that greatly add to the game’s replay value.

Throughout the mission, returning hero Leon Kennedy comes across a mysterious merchant who offers various firearms and customizations to their various stats. You raise money by taking out the game’s zombie-like enemies (who can now run, wield weapons, and coordinate their attacks) and selling treasure. There are a few extra modes that are unlocked after beating the game, each of which can grant you access to incredibly powerful and fun weapons that you can buy in your next, new game+ file.

The original GCN version of RE4 offered The Mercenaries, an addictive arcade style mode that had you controlling five different killing machines to rack up loads of points in a strict time limit; and Assignment Ada, a side-story that returns you to some familiar areas from the game for some more fun.

In the PS2 version, Capcom added in Separate Ways, a four-hour adventure detailing Ada’s side of the story. They also threw in a new weapon that only the most hardcore players would be able to wield.

All of these extra modes, in addition to new motion controls, are present in the Wii Edition.

The first thing you’ll notice on the Wii Edition is a green cross-hair where the Wiimote is pointing. Holding down B on the Wiimote will aim your current weapon. You pivot with the control stick on the Nunchuk but aim with the cross-hair. When the cross-hair hovers over a target, be it a Ganado or a destructible piece of environment, it turns red and sends a short vibration through the Wiimote. While you’re aiming, you can shake the Wiimote to reload or you can just press any direction on the D-pad. The motion control actually feels more comfortable than the button press, but it’s not quite as good as the original GCN control. Aiming feels much more comfortable, however, and is quite fun.

Holding the C button on the Nunchuk readies the knife, and pressing A will slash, but you can also shake the Wiimote to execute a slash. If you shake the Wiimote without holding C, Leon will turn and slash at the nearest target. This feature isn’t really handy in battle, but it works well when tearing through boxes and pots for treasure or ammo. Overall, the knife controls are decent though you may find yourself shaking the Wiimote much faster than you can actually slash, sort of defeating the purpose of the motion control.

The quick button press cutscenes and occasional boss dodges now require you to either press A and B together on the Wiimote or quickly swing the Wiimote to the left or right. These scenes were unnecessary in the original and are still unwelcome here.

Overall, the biggest effect the motion controls have on RE4 is with the aiming, which is nicely done and comprises majority of the gamplay anyway. Some of the basic controls may feel awkward to veterans at first, but they should become familiar by the time the church bell rings. 😛

If you have the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4, you may want to skip the Wii Edition. You should note, though, that as a port, Capcom was nice enough to offer the game at the budget price of $30, making this game a good buy for anyone who hasn’t had the privilege to play it yet.

If you have the GCN version and enjoyed it, I’d recommend the Wii Edition. Consider it your excuse to finally check out Separate Ways (a healthy four-hour side quest). Chances are, you’ll enjoy the new gunplay controls while you’re at it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: