Resident Evil 4
As soon as I booted up the Wii Edition, I felt an overwhelming sense of deja vu: The graphics looked almost identical to the Gamecube version and the extra content was already available on the PS2. I thought the only thing different in the game was the motion sensing controls on the Wii Remote.
- Wii controls are intuitive and fun, PS2 extras included.
- Lack of new content is disappointing, no noticeable upgrade to graphics.
It might be a few years old now, but Resident Evil 4 remains one of the best games ever created.
And you know what? I was right, and I thought that it would equate to a boring, been-there-done-that experience. Oh, how I would come to pay for my small-mindedness.
A Picnic With Malachai
See, the Wii Edition's control scheme is nothing new or revolutionary. The analogue stick on the nunchuck moves Leon while the remote aims weapons and executes attacks. In scenes where Leon must dismember a giant Las Plagas or shake off villager attacks, the remote must be shaken rapidly, while the timed games require the same precision button presses from before. Using the knife is as intuitive as slashing the remote horizontally through the air. Every movement is exactly what I thought it would be.
But the controls do so much more than that. It affects the pacing of the game and lends to the creepy ambiance that always works so well in Resident Evil games. When I found myself cornered in a small room with a chainsaw wielding maniac, my pulse increased, I found it difficult to aim my gun and I became overwhelmed with the urge to run and hide. This is the first game I've played on the Wii where the physical, hands-on nature of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck actually drew me in deeper to the reality of the game.
Same Disembodied Head, New Gooey Center
In fact, although I played and beat both previous versions of the game, the Wii's control scheme helped make this version feel like an entirely new experience. At first I felt let down by the lack of improvements in the graphics, but this is Resident Evil 4 we're talking about: once I got past the initial disappointment, the deep gameplay, the creepy atmosphere and the finely tuned action took a hold of me like a zombie hand reaching up from a freshly dug grave.
The fact that this is value priced is just the cherry on top. Had Capcom tried to charge the full price, it would have had a legion of upset fans banging at its doorstep, so the budget price tag was an ingeniously diabolical move all around. Yes, the lack of new content is disappointing and there is a rather steep learning curve to overcome before aiming with the Wii Remote becomes second-nature. But come on! Marrying an innovative control scheme to the best survival action game ever and presenting at a bargain price is something even the most brain-dead zombie can get behind. Isn't it?
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