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Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

95
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (951)
Written on  :  Sep 24, 2011

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Summary

No disrespect to my fellow Mobygamers, but am I the only one who notices the bad things in this game?

The Good

The game looks absolutely gorgeous, I didn't even know the GameCube was capable of producing anything that looks like this, hell I didn't even know the Wii could handle these graphics. Everything just looks insanely awesome and it was during a boss-fight with a giant fish that I was halfway expecting the system to just explode because of all the awesomeness on the screen. Yes, everything is brown and a lot of character models are recycled, but I don't give a damn, it's great.

The best part about this game is its variety, you never solve the same puzzle twice or encounter the same scenario more then once. I was always filled with glee once a certain section was finished, just because it meant I could discover what the game had in store for me next. The earlier mentioned fight with the giant fish is a great example, but there was also a great scene in which you and a support character hide in an abandoned building while dozens of angry peasants try to enter it from all sides.

I also really love the characters, while the story is what you expect from Capcom (it's absolutely retarded, but that's why we all love the company so much). The mysterious Luis felt like a true friend and Ashley was much more enjoyable to have along then I expected. Salazar was also just a barrel of fun, but I won't spoil him because that might rob you off the biggest "rofl" you'll ever have.

The inventory screen is revolutionary; the idea is that you have a suitcase and every item (bullets, weapons, herbs etc.) takes up a certain amount of spaces. A herb is only two spaces, but a pistol already takes up four and if you want a rocket launcher (or some other big weapon) you'll have to cut corners. Items can also be stacked and combined in order to save space and you can also destroy anything in your inventory at any time you wish. It's also interesting to spend a few minutes puzzling around with all the items in an attempt to still fit another gun somewhere.

Because of all the different weapons in the game you are able to decide your own style, you don't have as much choice as in an RPG, but you can still throw away all your weapons in favor of an SMG if you really want. Personally I stuck to the always reliable pistol and shotgun with a sniper and rocket launcher as back-up. Here is a little hint though: Always have a sniper on you, if you don't, you will not make it past the sections in the military base.

I don't get why this game is filed under the horror category, there were maybe two sections that made me feel afraid were that one part where you have no weapons and one moment very early on when a farmer I presumed to be dead placed a pitchfork in my throat while I was looking for secret coins. The crowning moment of this game is in a boss-fight with the village elder that looks like a scary enemy at first, but after a few shots his lower body will drop off and he will swing around the barn like a hyperactive monkey on Red Bull.

This game was a gift from a good friend, so it will always be a cherished part of my collection.

The Bad

Every once in a while this game will pull a dick move extraordinaire and randomly throw a Quick-time event at you. There are the standard ones like spam a button to free yourself from a grip and kicking a stunned enemy, but during some cutscenes you will also have to quickly press a button combination in order to avoid an instant kill. However not all cutscenes do this, even if Leon is in danger, so you never know when to be ready for it. The game also cheeky habit of placing a snake in like six boxes spread across the entire game, so if you are low on health and hoping a box will have herbs in it, you'll get to eat shit.

The controls are horrendous, is there any other game out there where you use the right-trigger to aim your weapon and A to fire? If so, then that means that more then one developers needs to start making sense. The now free left-trigger is used to ready your knife instead which is also fired by tapping A, can we leave the A button alone for mercies sake? The A button is for performing actions like jumping and crawling, that's what it's comfortable with! Aside from that there is also the slow movement, the fact that you need to arse Leon to open the door faster even if a mad Spaniard is throwing axes at him and the lack of precision when trying to navigate past traps.

Talking about traps, why the hell can enemies walk over them without hilariously screaming as the sharpened metal chops off their feet? When they walk over them nothing happens, even if you join them it still doesn't work (the metal only hurts you). You can cause some traps to explode and that will hurt enemies, but it still doesn't make much sense.

The game has no autosave, so if you start playing this game at night and get stuck halfway through the chapter, I hope you weren't planning on going to work the next day. There are typewriters which can be used to save progress mid-chapter, just like the radios in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, but they are hidden (oddly enough also like in MoH). You can see them on your map, but I forgot I had the map because finding the right way to go on your own is much more fun than opening your inventory every ten seconds. Also, this is the kind of game where a boss-fight can be around every corner, so don't ever skip on a chance to safe.

The game kind of collapses when you arrive at the military complex, the problem is that from that point onward you won't see any of the peasants and cultists anymore and you'll just end up fighting lots of armed soldiers like every other damned shooter. At this point I was ten hours into the game, but it felt like freaking thirty and then there were the regenarators... oh Christ. Here is the deal, these bastards have parasites in them that regenerate all their damage, so in order to kill them you have to kill the parasites (not the parasites doing the actual healing work, those are somehow unrelated). The only way to see the parasites however is to use a scope that turns the game into a blurry episodes of "My Little Pony", but the damned scope only fucks ON SNIPERS! If you were planning to go through this game without using once, well too bad, you won't. After running into yet another one (I checked his body, no parasites, but he still activated when I opened a nearby door) I officially quit this game.

The Bottom Line

I don't know why everybody is complaining about Ashley, throughout the game she was only captured twice. There was one time when my Viking background got to her and she suddenly attempted to block an incoming boulder fired from a catapult with her face, but it was well comically timed, so I didn't hold it against the game. I am the only one who doesn't seem to love this game, which places me in an awkward position as a reviewer, but I think it is because I have so many games I'd much rather play waiting to be reviewed (Majora's Mask OMG!!!!).

The bad timing aside though: Resident Evil is without a doubt one of the best shooters you can possibly find. There are lots of flaws. but it's also completely unique and the amount of variety will guarantee you a good time. The game also looks spectacular, so if graphics are a big deal to you, you won't have to miss out on this game (as opposed to say... Psychonauts).

A fan of the Resident Evil franchise may dislike the lack of zombies or the distance from the original plot (Wesker is only briefly mentioned and Leon and Ada are the only characters in the game that appeared in other RE games). This is however the perfect game for new people like me who want to give the long-running Horror series a try. Just remember, you will have to pay for the privilege and I didn't :D.