Wii Review: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition is an old game now. The first game was released on GameCube in 2005 and then was subsequently ported to Playstation with and eventually terrorised PCs. The Wii Edition was released as one of the “launch titles” for Capcom in 2007 for Nintendo Wii boasting a “complete new control scheme taking advantage of the Wiimote’s motion control”. With so many iterations of Resident Evil 4 and with most gamers having already finished Resident Evil 5 normal and gold edition, it seems to be a bit too late to review the Wii Edition of Resident Evil 4 now. However, considering Capcom is now updating Resident Evil 5 with Playstation Move capability and with the imminent release of Resident Evil: Afterlife with the plagas taking centre stage, it seems a good time to revisit the game that redefined both the series and the genre.

Resident Eeeevil Fooour!

By now most people who’d played the series should know the premises of Resident Evil 4. However, if you haven’t been following the series, long story short, Resident Evil 4 kicked off in a remote Spanish village where Leon S Kennedy from Resident Evil 2 fame was deployed to rescue the President’s daughter Ashley Graham. Now a well-trained agent as compared to his rookie cop status in Resident Evil 2, Leon is ready for some new challenges.

When Capcom said they revamped the game for Wii to take advantage of the Wiimote’s motion controls to provide the best experience of the game, it is silly not to look at the control scheme first.

The Wii Edition’s control system uses both the nun-chuck and Wiimote. You use the nun-chuck analogue stick to move your characters in a third person view. Pressing the Z button on the nun-chuck while moving your character will run (and sometimes pant at the same time). When you aim, you hold the Wiimote and press the B trigger. You will immediately be moved to a shoulder view. But instead of a small red laser dot you saw in the previous versions, you now have a huge circular crosshair that turns from green to red when the plagas and their hosts are within hitting range. Pressing A on the Wiimote will shoot (though I would prefer to press A to aim and the B trigger for shooting). The crosshair and the nun-chuck analogue stick have to work together to look around while aiming. At first it seems the control system has washed down the difficulty. However Capcom has increased the number of enemy counts on screen to balance out the advantage of easier targeting. Oh one thing you have to remember is that you have to point your Wiimote at the TV at all times, or the crosshair will disappear and you won’t be able to aim and shoot.

Crowd control

Knifing still plays an important role in Resident Evil 4. It is the best way to conserve hard to come by ammos. You press the small C button on the nun-chuck to take you knife out and press A to knife. You can knife your enemies and all breakable objects such as crates, barrels, pots and glass cabinets. However, certain crates and barrels contain snakes that will bite you if you’re not careful enough. Luckily, by keeping the A button down Leon will just continue with his knifing easily killing these annoying reptiles. If you managed to kill the snakes, they will usually yield an egg. But if you are not careful your knifing will break the egg costing you a precious healing item. Also if you are in the heat of action and needs quick knifing to push your enemies back you can now quickly flick your Wiimote and Leon will do a quite knifing for you. But it will not stay on as you did with the A button trick.

You reload your weapons by pressing the B trigger and a quick flick of the Wiimote . Or if you prefer a more traditional approach, you can press the B trigger then the down button on the D-pad for a quick reload. One of the nice touches Capcom put into this game is that you can now hear the reloading sound from the speaker of your Wiimote, adding a bit of fun to the process.

Girl power

Inventory management in Resident Evil 4 diverted itself from the standard slot options in other Resident Evil games. Leon now carries an attach case with him that can be expanded through upgrades to cramp in all the goodies he found. However you will need to reorganise your items in the most efficient ways to maximise you attach case’s capabilities. You change your equipment by pressing the “-“ button to open the attach case and chose the weapon you want to equip. This is not as efficient as the on the fly approach in Resident Evil 5 but then it allows you to plan your inventory better. It will be good if you still have the attach case but then can apply quick access to your equipment for quick switch over when you are in the heat of battles.

Residient Evil 4 is an old game. Although it pushed the Cube to its limits when it was first released, it is inevitable that the game looks dated when you first loaded it. The fact that Capcom hadn’t buffed up the graphics for this port (even though it used the more superior Cube graphics engine) had cost the game in the graphics department. The picture looked grainy and fuzzy at times and the sharpness and atmospheric feel it demonstrated on the Cube were just not there. However, after I replaced the standard cable with a component cable, the game immediately restored to its previous glory. So I will strongly suggest anyone who wants to play this game to invest in a component cable to get the best out of the game.

The Wii Edition comes packed with loads of extras from both the Cube and PS2 versions. On top of the original mercenaries (which you can play as Leon, Ada Wong, Hunk, Jack Krauser and Albert Wesker) and Assignment Ada modes from the Cube, this version also included the PS2 exclusive Separate Ways. Also the additional costumes from the PS2 version were packed in for your personal preference. On top of that, the plagas remover laser gun in the Wii version was also given an upgrade. Now it can shoot in all directions in one go once charged, as compared to the single straight-line model in the PS2 version.

I'm so going to have RSI after finishing this...

So how did the game stack up? Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is still a superior game. The new motion control system works fine most of the time. I said most of time only because there were indeed awkward moments that the motion controls feel tagged on and just didn’t cut it. For example there were times that you need to shake your Wiimote to run but then suddenly you have to press A+B together to dodge. Shaking and pressing buttons in consecutive and random manners sometimes just didn’t work well. Also there are moments you need to quickly dodge your enemies’ attack by quick flicks with your Wiimote. That one wasn’t as sensitive at times either. Also Resident Evil 4 is not as rewarding a game as Resident Evil 5. In Resident Evil 4 if you attempt a higher difficulty of the game, you’ll need to start from budget equipment again as compared to 5 that you can bring your level up gadgets with you. All the unlocked and upgraded weapons are only available on replays. However, Capcom did put in some nice touches like utilising the speaker on the Wiimote smartly from time to time to provide a bit more realism between your game and your controller. So overall, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is still a great game. If you haven’t played it I will recommend you to give it a go. If you have played the previous versions, this is still a worthy entry to the family.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About the Author

Level up freak. Level 99 is a norm not a goal. Love my JRPGs and RPGs in general. Also love my platformers and puzzle games. Was addicted to Zoo Keeper, Magnetica, Animal Crossing, Disgaea DS, Dragon Quest IX and White Knight Chronicles. Prefer to spend my time away from gaming as an actor although do have a full time job that keeps my mortgage going. But generally love anything creative. And if anyone tells you gaming is a waste of time, tell them you have great eye, hand and brain coordinations that they will never have!