Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

Nintendo Wii
Release date:
June 19, 2007

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

Witness los ganados at their finest.

Review by Valerie Hilgenfeldt (Email)
August 20th 2007

Roughly seven years ago, Rockfort Island's mutated inhabitants were giving me hell. My lack of foresight led to wasting a lot of ammunition there; I hadn't thought about how much I'd need those grenades and handgun bullets. Facing the Tyrant in a do-or-die situation made me realize what terrible mistakes I'd made, but it was too late for me. I couldn't do anything to stop him. I couldn't go on.

A few deaths and failed retries later, I reset my Dreamcast, restarted Resident Evil - CODE: Veronica, and remembered one thing: Treat my bullets like the precious, irreplaceable babies they were. That was the first and last time I restarted from scratch in a Resident Evil title (to date), even though the newest release in the series, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, is much tougher than RE:CV was.

When it debuted in 2005, RE4 was an unexpected departure from the B-movie trappings the series was known for. Gone were the virus-infested, slouched and slow zombies of yesteryear; the diseased inhabitants of a far away European village had replaced them.

Resident Evil 4 is that well-crafted of a game, and the Wii version is the pinnacle of its existence

The surrounding world was beautifully crafted in full 3D, rather than static 2D. Sluggish controls were abandoned, and fine-tuned ones took their place. Yes, two years ago, all those supplantations came together in a refreshing Resident Evil title that expanded the franchise's user base and won itself numerous awards. It deserved that attention in 2005, but time can be unkind to games.

It's hardly harmed RE4. The definitive edition of the latest Resident Evil, the Wii edition is an upgraded port, complete with the PS2 version's additions and the GameCube's finer graphics. Exuding quality, its design and gameplay outshine a fair amount of recently developed titles. What more could Shinji Mikami ask for? He'd sworn the original release wouldn't leave Nintendo's purple system, and in 2007, it's made a triumphant return on its shiny white successor.

That doesn't mean everything's rosy in megalomaniacal plagas-monster land. Leon's latest adventure had better voice acting than its predecessors, and its suspenseful storyline mopped up the mess of B-movie schlock. That was outdone a few months later when God of War was released, with cinema-quality voiceovers and superior cinematic presentation. Mainstream western titles are getting bigger amounts of attention, and what made RE4 stand out against its forefathers does the same today, but that doesn't mean it's the coolest kid in the schoolyard anymore.

That's not to say that you wouldn't want to hang out with it if you've got a Wii. Anyone who played RE4 before won't be shocked when they start this one up; I had a rather easy time remembering where all the foes were hiding, and I hadn't touched the title in two years. That says something about the difficulty and the inherent requirement to memorize stages, but it's still so compelling that veterans should have a blast. Being familiar yet exciting is something most games can't lay claim to.

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