It's all over. There's nothing left, and we're on a train out of Racoon City, but I don't know how long the peace will last. There's no way to destroy them all.
What were they thinking?!
I guess the best thing I can do now is to get the girls to safety.
What a way to start work. I guess I can forget about the party...
Tuesday, 11th January 2005
I swore off zombies, goddammit! Now they're all over the damn place!
Is this is all a dream, why can't there be more girls?
It has to be the game of the year for 2005, having taken a ridiculously over-recycled title and transformed it into a totally new concept - not only to the genre, but to the world of videogaming. With the transformation came whole new gameplay, grandiouse tweaks to the mechanics, a horrifying soundtrack, and THE MOST realistic graphics seen on a console system.
This is a tribute to the Decendent of The Godfather of Survival Horror Genre, Resident Evil 4.
Before I start though...
ROLE-PLAYING PRICKS LAY OFF, THIS IS ACTION GAMES ZONE.
Cut the bullcrap, give me the gist!
Without sitting through hours upon needless hours of storytelling (ala XENOGEARS, FINAL FANTASY, WILD ARMS, DRAGON QUEST, any other role-playing game, etc etc etc...), Resident Evil 4 manages an engaging storyline about horror-series-veteran Leon Kennedy and his mission to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the United States President - all in a little less than 20 hours of game time, most of which involves you pelting hordes of zombie-like superhuman villagers full of lead.
Like most action games, Resident Evil 4's storyline revolves around nothing more than a rescue mission against a ticking clock, with the protaganist meeting some serious obstacles throughout his journey. Leon's come-back tour is colorized by the inclusion of (va-va-voom) Ada Wong and company, as well as a whole new cast of mutant misfits that brightens the otherwise overused cliche of an action plot.
Action, action, action
It used to tick me off - having to watch an inanimate Leon Kennedy fight zombies like the Tin Man from Oz, waiting for the three-second pause where he would lift the gun only to find the zombies have closed in on me and that I had to run away again.
Well, that was in the age of the PSOne, which has now gone into its tenth year, making the legendary console dust in forgotten lands.
Like all old things, there has have to be improvement; action in the previous Resident Evils didn't quite cut it - Spot an enemy, get distance, draw arms, shoot, shoot shoot... Kinda lame now that you look at it. But all is forgiven because they're Survival Horror games, and action isn't quite the gist of it all.
Resident Evil 4 brings much needed boost of action into the old genre, realizing action game buffs' dreams - Survival Horror with the return element of ass-kicking. The player actually gets to fight back now.
No more sitting around where all I could do was run and run and run. I actually found myself standing ground and decapitating zombies this time round - something I feared to do the last few installations because of lack of ammo.
But no, Resident Evil 4's action isn't just tried and tested - it's fast-paced and virtually conquers any other game with guns. You've got your standard arsenal of handguns, shotguns, and rifles... along with your novelty minethrowers, machine guns, and the always popular magnum.
Add that in with the three types of grenades that Leon can toss at enemies and you've got yourself a John Woo epic in full-flight.
Let's talk about the enemies - mad villagers, mutated crocodiles, giant ogres, invisible bugs. chain-gun soldiers, huge bosses... There's more than enough to make friends with Leon's case of weaponary.
And I'm not talking about taking on the enemies one at a time either. More often than not, Leon will find himself surrounded by throngs of mindless zombie-people, forcing him to use more ammo than necessary to get himself out of the tight fix. And sometimes, they just keep coming. And coming. AND COMING...
What's fun is thinking of ways to despatch the huge crowds - shots to the torso, a suplex following a shot to their knees, or just a sniper-shot between their eyes. It's all up to your imagination.
And she's got a nice face too
First impressions of a game are more often than not based on their looks - the more recent game graphic engines emphasizing on shadow-rendering and lighting effects more than anything else. For example, the Silent Hill Series has always been known for eerie and realistic lighting that goes so well with the ambience.
And then, there are those who look at the character design - how everyone looks in the game, and the variety of facial expressions given to the people. The more expressive the developers make a character, the more excited players get.
Why bother playing a game you'll grow tired of looking at?
With that being said, Resident Evil 4 looks like a dream. From the interactive game levels to the scar on Leon's face, you'll never get tired of staring an ugly moster in the face just to count the number of pimples on it.
Going beyond the game
So to keep players reeling in their seats and ready to take on another challenge, Resident Evil 4 comes packed with all the little goodies an action game has.
That's right - when you've come to the end of the line, with all the enemies toast and the damsel rescued (often against the players' wishes), what we look for is that reason for us to hold that game in the system longer - the extras.
Starting the lineup, we have bonus weapons - The Matilda, a rapid-fire pistol; The Chicago Typewriter, an infinite-ammo Submachine Gun; the (fabled) Infinite Rocket Launcher; and last but not least, the Legendary Hand Cannon.
Earlier, I mentioned that players got to play as Ada Wong (the bitch in the red dress) in... her very own Assignment Ada mini-game! Not the longest game (and the PS2 version has a 5-chapter exclusive), but the action's good and it quick action for our heroine. It's got nothing to do with the storyline, but after watching the sucky letdown of a anti-climax (they don't even kiss?!) you'd really want nothing else to do with the storyline.
And after THAT, there's still the Mercenary Mini-Game! Very similiar to Resident Evil 3's quick action shoot-em-up, Resident Evil 4 introduces a ticking clock and Dino-Crisis-ish combo systems in different scenerios. basically, you kill as much as you can within the time limit and you get rewarded for consecutive kills.
What's really cool about this mini-game is the ability to unlock and use other characters in the game (because frankly, we've all grown tired of looking at Leon). Get good enough, and you'll be able to see the return of Resident Evil's favorite villian - Albert Wesker, alongside the lovly Ada Wong, Mr. Death a.k.a. Hunk, and the mutanted Jack Krauser.
Each with their own arsenal of weapons, the Mercenary Mini-Game will keep players busy for quite some time.
And when all's said and done, what's left is to take out the trash.