Resident Evil 4
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Resident Evil 4: Review
Resident Evil 4: review by Roody
  Resident Evil Fan Review:

Capcom vowed that Resident Evil 4 would change the direction of the series. Announcing sweeping changes such as there would no more Umbrella Corporation, nor would there be zombies. To the traditional Resident Evil enthusiast like myself, the idea of no zombies seemed crazy.

I have to admit I was skeptical, I went into the game with low expectations. Even for the first hour or so of playing through the game, it just seemed like it wasn't going to make the RE fan in me happy or satisfied. But I also have to admit, as the game moved on, it not only brought out some new elements that were very fresh and exciting, but brought back a little of what made me love Resident Evil in the first place.

Resident Evil 4 The graphics in the game are top-notch. And with the addition of 360-degree panoramic views of your surroundings, it leaves nothing short. Because of this, it has to beat out even Resident Evil Zero and the Remake for a better graphics engine. Though I didn't get the sense that the lighting and shadows were anything special. But my opinion may be slightly skewed seeing as I have played both Half Life 2 and Doom 3 in the past month or two, and each of those games have superior lighting effects. So I may be trying too much to compare it to them. Still, Resident Evil 4 does a great job overall in this department.

The attention to detail is another bright spot for this game. Unlike previous games where there were maybe 4 different zombie models, there are several different enemy character models. And when getting up close and personal with each one, you can see the expense they took to make sure the characters looked realistic. My favorite would have to be the chainsaw guy. He was just freaky. Add to that the fact that he could take you out with one shot, and I was doing my best to keep my distance from him.

Resident Evil 4 I thought the sounds were recorded well, but I didn't get the feeling that they made the game spookier. However, the background music does add to the panic situations that you encounter several times in the game. Most of it was fine, but some of it sounded like music that belonged on an episode of Shaft. I still rank the background music of Resident Evil 2 as some of my favorite in the Resident Evil series. The music in Resident Evil 4 was ok, but I can't say it did much for me.

The voice acting was very good however. Particularly Leon and Ada's voice actors. The new Leon (Paul Mercier) was as good as the Leon from Resident Evil 2 (Paul Haddad). Sally Cahill makes her return as Ada's voice, and personally I thought she stepped it up a notch over her performance as Ada in Resident Evil 2. Ashley's voice acting was alright, though I found her to be a little annoying at times. One minute she sounded as if she was a full-grown woman, the next a teenager. Seemed a little inconsistent to me.

Zero This is the area that I give the lowest marks. But an 8 out of 10 is still a good score. My reasoning behind this is because I wasn't a huge fan of the way they put in various scenes where you lost control of your character, and required you to pay close attention to the screen to look for buttons that appear on the screen. These button combinations would only appear for a second and if you didn't press them quickly enough, your character died.

It was this system that bothered me, as it turned particular scenes into a "Dragon's Lair" sort of game where you had to press certain controls at certain moments, and if you didn't have your timing down correctly, you couldn't move on. It's one thing to time a monster's attack and dodge it, but this system prevented you from having any spontaneity in beating a particular scene. You either hit the correct button combination at the right or you didn't.

The rest of the controls are pretty easy to muster, especially if you're a veteran of the Resident Evil series. I have no quarrel with the rest of the system.

Zero As in Resident Evil Zero, this game also does not make use of the item box system. Instead, Leon carries an attache case with him that can hold many items. You can purchase upgrades to the attache case so that you can carry more items. This is essential at later stages in the game, as you'll need to tote at least 3-4 weapons around, for use in various situations.

Also, the weapon system is completely re-vamped. Instead of finding bigger and better weapons in the game, you collect money as you find it. In various spots of the game you will encounter a traveling merchant who will sell you everything you will ever need. Not only can you purchase weapons, but new to Resident Evil 4 is the ability to upgrade those weapons. So weapons you buy can be upgraded with more firepower, a larger holding capacity, and even a faster reloading speed.

I also mentioned different kinds of weapons. There's still your standard pistols and shotguns, but you can also purchase sniper rifles with scopes, rocket launchers, and hand grenades. Certain situations require long distance shooting that you can only get from the sniper rifle, while others may require more close-up firepower such as the shotgun.

These new enhancements are great additions that I almost wish they'd have thought of for previous Resident Evil games.

 Replay Value:
Zero To keep you playing, there are two extra games that are actually quite addicting. The first is Assignment Ada in which you can play as Ada, and your mission is to infiltrate areas of the island and locate virus samples. Once you retrieve five samples, you have to call in your evac chopper and make your escape.

The second game (which is my personal favorite of the two) is The Mercenaries. You start out with Leon, and you pick one of four stages. The objective of the game is to kill as many ganados as you can before the timer runs out. Each kill nets you points, and the more consecutive kills you achieve, the higher the bonus points. Also, you can find items in the area that will add to your bonus time. Your goal is to get enough points to get a four or five-star rating, and thus unlock new playable characters. Very addicting.

Zero In conclusion, I was surprised by Resident Evil 4. The villagers (Ganados) are a fresh addition that take the place of the zombies. And even though Umbrella has been eliminated in this stage of the story, there's always a chance that some other company can come along to take their place. I was worried that Capcom would completely abandon the old Resident Evil when they made these changes to the story, but after playing through it I am relieved at what they came out with. And they've set things up for what could be a great Resident Evil 5.

Overall, I think this is a pretty good addition to the series that will satisfy long-time Resident Evil fans, and bring in some new fans as well. I think Capcom did a fine job at breathing some new life into a great series.

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