philosoma's Resident Evil 4 (PlayStation 2) review

RE 4

Resident Evil IV puts you back into the shoes of Leon "Don't shoot, I'm a human!" Kennedy and sweeps you off to Spain for a seriously nasty trip. Many times throughout this 20-25 hour adventure you'll be up against hordes of enemies, interactive life or death cutscenes, and hassle-free puzzles.

So, you're probably thinking, "Damn, another Resident Evil game... it will have save rooms with boxes, limited carrying capacity, and final boss that has 3 forms and says "...stars..." over and over again". Wrong!

It's a new Resident Evil, so get ready for an inventory screen that works better than most RPGs, tons of weapons, tons of ways to buy upgrades for those weapons, plenty of shops, and hours of extra games that you'll actually play! The PS2 version has some more extras and a new weapon, but this game is great in any version.

The story is pretty simple; rescue the US president's thick daughter. Actually, the real story is that Leon loses his awesome suede jacket at about 1 hour into the game and you have to get it back. No, seriously, this game is about plot twists involving an ancient parasitic disease, Ada Wong, and Wesker! Does it even matter? The voice acting is great and the characters are just as good Code Veronica's. And you speak Spanish, the game will be even more fun because you'll be able to hear all of the nasty things that the many Spanish-speaking enemies yell at you.

The PS2 version's graphics seem to be identical to the Gamecube version except that the textures are little darker and less vibrant. Nonetheless, the graphics are the best that the series has ever seen. From the grimy atmosphere of a mountain forest village to the polished and an elegant look of a 15th century castle, this game is eye candy. The gore and blood are top-notch as well. Players will be satisfied at how cinematic Leon's death can be in and out of cutscenes. Do yourself a favor and let the chainsaw or claw-hand guy kill you, it's awesome.

And don't even worry about dying because this game has a very precise checkpoint and continue system. When playing Resident Evil IV, you will die many times but you'll never feel that you are being penalized.

Loading times are noticeable in the PS2 version but heavy action never strays from the smooth framerate, even when you are fighting 10 enemies at one time. During action, you will be switching to your inventory screen quite frequently to change weapons and use healing items, which kind of slows down the combat but never becomes too tedious.

The boss fights and interactive cutscenes make the game memorable in the best possible way. The boss fights and mini-boss fights are intense, and because the control scheme is so good (goodbye tank movement) you'll find moving around the enormous enemies to be easy. However, some of the most intense moments of the game are in the interactive cutscenes. Basically, the game shows you some life or death situation and flashes a button for you to press. If you press the correct button at the right time, you will get a good ending and resume playing. If you don't press the button on time or press the wrong button, you will probably get hurt or die in a brutal way. And since the required buttons are random, it never gets old.

Resident Evil IV is an amazing experience that anyone can enjoy (except maybe small children). The game isn't very scary, but it is creepy and full of the violence that we all love. Also, the game is very long and so satisfying, you will probably go through the game a second time to collect everything. Resident Evil IV is on multiple systems too, so make sure you give this great game a shot.


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