Thoughts on Resident Evil 4 — After Playing It for the First Time 15 Years Later
What a Journey!
To start this thing off let's take it back to when I first got Resident Evil 4 in 2016.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
It was the late summer, around noon on a Sunday. Our family loves to go to yard sales and that's actually how I get most of my games and systems. I was sleeping after my dad bought two giant — they went to the ceiling — cat towers.
He woke me up to tell me that he stopped by a sale that was selling video games. I first debated if I honestly cared enough to get up, but I eventually realized I might miss something if I didn't go. So I did.
We drove over to the yard sale and I walked in not seeing any games. Realizing that they might have been picked clean, I wasn't completely wrong. They did have some interesting leftovers, though. I bought two Gameboy Advance video cartridges (Cartoon Network Vol. 1/Vol. 2) and Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube.
I took them home and watched both GA video cartridges right away, but it took me about six months to finally play RE4. Actually, right up until last weekend (January 28), when I finally played it.
It reminded me of today's Dark Souls and The Evil Within.
First impressions count a lot, and I thought the graphics looked outdated and the controls were kinda out of control. But then I actually played the game and I loved it, from the opening through wall breaks and grainy scenery to the widescreen presentation. It made the whole thing extra scary... and it was.
The first time I saw the crazed chainsaw man and the Los Iluminados attacking me from behind while jumping on me from around the corner I was yelling out loud for them to stay away from me. It kinda reminded me of today's Dark Souls and The Evil Within. I can see why everyone loves this game, though, and why it basically won every known video game award back in '05.
For the most part, though, the bosses weren't that difficult.
Though, the reason for that is probably that my trusty shotgun would never leave my side — and I had two!
They definitely came in handy when I needed to pump hundreds of bullets into the Regenerators when I stupidly didn't buy a rifle after finding the infrared scope. If I had to choose the scariest and most frightening enemy in RE4, it would be them by the way. Freaking slow moving with heavy breathing creeps me out.
Also, the most challenging boss fight I had was the water monster. First, I hate things swimming underneath me, and secondly, I didn't really know how to kill this thing. Easily one of the most memorable parts of the game.
The lore in the game gave me what I needed to know but it didn't really expose much about some of the characters. For instance, the secretive Ada Wong. I'm pretty sure I tried talking to her about seven or eight times in the game and she would just disappear. It was kinda frustrating even when I knew the basics of what she was doing. I do need to get the PS2 version or the remastered version so I can play the Ada Wong story.
Luis was a funny character, but because he always had to go back and get the research he kept disappearing, and that's what eventually caused his death. I'd wish he lived a little bit longer because I just ended up leaving his dead body in a castle.
"It felt so good because I hated him so much."
My favorite part of the video game is when Leon nailed the little pirate Salazar in the hand. It felt so good because I hated him so much. One of the most annoying bosses I have ever fought in any game. Additionally, my other favorite part would have to be the helicopter support from above. Well, before Mike and I could share a beer. RIP...
I was glad I had a break to just kick butt and take no names because Mike didn't give me the chance to. He was blowing everything up and it was awesome! I couldn't have asked for a better rain of hellfire.
Now, let's talk about Ashley, the President's daughter.
Ashley wasn't the best character, but she definitely wasn't the worst. When I first heard Carolyn Lawrence was the voice actor I was pretty happy because as you might know I love the Spyro games and she did some work in those games.
The amount of times I issued the "wait" and "get over here" commands to her character is countable. But on a serious note, Ashley just got in the way at times. She just sticks to you like white on rice. I would tell her to wait somewhere far away so I could explore pretty often.
Plus the fact that she can't climb down ladders is ineffective. Ashley did provide some comic relief and charm to a dark story though. That's especially true mixed in with Leon's smart comments, which also make for some laugh out loud moments.
On a quick note here, I loved how this horror game ended in the most James Bond-like of ways possible. Riding into the sunset on a jet ski with a girl on the back and the Island blowing into smithereens.
But now it's time to talk about the strangest, weirdest (yet kind of nice to see when everything's going up the creek) guy ever; the Merchant.
He sells things, and I'm fine not asking where he gets them. I can now definitely see where they got the design for Destiny Xur too. The Merchant is not the guy I want to get on the bad side of, but it's kinda weird knowing that the Los Iluminados is so much into shooting ranges, because they're everywhere. And one other thing, try shooting him.
All in all, I had a great time with the game.
It was honestly a great breath of fresh air, stepping back from all the big name AAA games of today. Resident Evil 4 is a "perfect" game back in 2005, but that doesn't stop it from impressing me even today. And since Resident Evil 7 is out now, I think I'm ready for that next revolutionary turn in the Resident Evil universe.
Oh and before I go who could forget about the dog. One of the best dogs in video games is Trico from The Last Guardian.
*This article originally published on Brutal Gamer*