So I finally downloaded Resident Evil 4 HD a couple of weeks back (I have yet to get CVXHD), and have started playing it. Until then I refused to spend 20 dollars (despite buying an average of 14 games a month for the past three months, definitely more than 20 bucks a month) on a game I already have played on three systems – PC, GC, and PS2 (not in that order). Overall I would say I am both pleased and disappointed.

On Achievements:

The game only has 12 achievements. In comparison Resident Evil 5 has 70 achievements, though it was made 5 years after Resident Evil 4 and so better geared for the newer achievement-centric gaming of this decade.  I was honestly hoping for more achievements. All of the same achievements from Resident Evil 5, more or less. I guess that maybe, because of the age of the game, it was hard to actually go in and implement event based achievements, rather than objective based achievements.

For example, all of the achievements for RE4 are based on progress in the game. Beat a certain boss, beat the game, get all the bottlecap figures. Resident Evil 5 has these as well, but also has events – kill three zombies with a gas fire, kill a zombie with a transformer, kill a zombie with a rotten egg, etc. I will forgive Capcom and simply mark these off as a technological implausibility for the game. Except that even Assignment Ada and Separate Ways and Mercs don’t have achievements – which is a huge disappointment.

On Gameplay:

The game plays exactly the same as GC and PS2, as expected. Who would want it to play differently? . It may just be because it has been so long since the original, but I honestly find the game significantly harder than the original. This is also what makes the HD release so good – it is challenging and it is actually scary (as much as it can be when you’ve replayed it to death.)

This caused me to realize the actual reason Resident Evil 4 and 5 suck so bad on anything but the first play. The initial play-through of the game is like all other Resident Evils. You have no ammo, your guns suck, you are fighting 18 million zombies, and you have little health or health items. When you beat the game and play again, it’s easy. You have ammo, you have abundant herbs, and your guns destroy everything.

I actually find myself saying expletives when I’m in a challenging situation in the game, such as every time there’s a garrador, or every time I’m low on supplies and have to fight more than one person. Once you get to 3 – 1, the entire game takes a giant leap in difficulty.

I think part of the reason I was so hesitant to buy this game is that I have no interest in it’s replay value. I’ve played and beat and unlocked everything in Resident Evil 4 so many times in the past 6 years that I can’t deal with it anymore – who cares? I literally only have this game because I sold my Gamecube, my friend lost my PS2 copy, and it has achievements – and playing on PC blows.

There is one thing I hate so much that it’s worth mentioning:
Randomly spawning enemies, usually behind you. 

I don’t recall whether this happened in the other iterations of this game, or not; It’s fucking horrible. A great example of this is Chapter 3 – 1, when you must defend Ashley as she turns levers. There is a small door down the ramp, directly across from the door you use to enter the room. Inside this room are two pressure switches you must use – with the incredibly innovative partner controls of “Wait!” to get Ashley to stand still. Really Leon? Is she a dog? You couldn’t say “Hey can you stand on this and stop following me like a jackass for a second?”

So anyway, there is one way into this room – a door. I’m chilling, I ran in here for dear life because I ran out of shit, while killing endlessly spawning ganados. I say “Heeeeeyy I’ll be safe in here, thank god.”

So what happens?

Motherfucking “Ha I spawned behind you!” ganados, that’s what happens. I say to the zombie

“What the fuck!? How did you get in here? I’M WATCHING THE ONLY DOOR!”

He just responds to me with a blank “Cogedlo.” Whatever, you dick.

On Graphics

The HD release is basically, from what I can tell, a proper port of the GC game, which they have not done until now. The PS2 port looked awful, and the PC port was 100x worse than the PS2 port (funny, I know.) With mods the PC version had the ability to look good, if you could get them to work, and in some places looks better than this release. The textures basically look sharpened and cleaned up, as well as some of the camera work, but the game really is just the GameCube version with some higher resolution textures and slightly higher overall pixel resolution.

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