Much like WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (BBA) gives the player an opportunity to test their skill in a variety of minigames. Unlike WarioWare, however, BBA will leave a far better taste in the mouth of the typical player as there is no true “end” to the game, which is designed to keep users coming back for small sessions every day.
While Resident Evil: 4 is not a new game by any stretch of the imagination (released originally in 2005 for the Gamecube), it’s recent release for the Nintendo Wii has stirred up fans and newcomers alike, putting it at the top of sales charts everywhere its opening weekend. We got hold of a copy, sat down and played it, and were just as amazed as everyone else at how good this game is after 2 years.
This isn’t a full review, as the game is aging by all standards; instead, it focuses on the differences between the Gamecube and Wii versions of the game, commenting on the strengths of the wiimote as a complement to the already-engaging gameplay. The graphics and sound in the game have remained constant to the Gamecube version, which is kind of a bummer. At the same time, it means that this title is available for a cool $29.99 from most retailers, making it a great snag and a completely worthwhile addition to any Wii collection. Think of it as buying a better controller for your Gamecube version!
Without any introduction, the game starts out on the menu screen, with a noted lack of crosshair that we’re used to controlling in most Wii menus. Selection is made either with the thumb pad or with the nunchuck control stick, and confirmation is made, of course, with A.
The game itself starts out with Leon investigating a small, worn-down house in the middle of nowhere in Spain. Control is given to the player without any introduction, a strange move considering that most games coddle through the use of the controller, especially on the Wii.
The controls feel extremely natural, and the trade-off between the ability to move and the ability to shoot doesn’t seem nearly as restrictive on the Wii as it did on the Gamecube. The fluidity of the aim is another solid point: it really gives the effect of aim-and-shoot, rather than “hit the control stick and pray”. The one part of the game that I am still having trouble controlling fully is the “auto”-knife ability that is also exclusive to the Wii version. Regularly, one must press the c button on the nunchuck in order to equip the knife. The Wii edition includes the option to simply swing the Wiimote back and forth, simulating a slashing motion, which will cause Leon to perform the same move in the game. This is a very good way to do things, in my opinion; however, my problem is always that I’ve got the B button pressed down to aim, and swinging the Wiimote around in such a fashion causes my camera to look either sharply down or sharply up. Again, this is player error, but I would suspect that other people have this problem. I think I’m just a little too trigger happy.
Firing is acheived by pressing down B to aim, and then hitting A when desired. Reloading is implemented very skillfully by Nintendo: simply hold down B to aim and shake the Wiimote. Impressive.
Movement is performed using the control stick of the nunchuck, and is extremely fluid. One aspect of movement that the game (much to my dismay) does not include is the ability to sidestep, or strafe. I’ve grown rather accustomed to this type of movement during my time playing any game involving a gun, so it was sorely missed during the first hour or so of play. The Z button of the nunchuck can be used to perform a quick 180 degree turn, a complete lifesaver throughout the game, and one of the quickest ways to cover a lot of real estate with your crosshair in a short amount of time.
The inventory is accessed by hitting -, and the items within can be manipulated by pressing + and moving them around with the control stick on the nunchuck. Items can be rotated using the c button.
One important thing to note (and one of my favorite parts of the game) is the use of the Wiimote in a context-sensitive setting during cutscenes and boss fights. This is one of the things, in my opinion, that makes the game so fun and interesting. It’s like watching a movie. However, during the movie, when something is about to happen to the main character, there will be a hint displayed on screen as to the action you’re expected to perform with the Wiimote. Shaking side to side and pressing A and B at the same time are very common combinations. Successful completion of one of these combinations will result in the continuation of the scene, or maybe even the death of a boss!
Resident Evil 4 is still, in my opinion, a moderately difficult game. Much of the difficulty still comes from approaching situations in the game incorrectly, or not utilizing the world around you in your defense (or even offense). It’s intense realism will be too much for some to handle, but will keep many more engaged for the long-haul. The learning curve would be hard if it were expected to be mastered all at once, but the game does an extremely good job of easing you into character over the course of the first couple hours of gameplay.
For anyone who’s played Resident Evil before, I would recommend trying this game on the Wii. Like many other reviewers have said, and as this review hinted, the Wiimote does serve to soften the difficulty level somewhat, but it takes nothing away from the fun, and even serves to keep the player engaged. For those new to the Resident Evil franchise, don’t worry: you may be confused in the beginning, but the game will be no less engaging as you fill in the missing pieces for yourself.
Note: The overall score is not calculated as an average of the component parts. See our review calculation section for more information.