Why I Hated Resident Evil 4

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Why I Hated Resident Evil 4

Shamus Young didn't just dislike Resident Evil 4 on PS2, he absolutely hated it. Today Shamus explores exactly why Resident Evil 4 annoyed him to the point of anger en route to a larger point.

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Yes I can definitely see how moving from Silent Hill 2 immediately to RE4 could leave a bad taste in one's mouth. They're completely different. Thanks for this article, its well written, makes sense, and also helps bring to light something that's been irritating me for years now. Namely the treatment of reviewers who dare have a differing opinion, and the amount of bile slogged at them for having a different opinion.

I actually remember once how I was with a few of my friends and we were talking games with the Darksiders series being the main topic. I personally loved both of them, but I was the only one out of our group of friends who enjoyed Darksiders 2. It was actually rather amusing, because they started ragging on it (with valid complaints) and doing the whole "this game sucks right man?" thing. Then I start laughing and go into why I enjoyed it.

Had this been an internet discussion I would likely have been flamed out of the room for having a different opinion, but like sane individuals they accepted my reasons as to why I liked it, but they still felt it was vastly inferior to the first game, which I could understand why because they explained their reasoning well.

I just wish more people online would have a similar attitude and not get so offended when a review disagrees with their opinion.

I agree with the general concept, and the specific point that reviews aimed at people new to the series or gaming are valuable. I can't tell you how many reviews for games I've read say, "It's like X previous installment, but with changes to the Y and Z features." I never played X, so I don't know what you're talking about. It's even worse when games have endless sequels that are only graded against each other; reviews of the Harry Potter movies judged them both as works in the series and as movies on the whole, and that made for better reviews.

Also, that Stolen Pixels was good; there's nothing worse than screaming at a work of fiction because the characters are too stupid to do what they should obviously, in-character, be doing, but that they're not doing for the sake of the 'plot'.

Well I was on board until the article got to the larger point. Though my main issue stems from this:

"The reason I bring this up is because it nicely illustrates how absurd it is to insist on "objective" and "correct" review scores." "Everyone told me that Resident Evil 4 was chocolate-dipped awesome wrapped in joy, and it really was a horrible frustrating insulting chore of a game for me."

And that's fine if that's how you personally felt about the game, but I think it's perfectly alright for gamers to expect better from a professional review. Going into the game blind as was expressed you had earlier in the article and then coming out with a negative opinion born out of ignorance is bound to make more well-informed people annoyed or dismissive, and I think that's exactly the kind of thing fans of series talk about when they talk bad about reviewers not "getting it". A professional should do their homework, they should have some experience - they should not be coming back to console gaming after a twenty year hiatus and have a completely different game in mind and beneath their belt and then presume to speak from a position of authority.

And this really has nothing to do with gaming cred, I would go so far as to extend this rule to all mediums. I like superheros, but I doubt anyone would care about what I have to say on comics because I haven't read any, and if I got to review The Watchmen and some people happen to take umbrage at my statements about the series being woefully ignorant and self-centered I'd get exactly what I deserved.

This is how I feel about Final Fantasy 7. Those that defend it to their last dying breath grew up around it, and for most it was the first game they ever played with 3D character models. There were reasons that made the game stand out at the time, but I've tried to play the game on several different occasions and it continually just feels terrible.

The true reality of life is that everything has pros and cons. I have reasons to not like FF7, but love FF8. Others will say the opposite. People can disagree, and that's their right - that doesn't mean that everyone has to get their panties in a bunch when I say I don't want to name my first born son Sephiroth.

"But I promise you that the dialog gets really old when watched half a dozen times back-to-back."
I know. And I *was* playing every (Nintendo) console since the NES!
That QTE was just terrible, but IMHO just about the only blemish for the game. For the rest I had great laughs, enjoyable challenges and loads of replayability from RE4 (NGC version btw).

I was a Resident Evil fan from day one. I unlocked everything in RE1 and 2, I even beat the game with TOFU. I even enjoyed Code Veronica at the time, though I admit now it's probably not as good as I remember it being at the time.

That said, 4 is where I lost interest in the series. I just never could get into it. I don't like zombies that aren't zombies, I don't like zombies that talk, I don't like QTEs (even in God of War, they were my least favorite part of the games) and I thought it took the series in a bad direction. After 4, I only tried 5's demo and saw it was just more of the same so I haven't given RE another shot.

I played three but never beat it, and four was really the first RE game I got fully invested in. I loved the game and thought it was quite scary at times too.

And although I can't find a direct source but wasn't RE:4 the game that introduced QTE as we have them today? At least I remember it as being the first game with the cinematic QTE and thought they were executed perfectly within the game.

I'm in the opposite boat that you are.

I LOVED RE4 when it first came out on the Gamecube.
When it came out on the PS2 I made DAMN SURE to get the glorious limited 'metal tin' edition.

Now?
Eh, now I think the game is 'average' at best, and it feels like the FF7 of the RE series.
A flashing, generic, slog of a game that signaled the beginning of the end for a 'once great' series.

I somewhat knew what to expect going into Resident Evil 4; given I'd played some of the previous installments, but even I agree with you. The game started out attempting to play things 'serious'. But then, midget Napolean, the cave troll from Lord of the Rings, and the Spaniard Ninja showed up and I pretty much signed off. The story just went so far off the rails it lost sight of the railroad.

I get that they were going for campy, goofy, schlock, but unfortunately (to me) they just ended up with schlock.

:/

Regardless, very good article, Shamus. As usual. I agree on virtually all points in your conclusion.

Though, I would like to add that I believe objective criticisms can be made about a piece of media. Though, any review worth it's salt will include both the objective critique and the subjective opinion - the latter gloriously bathed in every bias the critic has.

It helps too if the critic understands that her/his opinion isn't the end-all-be-all of opinions as well.

I may have a small problem in that as soon as I read the title of the article I was bouncing up and down in my seat. So real quick on that, ignoring just silly fan complaints I have, I just found the game annoying, where it starts off fairly well, the first two times you fight Dr. Sackonhead with his chainsaw are tense, after that I only ever felt tense when I had to do a quick time event and kept failing at them, and that was just frustration, and overall I just felt the gameplay felt so much better in the mercs mode. Where waves of enemies swarming you in the main game meant just needing to have enough ammo and health, which you could get pretty much anywhere, including corpses, the merc mode made it so you had fairly limited resources and the only goal, the thing you were striving for was survive as long as you can, and I felt how the game played leaned more heavily in that direction than the former, which for me made the main game feel awkward.

As to the main point, I find it hard to find reviews to read/listen to. While I like to think of myself as someone who likes different view points, and hearing others' opinions, a lot of reviews I've read or watched like to make strong declarations without elaborating. It's fine to think differently than I do, but can you care to explain further why you feel that way? Or why that point you made matters? It's things that make or break a game for me as well - Lollipop Chainsaw - most of the reviews I've seen have been positive in the aspect of style and music, but very negative on the game play, because the game play is not as smooth as most games. But we are talking about a teenage girl swinging a chainsaw that's bigger than I've personally ever seen, and the one's I've picked up are heavy unwieldy bastards. And I find the strong use of combos refreshing after the last dozen or so beat em ups where all you have to do is master one or two buttons. As much as the Batman Arkham games work I don't want every beat em up to turn out like that, I find it get's boring after a while. And find the combat to be my least favorite thing about the Arkham games, I much prefer sneaking around, and taking goons out one by one, to me, that's Batman, jumping into the middle of a group of goons and spending the next minute and a half punching each one in the face, just doesn't excite me. So, Lollipop Chainsaw, the game play is clunky, why is that such a bad thing?

And so, I find myself trying to find more things like Spoiler Warning, because while I may disagree with you I get a decent understanding of where you guys are coming from. For instance in this weeks Diecast because you each challenge each other to some extent I understand what you mean when you say you find it hard to play the Witcher, or Mumbles can't play the game because "it's too masculine", the statement by itself annoys me, I don't understand, but given the diecast, she explains, it's not much, it's little things, but it then makes enough sense to me, I'm ready to hear more, and other things. And I think I just find a lot of reviews leave out the why, kind of like tweets (kind of like Shamus's tweet about dive kick being as engaging as any other fighting game, and if he can't see the difference perhaps fighting games are doing something wrong {angry glare} no hard feelings). And I need the why, otherwise I start hating everyone, and I don't know how to stop doing that without stop loving the things I love.

The game is almost actively hostile to newcomers. It assumes you know something about the Resident Evil lore and it expects you to know who the major characters are.

Not that I don't sympathise, but you kinda walked right into that one.

My antipathy toward RE4 is a wee bit stronger.

-The controls just suck, period. Even being used to console controllers I couldn't stand the awkward, inarticulate, immersion-breaking disaster of RE4's controls. Having to push a button to get out of aim mode, swivel the camera to left, move, swivel the camera back toward the general direction of the enemy, push the button to get back into aim mode, then try to find the red dot since it didn't stay on the same area of the screen- playing RE4 was like driving in bumper-to-bumper, stop and go traffic.

Dead Space really showed how to do survival horror controls- slow and deliberate, not broken and clunky. I don't need to be able to circle strafe, but having to completely stop moving to reload feels like walking into a brick wall.

-I'm not as convinced as you are that the game isn't supposed to be serious. Yes, it's goofy as hell, but in a really tedious and flat way. Dead Rising was like that too. I never got the kind of sense of awareness from it that I'd expect from intentional schlock like Snakes on a Plane.

-Even intentionally goofy stuff still needs things like decent plot structure to work. How many times was Ashley kidnapped during the game? Four times or something?

As someone who loves BOTH...

Silent Hill is the FAR FAR FAR superior horror game. In almost every way, it's superior - better story, better characters, better music, better sound effects, better atmosphere, better pacing, better puzzles, better scares.... It's a glorious game, and I've said before that if video games were an art museum, Silent Hill 2 would be its Mona Lisa.

But Resident Evil 4, I think, is a better GAME. It controls smoother, plays more responsively. It's a very bad horror game, but as a strange B-movie middle-ground, it's darn near perfect in execution. Everything from the intense and imaginative boss fights to the growing customizable suitcase item screen to the continually evolving situations and mission objectives keeps the game fresh and interesting, especially during a time when so few games dared to do so. Even now, their "over the shoulder" camera scheme and shockingly awesome QTEs have been aped by countless industry giants... including Capcom themselves in the sequels to diminishing returns.

Silent Hill is a game I would objectively give a score of 8/10 to... but it's a 10/10 in my heart. Resident Evil 4 is a 10/10 as a game, but it's not quite as special in my memory, even though I rank it so highly and enjoyed every moment with it.

As much as I agree with you, despite remembering RE4 fondly (didn't even play it, just watched my older brother complete it about 4 times while shouting 'OH GAWD SHOOT IT, IT'S GETTING CLOSER!!!), Uber Pubert has a point.

UberPubert:
And that's fine if that's how you personally felt about the game, but I think it's perfectly alright for gamers to expect better from a professional review. Going into the game blind as was expressed you had earlier in the article and then coming out with a negative opinion born out of ignorance is bound to make more well-informed people annoyed or dismissive, and I think that's exactly the kind of thing fans of series talk about when they talk bad about reviewers not "getting it". A professional should do their homework, they should have some experience - they should not be coming back to console gaming after a twenty year hiatus and have a completely different game in mind and beneath their belt and then presume to speak from a position of authority.

Of course everyone is entitled to their own oppinions and acting like a spoilt child when someone doesn't agree is never the right path.

In all situations I try to stay classy, my favourite Marvel film is the first Captain America movie which also happens to be the worst one for one of my best friends and we had a 'debate' the other day about it, it was funny.

Discussion itself is part of the fun for me which makes it all the more aggrivating when I see stuff like 'OP doesn't know shit, kill yourself', that's not classy and that certainly isn't funny.

Shamus it looks like you played the wrong game at the wrong time. You wanted serious survival horror and you got goofy B-movie camp that's about as scary an idea as Rocky Horror Picture Show. You were coming from Silent Hill 2 and wound up with Resident Evil 4. I agree QTEs can be aggravating, specially in cutscenes, but it's nothing I couldn't teach myself with some trial and error, not unlike the platformers I used to play as a kid.

Oh boy, this will fill with "that's why I hated nameyourhighlyregardedgameeveryonelikedbutIdidnt".

It seems like you simply played it with the wrong mindset, RE4 never pretended to be anything than a goofy action thriller, though there are a few parts that are genuinely scary (mainly on the second GameCube disc), but it never pretended to be "serious" or "deep". I still enojoy it a lot nowadays and you're right, graphically it has aged fantastically and I still find it pretty challenging.

If anything, RE1 for GC and RE0 were closer to Silent Hill 2 in tone, it's still a campy B horror game, but both still delivers more scares than RE4 (and onwards) with incredible efficiency.

Obligatory "that's exactly why I hated Baldur's Gate", I grew up with consoles and even as a PC gamer, I tend to prefer to play something where I can use my controller (perfect example; Resident Evil 4). I was used to JRPGS and I still like them, I still enjoy Final Fantasy VII a lot and Chrono Trigger is my all time favorite JRPG.

When I got my hands on BG... I had no fucking idea how to play it and I tried like 3 to 4 times to get into it, reading tutorials, wikis, watching LPs (wich I still don't understand jack shit about what they're doing and why) and when I finally got the grasp about how to play the damn thing... I gave up entirely on it. I fondly call it "F5 the game". I don't like games where I have to quicksave every damn step I make, before and after a battle, before and after a conversation, before and after entering a simple house where something wants to brutally murder me.

Nope, not my kind of game.

Quantum Glass:

The game is almost actively hostile to newcomers. It assumes you know something about the Resident Evil lore and it expects you to know who the major characters are.

Not that I don't sympathise, but you kinda walked right into that one.

Yeah, I've never understood that complaint when someone starts on the 3rd or 4th entry. Not that's not to say that games can't have a previously on "GAME" video like Abes Exodus did, which was great if you missed the chance to get the previous title, to fill players in. But it still annoys me a very tiny bit when I see that kind of complaint.

I had a friend who jumped into Metal Gear Solid 4 and got pissed that it didn't explain everything from the previous games to him, I asked why he started with 4, and he said "I heard it's really good." He got it after the HD Collection came out too, so he could have caught up for the most part, I even recommended doing so.

My biggest issue with RE4 has always been that it never felt like a Resident Evil game to me. People love to point fingers at RE5 and say it destroyed the series by making it a shoddily controlling action game instead of a survival horror game. If you actually look at RE4, however, you'll see that most of the things people love to blame RE5 for actually started in RE4.

RE4 may or may not be a good game, but it's not a particularly good RE game.

I have a similar experience with this game. Though my background differs. I quickly came to the conclusion that the controls are clunky, the camera is obnoxious and the QTE's worse than anything I've encountered outside of Jericho. When the escort mission came about and there wasn't a compelling reason to stay, gameplay or storywise, I quit, I was done yelling at my tv. This is supposed to be the best game ever for the PS2? It was riddled with problems from the get go and years later I still don't get the love it gets.

I have the same problem with GTA3, I'm an adamant fan of GTA2 and then the game became this somewhat serious crime drama with characters I care nothing about and references that I don't understand (because I don't like mafia movies and have watched none of the staples of the genre) and most importantly: horrible controls...

And yes, its probably the wrong game at the wrong time with the wrong expectations, but can you truly wash those memories away and try again? And that's why the article said, you can't put an objective rating system up. Though I kinda wonder if there's anyone who really claims there is one at all.

Chozo:
I played Mass Effect 2 without playing #1. No problems there.
Devil May Cry 3 was my first, also no problems there.
Shoddy writing, that's what it is, just give a little introduction, or better yet, if it makes no sense for your plot, leave it out.

SupahGamuh:
Exactly the reason why I have a hard time recommending Baldur's Gate to people. It's really hard to get into and can kill an entire genre for you. People who tout is as the best game evah need to qualify that statement and take care that they're talking to the right audience.

Valkrex:
Yes I can definitely see how moving from Silent Hill 2 immediately to RE4 could leave a bad taste in one's mouth.

Yeah, I kind of winced when I saw that as well.

Shamus, I do have to say that it's sort of weird to complain about not knowing the storyline for a series when you're coming in on what's technically the tenth game in the series (ignoring remakes) and fourth in the main lineage- it's a bit like watching Terminator 2 and wondering why John Connor is so important. But for a lot of people who'd played the first three RE games, RE4 was a huge shakeup in the series; gone were the claustrophobic camera angles and numerous situations you'd be ambushed by something out of your sight that the character would've seen easily, the previous games' attempts to homage horror movies to the detriment of gameplay. Instead we had (comparatively) incredible freedom of movement, the ability to see everything that was a danger to us, and free aim to finally plug zombies Las Plagas in the head like you're supposed to.

But I fully agree that this whole mentality of "you can't say anything bad about this thing I like" is entirely unhelpful, and it's an argument that generally comes from a deep-seated need for validation. Anyone telling you that RE4 is "edgy" or "scary" is either being sarcastic or trying to bait you into playing a game you're not looking for out of a conceit that you have to like it because it's so good (to them). All this does is engender experiences just like Shamus's, where they actually resent the game more than they would've if they'd been given an honest analysis of it.

I'm not sure if I can agree. I feel like you're preaching to the wrong audience. Escapist users tend to cry fowl when games have high reviews, not because Uncharted 3 got a 9.5 instead of a perfect 10. And I don't like the assertion that a review can't be criticized. A single opinion on its own can't really be criticized, "I don't like RE4" is a statement that can't really be argued with. Its how some reviewers back up their opinions that can be shit. Imagine if a reviewer said Silent Hill 2 was garbage and called it a "typical meaningless gorefest" or something. One can very well argue that reviewer is an idiot because there's more to Silent Hill 2. That said, as a fan of RE4 I get your points and can see where you're coming from because it was well argued

RE4 was the first Resident Evil game I played, and I actually took the story seriously. The atmosphere of the game was good enough that I *wanted* to roleplay as my character, and the way the story didn't make any headway actually had me frustrated. In the end, I was left pretty disappointed with the game, but I still hold the first few minutes of it, and many of the atmospheric levels that had me immersed, in fond memory.

Saying the Resident Evil story was bad/intentionally bad, to me feels like saying the story of Dragon Ball Z is bad/intentionally bad. In my eyes, it isn't, it's just some incredibly ridiculous concept of what's "enjoyable", mostly shared by teens, but that an older person still might find interesting if they don't take it at face value.

Uuummmmm, I say this as only watching my brother play one of the silent hills or was it resident evil. I always get them confused because I was never into them. You are complaining about how you don't know how to play a game that was 4th in its series in the period where games still came with manuals. Sounds like a you problem. While I feel like I would have had he same experience as you because I know fuck all about resident evil, I am not going to complain about how I couldn't get into.

I guess I understand that any game could be someone first game...

I'm left wondering something, when a game like RE4 comes out and you hate it, are you still capable of seeing what other people find so appealing about it, or at least its production values?
I hate Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Street Fighter, but i am aware of the effort the developers put into those games and respect that, and i have seen enough love for those games that i can agree on their importance to video game history, you never touched on this side of things so i'm just wondering if you really think RE4 has no redeemable qualities?

You also mentioned how the game assumes people have played the previous games or are familiar with its characters, is that so wrong considering 4 is in the title?
I imagine skipping to the 3rd title in any movie trilogy would be a jarring experience.

I understand that we need less dickheads in the gaming community but I think its your fault you didn't enjoy RE4.

You came with the expectations and you were the one who couldn't interpret the QTEs. I am also pretty sure for a lot of QTEs there were only three possible combinations, and when I was little I got through them by hitting all of them at the same time (hitting the shoulder buttons and A+B at the same time isn't hard).

If we were having a discussion about video games, I would definitely ignore the guy that goes "Well I didn't like game A, because it wasn't like game B. I fucking loved game B."

If I remember correctly, the QTE's are easy enough to understand. They show the button you need to press and how to press it. Like, L1 + R1 was usually fixed whilst a button like Square was usually being mashed on screen. Same goes for combo's like Square and X. The problem is that these QTE's are painfully difficult because of how fast you need to press them. xD I remember that knife fight quite well. I also remember having to sit through that dialog a million times. It was Golden Sun all over again. "You died? Well, sit through every syllable of dialog again!"

Burn the heathen. BURN HIM!

Kidding. I enjoyed Resident Evil 4, and I liked the idea behind the quick-time events. I still remember X-Play praising their use. "Think you're safe in the cutscenes? Wrong, my friend." At the time, it was a brand new idea and it seemed to work really well.
And then you fought Krauser. And one slip up and then you had to go through the whole thing again. I didn't have a problem with the fight my first time, but playing the game years later, on hard, after my reflexes have slowed a bit, that part is a nightmare. I do not link quick-time events anymore, unless they are simply and have a decent amount of time for a player to react.

UberPubert:

And that's fine if that's how you personally felt about the game, but I think it's perfectly alright for gamers to expect better from a professional review. Going into the game blind as was expressed you had earlier in the article and then coming out with a negative opinion born out of ignorance is bound to make more well-informed people annoyed or dismissive, and I think that's exactly the kind of thing fans of series talk about when they talk bad about reviewers not "getting it". A professional should do their homework, they should have some experience - they should not be coming back to console gaming after a twenty year hiatus and have a completely different game in mind and beneath their belt and then presume to speak from a position of authority.

A reviewer certainly needs to have done his homework, but it would be equally unprofessional to only review the game from that particular perspective.
As the article already points out: the main group to benefit from reviews is the one not intimately familiar with the game, its predecessors, and its contemporaries.

Either you'd want all reviewers to incorporate multiple points of view into their particular write-up, or (more practical) multiple reviewers saying their piece. Preferably all equally well argumented, but not necessarily equally well experienced or informed - as long as they're upfront about that last part.

Personal example: I have never owned a Nintendo gaming device, and subsequently don't feel any of the common nostalgia for the assorted characters.
Right now I'm a core gamer by any metric, but the vast majority of well-informed reviews of Nintendo releases are utterly useless to me, as I don't share the nostalgia over what happened twenty years ago.

It really does put me in the funny situation where ZP is one of the more reliable review sources - simply because if Yahtzee likes a game despite his hate of all things Nintendo, it probably is a genuinely good one.

Captcha edit: hardly relevant, but the captcha "'; drop table users;" deserves a mention for comedy value =)

I didn't like RE4 either.

But here's a thought: you just sucked at the game. OK I suppose a game could be at least sort of friendly to newcomers, but hey, here's a list of my first games:

- Diablo: pretty much my first experience with a videogame ever, and I picked it up in the middle of someone else's walkthrough. Figured out how everything works, had a blast.

Shortly thereafter, I got my own PC and I could play these:
- Quake III: as in "how do I get on these stairs?", and "that's kinda inconvenient that you shoot with a mouse button and turn with arrow keys.. I wonder if you can change it somehow." I'm sure it took me at least a week to get the first kill on the 'worst pussy in the world' difficulty.
- Half-Life: it took me about an hour to get to the test chamber and that's just because I figured out you can open stuff with the Enter key. After I killed my first zombie (with a very strangely fortunate grenade throw), I remained ducked behind some bin for 10 minutes and I actually thought that's the end of the game since it oculdn't be more awesome...
- Apache/Havoc: so you think RE4 is hostile to newcomers? How about a HELICOPTER SIM as one of your first games? Played with a keyboard?

Yet despite these 3 games giving me some hard times, they remain among my favorites.

I also find it kinda strange that you found RE4 difficult after playing SH2. SH2 is more difficult in my opinion.

My point is... You not liking RE4 doesn't have anything to do with you being new to it. You just don't like the style. And that's fine.

Kargathia:
A reviewer certainly needs to have done his homework, but it would be equally unprofessional to only review the game from that particular perspective.

Whether or not the research done on the reviewer's part comes up in the review is up to them, but if they neglect to inform themselves about the genre and are lost in the narrative to the point where they list it as detrimental to their experience then their work could very easily be dismissed as a "bad" review.

A good reviewer can remove their own personal feelings from the product presented, weigh what they know about the genre, or director, or developer, etc. and look to see if it's objectives were met, not whether the reviewer was pleased. A good reviewer can put aside their personal grievances and say "That was good for what it was", even if that's the short and lazy version of it.

Kargathia:
As the article already points out: the main group to benefit from reviews is the one not intimately familiar with the game, its predecessors, and its contemporaries.

The statement is provably untrue, though. You act like there's never been a bad sequel, or that fans have never been disappointed before. Reviews for long-running series absolutely can exist to tell fans whether the next part of their franchise is still worth the money. Having played - and even liked - the previous game is not a guarantee the next one is more of the same or that they'd like it.

And we're not talking about someone who is intimately familiar with the game: The comparison made was of someone jumping feet first into a series four titles in and having problems because they didn't get it and was nothing like a completely different game they wanted it to be. This isn't being "not intimately familiar", it's being completely oblivious. It's expecting something to be offered that was never on display and was not meant for them. As I've said before, it's perfectly alright to have that opinion, but it's not a very useful one, because it's based entirely on a set of circumstances that are part of their unique personal experiences, rather than taken in the context of the franchise, which thereby makes it useless to anyone who is not like them.

Kargathia:
Either you'd want all reviewers to incorporate multiple points of view into their particular write-up, or (more practical) multiple reviewers saying their piece. Preferably all equally well argumented, but not necessarily equally well experienced or informed - as long as they're upfront about that last part.

Multiple viewpoints isn't actually that hard. An aside or a bottom line you'd commonly find on the escapist itself is "fans of the series will know what to expect this time around, but newcomers may find the mechanics daunting" or something like that. And that's fine, but if the reviewer just says "I found the mechanics daunting, they weren't very fun." and then omits the "I don't play these games very often, they don't interest me." then it's not really a review of the game, they're just talking about their personal experience with it. Again, that's fine, but they can expect flack for it when they publish it as an official review on a reputable website and many of the people who are interested in those kinds of games don't really find it that hard.

Kargathia:
It really does put me in the funny situation where ZP is one of the more reliable review sources - simply because if Yahtzee likes a game despite his hate of all things Nintendo, it probably is a genuinely good one.

But he is still informed. One of his biggest complaints is that Nintento likes to reuse the same ideas over and over again. That opinion wouldn't really hold much merit if he hadn't been playing Nintendo games and only said they were reusing ideas based on hearsay. And I have no idea why you'd care about his opinion on a Nintendo game if you've never owned a Nintendo console, by definition wouldn't that also make his review useless to you?

I kind of find this article weird because I saw Galaxy Quest and thought it was awesome even though I can count the number of Star Trek episodes I've seen with one hand. And Resident Evil 4 was the 1st (and only) Resident Evil I've played and I thought it was great. Yeah, the quick-time events sucked (god, that fucking knife fight) but the majority of the gameplay was great.

Also, I wished video game reviewers reviewed games like this. I want to see game reviews where one reviewer gives a game a 9/10, then see someone give the game a 3/10 much like how Ebert would love a film while Siskel hated the same movie or vice verse (and other movie reviewers as well). There's several games that receive average scores in the 9s that suck in my opinion. It seems like reviewers rate games based on some kind of objective checklist to the point where you go to one site, see a 9/10 and the next site will rate the game an 8.5/10. Game reviewers don't give their honest opinion on their feelings on a game (besides for a few like Jim and Yahtzee). I don't have a problem with Yahtzee hating a game I love or MovieBob loving a movie I hate, I still find their takes entertaining and interesting whereas game reviewers, for the most part, are neither.

Thunderous Cacophony:
I agree with the general concept, and the specific point that reviews aimed at people new to the series or gaming are valuable. I can't tell you how many reviews for games I've read say, "It's like X previous installment, but with changes to the Y and Z features." I never played X, so I don't know what you're talking about.

To add to this, I see tons of people describe games like this: "It's like X crossed with Y, with a dash of Z".

The fuck does that even mean? If I haven't played one or any of the games you just said, I'll have no damn idea what you're talking about and will know nothing about a game I might have been interested in. I would LOVE it if people started describing games' features without just saying "it's like this other game!".

My Pros:

Fantastic Inventory System: Still the gold standard in any survival horror or action-horror game. You never felt like you were wasting time organizing your case to your preferences.

Escorting Ashely was not a Chore: Yeah, shrieks of "Help! Help me Leon! Help!" was a little like subjecting your brain to a crooked icepick, but she kept out of my way when I had to shoot, and I rarely had to bend over backwards to protect her. She's kind of like Newt in that regard: more competent than she ought to be. She was also easy to look at. And who didn't feel a little encouraged when you saw her fist-pump at your shooting prowess?

A Reasonable Arsenal: No, you weren't slinging ice beams or anything overly fun, but the core of pistol/magnum/shotgun/sniper/machinegun/rocket-launcher was nicely maintained. Each gun had a characteristic that made it unique, so you didn't feel like you were losing out focusing on one type of pistol or shotgun over the other.

Interactive: There was plenty to do. Hunting treasures, shooting medals, you had something more to do in each area than just shooting ganados.

Creative: The monsters were distinct, and just as varied as previous Resident Evil games. They weren't all exactly "serious horror" but it had some disturbing creatures. Tool-using zombie cultists, the xenomorph-like "Hands," Mutant Midget Napoleon Head... and the Regenerator was an honestly frightening enemy, one of the creatures that inspired true dread in me when I played and harkening to the click-clack sound of Hunters from the original Resident Evil.

My Cons:

It's Clearly Not Horror: Maybe they were losing the love of true survival horror, maybe someone took the reigns away from the development team, but the real scare potential of the game is wasted on very Japanese-inspired action. Leon has somehow distilled Raw Chuck Norris into a hair gel, and delivers head-bursting roundhouse kicks. The villains are all one-note jokes, from "Mayor Rasputin" to "Castellan Napoleon," "Metal Gear Krauser" and "Emperor Plagas-patine." Leon doesn't react to the weirdo selling him guns out of his coat like a drug peddler. Ada has a grapple gun.

You Still Drive Like a Tank: A lot of people praised RE4 for updating Resident Evil's controls, which they describe as a "walking turret" or "tank." The problem is, Leon STILL moves like that. He can't side-strafe. He locks his feet to shoot. He still moves like a turret.

Quick-Time Uneventful: This game took the then-emerging trend of QTE's and ran with it. Nearly every battle has QTE's, some battles are just long QTE's, and most are dropped on you when you least expect it. They were frustrating and strained your patience and thumbs to their limits.

These are fairly big points that signaled the decline of the franchise and Survival Horror in general, at least among the big developers.

Thank you! As a RE fan I always get annoyed when someone claims RE4 was the best one (or even the only good one). You can laugh at RE1's dialogue but at least you weren't a super secret agent sent alone to Spain some random Spanish-speaking European country to save president's annoying daughter.

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