An Undead Hunger Walks Still. . .

I have a problem. It's a shallow, selfish, absurd problem, but a problem nonetheless. My problem is Resident Evil 4. This was the fourth or fifth title I bought for my Gamecube, and even though I purchased the game after acquiring the system it runs on, I still hail it as the reason for owning the platform. I really love this game. It has so much of what I want and so little of what I don't. It filled some sort of void in my gaming library and now we are inseparable. I think about it all the time. I can feel the controller in my hand, my fingers unconsciously executing the button combinations as I play through the experience in my head. Phantom pressure resonating through my fingers as I subconsciously reload and quick-turn and sprint from a boulder. Basically, Peewee would be lucky to marry this game.

The problem is whenever I fire my Cube up, if RE4 isn't loading, it feels wrong. Don't misunderstand. I like other Gamecube games. I just bought Tales of Symphonia used and am really enjoying it, but, I still can't stop thinking about using Leon to kill crazy asses with a shotgun. Even while I'm playing and enjoying other games I keep thinking about taking them out and putting in Resident Evil 4 instead.

With my Xbox or DS or other system this isn't a problem. The temptation is absent. Only when I turn on the former Dolphin do I start getting the Granados-killing jitters. I have completed the game 7 times; started it probably closer to 20. I make up these little stipulations when I'm playing. I'm only going to use the first shotgun. How fast can I make it through with the Chicago Typewriter? Don't use any heals. I rarely complete the entire game with these criteria satisfied but I just love playing so much I just start it right back up again.

When I say this game fills a void in my gaming collection I think I'm half right. I think it is filling a void in my life, and that makes me a little worried. Am I so obsessed with the termination of these shambling abominations of nature that I need a daily dose to keep from having withdrawals? Have I subconsciously substituted the walking damned for the problems in my life and find solace in the violent explosive assassination of these dark bastards as a kind of therapy?

I fear that the game stopped being an obsession long ago and started being a coping mechanism, an escape so raw and visceral that nothing can get in the way of the release of tension. I love sitting down after a long day and being transported to the cold, damp wood outside of the small, rotting village. Listening to my feet come down on the wet grass in the methodical rhythm of a steady jog. Stopping abruptly as a figure stumbles out of a dilapidated shack held up by weeds and moss. I can see those beady red eyes focus in a moment of realization. The stumble becomes a lurch and I notice the dull hatchet clung in one bloody hand. I take a step back on my right foot and level the shotgun. The smooth walnut tucks neatly into my shoulder as I hug the stock of the weapon. I see a red flicker of light dance up the torso of the attacker before resting steadily on his twisted sneer. The mechanical click of the trigger pull is consumed by the barrel's angry roar as a squadron of lead shot is hurled into the face of my deranged assailant. The kick raises the gun in the air as the body falls to the ground and another shell is pumped into the chamber and ready to fire as soon as I regain my stance. On the screen Leon is stone and stoic. In my living room I exhale a sigh and flex my toes. The silence after the blast is calming. Maybe every time one of the risen or possessed is turned to ash with steel and gunpowder some little stress of the day is exercised from my mind.

Resident Evil 4 also has the unique stance that nothing in the game is scarier than its hero. If you play your cards right you never have to run from anything that's not a boulder or a giant statue. Every single thing in that game can be defeated by conventional means. What the hell is that, a zombie? Shoot it. The lost member of Gwar! Shoot it. Oh no, a creepy scorpion guy! Freeze it, and then shoot it with a rocket launcher. If this game was more realistic the Granados would run when they saw you coming. By the end of the game you've killed almost a thousand guys, which, is a tad high for a Resident Evil. It's hard not to get a sense of euphoria from the power that comes along with a body count of that magnitude.

It's that sense of empowerment along with that constant methodical release of the action that keeps this game alone in my Gamecube. Resident Evil 4 single handedly killed the system's library for me. It's excellence in setting, execution, and polish just wipes away the need to ever open the tray on the top other than to put the second disc in. It's unfortunate that I find this game so appealing as I don't really get to explore more of the games made for the Cube, but, I suppose that is a small price to pay for a game that seems to satisfy all the pleasure centers of my brain simultaneously by making me shoot zombies.

Comments

Good Stuff

-Congrats!:)

I'm glad someone responded that fast. I was afraid I was going to have to make a new avatar and start talking about how awesome this article was.

I was afraid I was going to have to make a new avatar and start talking about how awesome this article was

...and with that the smug avatar works perfectly!

Good job and nice to see you on the front page!

Good to see your name on the front page Chiggie. Keep em coming!

It looks even better on the front page, Chiggs.

And here I was going to dig up the original to ask my question. Now I've got a front page article!

Just how long is this game? I feel like I've been playing for ages, and I'm only in Chapter 4-1, maybe the third typewriter into the chapter.

I have to say, though, Chiggs. I loved the village more than the castle. The free-form play was just that much more fun than the hallway slog. My favorite part so far has been the siege at the house (even though that's where I died the most). The point about the protagonist being 'The Man' (tm) in the game is definitely true. Its almost a classic Western in that sense.
The zombies keep coming after him for the glory, though. Think of how fantastic it would be to be the one Ganados to drag him down, if you could recognize that through the red haze in your mind.

Haakon, my first time through took forever, and although you're nearing the end, I wouldn't quite say you're close yet.

Just finished my second time through (thanks to this article) and I was able to enjoy the random zombie killing much more this time, as opposed to my OMG MUST SEARCH/COLLECT EVERYTHING original mentality.

Plus, I finally got the Chicago Typewriter

(took me a while because I refuse to sell all my other maxed out weapons.)

Brains?

Not bad, but personally I don't think they should've called it Resident Evil 4. Even though they reused characters, they're totally different. They even messed with the freaking herbs.

Oh, and there aren't any zombies.

Great game, just not Resident Evil.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Not bad, but personally I don't think they should've called it Resident Evil 4. Even though they reused characters, they're totally different. They even messed with the freaking herbs.

Oh, and there aren't any zombies.

Great game, just not Resident Evil.

Umbrella and a lot of characters from the past series were in this game. It may not have had zombies per se, but it still count's IMO since RE had more than just zombies.

Haakon7 wrote:

Just how long is this game? I feel like I've been playing for ages, and I'm only in Chapter 4-1, maybe the third typewriter into the chapter.

Reviewers say about 20 hours. My first time I came in at around 17-18 hours. I did a "speed run" with the Chicago Typewriter to get magnum ammo and I came in at about 7 hours I think. I could probably get it down to 5.

I also love the village. That's another reason I start the game over and over so much. The castle is great and the island is pretty good but nothing really nails the atmosphere like the entire village area.

zeroKFE wrote:

Brains?

No.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Not bad, but personally I don't think they should've called it Resident Evil 4. Even though they reused characters, they're totally different. They even messed with the freaking herbs.

Oh, and there aren't any zombies.

Great game, just not Resident Evil.

Me from when this was a post wrote:

I have a pretty loose opinion of what is undead. For me it is anything that should already be dead but still walks. This includes the Granados with their uncleaned decaying flesh and souless slave bodies. This also includes Frankenstein, Berine Lomax, and, until recently, the Pope. To me they are all a kind of zombie and have to be put down.

I will agree with you that this probably shouldn't have been called Resident Evil. I would have been happy with it no matter what they called it.

Count me as one of five gamers in the world that didn't think Resident Evil 4 lived up to what everyone else said it was.

It was a good game, but it wasn't a must-have, only-reason-to-own-a-Gamecube-besides-Melee game.

So, I'm being pursued by Salazar's Right Hand. Ate concrete a couple times, then gave up for the night. I'll have to give it another shot tonight. Any tips?
(Probably the LN2, right? Freeze him and let him meet 'Betsy'?)

I'm toting two shotties now. The Striker and the Riot Gun. I do love the Riot Gun and its hella upgraded. Should I just sell the Striker again? I've got plenty of case-room, so that's not an issue. But I mainly stick to the old stand-bys. Shotty, Rifle, Pistol. (So, currently, Riot Gun, Semi-Automatic Rifle, Blacktail.)
Another shotgun just seems like it will eat away at my ammo...

Haakon7 wrote:

So, I'm being pursued by Salazar's Right Hand. Ate concrete a couple times, then gave up for the night. I'll have to give it another shot tonight. Any tips?

The first time through the game, you're supposed to wait out Salazar's Right Hand. Survive for about four minutes, and the elevator will activate so you can run away. I don't think you can take him out with what guns you currently have in your inventory. You could try, but it's probably not worth the loss of ammo and health items.

KaterinLHC wrote:

The first time through the game, you're supposed to wait out Salazar's Right Hand. Survive for about four minutes, and the elevator will activate so you can run away. I don't think you can take him out with what guns you currently have in your inventory. You could try, but it's probably not worth the loss of ammo and health items.

Ditto.

And for the record, whipped through it in 3 hrs 15 min yesterday with the Chicago Typewriter (and saving the "Special boss weapon" from the previous game so the fight was over in two seconds)

Could have made it under 3 if I could get that damn Krauser fight on the first try.

KaterinLHC wrote:

The first time through the game, you're supposed to wait out Salazar's Right Hand. Survive for about four minutes, and the elevator will activate so you can run away. I don't think you can take him out with what guns you currently have in your inventory. You could try, but it's probably not worth the loss of ammo and health items.

Fair enough. I can do that. (Well, kinda. I'm sort of bad at the button-mashing dodge stuff.)

Man, I never finished this game. I think I got bored in the Reanimators part or something. I'll probably fire it up, even if it's been a year since I played it, I still remember it as an awesome experience.

Jolly Bill wrote:

And for the record, whipped through it in 3 hrs 15 min yesterday with the Chicago Typewriter (and saving the "Special boss weapon" from the previous game so the fight was over in two seconds)

Nice. You can be my wingman anytime.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Haakon7 wrote:

So, I'm being pursued by Salazar's Right Hand. Ate concrete a couple times, then gave up for the night. I'll have to give it another shot tonight. Any tips?

The first time through the game, you're supposed to wait out Salazar's Right Hand. Survive for about four minutes, and the elevator will activate so you can run away. I don't think you can take him out with what guns you currently have in your inventory. You could try, but it's probably not worth the loss of ammo and health items.

I froze him and hit him with the rocket launcher I had been carrying around to that point. You don't have to wait the 4 minutes if he shatters into pieces.

Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

I froze him and hit him with the rocket launcher I had been carrying around to that point. You don't have to wait the 4 minutes if he shatters into pieces.

That'd be nice, but I don't have a RL on me at the moment. I squandered it in the molten fire level for its splash damage.

I was going to give the running a shot last night, but the Cardinals were on and CIV IV was calling my name... Tonight I'll have to try both tacks.

Just as a gauge, how many times did you guys die on your first run-through?

Just as a gauge, how many times did you guys die on your first run-through?

The game or that particular sequence?

I died against Salazar's lackey once. I froze him and used almost all of my ammo on him. I think I TMPed and used whatever Shotgun I had until he died. You get a lot of scratch from him too. What happens when you don't kill him?

I remember thinking I died a lot that first run through. Don't take it to heart, on my 6th and 7th times I still died about 10 times a piece. Sometimes you just get caught and have to take a hit.

Wow. So Salazar's dead. That was abit of an anticlimax after the tense combat with his right hand. Boy, the rocket launcher is a cop out in so many situations. The first time I used it in earnest was in the molten lava room when I couldn't catch both in over the pit.

So I'm currently on the island, but haven't pushed through the front door yet.

I've died plenty of times so far... I'm just curious as to what I should consider reasonable. Heh.

There's no reasonable failure limit. As long as you keep going it doesn't have any bearing on how the game plays out. Sounds like you are doing fine.

I should probably put a spoiler tag somewhere in this conversation.

Enh. Game's been out for awhile, so there's plenty of info out on the 'net.

Forgot to mention that I did not run from the Right Hand. Ferocious LN2+shotgun+Magnum combat ensued and Leon was victorious.

Haakon7 wrote:

Enh. Game's been out for awhile, so there's plenty of info out on the 'net.

Forgot to mention that I did not run from the Right Hand. Ferocious LN2+shotgun+Magnum combat ensued and Leon was victorious.

That's what we like to hear.