Monday, March 16, 2009

Fast Forward: Resident Evil 4 is Keeping Me Busier Than I Thought

If there's only one thing that's difficult about being a fan of gaming, its that keeping up with the annual release schedule is tough business. Or, at least playing through each game can be.

A friend of a friend of mine said it best one day. Well, both he and his wife did; They agreed that the initial investment a person puts into a game can quickly feel like more of a burden than a benefit. Especially with the longer games that dominate our playtime.

Consider what reviewers go through. These folk are paid to play as much as possible (given embargo and other circumstances) and then write a quick yet detailed review chronicling the experience. Of course, average Joe is blind to this part of the experience since no one is making him write a detailed analysis of the game, but he/she would agree that playing game after game and investing 10, 20, or even 50 hours of anyone's time in an experience is daunting all of the time. After all, we all have lives to consider.

Except if you're one of the lucky ones and the terms rent, mortgage, jobs and or social-life are devoid human abstracts of little value to you (very lucky for you indeed).

So, back in 2005 something came up that kept me from playing the somewhat-ubiquitous Game of that Year, "Resident Evil 4". Actually, I think I remember now - that was my first year teaching high school.

A January release was radically different for consumers then given the franchise's pedigree - a bold set of survival horror games set in plague filled middle-American town of Racoon City, but we all were prepared for the revolution that RE4 promised. The new camera, great precision and aiming controls were only some of the benefits, but the game also delieverd what many considered a deep and engrossing action adventure through the spanish part of Europe.

Come to think of it. Now, I really remember what took up most of my time that year: preparing for first batch of mid-term exams. It was a really difficult task, I can assure you.

Well, a little game called "Resident Evil 5" just came out last Friday and as excited as I am for it, I can't justify jumping into the zombie filled plague lands of Africa for a reunion with Chris Redfield just yet. At least, not until I complete the last game in the series that I severly neglected despite the hype. So then I've decided to jump back in and complete RE4 on the Wii.

So far playing RE4: Wii Edition has been great, even if the visual style of the game hasn't aged well. It just doesn't look so hot on an HDTV with VGA cables. But you can blame the manufacturer LG, who only put one set of component cables on the back of the unit. Also, feel free to blame the cost of said component cables for the Wii while you're at it.

I should be done with the game this week, and as of right now I'm on chapter 5-3. Hopefully, my commentary on RE4 for the next few days won't put any of you to sleep. And if so, that's fine. I'll just drone on anyway until I start RE5 right after.

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