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Capcom: If RE4 is worth doing, it's worth driving it into the ground


I think I've owned just about every version of RE4 that's come out, and that's a lot of shame and regret to wade through. 

RE4 has had an egregious number of rereleases, which isn't a bad thing necessarily. But I find that buying into each version of the game has become a pointless effort, though everyone is going to have their favourites. 

So let's explore the different versions of RE4 and see what they say about the people playing them!


Gameplay differences

The original. The OG. The legend. 

The original GC version wasn't lacking for content, containing The Mercenaries, Assignment Ada and one unlockable outfit. Subsequent versions would add more content to the game, but if side-content isn't your thing and you just want to play the main game, this version will meet all your minimalist needs.

Graphical differences

Lacking a true 16:9, blowing up the 4:3 image on modern TVs will display a horrendous image. Aside from that, the GC sets the bar for every other version of the game. 

Whose favourite version is this?

People who consider themselves connoisseurs of gaming, which basically means they like to collect stuff and pretend 'retro' means 'better.' Y'know those people, the ones who say Castlevania died at Symphony of the Night.

Despite other versions having noteworthy editions, people who think the GC version is the best usually claim so because it is the original. For no other reason, this is the best way to play RE4. 

Playstation 2

Gameplay differences

A new campaign starring everyone's favourite "oh yeah, this character exists" character, Ada Wong, was added. A new costume which made the game easier was added, as well as a super OP laser canon which destoyed any sense of satisfaction or progression in the game, but was great for speeding through.

Graphical differences

Due to the difference in architecture between the GC and the PS2, the visuals look a bit muddier. There's a foggy glaze over the screen at all times, and that's not just Spanish fart-gas. Audio clips also sound muffled and distant.

A true 16:9 mode means this game doesn't look as bad on modern TVs, but there's still room for improvement.

Whose favourite version is this?

People who consider this their favourite version of the game are like people who enjoy the second generation of Pokemon. There's still a lot of good stuff there, though they're still frequently mocked by Genwunners who think their version is the best. Collectors who prefer the PS2 might face some ridicule, but will also harshly defend the PS2 version for its strengths. 

Gamecube collectors will also claim PS2 owners "just don't know any better." They usually follow this up by sipping some wine.

I will also refer to these people as "legacy" owners. The game sold much better on PS2 than any other system, and more people seem to have a copy of this version lying around. Your granddad probably has a copy of this version in his basement.


Gameplay differences

Remember when naysayers said motion controls sucked? Well, RE4 proves them wrong-ish. The game supports full motion controls for aiming and waggling for QTEs. It controls pretty well, all things considered.

And if Wii motion controls aren't your thing, the game is playable with a Pro controller. 

An easy mode was added for parents to show their children what their favourite game is like. I imagine a lot of nightmares would be had when they first saw Leon be decapitated. 

Graphical differences

The Wii version is like the 'best of' album of the last two versions. Take the visuals and high-quality audio from the GC version and the bonus content from the PS2 version and you get the RE4: Wii Edition. 

By default, the game has horrible letterboxing that reduces the screen spaces by 40%, though setting the Wii's screen settings to 16:9 will make it fit the rest of the screen. Results aren't terrible.

Whose favourite version is this?

Often referred to as the definitive edition of the game (from everyone except GC favouriteers), people who boast the benefits of the Wii version are usually people who can stomach the motion controls. These filthy casuls, Wii owners, probably don't actually play video games, and just wiggle the sticks around until things happen, or are fake girl gamers. 

After all, who actually bought a Wii? Nobody I know, and I know a lot of people. That's at least two people. 


Gameplay differences

Based on the Wii version, though on PS3 motion controls are conspicuously absent. Given that a few Wii games ended up being ported to PS3 with Move controller support, adding that here would've been a logical choice.

Graphical differences

Runs at 720p at 16:9, and for the first time, doesn't look half-bad on modern televisions. The game is starting to show its age, with the assets not being properly upscaled. As a result textures often appear blurry, especially in the second half of the game. Everything feels sharper than before, thanks to anti-aliasing, but poor textures get in the way of things. 

Whose favourite version is this?

Given that this was only available in download format everywhere except Japan, this version was previously the most accessible version available. Kids would talk on the schoolyard about how they saw their older brothers playing some Resident Evil game, and would swipe their parent's credit cards to download the copy of this game on their console. 

Alternatively, for the person with zero respect for their games, the one who believes in the "All Digital Future", this person hasn't had a physical game on their shelf since 2007, and believes discs are relics that belong at Goodwill. 


Gameplay differences

Pretty much none. Still no motion controls. Screaming into Kinect does not stop Ashley from being kidnapped. 

Graphical differences

Runs at 1080p and 60fps, though Capcom seems to have forgotten that performance isn't all that matters. While character models look sharp and detailed, there's still been no effort to remaster any other assets. As a result you have a game blown up on an HDTV running at 1080p with assets meant for the Gamecube. Rather than sharpen or redraw textures, the most egregious ones have been given a horrible smear, smoothing them over and actually making them look worse. 

Imagine drawing a picture of Shinji Mikami in pencil on a piece of paper. Now grab it and run your hand along it to smear the lines so everything appears foggy and gross, and scan it to blow it up at 10 times the size. That's what this version looks like. 

Furthermore, RE4 had large crowds of enemies in some cutscenes, with low-poly models hidden in the background. These were almost indistinguishable before, since the low resolution masked those poor models. Now though you can see those low-quality assets that were never meant to be seen.

Whose favourite version is this?

Anyone who has never played RE4 before. Anyone who thinks this is "just what old games used to look like." These people generally do not have a brain of their own, but instead download daily marketing material from publishers to know they need to buy this year's Assassin's Creed and football games. 

Also, anyone who cares more about framerate than actual quality.


I think I need to stop buying RE4. 

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About Casus Gamingone of us since 7:55 PM on 10.17.2015

The word 'amateur' is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to me as a human being.

I'm a writer and a video game player, with that last one taking up way too much time out of the first two.

If you like From Software, Persona and have a hard-on for retro shooters and the N64, I think we'll get along.