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Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

Import review: Resi's greatest is still worth a second look

Import review: You've probably played this game before - it was one of the greatest works to come from the last generation of console hardware, critically regarded as the definitive entry in Capcom's Resident Evil series. But the Wii Remote has changed the boundaries of what's possible in games, moving Capcom to sense an opportunity and pounce.

Ostensibly this new edition is nothing more than a rehash of the GameCube and PS2 versions of Resident Evil 4, but in actuality - thanks to the wonders of Wii - it emerges as a full, bloody rebirth. (Appropriately, it's bloody good too.)

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So how does it work, we bet you're itching to know? Here's some salve: in one hand the Nunchuk provides character movement control, and in the other hand the Remote is your weapon. No surprises there then, really, but this set-up does make perfect sense.

By dividing control of Leon's movement and gun use between two hands, Capcom has redefined the game's aiming system and freed the game from one of its former niggles. Now you can actually shoot your enemies' individual limbs, taking out heads or legs, with relative ease - something that proved frustratingly awkward on GameCube.

The pointer calibration here is so sharp you could cut yourself with it: even compared with Nintendo's own gunwork in the Duck Hunt-styled passage of Wii Play, it feels like there's greater precision in Capcom's handiwork. The crosshair visible on-screen doesn't shake (unless you're really scared and can't control your hands, of course) and there's no need to move your whole arm (unless you want to copy the hired stooges on Wii TV ads) - the result is an effortless and flawless targeting system that does exactly what you demand of it.

While the Remote is pointed screenward, a crosshair shows up on the display - changing from an unobtrusive grey through to lime green as you pull the B trigger, and running red when your target is in sight. Just point, shoot and dodge the exploding villager brains.

The Nunchuk is put to equally good use, but in an altogether more understated way. Hold Z and Leon will run as you direct his movement with the analogue stick. Tap C and Leon will produce his knife. Your left hand will know that it's holding the history of game control; your right hand will have all the new-age fun.

Even away from the regular pattern of walk-stop-shoot-walk, the Wii Remote is applied to more interesting actions. A quick double-shake of the remote reloads Leon's gun, for example, which works well as a satisfying and simple method for ammo recharge. The Remote's speaker is also used to good effect, chiming in with appropriate effects when receiving radio signals or changing ammo.

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Elsewhere, during interactive cutscenes, the Remote is used to help Leon out of tricky situations. Early on, for instance, some villagers try to crush Leon beneath a boulder, which they push from the top of a hillside.

To get out of the way, you first have to waggle the remote like fury, which causes Leon to sprint (like fury). Then, at the climax of the scene, a quick A-B button press is enough to make Leon dive into a nearby bush.

In terms of the content here, almost everything has remained the same as the GameCube and PS2 versions. Or rather, this edition takes the best from both of those versions. The visuals are based on the Cube game's engine, but nicely upscaled to 480p (progressive scan) and rendered in 16:9 (widescreen).

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