Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Thank you dear six pound, eight ounce Baby Jesus for this game. I was beginning to think that my reviews would consist of B and C list apps that would make even the most stoic of gamers shed a tear or two. But alas, fear not, CAPCOM's port of Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube has finally hit the iPhone and it was an honor to play through it and to deliver this review to yee humble iPhone gamers.
Basically what I'm saying is, go buy this game now. If you're a Resident Evil fan then you should have the game already. If you aren't a Resident Evil fan... go buy this game and become a Resident Evil fan. RE4 for the Gamecube is one of my most fond memories of gaming. It pushed that little plastic cube to its' very limits, delivering graphics and gameplay most didn't believe was possible from Nintendo's little black and purple box. The game took forever to beat but every second of it was a gamer's bliss. It included a great variety of enemies, tons of beautiful environments, lots of guns, and while the game was a pure shooter there were still many moments where the player had to stop and think. You always had to know how much ammo you had for each gun because it felt as if you were always on the brink of being completely defenseless.
Plus the game was scary enough to make you crap your pants.
Resident Evil 4: Mobile edition almost manages to translate all of this. Graphically the game looks great and is by far one of the best looking games on the iPhone. Almost all of the weapons are carried over, so for you die hard RE4 fans, you'll recognize the pistol, shotgun, rifle, tmp, bazooka, and the upgrades that can be applied to all these weapons. The only thing that doesn't really come over from the gamecube version is the fear factor. RE4 on the Gamecube was as scary as the thought of a night locked in a room with a coked out Richard Simmons. This one is kind of like spending the night with.... something that's not that scary.
The plot of the game is simple enough, and was made a bit more so for the iPhone version. The Gamecube version took me about 25 hours. RE4: Mobile edition took me about a quarter of that time. You play the role of Leon, a police officer turned secret service agent who is charged with the task of finding the President's kidnapped daughter. What a great first day on the job. His investigation leads him to a wee town in South America that is seemingly deserted but actually inhabited by (not so much of a spoiler coming) ZOMBIES! You make your way through 12 (somewhat short) levels finding and leading the President's daughter to safety.
Typically, games such as this are plagued by bad control schemes. Let's just say it, most first and third person shooters on the iPhone suck. CAPCOM could have followed the lead of ID Software's "Doom: Resurrection and put the player on tracks, which worked really well, but this would ruin a lot of the allure the game especially since RE4 worked so well with its' over the shoulder camera angle. So instead CAPCOM took a gamble allowing full control of the character and his weapon via a touch screen joystick and this time it actually pays off pretty well. There are numerous control schemes you can use, but by default your joystick is in the bottom left corner of the screen. In order to shoot, you tap the fire button which will get the players gun ready. At this point your joystick is no longer used to move but to aim your gun, which is aided by the red laser sight. In order to move again you have to tap the walk button on the right side of the screen. This is a bit inconvenient and when so much of the game is based on a formula of shooting, running, shooting, and then running some more, you will die a few times (you also die a bit too easily) before you get it perfect, but it can definitely be done. Aiming is also a little bit tough, but again, it can be perfected. The boss battles in RE4: Mobile edition are very much like their Gamecube counterparts. These battles are very formulaic but they work. Each boss has a weakness that you will need to somehow exploit in order to defeat him. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
While the game is a bit formulaic, Resident Evil fans will enjoy it because it's what they're used to, and new Resident Evil fans will have a good segway into the series. Also helping the game out is a bit of variety in the Mercenary Mode. You have a predetermined amount of ammo, health, and a time limit to kill as many zombies as possible and is actually quite fun. I'm typically not too fond of the extra gameplay modes thrown into iPhone apps but I liked this one. I really really really enjoyed playing this game. I'm not going to lie, when it comes to iPhone games I'm really hard to impress. Forgive me if I seem like a bit of a video game snob because I'm not. I like a little bit of everything, but like most iPhone gamers I can be a bit ADD. I almost never pick up my phone solely for the purpose of playing a game. I always have my phone on me so the games are more a convenience than anything, but I found myself wanting to play more and more of this game. CAPCOM Mobile did a great job in this port. If you an extra $7.99 lying around, I definitely suggest picking this one up. If you don't have an extra $7.99 then borrow it from somebody else. However you need to get that eight bucks... Get it. This game is a keeper.