Why I Hated Resident Evil 4

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Whilst some of these points have their validity, I gotta point out that you fully shot yourself in the foot. First mistake was expecting a psychological horror game, if someone told you RE4 was like Silent Hill you should smack them across the head, if you just made that assumption yourself...yeah. Second mistake was playing a game that was the 4th incarnation of that series (yet I think it was like the seventh...kinda like how Brotherhood and Revelations technically make 3 and Black Flag the 5th and 6th AC games(or 7th and 9th if you include all the other games)) and expecting them to tell you who certain characters are. I played RE4 first of all the RE games, and whilst I didn't know who exactly Ada or Wesker were I wasn't being all like, "Who are these people, tell me now and stop the flow of the game and story for me".

Other things that didn't go your way was the new console, the introduction to quick time events, and a game story that just doesn't fit into your taste. The first and third part are not your fault at all, the second point though...

How hard is it to get the gesture that a rapidly shaking/shrinking and expanding button on the screen means tap it hard?

The Krauser knife fight occurs well and truly 6+ hours into the game, which means you should very much be expected to know how quick time events work, the button combinations (of which there are 2 possible choices) should not come as a surprise.

This article can really be summed up as this, "I played a game on a system I was relatively unfamiliar with and was expecting a genre that the game ended up not being, I was surprised that the 4th game of the series didn't tell me who 2 characters were and found a completely new game mechanic too hard. This is why I hate the game". While it's not wrong to hate something that you were bad at, your criticism of the game for some of the article just comes off as a little dumb.

I have a large frustration with most game reviewers in that they appear to be all the same. There is almost never different perspectives and game reviewers don't tend to be terribly good at expressing what it is like to play the game. I think I read a dozen reviews of MGS IV which described the story as "a bit heavy handed" when the reality was that I could get to a cut scene, go for pizza, have a couple of beers and still get back in time to play the three minutes of gameplay before the next cut scene. Seriously, at one point I sat through a forty five minute cut scene, walked solid snake through four small shacks to avoid being seen and immediately I was in another cut scene. It just seemed, however, that this was never mentioned, anywhere.

i also hated RE4 but for other reasons.
when it came out for the pc (because im a pc player only) on 2007, its just an terror to play it. no mouse control, buttons are shown from the GC so this made the QTEs a nightmare and you cant strafe which you try to do automatically when playing third person shooters.
the story it self was nothing special either but i liked the direction it was going compared to the thirst three games. saving this girl was just annoying that i was really happy when she got taken away. i just hated this game that it made in to my second worst game list.

i can understand his view on it that this game will make you feel lost if you never played the previous titles, particularly part 2 were you play leon and also meet ada wong, and have never encountered QTEs.

but since the HD version came out on steam, i for once enjoyed this game a lot. really a lot actually. i got quickly used to the tank controls (but still think that strafing should be implemented) and you can finally use the dam mouse and it also shows the pc buttons during QTEs. even when its not the ultimate HD, its still nicer looking at 60 fps.

but so far revelations is still the best RE title ever for me. no stupid QTEs besides shacking off enemies attacks when they grab you and at least some horror feeling which part 4 didnt have.

Well, I have to agree: Resident Evil 4 was a terrible Silent Hill game.

Personally, I had a lot of issues with RE4, but I can also appreciate the general point being made, given that I happen to quite enjoy RE6, despite its serious flaws (many of which also began in RE4).

I have to say, though: when you're reviewing a game, I sort of expect the reviewer to have a requisite background in the genre and style of game being reviewed. I want a guy reviewing survival horror titles to have a few under his belt; the number of times I've read a poorly done review is exactly equivalent to the number of times a reviewer has usually led in with "Normally I only like Madden games, but today they told me to play Age of Empires...." yeah that's not going to end well.

I mean.....really? Anyone gives me a sports game to review and I know I'll rail on how crappy it is because I hate the sports genre...but I also know I'm a terrible, terrible voice of opinion on such a game and would do a disservice to turn a review into my personal rant on a genre I have no interest in. Sure, opinions on games are not objective, but choice of reviewer can be very objective.

EDIT: Oh Shamus, I don't think, sincerely and as a long time RE fan, that the games are deliberately played for camp humor. Some camp is there, yes....but largely due to Japan's weird taste in what it thinks makes for good Americanized action-adventure, and not any conscious effort at humorous mimicry. Seriously: the RE devs really don't get camp humor or satire, they just don't. That's what makes the RE universe so deliciously weird (to me, YMMV)

Shamus Young:
But imagine if someone had tried to warn me off. Maybe a friend, or maybe a professional critic might talk about the problems with the game. They would have been shouted down by a thousand howling fanboys who can't bear to inhabit a universe where differing opinions exist.

Really? Because I remember a fair bunch of bellyaching from butthurt Resident Evil fans about how the series was abandoning survival horror. User reviews were whining about the lack of zombies, "BRING BACK TEH ZOMBIEZ!!1!" and calling it the worst Resident Evil game ever. It was only afterward that people seemed to start agreeing with me that the game was great. I can't lie, it made me feel a bit smug when the internet later came around to my way of thinking.

I suppose I went into it with the exact opposite bias as Shamus, though. My exposure to the survival horror genre had been, well, the slew of godawful generic zombie shooters that RE spawned.

I don't really understand the issue with the game not being welcoming to newcomers. It was the first Resident Evil game I ever played and I didn't have any trouble understanding what was going on. The whole premise for most of the game is completely removed from the events of the previous ones, no T-virus, no Umbrella, Wesker is never more than a background detail. All you need to know about Krauser is that he's a former comrade who's now working for the main villain, all of which is well explained. Ada is admittedly never well introduced, but to me that just made her more mysterious. Maybe it's not perfectly stand-alone, but for being the fourth installment in a series I think it's actually pretty accessible.

I also played RE4 just a couple of years ago and really couldn't see what the fuss is about. It was too clunky and had too limited ammo for something that tries to be an action game. The story was too campy for a "horror" game but not campy enough to be actually funny. I did think the areas were pretty well designed and open though, which I did appreciate, but other than that... I guess it's one of those cases where you had to play it on release.

TiberiusEsuriens:
This is how I feel about Final Fantasy 7. Those that defend it to their last dying breath grew up around it, and for most it was the first game they ever played with 3D character models. There were reasons that made the game stand out at the time, but I've tried to play the game on several different occasions and it continually just feels terrible.

Truth be told I didn't try FF7 for the first time until a couple years ago and I still found the intro surprisingly enthralling. I'm not a big fan of anime or JRPG's but that game felt like a very genuine example of the genre. Playing it was kind of like hearing Black Sabbath for the first time. Admittedly, i didn't get too far into the open world. I have a hard time devoting as much time to these kind of games as they demand.

I do not agree that those are "very good reasons" for not liking a game, in this case, Shamus. Not your sense of humor, not controls you're familiar with, not the kind of horror you expected. That's all your own expectations and no fault of anyone else, definitely not Reident Evil 4. If a reviewer used this argument I WOULD be pissed off, because it would be two pages of him going "I rather wanted this other thing that there was no reason to expect this to be, and I am unfamiliar with it".

And it's "actively hostile" to newcomers? RE4 is the spinoff that's easy to get into, because the enemies and characters were all new this time around and the plot was unrelated to the previous one and sat in a different location. Save for cameos with Wesker and Ada, it's all new guys. I had no trouble following things, even though I'd never played a RE game before, and gameplay wise, certainly nothing with QTE's.

I don't mind people grading games differently and I have never called a reviewer names for his or her score, but in this instance, I didn't think you built a good case for your opinion. What it made me understand is "sometimes people will buy a game without looking into it at all, expect one thing, and be really, really angry when they get something else". I wonder if this is less of an issue today, when you can go anywhere on the internet to see hours of gameplay video of a game and then decide whether it looks like something you'd be into, but I guess it doesn't matter if you don't look into things you buy anyway.

camazotz:

EDIT: Oh Shamus, I don't think, sincerely and as a long time RE fan, that the games are deliberately played for camp humor. Some camp is there, yes....but largely due to Japan's weird taste in what it thinks makes for good Americanized action-adventure, and not any conscious effort at humorous mimicry. Seriously: the RE devs really don't get camp humor or satire, they just don't. That's what makes the RE universe so deliciously weird (to me, YMMV)

"Your right hand comes off??" I thought there was a lot of deliberate humor in that game.

Edit: Leon is also an old character, but he might as well be new. He's capable because he's been in this sort of situation before, was most of the info the game gave me, and that was plenty of information when he's on this whole new adventure.

UberPubert:

I don't have much time before I have to run, so I'll try and be brief.

- Personal feelings and experience are always involved in a review. A good review tends to be less subjective, not completely objective. (I believe it was Jim Sterling who posted the "completely objective review" prank?)
As you can expect a reviewer to be familiar with the context of his review subject, it is always good to mention where personal experiences differ from probable assumptions.

- "provably untrue" as a statement should never be followed by a complete lack of evidence.

- Do existing fans of series read and use reviews? Yes. When compared to people new to the franchise, do they both rely on them less, and are merely looking for very specific info? Also yes.
Example: IGN's WotLK review - at a rough count, the first 7 paragraphs are completely useless to anyone who has ever played WoW, while the remaining text is on average 50% about new content, with the other half explaining general mechanics for people not familiar with the game.
That is not to say it is not useful for existing fans, merely that they are neither the target audience, nor the primary beneficiary of general reviews, as they are looking for very specific information.

- Badly informed reviews becoming both unreliable and unprofessional when the reviewer fails to mention his lack of experience is pretty much exactly what I said. Which is not to say that they can't be useful if the reviewer does not omit his lack of experience.

Hardly a review, but if a non-gaming family member asked me for something he could get into, I'd probably (among other things) link him to videos of Conan O'Brien playing games.

- Me still not owning a Nintendo console is not a starting point, but a result of not encountering games I'd like to play on it.

- While Yahtzee is highly informed about his subject material, ZP is not a reliable review source, nor is it even meant to be. Hence my amusement at it probably being the most reliable source I have - over many other well-informed reviewers who simply seem unable to get rid of the nostalgia glasses.

Ah the wonders of subjectivity, and thus the reason gaming (and movie, comic, RPG-verse, and books) are such a hot topic fiercely debated, flamed, defended and trashed by gamers. Thank you for a wonderful review that despite the obvious dislike for the game still managed to give it an objective chance to see why others may like it.
Very few folk can hold an opposing opinion yet still give an objective viewpoint on a subject and many folk around here could learn from this example. I don't expect them to, but they can if they so choose.

Actually this is why there are issues with review scores overall. Not because of actual technical reasons but because your expectations weren't met. You went in expecting survival horror and got run and gun Leon.

One of the reviews that angered me the most in recent memory was for Silent Hill: Downpour which basically compared it to Call of Duty (I'm not kidding, I wish I were) and then was pointing out how it fell short of being more like Call of Duty.

Meh, I still haven't played it yet. I'm afraid I'll just be disappointed if it doesn't live up to all the hype. I had that problem with Psychonauts. But perhaps I should give it a spin now that the HD version has been released on PC.

And the lore (pfff) of the RE franchise is weird even if you played them from the first one onward. But I think that's part of the charm.

Could not disagree more with some of the points raised in this article. It's actually made me a little angry.

"The game is almost actively hostile to newcomers. It assumes you know something about the Resident Evil lore and it expects you to know who the major characters are."

Did you not notice the 4 at the end of the game's title? How about this - if someone were to watch The Return of the King, without having seen the Fellowship, Two Towers or read any Tolkien, could you forgive them being put off by the hostility that film has to those with utter ignorance of what preceded it? I certainly couldn't. Such a god-awful point there - Get some perspective.

"It was a terrible place to begin playing modern console games and not a good choice for someone looking for something edgy and scary."

Did any review actually tout RE4 as being edgy or scary? I'd be surprised if any did, as the ones I've read made no mention of this. It sounds a lot like the problem was not the game but the writers own failure to sufficiently research prior to deciding to purchase.

"If anyone didn't like it, or aimed their review at people new to the series or to gaming itself, then they were "haters"."

The vast majority of reviews do cover the core mechanics of a game even if they don't differ significantly from previous series entrants. Gearing a review to an audience new to gaming as a whole? How on earth would that work? That's not even remotely practical. What you're asking for is a manual, not a review.

"This is somewhat ironic, since die-hard fans don't really need reviews as much as newcomers do. If you're a hardcore fan, you're probably buying the game regardless"

No, what newcomers need is more information than a typical review provides. It's not the review format that has to change in this scenario, it's the approach of the customer. Especially in the present day, with Let's Plays and live streams, there's no real excuse for trying to enter a series blindly and coming out disappointed. Why should this be any more acceptable than if the media were books or films?

"Barring that, you can probably tell if you're going to like a game just by watching trailers."

Who does this? It sounds like you're condoning Aliens: Colonial Marines.

"All of this is just an attempt (hopeless, I admit) to get fans to give up on this notion of a "one true score" and stop freaking out when a reviewer steps out of line."

Some people are highly suggestible. In this case the actual quality of the game takes a back seat to its overall reception. Those that aren't will eventually clash with disappointment when a game falls short of their expectations - this is inevitable and the only practical way of widening the players view. Reviews have a target audience and this will typically be the target audience of the game itself. This is reasonable. If someone has any doubt about whether they are part of that target audience then it is their responsibility to make sure, not the reviewers. This reads like you're defending the ignorant on one side, attacking the ignorant on the other, whilst - funnily enough - ignoring the problem in both cases: ignorance. Expecting a review to account for the whole spectrum of ignorance is asking for far too much.

At first I was thinking this article was going to be another bloody "popular thing X is overrated" argument which can be very tedious. People whining that "you are wrong to be enjoying this thing as much as this". Such as: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/no-right-answer/8994-Is-Game-of-Thrones-Overrated)

I'm glad to see it's the opposite. An "objective" review of a game would be pointless because it wouldn't say anything about whether or not anyone might enjoy it, all the important things are fundamentally subjective.

Graphics are objective (i.e. number of polygons) but aesthetics are subjective; the mechanics calculations are objective but how they feel during game are subjective etc.

I have seen so many brilliant things ruined by the ridiculously over-the-top way that fans of it talk about how brilliant it is. There is no worse way of ruining something for someone than to tell them that it is the best thing ever, just say that you really enjoy it.

Even worse than is the "yeah well you don't like it because you sucked at it" comments. This may be true in some situations but it is still a valid thing to say, any Dark Souls fan should be aware that the game is absolutely shit for people who don't break through the initial skill wall.

I was about to get on the whole 'oh you have no experience with such gaming, so of course you wont enjoy it like most, its your personal problem' train, until i read the final point that gave meaning to the article. Some comments seemed to imply that ppl have missed the main issue.

Anyhow, i relate on a different level with games such as the L4D series. They seem to have very high reviews and most my friends love them and they are part of valve, so i should be caressing them with the love of a mother with abandonment issues. But once i played all the levels and used all the weapons, my only thoughts were 'is this it??' The game had nothing else to offer me except to do it all again in the hope that other humans will somehow entertain me enough. But they certainly bloody well dont! So yeah. Its always a personal thing

Fanboys, calm down. Realize that some games have difficult entry points.

1) Don't expect a Survival Horror game to be Survival Horror - Here's something to know about the survival horror genre, something to realize, since it's existed no two series have been that much a like. Survival Horror is this fairly loose term compared to third person shooter, first person shooter, hell even most video game rpgs (including traditional Wrpgs and traditional Jrpgs) have more in common than some Survival Horror titles do. And on the outside of things, to general population, to even general gaming population, to someone who wasn't around for the survival horror boom that was before RE4, you reasonably may not know any of this. Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, Dino Crisis 2, Parasite Eve, Alone in the Dark, Eternal Punishment, some of these games have hardly anything in common. There's not many games under the Survival Horror title, yet there's never been a lack of variety. So yes, survival horror can be a tricky landscape, someone makes in error jumping in, it should be expected (from the fans).

2) It has the number 4 on it. It videogames, it seems like there's enough times that this doesn't even matter at all to understand that this doesn't always matter. Silent Hill 2 is a self contained story, Resident Evil 4 (excluding that the game doesn't give a single shit if you know Ada or Wesker) is also a self contained story (so Shamus has only a small point there), the main series of the Final Fantasy games are self contained stories, Disgaea, Persona, Bioshock Infinite, the Elder Scrolls, sometimes these are just titles to tell you what a games is going to be like, united under a banner where some assets get re-used.

3) It has the number 4 on it. Again. A good story, no matter videogame, movie, book, has a job to bring you into the world, Now, not every detail all the time can be explained, but efforts should be put forward. I'm not sure I've read a book series that doesn't spend a sentence or two re-introducing characters for those who may not have read the previous entry(s) - because that happens, people pick something up, even if it has a number on it, and dig in, and they should be able to without being utterly lost - most so in videogames where other mechanics change change over time, and at times trying to start at the beginning means a rough interface, different controls, and needing an outdated system. It is unreasonable to demand anyone play anything from the beginning of a long running series. Now, that being said, as before, Resident Evil 4 stands as it's own thing from the rest of the series, and therefore has less of a problem with some of these points. However, the game does not care if you know who Ada and Wesker are, and where Wesker could easily have been left out of the game entirely, Ada appears enough to warrant more of an explanation, especially since in later releases of the game she gets her own game mode. Further more, they give you an idea of what happened to Krauser, but almost act as if playing a previous game in the series may reveal further information on him, which is not the case, Krauser is a bad written character, he's hardly introduced, we are told very little about him, until the game feels like it later on, and even then we know very little.

4) It's your fault for not getting the controls. NO. Just no. Any one of you, who hasn't been a long time, old school, Resident Evil fan have no idea. The Resident Evil 4 controls have been mass produced, they are in so many games, sometimes reworked, retooled, but the core is there. How the game controls, from the camera, to the quick time events, have become standard, and have never been a wide spread barrier entry. You are being silly. Some people do not like games that play a certain way, it happens. Any long time RE fan should be able to understand this, as the old series had two heavy complaints, the dialog and voice acting sucked (yup), and the controls were horse shit, and as a Resident Evil fan you either found the controls to not be a problem or put up with them anyway, but at the end of the day had to understand why some people couldn't deal with it, because it was most of what you'd hear about the games, it was/has a decent chance of being the number one reason people could not get into Resident Evil (pre 4). Some games are not for some people. It happens.

camazotz:

I have to say, though: when you're reviewing a game, I sort of expect the reviewer to have a requisite background in the genre and style of game being reviewed.

Depending on what you mean by "review", I call bullshit. If by "review" you mean some sort of academic "analysis", yeah, it'd help to know more games in the genre. If by "review" you mean "one bloke trying the game and telling others what he liked and disliked about it", I absolutely disagree.

Keep in mind that with the latter type of "review", the person consuming the review will not just watch out for "what" is said in the review, but also who said it. For instance, Shamus just said he loves Silent Hill, and was thus disappointed by RE4. That can actually be useful to *other* people who have played Silent Hill but no RE games. Those people now know "yeah, that game is in the horror category, too, but nothing like Silent Hill, so I won't get my hopes up". A review isn't objective, it's a very subjective kind of thing, and I see no problem with having a reviewer express their personal opinions and expectations, as long as they say that's exactly what they're doing(which Shamus did).

You hated the game, you knew its not the game's fault you had stupid expectations or are bad at games, yet you still hated on it for those reasons.

were you 4?

Kargathia:
As you can expect a reviewer to be familiar with the context of his review subject, it is always good to mention where personal experiences differ from probable assumptions.

But unless I share the same personal circumstances as the reviewer, that personal experience information is useless to me. I would have to know the reviewer's own taste, exposure to certain kinds of games and skill level as well as I know my own in orderly to properly gauge how that experience would relatively affect me. "I'm new this series, the setting doesn't interest me, and I found it rather hard" tells me absolutely nothing of value unless it's coming from someone who's entire gaming experience I'm intimately familiar with.

To use an example from the article: Unless I had stayed away from console gaming for twenty years, came back, played silent hill 2, and then moved onto resident evil 4 expecting more silent hill, I'd have no idea what he's talking about. I still have no idea what he's talking about, because I've never played RE4, or silent hill 2, and because this article isn't much of a proper review he only made broad strokes about the game based on his personal experience then and his personal admiration for it now - which still tells me nothing about it other than how he feels. This is why trying to examine a game through the lens of personal experience is useless as a tool for review or critique: Everyone's experience will be different, some drastically so.

Kargathia:
- "provably untrue" as a statement should never be followed by a complete lack of evidence.

...are you taking the piss?

https://www.google.com/#q=fans+disappointed+with+devil+may+cry&safe=off
https://www.google.com/#q=fans+disappointed+with+diablo+3&safe=off
https://www.google.com/#q=fans+disappointed+with+tomb+raider&safe=off

Welcome to the past few years of gaming.

Kargathia:
Do existing fans of series read and use reviews? Yes. When compared to people new to the franchise, do they both rely on them less, and are merely looking for very specific info? Also yes.

How is looking for specific info "relying on them less"? If they're reading the review as a general consumer report that will help them determine whether or not that person will buy the game, the newcomer and the experienced user are relying on it the same amount.

Kargathia:
That is not to say it is not useful for existing fans, merely that they are neither the target audience, nor the primary beneficiary of general reviews, as they are looking for very specific information.

New content and tweaks to existing content mentioned in the review are more relevant to the existing fan than the newcomer. To a newcomer, all the content is new, and yet obviously the review does not specifically mention the old content, yet if the newcomer was the target audience as you claimed then it would have included that information for their benefit (or more realistically, pointed to previous reviews). Neither of which was done, and while the newcomer or the uninformed are a target, they would have precious little to glean from the review compared the experienced veteran.

Kargathia:
Badly informed reviews becoming both unreliable and unprofessional when the reviewer fails to mention his lack of experience is pretty much exactly what I said.

But even without the omission it's unreliable, the omission simply makes it dishonest.

Kargathia:
While Yahtzee is highly informed about his subject material, ZP is not a reliable review source, nor is it even meant to be. Hence my amusement at it probably being the most reliable source I have - over many other well-informed reviewers who simply seem unable to get rid of the nostalgia glasses.

So because Yahtzee has a bias of nintendo that goes in the complete opposite direction of alternatives you're aware of and is more in line with your personal standards, you excuse the unprofessionalism of his reviews to take take his positive opinions on Nintendo as more reliable, but to no meaningful end because they're on games you don't like for the consoles you don't own...

Amusing, sure, but not helpful as a consumer review or in-depth critique.

In those years I was launching a career, getting married, and having kids. I didn't have time or money for videogame consoles.

Those are some messed up priorities, man!

>.> <.<

But seriously, there were points in the article that caught my attention specifically:

This is unlike Metal Gear games where the claim of "satire" feels like the fans are maybe giving it more credit than it deserves.

I'm not so sure of that. The problem with MGS fans is when they regard the plot as deep, not when they excuse the ridiculousness of the obvious ridiculous parts. It's when they take a plot that would make your average pulp hero (Flash! Aaaaaaa!) and try and justify it as deep, or intricate, or intelligent, or....Anything other than stupid. Kojima seems fully aware that he's ludicrous, and that seems par for the course with overtly "Japanese" games.

While most of the young kids had been using this controller layout since the mid-90's, it was all new to me. I was having enough trouble just getting the basics down, and I couldn't recognize the symbol-based prompts fast enough to succeed. That kind of instantaneous reaction takes a long time to develop. It's one thing if you get it slowly over the course of five or ten years. It's another when you have to learn it all at once just to survive one stupid cutscene.

That's a problem with virtually any setup ever, so I have trouble saying this is a problem specific to the game. QTEs may have made it worse, but any timing or reflex-based setup is going to require you to quickly and correctly identify the appropriate buttons to press. There's a reason we've accepted certain control conventions (both for controllers and keyboard/mouse), which admittedly have something to do with them working but also have to do with the fact that memorising more than a handful of functions isn't realistic. Games are built on prior games, but that's not just in terms of RE4. If you're a PC gamer, you've been building up certain connections, too. Hell, I avoid any keyboard-only controlled titles when possible and my hand reaches to WASD even thinking about playing an action game or shooter.

Any entry point can be (and likely is) a bad entry point.

That being said, the overall point is one I agree with and a sentiment I have long held. It's getting insane that we've now got petitions to fire someone for not reviewing a game you like high enough. It's ridiculous that you are a "hater" or a "troll" for not being into something, or for not recommending it. And honestly, I would like to see more diversity in response from professional gaming reviews.

Awww, I love RE4. It is easily the most fun I had on GC as far as single player games go. Yes, it was cheesy and campy, but it just worked... it came together, it congealed into something flavorful, it was so refreshing, and I think still is.

I agree that it was a bit of a departure from previous RE games, but I think that was the aim, and I think the designers deserve some credit for doing something so different.

I am no fan of quick-time events (I recall the ones in Assassin's Creed 2, OMG, that was the most awful implementation of QTE I have ever seen), but RE4 did an ok job of using them, not making them too awkward. I did find it a bit jarring when I first got to Krauser, and slowly figured out, oh, this is going to be long string of QTEs... but it's really the only QTE blemish on an otherwise terrific horror action game.

I can understand not every is down with the campy story, but how can you not love THE MERCHANT!
He single-handed defeats all other merchants/upgrade systems in all current and future games! Come on, "What're ya buyin?"
His gruffy chuckle, his signature blue flame, his "Ahhh, I'll buy it at a high price." It's timeless.

I've replayed RE4 a few times and I'm always impressed by how well it's aged. I think the pacing is just spot-on, and the enemy and scenario variety is also one of the best.

bug_of_war:
First mistake was expecting a psychological horror game, if someone told you RE4 was like Silent Hill you should smack them across the head, if you just made that assumption yourself...yeah.

How much of an expert on the game were you when it came out? I notice you were ten at the time, according to your bio.

The problem is, at the time (and for a good chunk of time before), the two franchises were frequently lumped together. It wasn't simply an instance of "they're both survival horror," it's that they would be uttered in the same breath. You could find comparisons even with 4.

Which brings me to....

Second mistake was playing a game that was the 4th incarnation of that series

When looking for critical comparisons, I found quite a few reviews that said you didn't have to know anything about the RE series to enjoy this. Even if he went by reviews, it seems quite likely he would feel justified in jumping in. People claimed this game was accessible.

Beyond that, it's not like we have the now-ubiquitous YouTube in its current state, where one could find gameplay vids and reviews (assuming they hadn't been DMCAd).

I mean, seriously, it seems like people are approaching this with a 2014 perspective.

Shamus Young:
A diversity of opinions is good for you. Even if you disagree

I'd say the same criticisms can be lobbed at some contributors to this site. You don't have to like the game, but I don't have to like your opinion. Nor do I have to like your reasoning or your priorities. Being a critic does not make you immune from criticism.

It should be perfectly valid for me to dismiss your opinion. Perhaps I feel like your interests don't line up with mine, perhaps I question your judgement, maybe I feel like you go into things with the wrong mindset. It should not matter.

I take issue with a seemingly growing number of people that think disagreement with any critic should be silenced. "oh don't complain or disagree, that's their opinion, you have to respect it". Sadly, I don't feel that way, and I think it's insulting to everyone involved to view it in that light.

Note that this is different than sending the reviewer death threats or whatever crazy people do, but if your going to label a whole community or movement based on the absolute worst in them, you are never going to like any community.

Hah, Atari 2600...that is the very first console I had, playing Combat was the carrot my parents dangled to get me to do my homework. Anyway....

I had the opposite experience as Shamus, I had played RE1 and RE2 before playing Silent Hill and I came in with expectations of it being similar to Resident Evil. I hated Silent Hill 1 because of that, and the fault lies with me. The problems with having expectations is it makes it so hard to approach a game with an open mind since we already have a preconceived notion of what we want it to be. Human nature, I suppose. It took me a while but I played Silent Hill again and ended up enjoying it, to the point where I ended up playing Silent Hill 2-3. They offer differing experiences ( although both have awkward controls ) but that was good, since I like to have my survival horror in different flavors. Fatal frame comes to mind as well...

Strangely, my son started playing the RE series with RE4 and he loved it and actually forced me to play it on the Gamecube. I was ambivalent towards it ( because I was thinking , Las Plagas, what the heck is that...and were is Wesker) but ended up thoroughly enjoying it more than I did RE2 or RE3 ( RE1 will always be #1 because of nostalgia) I ended up buying it for the PS2 as well. I did run into some of the issues Shamus did, notably the QTE part with that damn boulder and the knife fight ( sure showed me to enjoy the cutscenes ) but I just dealt with it and moved on. I did get irritated at the QTE though, as I wanted to enjoy the knife fight but could not because I was waiting for the prompts. I simply took it out on the hapless merchant, whose addition I heartily approve.

I do agree with his assertion though, and I don't discard a reviewers...err...review....because it doesn't jive with my own opinion. Hence why don't I like those arbitrary scores; rather I'd prefer to hear what they liked/disliked about a game and why. More details about the game, the better. I do find it amusing though, to see the lengths fans will attack a reviewer if the game only gets a, say 8/10 instead 10/10 best game ever...sorry, evar. It's like the whole Sony/MS console bickering, but let's not go there.

Zachary Amaranth:

How much of an expert on the game were you when it came out? I notice you were ten at the time, according to your bio.

The problem is, at the time (and for a good chunk of time before), the two franchises were frequently lumped together. It wasn't simply an instance of "they're both survival horror," it's that they would be uttered in the same breath. You could find comparisons even with 4.

Which brings me to....

You checked my bio? Weird but whatever.

Anyways, dude I played the game when I was like 14 so yeah...I don't actually see your point here if there was supposed to be one. Was there?

As for the franchises being lumped together that still doesn't excuse going into the game thinking it would be of the same feel. Alien and Predator are constantly lumped together, and the first 2 films are completely different. Like I said, if someone told him that it was exactly like Silent Hill then he should smack them across the head, if they just mentioned the games in passing because people were talking about video games then maybe ask, "is it like silent hill in the psychological horror way?". I know I ask my friends for more detail and even go and look at other trailers before I go and purchase a game.

Zachary Amaranth:

When looking for critical comparisons, I found quite a few reviews that said you didn't have to know anything about the RE series to enjoy this. Even if he went by reviews, it seems quite likely he would feel justified in jumping in. People claimed this game was accessible.

Beyond that, it's not like we have the now-ubiquitous YouTube in its current state, where one could find gameplay vids and reviews (assuming they hadn't been DMCAd).

I mean, seriously, it seems like people are approaching this with a 2014 perspective.

And those review would be right, RE4 taps ever so lightly into the lore of the previous games and it only ever makes a nod in their direction in the service to the fans. I didn't know who Wesker or Ada were, but the game does a pretty good job of showing the history between Leon and Ada, and Wesker is mentioned a hell of a lot more than he is actually shown. So to complain about 2 characters (one being completely sidelined as a cameo pretty much, and the other being a side character) Just seems like complaining for the sake of making a complaint.

I'm not approaching this from a 2014 perspective, I'm approaching it as a superfluous article that really is just here because an article had to be made. Wow, he hated a game that he was bad at!? WELL COLOUR ME FUCKING SURPRISED!

(I'm not saying the game is faultless and must be liked by everyone just to be clear)

I only played RE 1, 2 and 3. Didn't like 1, the fmv was very campy and sad. 2 was definitely my favourite. Got 3 for the PC, controls took a little getting used to, but I loved it all the same. I'm glad I got out before the series took it's downward spiral.

bug_of_war:

You checked my bio? Weird but whatever.

How is it weird that I like to know what I'm talking about?

Anyways, dude I played the game when I was like 14 so yeah...

So even you played it four years after the fact, but feel fit to talk to the contemporary users as though they should have known better.

I don't actually see your point here if there was supposed to be one. Was there?

Do you mean aside from:

The problem is, at the time (and for a good chunk of time before), the two franchises were frequently lumped together. It wasn't simply an instance of "they're both survival horror," it's that they would be uttered in the same breath. You could find comparisons even with 4.

I mean, that was kind of the point. You even quoted it, so you must be aware of it. Oh, and you addressed it. So....Why are you saying you didn't see a point again?

Unless you mean the point to your age, but you literally made my point. Even assuming you played the game four years after the fact, that's a large difference.

Like I said, if someone told him that it was exactly like Silent Hill then he should smack them across the head

Not someone, and not just. A large body of someones, which you can even find in reviews of the time, and like (as opposed to just like, where you're now playing word games). But again, as I've already said these things in a message you quoted, I have to assume you're at least somewhat aware.

I know I ask my friends for more detail and even go and look at other trailers before I go and purchase a game.

Look at other trailers? On what, the YouTube that barely existed at the point this game came out? I made that point already, too. That's where the 2014 thinking comes in. There weren't exactly a lot of common places to snag video, even in 2005. And hell, I just watched what few videos that were published at the time (and funny enough, several of those were published a year after the game released[1]), and they don't really tell much. Again, you were ten at the time. You could be forgiven for not particularly having this dataset, but don't go telling those of us that did have the data that we should have magically had other data to work with. You might as well say "Shamus, why didn't you watch a LP?" or "Shamus, you could have watched the game livestreamed on Twitch!"

And those review would be right, RE4 taps ever so lightly into the lore of the previous games and it only ever makes a nod in their direction in the service to the fans.

But you were just arguing the exact opposite, finding flaw in Shamus for thinking that he could just jump in. My point being, he was likely explicitly told that. And you're now saying that they would be right to do so.

Wow, he hated a game that he was bad at!? WELL COLOUR ME FUCKING SURPRISED!

Except, you know, that's just making excuses.

Also, I'm not sure Shamus "had" to make an article. Have you ever looked at his release schedule? This is a guy who would sometimes go months between his Stolen Pixels comics, and I'm not sure Experienced Points has ever had a regular schedule.

Again, you're making accusations to work backward from a conclusion, rather than compiling evidence and following where the conclusion leads.

"You just suck at the game" is a cop-out in general, and here it only addresses some of the issues. And keep in mind, this was leveled as much at the criticism of the game (or lack of critical analysis) as it was at the game itself. A good chunk of the point was that he got the wrong game. The point about criticism, and the point I'm making, is that the resources at the time were such that even an attempt to be informed would have likely led him there.

When reviewers are comparing this to the SH franchise, when they're saying it's noob friendly, When there's not exactly a plethora of video footage to work with, when even a lot of the trailers didn't go live with the game....I mean, was he supposed to have ESP?

[1] Using the PS2 release date, no less

Yes, thank you
The all or nothing mentality is also just as frustrating to me. Everyone needs to be hyperbolic, all games are either the worst crime in human history or the second coming Christ.If you like something you must show your support by never criticising anything about it ever. If you don't like something you must foam at the mouth and never respect anything about it.

This is why games that expect you to have played the previous games in the series, and the fans who recommend them, need to make this clear. Which is difficult to do, admittedly, because sometimes the previous games weren't very good and slogging through a mediocre game (or worse, several) to get to the one good one because it's supposedly the Holy Grail is something that people aren't going to want to do, and even then, a lot of the enjoyment tends to hinge on whether you thought the predecessors were merely decent (which anyone who liked them enough to keep going pretty much had to think) or steaming piles of ass.

I have to say, this article rather bothers me, not because I love resident evil 4 or anything (I've never even played it though I've seen some lets plays) but because I'm a gamer, and treat gaming the way I would any other media format.

Take the following lines from the article for example:

So you might think I'd have to ignore the story and just focus on the awesome gameplay. Except, the gameplay was miserable for me. See, I'd never seen a quicktime event before in my life. I was crushed by a boulder several times before I guessed what the game wanted from me. And even then I wasn't sure. Should I hold the buttons? Press them once? Press them fast? While most of the young kids had been using this controller layout since the mid-90's, it was all new to me. I was having enough trouble just getting the basics down, and I couldn't recognize the symbol-based prompts fast enough to succeed. That kind of instantaneous reaction takes a long time to develop. It's one thing if you get it slowly over the course of five or ten years. It's another when you have to learn it all at once just to survive one stupid cutscene.

I don't find this to be a valid complaint in any game, not should any reviewers ever have to address this. The fact that you're not adept with using a controller might be frustrating to you, but no reviewer should ever have to write a review for a game based on whether or not it'll be playable to someone who has never used a particular type of controller before or who isn't used to a specific controller. That's like demanding that book critics review books in a way that illiterate people would know whether or not the book is right for them.

The game is almost actively hostile to newcomers. It assumes you know something about the Resident Evil lore and it expects you to know who the major characters are.

Again, not a valid complaint. The game clearly is clearly called Resident Evil 4, as in the fourth game in a series of games. You wouldn't go into a movie series you've never watched and expect to know who all the characters are and what they're doing there. Would you consider a review of Return of the Jedi or The Wrath of Khan that complained about not knowing the characters and lore to be a valid review of the material? Of course not. It's an absolutely brain-dead complaint.

These things are not problems with the game, nor is the goofy tone of the game. These were problems with YOU, the player, Shamus Young. It was your problem that you didn't do any research about the tone of the game, it was your problem that you weren't competent enough at using a controller to play the game, and it was your problem that you didn't know the back-story. A critic should speak from a position of authority. If you're a literary critic you should be well read, if you're a comic book critic you should have a vast knowledge of comic books and their writers, and if you're a game critic you should know how to use a damn controller. The fact that no critic talked about the game being difficult to control means that the game controlled perfectly fine for its time, and the fact that you had trouble getting around the controls was not the game's fault, nor something that reviewers should have actively warned you about.

I had a similar sort of experience with resident evil 5.

I never played RE4 (still haven't really), but I absolutely loved Dead Space. and when Deadspace came out, everyone balked that it was "just RE4 in space"... I ate it up like candy.. but then RE5 came out, and everyone balked that it was basically just "RE4 in Africa"

So I got RE5.... and... I couldn't stand it. I managed to beat the first big stompy asshole who crashes through your hiding spot with an axe, and with that, I was done. It just didn't jibe with me at all. I really don't know what it is. That axemonster killed all of the tiny amount of fun that I might have been having. I tried to fight him more times then I should admit.

Now, I wouldn't claim to be able to review RE5. I literally got through what a person who was versed in the game would call "the very fucking beginning", but it didn't matter. I couldn't play it anymore.

Sometimes, a game just doesn't feel right.

come to think of it, I played RE4 about the same length of time, to precise moment. The first chainsaw guy, all those people chasing you. I died about 4 times, handed the controller to a friend and just never played it again.

So I played RE5 a tiny bit more

I hated RE4 because it wasn't fun and got progressively and aggressively dumber as the plot when on. I tapped out a couple hours in.

Zachary Amaranth:

How is it weird that I like to know what I'm talking about?

I just never thought people actually bothered to check the bio...

Zachary Amaranth:

So even you played it four years after the fact, but feel fit to talk to the contemporary users as though they should have known better.

I play video games don't I? This is a discussion about video games isn't it? This is an opinionated article that has been put up for scrutiny isn't it? So yes, even though I played the game 4 years after the release I feel as though I'm quite capable of formulating an opinion on a subject. The writer stated that he played the game as an adult, I played it as a teenager, yet for some reason I had the genius idea to maybe find out a small amount of what the game was like before playing it. Before I'd played RE4 I thought the franchise was just a movie series, after talking to a mate who had played it and asking him what it was like in terms of gameplay and genre I decided to give it a go.

So yeah...I feel as though the writer shot himself in the foot going into the game.

Zachary Amaranth:

Do you mean aside from:

I mean, that was kind of the point. You even quoted it, so you must be aware of it. Oh, and you addressed it. So....Why are you saying you didn't see a point again?

Unless you mean the point to your age, but you literally made my point. Even assuming you played the game four years after the fact, that's a large difference.

I don't see the point about what my age had to do with anything other than me being a more competent thinker at a younger age than the writer. Also, how is playing the game 4 years after it's initial release a large difference?

Zachary Amaranth:

Not someone, and not just. A large body of someones, which you can even find in reviews of the time, and like (as opposed to just like, where you're now playing word games). But again, as I've already said these things in a message you quoted, I have to assume you're at least somewhat aware.

So you're telling me that reviews said that RE4 was a psychological horror?

Zachary Amaranth:

Look at other trailers? On what, the YouTube that barely existed at the point this game came out? I made that point already, too. That's where the 2014 thinking comes in. There weren't exactly a lot of common places to snag video, even in 2005. And hell, I just watched what few videos that were published at the time (and funny enough, several of those were published a year after the game released[1]), and they don't really tell much. Again, you were ten at the time. You could be forgiven for not particularly having this dataset, but don't go telling those of us that did have the data that we should have magically had other data to work with. You might as well say "Shamus, why didn't you watch a LP?" or "Shamus, you could have watched the game livestreamed on Twitch!"

I'm not asking the dude to use Youtube, I'm asking him to actually ask people about a game. From what all the "older" gamers seem to say on this website and others is that back years ago finding out gaming information mostly came from word of mouth and reading gaming magazines. So why didn't he do that? And even then, whilst Youtube wasn't giant (or I think it actually didn't exist) there were websites that played videos.

Zachary Amaranth:

But you were just arguing the exact opposite, finding flaw in Shamus for thinking that he could just jump in. My point being, he was likely explicitly told that. And you're now saying that they would be right to do so.

My argument was this. He made the conscious knowledge of going into a 4th game of a series, therefore he should not get hippity when they do a throwback/fan service for the fans. Oh boo hoo, they spent 3 seconds to give a nudge to people who actually followed the series, how dare they do that with out then spending 5 minutes to tell me who that character whom literally is just a cameo and has little to no relation to the current story. I played RE4 knowing absolutely nothing about the series other than there were movies, and even in those movies I was paying less attention to the plot and more attention to the action. So yeah, I feel as though my point still stands.

Zachary Amaranth:

Except, you know, that's just making excuses.

Also, I'm not sure Shamus "had" to make an article. Have you ever looked at his release schedule? This is a guy who would sometimes go months between his Stolen Pixels comics, and I'm not sure Experienced Points has ever had a regular schedule.

Again, you're making accusations to work backward from a conclusion, rather than compiling evidence and following where the conclusion leads.

"You just suck at the game" is a cop-out in general, and here it only addresses some of the issues. And keep in mind, this was leveled as much at the criticism of the game (or lack of critical analysis) as it was at the game itself. A good chunk of the point was that he got the wrong game. The point about criticism, and the point I'm making, is that the resources at the time were such that even an attempt to be informed would have likely led him there.

When reviewers are comparing this to the SH franchise, when they're saying it's noob friendly, When there's not exactly a plethora of video footage to work with, when even a lot of the trailers didn't go live with the game....I mean, was he supposed to have ESP?

No he shouldn't have ESP, but he should have common sense to go and find out if a game will be what he likes. And you prove my point by typing, "he got the wrong game". Yes, he did, he is allowed to hate RE4, never said he wasn't, I'm saying some of the points he is making are of no fault but his own. When it comes down to it you should be careful in what you put your money towards, it's his own fault for expecting a survival horror game, it's his own fault for starting a game at the 4th incarnation of the franchise and not knowing who some minor characters are.

As for why the article is superfluous, it's because it is literally summed up with, "I was expecting something different, and I was bad at the game, therefore I hate it". Well no shit you hate it, water is wet, blood is red, shit stinks. It's an article that was made because why not make one and to me it seems to be wasted. I hate math, yet I don't tell my work that and explain, "I don't like it cause I'm bad at it" because they'll just look at me and say, "well no shit".

[1] Using the PS2 release date, no less

double post because Captcha is annoying and shit...

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