Wednesday, November 09, 2011

games of our lives, part 3: Resident Evil 4

And now we come to the third installment of this series, in which I talk at length about my 10 favorite video games of all time.

(Ignore that "Only For" sticker in the top left of the picture; RE4 is now available on the Playstation 2 and the Wii as well.)

Resident Evil 4 holds a special place in my heart for many reasons, but two in particular: it brought back my favorite video game character of all time and it's the first RE game I got to play with G, who's also a huge fan of the series.

In RE4, gorgeous floppy-haired badass Leon S. Kennedy is recruited by the Secret Service for a very important mission: the President's daughter, Ashley Graham, has been kidnapped by a sinister cult called Los Illuminados. Leon travels to Spain to rescue Ashley, find out the truth behind the cult, and confront a mysterious figure from his past.

RE4 has one of the most memorable openings in video game history. Leon walks up to a house in rural Spain and is immediately attacked by dozens of villagers who have been infected by a parasite, turning them into bloodthirsty zombie-like "Ganados". After a seemingly endless and ferocious battle, a bell rings and the villagers stagger away from Leon, muttering to themselves as they file into the church. Leon stands in the middle of the now-deserted town and says, "Where's everybody going, bingo?"

Cue title screen.

G and I absolutely flipped the fuck OUT. We were practically wringing our hands with maniacal glee because we knew we were in for a treat.

RE4 has gorgeous graphics, excellent voice acting (which was not generally the case in previous RE games), epic boss battles, a fun treasure hunting aspect, and pulse-pounding action. Between the Gamecube and PS2 versions, G and I probably sank at least 100 hours into this game and didn't regret a second of it. It's one of only three games I'd give a perfect 10---I've already written about the other two---and absolutely essential for anybody who loves action games. It knocked my socks off and then put them back on for the sole purpose of knocking them right off again.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to do.

Ay, papi, dios mio...