OK, it’s been a little while since I’ve had an out and out rant over something and this one’s been stewing for a little while.
Today, I’d like to rant about the upcoming Resident Evil 4 for the Wii.
First of all, let’s cast our minds back to how the gaming community felt about the Wii this time last year. The notion that new and revolutionary gaming experiences were very strong. So strong, in fact, that many gamers simply couldn’t imagine how gaming would ever be the same. The Wii would break through the confines of ‘regular’ games and make good of Iwata’s promise of “You will say wow” (funny how gamers have stopped quoting that isn’t it?).
Let’s also remember that the wonderful Wii was a true gamer’s friend and claims 100% full backwards compatibility with Nintendo’s old generation Gamecube. Incidentally, writing ‘old generation’ sounds a bit silly. However, writing ‘previous generation’ would be inappropriate as, by Nintendo’s press releases, the Wii isn’t ‘next’ generation gaming but ‘new’ generation. Well, ‘old’ is to ‘new’ as ‘previous’ is to ‘next’. So, if Wii is new generation, Gamecube must be old generation, right? Right.
So, the Wii – the best of all possible worlds! New generation games, old generation classics. Who could ask for more?
I mean, if I wanted to play a game like Resident Evil 4 on my Wii then all I’d have to do would be to grab my disks and pop them in my Wii.
So a special Wii edition is pretty much pointless. Especially if the content is going to be the same. Hell, I’m not even sure that the content for the Wii version has been expanded to encompass the extras that were introduced in the PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4. If it doesn’t then I can point a finger at Resident Evil 4 Wii and laugh at how it represents less than ‘old’ gen editions of the game and if it does have the extra content I can point a finger at the game and laugh about how the Wii is getting a port from the PlayStation 2.
Seeing as the Wii can run Resident Evil 4 perfectly, what benefit is there to be had in the new Wii edition besides waggle? It would seem that the answer is “nothing whatsoever”. I mean, that’s a simple and factual look at what this revoluationary console is bringing to gamers of this brave new generation.
Needless to say, the fervour with which Resident Evil fans embraced the news of a port and excitedly built up a froth over the idea of shooting zombies for 15 hours but now with added WAGGLE! was, I’m very sad to say, entirely predictable. The fact that, beneath the very pretty graphics Resident Evil 4 is a pretty shallow and unsatisfying gaming experience is a rant for another day.
Not wanting to suggest that certain news media sites have absolutely no backbone, objectivity, journalistic integrity or intelligence beyond desperately writing things they know their dumb readership want to hear, I read the following excerpt with complete contempt:
..the direct Wiimote-based controls offer a plus, making the game feel like something fresh and different. One reviewer said that the game offers the feeling of being closer to the action as well as upping the tension.
Multiple reviewers agreed on two points, that the new controls are simple and easy to get into, and that even those who played the original will be able to enjoy themselves.
We’ll be sure and spend some quality time with the title for ourselves when the RE4 Wii Edition hits Japan on the 31st and America on June 19th.
This quote was presented to me in quoted form. The quote is taken from an IGN piece (who else?) and, if you read more of the masturbatory drivel (which I’m deliberately not linking to) you’ll see that of a possible 40 points, the game scored 38. In a Japanese magazine. That’s known for handing out high-scores like candy. That also focuses exclusively on Nintendo games.
I learned of this article when it was reported as, of all things, a news article at another website. This so-called news was reported with a breathlessly excited headline stating “RE4 WII EARNS PERFECT SCORE!”. 38 out of a possible 40 does not represent perfection.
But what’s details like that got to do with anything when you’re busy whipping up excitement of a port (to Wii) of a port (from PS2) of a port (from GC) of a game that works perfectly (Gamecube to Wii) of a franchise that’s got THREE sequels (not including spinoffs) and therefore doesn’t need to exist at all? Oh, I forgot the revolutionary aspect of making the same stuff but slapping in a bit of waggle via the revolution of motion sensing.
But then, gamers were assured of innovation, originality and a whole new experience by Nintendo with their Uberbox weren’t we?
So what’s with this shit? Why is second hand dross (though the graphics are awfully pretty – even though ‘graphics don’t count! Wii = innovation!’) getting given the ‘mana from heaven’ treatment, being hailed as scoring perfectly when it isn’t and basically being lied about left right and center and being tarted up as being something special when, in cold, hard truth, it’s just the same old shit with waggle added on top.
This is gaming media. This is the crap that’s being pulled many times in every direction according to whichever agenda the author or site happens to have. And, let’s not forget – a chunk of that agenda is “get webhits, earn revenue”.
Once again, we’ve got a wonderfully clear example of how The Emperor’s New Clothes is being played out to the letter on a Nintendo platform and these oh-so-critical, oh-so-impartial, oh-so-knowledgeable gamers are lapping it up as though they’ve not eaten in weeks.
So what’s with the title?
Well who started this kind of behaviour? Who set the precedent for taking old gen games, slapping waggle into them and saying “Here is something totally new and amazing! Here is the realisation of the promise of the Wii!”
The answer, of course, is Nintendo, when they took Zelda and waggled it onto Wii. Perhaps if Nintendo want originality on their machine which they certainly tell developers to focus on, they shouldn’t have played such a cheap stunt with one of the most important titles they own. Sure, you get a strong initial sales quota but you also send an equally strong message to all your developers: if it’s good enough for Nintendo to waggle old generation games onto Wii then it’s good enough for us.
Iwata, I’m not saying wow. I never did. I’m still saying “What the fuck?” and still amazed that ‘true’ gamers are falling for this bullshit.
Events and spin such as the existence of Resident Evil 4 Wii and it’s reception is far more damaging to innovation and originality than anything else I can think of right now. If you already own Resident Evil 4 and buy the the Wii version instead of an original, new, game then you’re helping to stifle creativity and innovation too.
Buy Psychonauts or DRoD instead. Those guys have made more interesting games and would certainly benefit from the money more than Nintendo or Capcom right now.
Do your bit. Don’t help kill innovation and creativity. Learn to recognise it when you see it.
TIP: Resident Evil 4 isn’t it.