Everyone here that doesn't know what a huge RE4 fan I am knows that I am a HUUUUUUGE RE4 fan. The game was a major influence on my life. It was the game that allowed me to become self-aware as a gamer, to realize that beyond choices present in the text of the game were choices present in the text of the play. That the player is a co-author.
So somebody at some point stupidly said I would play RE4 100 times in my life. Play through it. It should be noted that it's a game that takes a normal player around 20 hours to beat, and that after getting all the secret guns and committing everything to memory, I could do it in about 6. I somehow reasoned with myself that 6 hours meant three 2-hour sessions, spaced across a month, which was pretty reasonable. And with a rate of one playthrough a month, having already done about ten runs at age 17, I would zip through it in just eight years. EIGHT YEARS???? SERIOUSLY???? I can't believe that when I was 17, basically a fucking adult, I thought I'd want to suffer through eight years of ruining this brilliant milestone in game design and culture.
I never did play RE4 1000 times, if you can believe it. Because what happened is that RE5 came out. And it was awful and left a terrible taste in my mouth and made me doubt that RE4 had actually been any good. That's actually not the real story - the REAL story is that my GCN memory card died so I lost the record of my first dozen runs and said fuck it. It was all about seeing the counter hit 100, without that it was meaningless. Then I got the Wii version when I was a year or two older and I said, alright, let's go in fresh, forget the memory card debacle and maybe we can work up to 100 from scratch.
I was stillllllll pretending that goal was anywhere closer than the sun?! Seriously?! WeweweweweweweweeeWeeewoooWeooowooo. Sound effects.
TURN ON THE SOUND EFFECTS!You ever listen to the Cows? Go check 'em out. As soon as you think they're a great band you'll realize they are like eight completely different great bands, depending on the album and the track.
So I got onto the Wii version and said, dear god, these controls are awesome, I'll never be able to go back to dual analog. And I never really have been able to go back to dual analog, because I never found it a particularly successful substitute for mouse and keyboard anyway. Well, it works for them ol' third person games, so let's let it be. RE4 is like DOOM 2, that's why it's so fun. It's like you're a magnet and there's no shelter and you stand and shoot. No, hang on to your butts for one more second, I think I'm onto something here.
Is RE4 the final re-emergence of Robotron 64? The top-down shooter, Total Carnage, Smash TV? We learned a long time ago that DOOM 2 Kicks Ass because it's a shmup, an honest-to-god born-and-bred Gradius Batsugun Ikaruga shmup. Maybe with a little bit of Gauntlet tossed in and then kicked into a dungeon. But it's a SHMUP. You minimalistically navigate through an enemy threat pattern managing your and their damage trajectories and momentum. Your concentration is divided between two points: controlling them through fire and protecting yourself through avoidance.
Man I'm really worried this is starting to sound like the ravings of a crazy person. I'll get back to you later.