Blasting through Resident Evil Releases
Byline: Joseph Szadkowski, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Here's a look at some hardware and software that's available:
Resident Evil 4, from Capcom for Game Cube, rated M: content suitable for ages 17 and older, $49.99; and Resident Evil Apocalypse from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment for DVD-enabled computers and home entertainment centers, rated R, $29.99.
Horror and hands-on action await adults as they enjoy a pair of multimedia releases celebrating a legendary video game franchise.
First, the king of survival horror gaming returns to television screens with a new third-person experience that is more of a nonstop, stylized battle through the Village of the Damned than its zombie-filled predecessors.
Resident Evil 4 takes place six years after the Umbrella Corp. has been financially destroyed because of a government crackdown on its deadly mutation projects. Now the protagonists involved in controlling its nasty creations have moved on to new covert missions. One of these, Leon Kennedy (made famous in Resident Evil 2) has been assigned to protect the president's family.
As he is given the new orders, it just so happens, the president's daughter is kidnapped and held in an ancient Spanish village pulled right out of Hammer Film Productions' version of "Dracula."
The player controls Leon as he moves about gorgeously rendered yet sinister trails, shacks and claustrophobic environments while collecting armaments, ammunition and even gold coins to replenish his arsenal.
Very possessed, very angry villagers and grisly creatures get in the way of his mission. Using pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers and even a kick to the head, Leon puts them out of their misery.
Features such as a clever puzzle menu system allow the player to carry only a certain number of items based on whether their rectangular-shaped equivalents fit into a grid-designed game board.
The dripping "atmos-fear" and moody music will suck the player into a game that often looks as though George Romero stepped behind the camera.
Additionally, quick moving, sneaky enemies spring into action or stay strategically hidden, ready to strike at every horror-film-cliche moment. Dropping one's guard can lead to a painful pitchfork to the chest or ax to the cranium. …