all guns blazing

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2007, 12:00am


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Zombies burst onto the Nintendo Wii console with the release of Biohazard IV (known as Resident Evil IV outside Japan and Greater China), a horror-themed third-person shooter game from Osaka-based developer and publisher Capcom.

The game, with its gruesome cast of animated corpses, made its debut on the Nintendo GameCube

in January 2005. It proved such a huge success that Capcom ported the game onto Sony's PlayStation 2 system in October the same year.

Tokyo-based Sourcenext then developed a personal-computer port of the survival game, which was published by Typhoon Games in Hong Kong in February. In the Wii edition, the whole Biohazard gang returns. Leon Scott Kennedy, a rookie police officer at the start of the series, is the main protagonist in this fourth instalment. He plays an American secret agent on a mission to save Ashley Graham, the young and beautiful kidnapped daughter of the US president.

Another computer-generated beauty is formidable spy Ada Wong (left), who again dons her red cheongsam and black high heels. Fortunately, her stunning attire doesn't hinder her ability to kick the behinds of zombies.

Fans of the game's predecessors may be wondering what improvements or extra features are offered in the new version to warrant buying it all over again. The answer is: absolutely none. And the game's graphics look dated - especially if you've spent a year playing high-definition games.

However, if you're a fan of the series, this is the excuse to buy a Wii you've been waiting for. You won't ever want to return to playing with a regular joystick or game-pad controller. Instead of aiming your gun at zombies by jostling an analogue stick around, you point the Wii remote at the screen like a real gun, hold down its 'B' button then fire by pressing the 'A' button. It is a faster and more accurate way of shooting.

The good application of the Wii controller, the solid story line and entertaining gameplay make up for what Biohazard IV lacks by way of graphics. Also top-notch are its soundtrack and special effects, which make the sound of gunfire and moaning zombies creepy.

If you've played Biohazard IV on the GameCube or PS2, give it a try on the Wii and see how the game ought to be played.

Pros: The Wii's controller allows for fast, furious and entertaining gameplay.

Cons: Graphics are dated.