Beat Resident Evil 4 on Professional mode: Complete
Last time, I chose to start with this challenge because I figured it would be the easiest one for me to get into the swing of things; after all Resident Evil 4 was one of my favorite games ever, and I'd played through it nearly half a dozen times.
In reality though, it turned out to be quite a challenge, even with the slick aiming controls on the Wii version of the game. The postgame results screen shows that I died 43 times--though to be fair, one of those times was on purpose to scare my girlfriend with the Del Lago fishing easter egg.
Other than that, I realized a few things I never thought about or noticed before while doing this challenge:
- Leon starts his mission by walking unannounced into a random local's house, asking him a bunch of questions in a foreign language, and shooting him in the face when he becomes agitated. His mission coordinator, Ingrid Hunnigan, doesn't even bat an eye at this because, man, we got some intel from somebody that maybe the president's daughter might be out here and stuff. The whole operation has an air of "very special forces" surrounding it.
- Speaking of Ingrid Hunnigan, her attractiveness is inversely proportional to the attractiveness of the name Ingrid Hunnigan.
- I love how a blood red signpost with two human skulls hanging from it "looks like a warning of some sort" to Leon.
- The back and forth between Leon and Salazar is some of the most awesomely terrible dialogue in a series famous for its awesomely terrible dialogue.
- Armed with a pistol, a shotgun, and a handful of grenades, Leon's first instinct when confronted by the 9-foot tall village chief is to run straight at him, which goes about as well as one would imagine.
- Leon is so ridiculously happy to see that dog during the first El Gigante fight that I thought it had a grenade launcher in its mouth.
- Saddler's whole plan was to infect Ashley, the president's daughter, with the Las Plagas parasite, giving him control over her every action, and then send her back to America--presumably, to infect her father, giving Saddler control over the USA. But instead of allowing Leon to "rescue" her and bring her back to America, Saddler shows up right after they meet and tells them his whole plan and that they're both infected. And then has guys shoot flaming crossbow bolts at them. So the whole aura of stupidity pretty much permeates both sides of this debacle I guess.
- Playing on Professional mode means Ashley's survival hinges on your willingness to shove her into dumpsters at every opportunity.
- In a castle full of spike pits, swinging blade traps, fire-breathing statues, crushing pistons, and gargantuan acid-spewing invisible insects, Ashley manages to fall into the one trap that gently hugs its victim against a wall at the end of 3-1.
- Luis gives Ashley a lecture on manners seconds after commenting about the size of her "ballistics."
All this said, RE4 is still among my favorite games. The gameplay is a great evolution from the earlier series, without eschewing the silly campiness of it. And the fight against Krauser late in the game is still one of my favorite boss fights ever--plus it shows how some developers can actually use quick-time events in an effective, non-terrible way.
Resident Evil 5 keeps the gameplay improvements made here, but the whole experience was ruined for me by how seriously it tried to take itself. That, and the two player co-op pretty much destroyed the sense of dread and solitude that survival-horror games rely on. So as of right now, Resident Evil 4 is the high point of the franchise for me.
So anyway, challenge complete. My reward? The nifty PRL-412 laser weapon.
NEXT CHALLENGE: Last time, Anderson suggested that I try beating Super Metroid in under eight hours. Upon further investigation, we found that you actually get the best ending in the game for beating it in under three hours, so that's what I must do.
Challenge 2: Beat Super Metroid in less than 3 hours
Not sure what to do after this one, so leave suggestions in the comments.