Weeks Plus LE Review (RE4 Edition)

Well, its been a busy past few weeks and I’ve got two more busy ones ahead so I figured I’d take this eye of the storm to look back on these busy weeks.

E3

First off, there was E3. This horse has been beaten beyond death so I’ll keep it somewhat brief. The whole convention was pretty much universally panned. Everything from the tiny show floor to disappointing press conferences, the show was terrible by pretty much every account.

Microsoft basically showed a few games and then went on to explain how Avatars were a revolutionary creation and how its never been done before in games. By the end of the show, I was certain that Microsoft did indeed want to be Nintendo. Their other big news was their new video service…which also happened to be big news at the Sony press conference, so yeah. At least they got Final Fantasy XIII.

The Nintendo press conference is considered the most disappointing and I can understand why. From the core gamer perspective there was pretty much nothing to feed on except a few logos and character art. I think Nintendo’s biggest misstep was in the way they presented the games. Reggie said that they could show a montage of a bunch of upcoming games or just focus on a few. They chose the latter and focused on Clone Wars, Raving Rabbids, and Call of Duty. The rest of the Presser is dominated by Animal Crossing, Shaun White, and Wii Music. The saddest part is that the great games people want to see were at E3, Nintendo just didn’t focus on them. If the press conference had focused more on The Conduit, Mad World, Fatal Frame, Tales of Symphonia, and maybe even Dead Rising then the conferences might not have been soo disappointing. Still out of all that we did get Wii Motion Plus and Wii Speak, two peripherals that have some pretty cool applications. I just personally hope WiiSpeak is built into the system’s OS and not game by game but then again, how many times has Nintendo gone with the awsome idea recently?

Anyways, the Sony Press conference was the only one I didn’t watch in its entirety. From the liveblogs it pretty much summed up to Video service, Ratchet, DC Universe, God of War III, and MAG…all sometime in the future. Despite the Sony conference looking to be the only one of the three that really fed the hardcore what they wanted, it seems like everything they have to show is for some undetermined future date. At the very least Microsoft and Nintendo focused on what would be available around the holidays.

Unfortunately, the third praty pressers were no less disappointing. Square and Capcom both kept theirs on a single subject despite the variety of product we are expecting. Square focused their press conference on FFXIII, despite the fact that they recently announced a Chrono Trigger port for the DS, Dissidia coming soon, and Final Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles not yet officially cancelled. Capcom focused solely on the Lost Planet movie despite having the juggernaut of RE5 coming up, the new CG Resident Evil movie, Street Fighter IV, and Mega Man 9 on the horizon.

Comic-Con International

Probably my most looked forward to week of the year, the San Diego Comic-Con was awsome with little exception. Since I actually attended this convention, I didn’t really focus on the news posted by sites like Kotaku or even GT. Still, I did see plenty of awsome stuff.

My first day of the convention was Wednesday, Preview Night, and the line to get in was absolutely monstrous, even compared to previous years. However, since everyone attending was required to pre-register online, there was no money exchanged when picking up our badges so the people just scanned our registration barcode, printed our badges and we were ready to go. The process was much faster and because of it, even the gigantic line moved fairly quickly through.

Most of my time was spent on the exhibit floor hunting down autographs and sketches. I was able to get a sketch from Penny Arcade’s Mike of Warrior Within’s time bitch, as well as Gabe’s WoW character wearing the set of the Beaver. While at the booth I also picked up their fifth book and the Deep Crow Poster for a friend.

I stopped by Konami’s booth for a bit where they had demos of many of their upcoming games, including Silent Hill and Castlevania Judgement. The latter definitely impressed me with the quality of the visuals themselves, but I still think the character designs are complete trash and the idea of a Castlevania fighting game still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. While there I picked up the Metal Gear Solid 3 soundtrack.

At Capcom’s booth I got to play a little Mega Man 9, which I’m glad to say plays perfectly. It has that NES feel and that NES difficulty. While there I also picked up Harvey Birdman for the Wii for $20, as well as a Capcom Comic-Con Staff shirt, and the Street Fighter Tribute artbook, which I proceeded to hunt down autographs for. I was able to nab Gabe, of course, Jorge Molina, and Adam Hughes’ autographs on their respective pages.

I stopped by the TellTale Games booth and played a little bit of Strong Bad’s game on the Wii. I’m glad to say that the humor is definitely there and the gameplay is what you’d expect from a point and click adventure. I asked them when the game had been pushed back to and they said the game itself was done and that it was all up to Nintendo. This was, of course, before the announcement that the game would come this Monday.

I was also able to nab a few Harley Quinn sketches from various artists at the Top Cow booth as well as William Tucci of Crusade Comics.

At the Marvel Booth my sister and I were both lucky enough to win the raffle for a Stan Lee autograph, but thanks to Marvel’s terrible line management, they cut off the line right in front of me and the roughly twenty other people in line behind me. That was probably the lowest point of the convention for me. Why bother doing a raffle when event he winners arent’ guaranteed an autograph?

Anyways, upstairs I was able to nab Thomas Jane’s (The Punisher) autograph on the Punisher DVD, a comic, and the instruction manual for the Punisher game in which he did the voice. He also responded to a fan’s question about why he won’t be in the next Punisher movie with the script sucked, I couldn’t do it, which fills me with confidence for Warzone. While there, I was also able to nab autographs from the original Battlestar Galactica’s Apollo and Boomer for a close friend of mine.

I was also there for the Hideo Kojima signing Friday morning. I was lucky enough to get a decent spot in line. There were plenty of cosplayers there, as expected; a Meryl, a Boss, Big Boss, and some guy with a random cardboard box. Of things brought to the signing was everything from the original Metal Gear Solid, plenty of copies of MGS4 and its limited editioin as well as the Comic-Con exclusive Stealth Snake from Snake Eater (which I nabbed, of course). Some guy just had a stick with a bunch of autographs on it, and one lugged his PS3 to the event. While I personally had the instruction manual for each Metal Gear game I owned, we were only allowed to get one item signed, so I chose the Art of Metal Gear Solid book that came with the MGS3 Limited Edition guide, which worked out well enough as I was able to get it signed by both Hideo Kojima and the art director, Yoji Shinkawa. Lol, I mentioned to Kojima that we need some Metal Gear for the Wii, and although I doubt he understood me, he was at least able to pick out the words Metal Gear and Wii, although I’m sure that won’t amount to much, if anything at all.

Other than that, I was able to pick up a bunch of comics I’d been looking for such as the hardcover version of 300 (for only $10), and a bunch of Michael Turner stuff.

Finally, on Thursday I attended the Video Games Live concert and the moment it started, all reservations I had from hearing people complain about the setlist and whatnot. Really it was all great. They even made the Halo suite awsome and on any other day I’d barely be able to recognize a Halo tune. They also played the Metal Gear Solid theme and their first encore was One Winged Angel, a good song, but one that I think has been played to death (you’d be loathe to find any non-game specific Final Fantasy Soundtrack without it) but luckily they decided to end the show with an oldie but goodie and played a pretty awsome Castlevania Medley. A particular favorite of mine was the Civilization IV medley despite my not having ever played a Civilization game. So yeah, I highly recommend the show if it stops nearby, its definitely worth going to for any video game fan.

Anyways, I think that just about covers the big stuff over the last few weeks, now onto the second half of the post. and RE4 Blow-Out of LE proportions!

Resident Evil 4 Gamestop Special Edition

RE4 (GCN)

 

Inside the box we have:

  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 4 Laser Cell
  • Resident Evil Prologue
  • Tin Case

Resident Evil 4: Nothing to see here, just your regular Resident Evil 4 game for the Gamecube.

Resident Evil 4 Laser Cel: This is really a just a small piece of matted artwork of Leon, its pretty nice, I think. There isn’t much more to say about it. Its apparently from a limited edition of 48,000, so I’m guessing it also doubles as the edition label for the Special Edition itself.

Resident Evil Prologue: I think some sites might advertise this as an art book or something like that, but its really more of a digest of the Resident Evil series thus far. The booklet, published by Brady Games, includes summaries of Resident Evil 0-Code: Veronica along with some character artwork for each game. Its a neat little book that I enjoyed quite a bit and I can see it serving some real purpose being bundled up with the game, seeing as RE4’s style can attract gamers that may not have been interested in the previous games, its a nice way for them to get up to speed.

Tin Case: Just a tin case with the Resident Evil 4 logo embossed into it and a few logos and stuff printed on it. Just keeps everything together.

This edition came out back in the days of LE/SEs costing $10 more than they’re original counterparts. I’m not personally too opposed to dropping another $10 for what was the most anticipated game of its time so I really can’t fault it too much from a value standpoint, especially seeing as you seem to be getting just as much or less for more than a $10 premium nowadays *coughsoulcaliburcough*

If you’re a fan of the series or a fan of the game, think this edition would have been fairly worth it at the time. If not, then you have to wonder if $10 is worth a small picture and booklet. Probably not, but then again, if you’re thinking along those lines then you’re probably not the type to pick up LEs in the first place. Still, at 48k units, I would hardly call this rare, but still, its a nice piece to have from one of the GameCube’s brightest moments.

The aftermarket price on one of these guys varies a bit but they’re not typically selling for ridiculous prices. All depends on the seller, of course. At the moment there aren’t too many of them on ebay, but one has a buy-it now price of $45 with free shipping and the rest are auctions currently in the $20-$30 range. Its not a terribly complex package, but at least it doesn’t seem to be causing insane mark-ups making it a decent pick-up for a fan or a would-be collector.

Next up,

Resident Evil 4 Premium Edition

RE4 (PS2)

 

Inside we have:

  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 4 Laser Cell
  • Resident Evil Prologue
  • Making of Resident Evil 4 DVD

Resident Evil 4: Well, this is basically the tin case and the game rolled into one. I personally think the artwork on the interior is very nice and it keeps the package together well. I also prefer it when LEs have packages designed to fit everything well as opposed to just a box to throw everything in like the Assassin’s Creed one and, to a lesser extent, the RE4 Special Edition, although the latter does fit everything in pretty snuggly.

Resident Evil 4 Laser Cell: Pretty much the same deal as the laser cel above except that this cel features an image of Ada and is apparently from a limited edition of 60,100 units which, if it matches the number of premium editions produced, is somewhat odd because the Premium Edition seems a bit tougher to find than the Special Edition.

Resident Evil Prologue: This is the very same book included with the special edition save that it has a different cover. Everything above still applies.

Making of Resident Evil 4 DVD: This Making-Of DVD includes a single documentary originally made to promote the GameCube version. I don’t recall if they blacked out any shots of the GameCube or if the original documentary just didn’t show it, but I doubt they’d include what would basically be an advertisement for the GameCube inside a PS2 package.

As you may have noticed, save for the Making-Of, this set pretty much mirrors the Special Edition that Gamestop released for the Gamecube version. Capcom went ahead and refined it somewhat by including a custom-made tin-case but other than that its not terribly different. With Ada being more popular with the guys and being featured in the then PS2 exclusive Seperate Ways addition, it makes sense that they’d choose her for the laser cel.

As I said above, this version was a little tougher to find than the Special Edition, although at the moment the two seem to be on just about equal footing in terms of availability and price. For some reason it also seems to be a little tougher to find the Premium Edition with the Ada laser cel. Are people losing them or keeping them or something? Again, this edition was only $10 more than what the PS2 version cost, meaning that this package was only $49.99 making a little better in the value-to-content ratio, I suppose. Again, a very attractive collectible for fans of the game or the series in general.

Now, those two were quite similar, but this next one is a whole different beast

Resident Evil 4 Collector’s Pack

RE4 (PS2-2)

 

Inside we have:

  • Resident Evil 4
  • Leon variant Action Figure
  • Resident Evil 4 T-Shirt
  • Biohazard Sound Chronicle: Best Track Box

Resident Evil 4: This time around we just have the standard PS2 version of the game.

Leon variant Action Figure: A variant of the Leon action figure produced by NECA. This version has Leon without his jacket; pretty much the Leon plastered all over the PS2 version.

Resident Evil 4 T-Shirt: A T-shirt in extra large featuring the Capcom logo on the front and the box art for the PS2 game on the back.

Biohazard Sound Chronicle: Best Track Box: Wow, just wow. I’ve mentioned that I’m fond of getting a soundtrack with my special editions, but wow, here we get six! This item is a Japanese import, explaining why its titled Biohazard and not Resident Evil. The box contains six jewel cases, inside each one is a one disc soundtrack for one of the main Resident Evil games. Altogether you have soundtracks for Resident Evil 0, the Resident Evil Remake, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, and Resident Evil 4. This is the real meat of this edition.

Now, I have had a tough time calling this an edition of the game, mostly because none of this really comes packaged together in any meaningful way. There’s nothing on each item saying that its from the Collector’s Pack and each item seems pretty individual and Capcom just moved them closer together and called it a pack. Maybe this could be better described as a bundle but I included it here for the sake of completion.

All that aside, this would be the most expensive version of Resdient Evil 4. It was not available in stores and had to be orderd through Capcom’s website. At the time, this pack cost $119.99 plus shipping. I can’t be sure if the action figure is unique to this package, although I doubt it. At least it seems to be the rarest variant of this action figure, the jacketed and the RPD Leon both seeming a bit more common. As far as value goes, the cost of any of these figures seem to vary widely. The only jacketless Leon on Ebay is currently going for $50 but the other two seem to go for comparable prices.

Not much can be said about the T-shirt. I’m personally fond of video game-related t-shirts so I quite like this one. Other than that there don’t seem to be any of these on ebay so that might count for something.

Finally, the soundtrack box. Wow. Like I said, this makes the set. The soundtrack to each of the main Resident Evil game at the time in a handsome box. Like I said, these are one disc editions of each soundtrack as each games individual soundtrack release can be two or more. Thse are best hits so they just include the more popular songs on each soundtrack. There are two of these listed on ebay for $40, but they’re bootlegs. There are two an Amazon Japan’s Marketplace for roughly $50.

Like I said, Its hard to really call this a single release as most everything can be obtained seperately. I’ve read somewhere that this set was limited to 100 but with the individual nature of each item its kind of difficult to really take that number seriously. Still, for the money it was a pretty good deal, I think, and the soundtrack box alone is an amazing addition to any collection.

And finally,

Random Resident Evil 4 stuff

RE4 Extras

 

  • Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (GCN)
  • Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (PS2)
  • Resident Evil Soundtrack
  • Resident Evil 4 Preview Disc
  • Resident Evil 4 Laser Cel
  • Making of Resident Evil 4 DVD {Not Pictured)

Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (GCN): I’ll say this right now, neither one of these chainsaw controllers is really ideal for gameplay of any sort, but damn do they look cool. Released alongside the GameCube version of Resident Evil 4, this chinsaw controller came inside a windowed box and included a rocky-looking base, which has a spot for placing a GCN memory card. The removable cable for the controller is stored within the base and I do believe that the bloodsplatters are supposed to be unique to each unit. The controller functions (response time, etc) work fine, its just that in order to achieve the chainsaw body, the buttons and the control sticks had to be placed in odd positions and it takes a while just to figure out how you’re expected to hit each button.

Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (PS2): When RE4 came out for the PS2 it got its own chainsaw controller as well. The PS2 version saw several improvements in design as well as presentation over the GameCube version. First off, the box is no longer a windowed (though high quality) cardboard box. Instead the entire thing is a more solid plastic.The lower portion of the box seperates into a base and the controller’s removable cable fits inside a plastic drawer in the base. The controller itself is a slightly different, featuring more ergonomically shaped grips, althought the button layout itself is still a bit puzzling. The blade is now made of mirrored plastic, giving it a higher quality look on which the blood splatter contrasts against. Again, I do believe the blood splatter is unique to each unit. Also, this version of the chainsaw controller features a ripcord that, when pulled, causes the controller to make a chainsaw revving sound effect. The second new feature is dubbed N-Motion which, when activated, allows you to trigger the R1 button (which causes Leon to raise his weapon in the PS2 version) by tilting the chainsaw up or down. Again, more of a showpieces than a fuctional controller.

Resident Evil Soundtrack: I believe this was a pre-order bonus at Gamestop for a limited time or something, anyways, this disc isn’t much to be excited about really. Why would I say that? Well, mainly because its not a soundtrack for Resident Evil 4. Instead the CD contains several tracks from the soundtracks for Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, yes, its a soundtrack for the movies. No thank you. Still, its in the collection.

Resident Evil 4 Preview Disc: Probably my favorite of these extras. This preview disc was given to retailers for their GameCube kiosks. The disc contains the opening cinemas to Resident Evil 0, the Resident Evil Remake, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil – Code: Veronica X. a trailer for Resdient Evil 4, and the playable demo of the Village battle. I think of this disc as a little history record.

Resident Evil 4 Laser Cel: Whose idea was it to make all these? Anyways, I believe this particular laser cel came from one of the E3 Conventions and it features an image of Leon and Doctor Salvador. This cell is from a limited edition of 18,850, making it the rarest of the three seen here today.

Making of Resident Evil 4 DVD: Remember that Making-of documentary I mentioned up with the Premium Edition? This is the original one given out to retailers to promote the Gamecube version. Sorry I didn’t include it in the picture but I remembered about it after I’d put everything away and had typed most of this up. Its an interesting look at the development of the game but as its more for promotional purposes than informational, it never gets too deep on any one subject.

Wow, and there you go. All of my Resident Evil 4 collection. This will be my final blog post until I get back from Australia whic means you’ll see my next post Friday, August 22nd, just in time for another LE Review and just as was suggested, I’ll go ahead and do Soul Calibur IV.

Now after typing all that, my hands can use the two weeks rest…