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George Lucas

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-07-13 04:41:47

George Lucas Hates You

I've been organizing my DVDs, and it made me realize just how much Star Wars has pained my video purchases. Back in the VHS era of 1995, when George Lucas declared the "last chance to own the original trilogy", I broke down and paid extra for the higher SKU letter-boxed HiFi version. I was happy with this purchase; Lucas hadn't gone crazy yet. My overall Star Wars experience had only been enhanced by cool video games like Dark Forces and Tie Fighter.

I dutifully watched the Special Edition releases in the theater, and even suffered the first two prequel flicks in the theater. I purchased the Special Edition DVDs, to discover that they'd been even further Special-ificated. Swapping in Hayden Christensen as the spectral Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi was the last straw. I've gone on record as labeling the prequel films as non-canonical fan fiction, in order to preserve my enjoyment of the real Star Wars films, and this invasion was the last straw.

And then, the most recent incident of Lucas flipping me the bird: he released the original versions of Star Wars on DVD. At this point, I'm just so jaded, I don't want to give him any more of my money. Maybe I'll just transfer my old VHS copies to digital format.

I think my enjoyment of Star Wars material will henceforth be limited to video gaming. Sure there have been clunkers, but standouts like Rogue Squadron II, Lego Star Wars II, and particularly Knights of the Old Republic (which is as good as the best of Star Wars material) are well worth the investment. What I want are:

1) A remake of Tie Fighter on the Xbox 360 focused on multiplayer over Live. Zipping around in an Interceptor dogfighting player controlled A-Wings in a massive furball would rock like no other.

2) A lightsaber fighting game on the Wii. You press a button on the Wii controller and it ignites with a sizzling PTSZZZH. Every movement you make with it then gets translated motion for motion onscreen accompanied by WOAHRRN-HMZZZZ noises. This is the game the Wii was made for. I'd even put up with entering those ridiculous friend codes to duel my buddies.

Speaking of the Wii, I've already railed against its library consisting of shitty ports with Wii motion control "waggle" tacked on. I pretty much hate my Wii, because of all the promises it made. It's like settling for a homely and personality-less wife, in return for the promise of exceptional culinary and erotic skills, only to discover that she's simply ugly and boring.

I tried out Resident Evil 4, yet another port with tacked on waggle. I gave it a chance only because it was arguably the best game on the GameCube, and was my runner up for Direman Press Game of the Year back in 2005.

My initial reaction was, "ugh, the graphics are dated." After playing next-gen games in HD, staring at visuals the original Xbox could easily handle is disappointing in a new release on a brand new console. This lack isn't noticeable on Wii titles that are cartoonish in nature, but in an ultra-detailed hyper-realistic looking game like RE4, the Wii just doesn't pull through.

Undaunted, I kept playing, because the game itself felt like returning to an old favorite book or film. It's still phenomenal and the tense, gripping gameplay holds up as "next-gen". The art direction is so moody and engrossing that the technical limitations of the Wii ultimately aren't important. All the normal-mapping and specular lighting in the world doesn't mean spit compared to brilliant artistic direction. I wish the audio were in 5.1 digital as opposed to the faux ProLogic surround, but again, the inherent design work is top notch, enveloping you into the game world.

Finally, I grew to appreciate the Wii controls. RE4 depends on the ability to strike specific targets of enemies, such as shooting their ankles to drop them to the ground. The motion control was as precise as any lightgun game, making the whole experience a joy as opposed to fumbling around with the old clumsy GameCube stick. The only control issue I have is the lack of a way to strafe. This is the last vestige of the ancient, clunky, tank-like original Resident Evil controls.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition also includes all of the bonus material that appeared on the shoddy PlayStation 2 port, at a budget price. Not only is this a meaty, lengthy game, the replay factor is off the charts for a single player experience. If you own a Wii, you pretty much have to pick up this game. Even if you've played it before, it's worth another run through or two. Resident Evil 4 is not only the best in the series, but a Hall of Fame caliber landmark title, and the Wii Edition is the definitive version of it.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition - Rank S (Considered dropping it to A for being a ported rerelease, but for once the Wii motion control actually enhances the product.)

Now Playing - Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (360)

Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce

(Heh, I called a Wii game meaty and lengthy.)

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