POSTED BY elheber on Jul 21, 2016
I guess I’ll explain it here. Keep in mind, that saying this is my favorite game of all time doesn’t mean I think it’s the greatest game of all time. Those are two different things. And in explaining why this game is my favorite I’ll need to toss you into my mindset.
Resident Evil 4
I love me RE4 so dearly, I do, I do, I do.
So there’s this philosophy I carry around about horror as a genre: You feel weak at the start, you feel empowered at the end. It’s why in the best horror movies the monsters aren’t shown until the end. It’s also why horror sequels work better as action movies (think Alien -> Aliens or Terminator -> Terminator 2) since by the end of the first one, both the protagonist and the audience are less afraid of the big unknown because it became just the ugly known.
Resident Evil 4 did that for me. I was the protagonist who was fumbling with the awkward controls, getting body shots, not knowing what guns to upgrade and which to sell, shitting myself at the sound of an off-screen chainsaw. I was a tiny little rabbit during the first village encounter, quite literally saved by the bell. It was like I was being chased in the woods by a slow serial killer that was only catching up to me because I kept tripping. By the end, I was like this:
It was the perfect storm of me being at the right point in life to conquer an entire horror game for the first time, and a game that was perfect for conquering horror for the first time. It was to me what the first Alien was to Ellen Ripley; it was the perfect monster for it. RE4 had masterful pacing, was perfectly balanced, and it secretly scaled its difficulty to your skill in real-time without you knowing.
Roger Ebert once said if there was on thing he could wish for, it would be to be able to watch his favorite movie again for the first time. I could only play that game one time for the first time, and every time I beat it after that it was a completely different game. After I beat it the first time, for subsequent play-throughs it became an action game and I was like Neo in godmode, just laying waste to my enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women. During my second run in the first village encounter, the bell saved them.
No other game has done for me what Resident Evil 4 had. It changed me like no other game had before or since. It was the perfect game to change someone, unlike games that are meant to stay scary and keep you disempowered in any and every playthrough.
Resident Evil 4 is by far my favorite game of all time.
"A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."