Tag Archives: Dead Rising

Stumbling around unhappily in Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 initial impressions

Over the weekend, some friends showed me a thing called Highschool of the Dead, which follows a group of high school students caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The anime, not the manga, mind you. It’s more or less your typical zombie survival story, but set in a Japanese school and frequently punctuated with gratuitous panty shots and boob bouncing, there to mix and mingle with the violent bloodshed and tense drama. I may or may not watch more of it in the future, but regardless, it got me thinking about zombies again, reminding me that I had two zombie-related videogames downloaded on my Xbox 360, just waiting for my warm hands: The Walking Dead’s “400 Days” and Dead Rising 2.

I decided to see what Dead Rising 2 was all about first. Having only played the demo for Dead Rising way back when, all I know about this franchise is that there are a ton of zombies to kill, and they often block your way from point A to point B. You can use a variety of weapons, some effective and others less than so, and you earn PP by creatively killing zombies, which helps you level up, gain more skills, and unlock new combo cards. That sounds okay to me, if a bit mindless (pun intended). Throw in some Capcom goofiness, and we’re good to go.

No, wait. Hold up, corpse-face. I did play Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, a prequel to Dead Rising 2. It was a four- to five-hour experience that…I don’t remember much about. Oops, my bad. In the end, I wrote that it was worth getting over a sandwich, which is like crazy talk. Dead Rising 2 picks up a couple of years after the events in Case Zero, with Chuck Greene and his daughter trying to survive in Fortune City, which is now swarmed by the undead. He’s been framed for a crime he did not commit, and as you go about trying to clear your name you will rescue survivors, build weapons, give Katey some Zombrex every 24 hours, and kill the walking dead (or just run past them).

To be honest, I’m not having as much fun as I did in Case Zero. In fact, I’m finding the main game to be extremely frustrating and a wee bit unfair. Or maybe I don’t know how to go to the bathroom often enough to save my progress, but I’ve already lost an hour or so of gameplay time after getting stuck in a swarm of zombies with no health left. There are no checkpoints or auto-saves happening, so it is all in your hands to keep on top of that. I either need to make better saving decisions or just not play Dead Rising 2.

When you’re not following the main story missions, you are free to explore Fortune City until something becomes available. Generally, you will be killing zombies in your way and helping others in peril. These, from what I’ve seen, are more or less escort missions, and they are absolutely the worst. Most of the survivors are horrible runners, often getting caught in a zombie’s arms, and they lose health fast. Also, if you swing at the zombie biting them and accidentally hit them in the process, they will die. Don’t ask me how I know this.

I’m still in Act 1 for Dead Rising 2, not having fun, but I’ll try playing some more and see if I can get anywhere. I think I just might no longer attempt to save anyone, as it is really more of a hassle than anything else. I know you get some extra PP bonus or whatever, but man. I just don’t know. If there was no time limit, I’d just like to run around the casinos, finding fun and silly ways to annoy zombies before knocking their heads off. If only…

All Achievements Achieved – Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

For some reason, I expected the Achievements to be much harder for Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. Especially the one for killing 1,000 zombies, but I quickly realized that it only sounded more difficult than it truly was. I just spent a good 15 minutes running them over and over and over again with the pushcart thingy when I had to carry back the first bike part. Yup, even a zombie game has its percent of grinding to do…

The toughest of the bunch focused on fetch quests:

Still Creek Survivor (20G): Saved all the survivors in Still Creek. So much work in such a short stay!

This one required dedication and attention. Given the strict time limit in Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, you basically have to forgo finding all the bike parts in favor of saving everyone else stranded in Still Creek. That’s fine. I never really liked Chuck’s daughter, and seeing her taken away by the military for a second time bothered me not a bit. Now, actually saving the survivors is not a walk in the park. In fact, it’s more like a walk in a zombie-infested park. And they’re all drunk off moonshine. Okay, okay–maybe only one is actually drunk, but the rest sure do act like a bunch of inebriated clowns. Basically, you go find where these survivors are and then get them to follow you back. Sounds simple. It’s not. They like to run directly into groups of zombies instead of following the path you’ve cleared for them with your spiked bat and electric rake. The worst survivor is a sick woman you have to carry all the way back to your hideout; I flashbacked hard to Musashi: Samurai Legend and felt everything inside of me twist upside-down from repressed torture and anguish.

Seven Achievements are guaranteed to unlock during your first playthrough. The rest require another playthrough or two, but don’t take long at all to get. Small Town, Deep Pockets was the last to unlock for me after buying way too many stuffed moose heads from Dick’s pawnshop. A surprisingly easy 200 Gamerscore overall.

Games Completed in 2011, #1 – Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

Developers: Capcom, Blue Castle Games
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360 exclusive
Genres: Action adventure, zombie slaying, survival horror
Modes: Single-player
Hours clocked: Roughly four to five

A five dollar videogame doesn’t sound like a good thing. I mean, I’m imagining getting something like this or this or even this for such a low price. I did not, in all honesty, expect to get something good, something fun–a game I’d replay three times without blinking an eye. And that’s Dead Rising 2: Case Zero for you, a bite-size Dead Rising 2 experience that does a great job of fleshing (puns intended!) out the gameplay mechanics of its bigger brother, as well as supplying its own unique story, location, and set of characters.

The hero of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is Chuck Greene, a former motocross champion, and every hero has its loser counterpart, and we’ll call her Katey. That’s his daughter, and she’s sick from a motherly zombie bite, forcing him to scrounge for Zombrex to keep her human and alive long enough until he can figure out a more final solution to his daughter’s problems. The game takes place three years before the events of Dead Rising 2 in a town called Still Creek, which is brimming with the undead. Unfortunately, Chuck and Katey get stranded there, and his mission is to fix a broken motorcycle, keep Katey alive, save the town’s citizens, kill some zombies via inhumane weapons, and get out safe and sound with his daughter. This has to all happen within the time limit of one day, or else the military will arrive and take his daughter away to be, and I’m assuming here, beheaded and burned like the little zombie kids all are.

Bad news for Katey as this time limit took me by surprise, and I was unable to do the needful before the military came to steal her away. This earned me Ending D. What’s really nice is that when you “beat” the game, as I clearly did the first time around, you can replay it with all earned money, stats, combo cards, and Chuck’s PP saved. New game+ is always a good thing. Anyways, this helped greatly with my second playthrough, earning me Ending A. I then romped around Still Creek for a third time to mop up some Achievements, and this third playthrough was unique in that I actually got to experience saving the town’s citizens. Also, all PP is transferable for those moving on to Dead Rising 2.

However, most likely, I won’t be moving on to Dead Rising 2. Or the original Dead Rising. Or even Dead Rising 2: Case West. This “paid demo” experience was more than enough for me, and I had a lot of fun whacking zombies with spiked bats/throwing casino poker chips in their faces, but overall the gameplay would most likely get stale for me. I mean, there’s only so many ways to skin a cat  kill a zombie, and between that and the frustrating time limit/save system, I just don’t think a full zombie release is my cup of tea.

But yeah, for five bucks…or 400 Microsoft Points if you like to speak the language of global corporation domination. It’s worth it. So, instead of buying a sandwich from Quick Chek/WaWa/wherever today, I heartedly recommend downloading Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, and that’s saying a lot because I absolutely love sandwichs.

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is full of PP

Browsing the Xbox Arcade marketplace last night led to a delightful surprise: Dead Rising 2: Case Zero was only 400 Microsoft Points. That’s probably a great deal. Or maybe it’s always been 400 MP, and I just never realized this. Either way, as I still had 800 MP left from Tara‘s Christmas gift to me, I decided to give it a try. I never played the original game, and I’m very wishy-washy when it comes to loving this zombie craze sweeping entertainment media like…well, like a zombie plague. But the fact that this is a condensed version of a much larger game appealed to me greatly, as did its asking price.

So far, it’s pretty fun! You play as a stone-faced fella named Chuck, and you kill lots of zombies. Oh, and you have to find medicine for your daughter to keep her alive. Gameplay happens in faux real time, and so you have to be constantly aware of what time it is so as to not fail missions…I mean, cases. Obviously, the game’s biggest draw is zombie slaying, and there’s a varied amount of weapons to be picked up and used. My favorite, so far, is poker chips. Just kidding. And you can also build weapons by piecing together different items and using the magic that is duct tape.

Fun, surprisingly deep, solid presentation. Good job, Dead Rising 2‘s prologue.

But I got a big problem with Prestige Points, the game’s marker for gaining experience and moving up levels. More commonly called PP, and it’s just wrong. Disturbingly bizarre. Tara was laughing her head off last night as load screens offered such tips as, “Save citizens to earn bonus PP!” I mean, come on. Didn’t anyone at Capcom and Blue Castle Games read this stuff out loud? Why didn’t anyone suggest Zombie Points (ZP) or Having Fun Hitting Zombies with Poker Chips Points (HFHZPCP)?

In case you are confused, it goes like this: Prestige Points. PP. Pee-pee.

Was there pee-pee in…I mean, was there PP in the original Dead Rising, too? For the sake of zombie janitors everywhere, I hope not.

I don’t love zombies, but I’m probably gonna eat up I Love Zombies

Gotta be honest here…I’m not a huge fan of zombies.

Nowadays, the gaming trends seems to be “add zombies.” They’re coming soon to Red Dead Redemption, they’re swarming about in Borderlands, they’re funnily enough in PopCap puzzle games, they’re in Crackdown 2, they’re sort of in Fallout 3/Fallout: New Vegas, they’re in Mass Effect (don’t try and deny it, Husks), they are most definitely in the Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising series, and they are most likely not going away any time soon.

Hey, some people really dig ’em. Me? Not so much, and not just because I’d totally die super fast during a zombie outbreak.

Of course, there are exceptions. I’m totally in love with Cherie Priest’s books Boneshaker and Dreadnought, which feature zombie-like minions, nicely dubbed rotters, and I also happen to have really enjoyed Tobias Buckell’s Sly Mongoose. Guess I don’t mind the undead too much in fiction form.

That said, Zombie Daisuki (“I Love Zombies”) looks like a lot of fun. It’s a recently announced new Nintendo DS game that puts the player to the task of rebuilding one’s farm during a mass zombie outbreak. So, a survival farming sim? That’s gotta be twenty-six times better than a boring fantasy dungeon crawler farming sim, right? Check out how adorable it looks so far:

I Love Zombies will be released in Japan on January 20, 2011, for JPY 5,040 (approx. USD 62.36), with a B rating (12 and up). There’s not a lot of information out currently, but I’m definitely going to be keeping tabs on this one. It could very well be the title that changes my snobbiness towards zombie-heavy videogames for me.