Tag Archives: zombies

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.

DEMO IMPRESSIONS: Crackdown 2

I recently downloaded the demo for Crackdown 2 and found myself very confused. No, the demo itself isn’t confusing; in fact, our narrator tells us what to do with a lot of tongue firmly in cheek, and you can either go after the main demo missions or just run around collecting orbs, jumping off buildings, and shooting freaks until the allotted thirty minutes of free gameplay is up. That I can do. Where I’m struggling here is with the game itself: I just don’t get it.

I never really tried the first Crackdown, save for downloading the demo and running through it once or twice. That one is not timed and is basically just an open world to run around and explore. You can throw cars and shoot people and climb buildings. Had a very arcade-like feel to it, and the graphics were certainly that of the first generation of games for the Xbox 360. Good, not great. And overhead, always there, was the implication that you had to make your own fun in Crackdown.

That seemed to carry over with Crackdown 2. I entered the demo and immediately started shooting people. I was told they were bad, and thus they deserved to get shot. Had to secure the area and all that jazz. A big problem here though–and this is mostly because I’m now spoiled by Borderlands where every gun has a different feel and recoil to it–is that firing weapons felt fairly hollow. I had a hard time even telling if I was hitting these dudes, and then there’s the close-quarter-combat, which, if I can be honest here, felt like my agent was punching a department store mannequin. There’s no sense of realism, and I understand that’s a silly thing to expect from a game like Crackdown 2, but without it everything just comes across as goofy and cartoonish. Driving cars, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, even throwing a grenade; I just didn’t like the way it felt. I guess it’s harder to explain, but there’s a deep love and following for Crackdown 2, and I don’t understand why. The demo graphics did not seem to be a big upgrade from the first game, and the sequel’s big twist is the addition of “freaks” at night, also known as zombies.

Why must every game add zombies now (hi, Dead Rising, Dead Space, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Plants vs. Zombies, and The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned)? They are not the new fun. Try something else. Add…oh, I don’t know…mutated sheep monsters. Anything but more undead!

One interesting thing about the demo is that you can unlocked demo Achievements. Basically, these are the same Achievements in the full retail game, but you can unlock them now, and then they will pop and add to your gamerscore once you buy Crackdown 2. It’s a nice incentive and something I hope other demos will look into trying out. I unlocked two of them, but will never see truly get them as this is most definitely not my kind of game. I’m still have a hard time figuring out why.

IMPRESSIONS: Left 4 Dead 2 demo

left3dead2demo

I try not to judge a book by its cover. Similarly, I try not to judge a videogame by its…heck, they are different beasts than books and by the time a game is released the public has already been spoon-fed screenshots, trailers, previews, demos, and a landfill of hype. So a videogame’s retail cover means nothing in actuality, but what I’m trying to say is that I normally shy away from the crazy, fast-paced shooters of this generation because I feel like they are just not my kind of game. I’m talking about the Halos, the Gears of Wars, the Call of Dutys, and the Left 4 Deads. Last night, I put that theory to the test.

Left 4 Dead 2 comes out on November 17, and a demo for the zombie shootathon went up on Xbox Live at the end of October. Y’know, to gets folks excited. However, being a lowly wielder of the Silver account, I had to wait until yesterday to download it. Oh, lowly me.

The demo offers up two modes of play–single player and online campaign–within one of the game’s five episodes, The Parish, with the first two sections of that episode available for exploring. There’s no story introduction, and you’re dropped off a boat next to, magically, a table of weapons. Grab your gear and go. Go where? Forward. Then the zombies swarm (or maybe not, thanks to the clever and always thinking AI director), and here’s where the problems started…for me, at least.

One, nervous and unsure of how to play, I hung back and allowed my three other teammates to dole out punishment. A single zombie did not get through so basically I just stood in a corner watching. This is equivalent to watching an in-game cinema. I did nothing.

Second, when I finally did decide to shoot some zombies I ended up hitting my teammates more often. They scolded me, and I retreated to hiding in a corner, popping off a shot only when it was clear who what I was aiming at. This only worked in the open areas, like the park and streets. Inside buildings was a no-trigger zone. Was there a button for zoom? I couldn’t figure it out.

Anyways, you’ll travel down streets, through a dark kitchen, across a shrub-heavy park, all while shooting a variety of zombies. They are fast zombies, too, some jumping on your head and others spitting Ecto Cooler at you. The graphics are colorful and strong, and the physicality of everything is pretty impressive, especially how zombies fall differently under gunfire versus melee weapons. In dark areas, the light from your flashlight makes for eerie gunfights. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with some of the items I found, and I just moved from place to place when it go too quiet until eventually the demo came to an end.

Then I played the demo a second time, and the entire scenario was different, which was nice. Very nice, and I slowly improved on shooting zombies. So I’ll pass on the full retail game, as I don’t have anyone to play with (and I’m assuming this is a great game for friends and such) and just replay the demo when I get a hankering for a zombie massacre.

At least now I can say with total authority that Left 4 Dead 2 is not my kind of videogame experience.