Posted - Dec 04 2008 : 4:31:11 PM
| Every Wednesday, or in this case, Thursday since it's slow and yesterday was really busy, Dog of Thunder shall review a game from his collection that retails for under $20 at Gamestop. He shall do this while thinking of ways to seduce the Russian computer lab monitor just twenty feet away
Dog of Thunder's Dumpster Diving Review: Dead Rising
Keiji Inafune says no HDTV, no text for you! HA HA!
Thousands of Zombies in a mall, hundreds of available weapons, your survival hinges on a large, bald black man but there is no redeeming social value unlike that high brow Dawn of the Dead movie, which this is so totally not a ripoff of, merely a tribute
Oh Dead Rising, how you taunt me so. Your so much fun but so hard. Much like that long haired dominatrix I see in all the girl on girl bondage porn. Before I tackle anything, we have to discuss the save system in this game, as it was created simply to annoy the crap out of gamers worldwide.
Let's compare it to the latest Prince of Persia. People say that game is too easy since there's really no punishment for dying. Dead Rising on the other hand, rewards you for dying by shooting your puppy in the back of the head with the business end of a Sherman Tank. See, you can only have one save file for this game and there's very, very limited save points. The security room and three different men's rooms. That's it.
Once you die, you can start over from your last save or you can start from the beginning but retain all your experience points, saved photos, filled notebook entries, etc. At first, when your level 1 and really weak, it drives you nuts, but as you play more and level up it does a great job of getting the message across of survival. It'll always be annoying, but hopefully you just get mad at yourself since at least for me, I've had very few cheap deaths.
You are Frank West. A Photojournalist that's covered wars. You're now trapped in a mall with thousands of zombies and 72 hours to survive. Cases happen in quasi-real time, with each day being 2 hours of playing time. You need to move fast, rescue other survivors and not get killed by the zombie horde or other survivors that had their minds broken by the arrival of 53,000 (or so) zombies. You can survive, your tough, you've covered wars. Since your a photojournalist.
I myself have yet to actually finish the game, but the plot is nothing really spectacular. Run of the mill zombie story. What makes it really interesting is just how frantic you'll get during Day Two trying to get everything done just to advance in the game and get more plot! You can do it! You've covered wars!
Here's where the whole plot thing gets a bit murky. See, if you have an HDTV, you can read the text just fine. If you don't, well, don't sit more then two feet away from the TV. You wouldn't be able to read the blurry white squiggly lines at the bottom of the screen that may be written in Swahili.
Beyond the text issue, the rest of the game is decent graphially. The zombies come in a decent variety of outfits and the survivors look decent as well. With the sheer number of zombies that can be onscreen at one time, you'll forgive it for not looking as awesome as say...I dunno...World at War's Zombie mode.
Getting next to a survivor and making the conversation prompt trigger is perhaps the most difficult thing to do in this game. It's annoying, but nothing game breaking as the combat controls really well and you have a variety of moves you can pull off as you dismantle the zombies with your barehands. You can do that since your a photojournalist that's covered wars, easily making you the equivalent of Rambo circa First Blood.
I've already covered the crappy, yet ingenious save system. The fact that things run in quasi-real time so it's always a little frantic if you want to actually advance the plot and not just slaughter zombies. But that's where the real fun of the game comes in: the sheer variety of ways to slaughter zombies. Chainsaw? Sure. Park bench? Sure. The answer to the meaning of the life? (Hint: It's bucket) Sure! An Uzi on that one sad zombie that's trying to walk through a solid wall? Sure! Killing the undead won't get old. If it does, then you're obviously made of less stern stuff then the photojournalist of the world.
Dead Rising counts for the Sandbox badge, which makes sense the whole mall is open and you can use so much of it as a weapon. Every achievement counts for 20 points and if you really try, you can supposedly get 920 points with some effort. Tons of guides exist for things such as Saint: Getting 50 survivors out of the mall or Tour Guide: Escort 8 survivors at once. Some achievements require you do them in one playthrough and others take the total of all your playthroughs. I myself have yet to actually beat it on 72 hour mode, but that's more a personal problem then anything else.
You will easily get your money's worth out of this game. It's both so simple (survive against zombies) and complex (quick, get everybody out of the mall, answer all the transmissions from the security guard and kill all the pyschos in one playthrough) to the ludicrous (Infinite mode: Survive as long as possible with constantly draining health and everyone, survivors included, wanting you dead. Now play it for 14 straight hours.)
Easily one of my favorite games for the 360 and one of the few I actually don't plan on trading in or Goozexing anytime soon.