Review by Number1YoshiFan
"It's like if in Mario all the Koopas and Goombas could shoot fireballs that stun you."
Overall I had very high hopes for Case West. However I'm disappointed to say that it was a huge let down for several reasons. The most prominent reason for my dissatisfaction is not that you can't play as Frank outside of co-op as many might expect, however that is high up there. No, in fact, my primary gripe with this game is that the large amount of non-zombie enemies greatly detracts from the gameplay. Being constantly shot at and stunned every time you change rooms is not fun. It's annoying to the point where you have to make a several laser blasters (or whatever the actual name is, I don't recall) just too take out the trash enemies (that is, the trash guards, not the zombies) without being stunned several times while trying to approach them. The other guards are not as much of a problem since they are melee based and can be easily avoided, much like the zombies. The worst part though is that the most irritating enemy type is the one that's around for the entire game and that is the most common (other than the zombies that is).
Second to that is the obvious lack of Frank West as a selectable character offline. One of the largest selling points of this game was that Frank was back and playable. However what the advertisements did not tell you is that Frank is actually only playable if you have Xbox Live Gold and are in someone else's game. That's right the primary attraction of this game costs extra money and cannot actually be used whenever you want to use it. Not only that, but they went as far as to make certain combo weapon's special attacks exclusive to Frank, so you're missing out on even more content if you don't have Gold.
Then there's the removal of survivors, a huge staple of the Dead Rising series. No longer can you escort survivors to safety or equip them and have them run around and fight with you as you could in the previous three games. No, instead you simply bring them items so that they'll be motivated to leave a zombie infested building. This is just ridiculous. If these people are perfectly capable of leaving whenever they want, what's to stop them from going and getting the items themselves, or simply leaving without you talking to them?
My last complaint is the pathetic excuse for a camera system. As far as I can tell, you simply take pictures of a few PP Stickers scattered around the facility and that's it. There's no PP bonus for taking violent or humorous pictures as in DR1. I suppose you can review pictures you've taken from the pause menu, though no longer do the pictures you take show up on the loading screens as in DR1, which was one of my favorite smaller touches in that game.
Now that the bad is out of the way, let's discuss what I did enjoy, shall we? The new combo weapons are very fun and add some new ways to kill zombies (though the Reaper is a bit similar to the Pole Weapon), though it just so happens that the special attacks for my two favorite weapons are exclusive to Frank, however I've already covered that. While the story wasn't spectacular, it was solid enough to hold the gameplay together and did get very exciting towards the end, despite being very predictable. One of my favorite things was the interactions and relationship between Chuck and Frank. I was expecting them to meet up and instantly form a badass zombie killing duo, and it was a nice surprise to see that there was actually quite a bit of tension between the two of them. The psychopath fight was one of the best in the series, despite being completely out of nowhere, and Frank's constant insults towards him were quite funny.
Overall I'd say this game is worth the purchase and will probably last through an initial solo playthrough and then a co-op playthrough where I get the camera and PP Sticker achievements, and it's probably worth the 10 dollars, though I still expected so much more from this.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 01/20/11, Updated 10/27/11
Game Release: Dead Rising 2: Case West (US, 12/27/10)
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