Review by demoninabottle

Reviewed: 09/11/06

Hard as hell but bloody good fun.

Hmmmm... this is a weird game. And not like weird as in the cut scenes from Amped 3. I'm saying that the game play itself is weird. Or maybe weird is the wrong word. Innovative, perhaps.... nope, never mind, its weird.

Okay, maybe its game play is innovative. But it is undoubtably excruciatingly frustrating as well. Bosses are hard as hell (oh god, the second boss fight is impossible), enemies are frustratingly cheap (watch out for the cultists), and save points very rare to come by (there's only, like, three of them in the game). Oh, and the single entry point into the mall is inexcusable. Every time you want to go from the security room (the only safe area) to the mall, you must retrace the exact path every time. Not fun. This is especially annoying due to the game’s incredible difficulty, which will have you dying quite a lot.

But what about the good points? Ah. my friend. The good parts of the game Save DR from the possible title of "crappy game". Everything that you get the urge to whack, zap, stab, or shoot a zombie with that you see in front of your eyes is useful. Well, some weapons are actually kinda useless (like the water gun) but some are surprisingly effective (try whacking zombies with the torso of a manikin). And who could forget the shower-head. Stick a zombie with one of these babies and blood will start spraying out of the nozzle. My favorite weapon was actually the hunting knife, which could tear through a mob of zombies like grass. The sickle was incredibly sadistic, which easily decapitated countless zombies with a single swing, and awarded you with experience for doing so.

An incredibly addictive and innovative addition to Dead Rising is the ability to snap pics of zombies and surroundings. These pics not only make forgetting a good kill impossible, but award prestige points (Dead Rising’s version of experience points) for good pictures. So make sure to always be on the lookout for good pics. There are many different picture genres that Dead Rising has. Erotica (Stone Dead Girls Gone Wild), outtakes (humorous pics of zombies), brutality (catch a good blood spurt or severed head on camera), and drama. For a good tip, here’s three high prestige points awarding shots you won’t want to miss. First: Take a picture of the bee statue in the entrance plaza. Second: On the rooftop, near the elevator, snap a shot of the mass of congregating zombies in the parking lot. Three: Also on the rooftop, when Jeff and his wife are united, snap a pic of them hugging. Oh, and don’t forget to photograph all survivors, cause there’s an achievement for that.

The graphics in DR are okay. Not nearly as good as PDZ, or even CoD2, but like that of a PC game. The walls (when they aren't splattered with buckets of blood) are rather bland, for most sections of the huge Willamette mall look pretty much alike. Well, they do have their slight differences, such as "Wonderland Plaza", which has a mini amusement park in it, complete with roller coasters and a couple of other rides. Also, "North Plaza" has hallways lined with skating ramps, ending with an empty fountain that can be used as a skating pool. The only true change of scenery was “Leisure Park” (which acted as a hub for access to nearly all parts of the mall).

Okay, returning to the game play. As stated in the first paragraph, the game play is...... different. Some differences are good while some are broken and aggravating. The good was pretty much stated in paragraph two, y’know, all the useable weapons. And since there are hundreds of weapons, that’s a whole lot of good. A whole lot. Plus the many doable missions make for a long playtime. But why is your game ruined when you miss a case mission? Why can’t bosses and enemies wait patiently for me to kill them like in any other game. And how about giving some clues as to how to find the missions? Game play issues such as these make you want to throw your controller in disgust. Or frustration. Both are very acceptable reasons to be angry.

Somehow, though, the game manages to keep you completely hooked. And how does Dead Rising do it, even with all the crap that you have to put up with? It may be the panoply of weapons, the hilarious zombie deaths, the famous “I can win it this time”, the wacky bosses, or the zombie kill meter, which is always fun to fill up. These are all reasons to love this wonderfully brilliant and bloody game. I can’t wait for the sequel, because this time, the developers might get it right!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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