Review by MegaVirus

"An Instant Favorite In The Book Of MegaVirus"

Okay, I'll admit, I didn't know what to expect from this game. I had already heard of a similar plot for George A. Romero's "Dawn Of The Dead." That is to say, an assload of zombies packed into a mall. I figured that this was just going to be a ripoff of that film to the letter.

As it turns out, I was wrong! This game has easily become one of my favorite games of all time! This game is as far from a Dawn Of The Dead ripoff as you can get!

The story is that you are Frank West, a photojournalist that has gotten a scoop about a violent situation in Willamette, Colorado. He arrives at the Willamette Parkview Mall by helicopter, and is going to spend the next 3 days studying the zombie outbreak. Too bad he didn't realize that the zombies were converging on this very mall, huh? What's more, out of the survivors, some of them have gone crazy and are out to kill you or anyone else that gets in their way. (Don't worry, I haven't spoiled a thing, this is all in the first part of the game.)

Now then, on to what makes this game great! First off, the controls are some of the smoothest I've dealt with in a game. It's not hard to learn how to control at all. In fact, the only challenge with the controls is remembering exactly what every move you can perform in the game is. But once you're used to it, you can go to town!

The visuals are absolutely amazing as well. The mall is a large place, and when you're in the middle of a swarm of zombies inside it, then it seems even larger. The cutscenes are incredibly detailed, every facial feature of the humans and object in the background well-defined. What's more, some of the scenes after the fights with Psychopaths (the game's bosses) are VERY well done, such as the death scenes of Sean the cult leader or Adam the clown. (I'm not going to spoil them, but let's just say you won't see it coming.)

As for the game system, it's interesting to say the very least. You have 72 hours to get scoops, help survivors, kill the psychotic bastards that remain among the living, and just plain SURVIVE THE MALL. Now, this translates to about 5 seconds to the minute in the game. That is, 5 seconds out here is equal to a minute in there. So a full day in game is equivalent of 2 hours in real time. You can complete the whole game in seven hours. That is, if you include the Overtime Mode you get for Ending A. Gameplay itself is a real challenge. You must rescue the survivors that AREN'T totally nuckinfutz and escort them to the security room. This gets to be a challenge because some of the survivors have small physical problems or are too scared to join you until certain requirements are met. A good example of the survivors that are rough are Leah and Ross. Carrying a survivor is hard to do when zombies are attacking, no matter what.

Another thing is that this game works in a sort of RPG fashion, with you earning Prestige Points to level up your character. Leveling up will do one of a variety of things for Frank. Every level he gains does one of two things: 1) increases either his life, his attack power, his running speed, his throwing power or how many items he can carry in his inventory by one block, or 2) teaches him a new move he can use against the many zombies in the game, varying from the Zombie Ride (walk on top of the zombies to escape large crowds) to the famous Final Fight move, the Double Lariat (seems that Mr. West has a bit of the Mike Haggar in him). Every technique learned in the game has a use that makes it vital to Frank's survival. To gain prestige points, you do one of four things: you take pictures of funny, sexy, touching, scary or outright brutal moments, you save survivors, you kill or disable psychopaths, or you kill a massive number of zombies. In fact, some of the ways to kill zombies net you points as well, like using certain moves successfully or managing to kill a zombie with a particular weapon. It's fun to go through the game and level Frank up until he can kill with his fists alone. Of course, weapons are just as fun to kill the zombies with as well.

Speaking of which, Frank's also got a wide variety of weapons and items available to him in the mall. Every store has a specialty, whether it's an uncooked pizza you can cook to increase the health restoration or a scythe that you can use to reap the zombies like the autumn harvest. (It would seem ol' Grim's got NOTHING on Frank!) There's soccer balls, toy swords, electric guitars, frying pans, novelty masks, umbrellas, dumbells and all kinds of other items you can use to bring the zombified hurt! You've also got the more traditional zombie-killing weapons, like chainsaws or double-barreled shotguns. You even get to use real weapons, like katanas or battle axes (of which I suggest the former for its' sheer practicality). The fact that so many of these weapons are actually EFFECTIVE on the zombies makes it all the more fun. Who doesn't want to take a shower head and shove it into the zombie's skull, sending forth a nice blood fountain from the shower head itself?

The music is quite good as well. Now, if the only music in the game were the stuff you hear as you wander around the inside of the mall, then we'd have a problem. However, every one of the psychopaths has their own unique theme that plays in their battle. The fact that every song fits is what makes it great. The sound effects are absolutely wonderful too. The puttering of a motorcycle... the slice of a katana... the smash of a vase over a zombie's head... it's all absolutely awesome. I don't even have a complaint about the voice acting, and normally, I have some kind of problem with at least one character. No such problems here!

All in all, Dead Rising is one of the best games I've played in a very long time. I haven't had such a fun experience with any other zombie game, except for Resident Evil 4, also made by Capcom. I have to say, Keiji Inafune has once again outdone himself. Fiurst MegaMan... then RE... then Onimusha... and now we have Dead Rising. Good job, Keiji-san! *thumbs up*

Now then, why are you taking my word for it? You've gotta experience it for yourself! Go pick up a copy! I promise you won't be disappointed!

Graphics: 10/10 (awesome visuals, especially the deaths the zombies or psychopaths can suffer.)
Controls: 10/10 (They take a little learning, but you can easily get used to them!)
Gameplay: 10/10 (leveling up Frank proves to be a fun thing to do, just to see how much more unstoppable the new moves will make him.)
Sound/Music: 10/10 (wonderful soundtrack in the boss fights, sound effects are excellent, voice acting isn't flawed in any way.)
Creativity: 10/10 (killing zombies with anything and everything in a mall?! HOW MUCH MORE ORIGINAL CAN YOU GET?!)
Replayability: 10/10 (multiple endings, many unlockable items, and all-around addictive gameplay!)

Overall: 10/10 (Go buy it and get ready to be amazed!)

This review emphasizes that your results may vary.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/02/07

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