Dead Rising 2, Capcom (2010) XBox 360

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dead rising 2 Cover

Ok, this really isn’t retro, but I played it, and thought i’d review it.

No Otis!

We’re onto a winner already, the single biggest shit in Dead Rising 1 has been replaced, by a friendlier person. When you get a call, you are no longer totally screwed if zombies are near by. You can skip text with “Y”, and should you hang up, you are no longer berated. Whoever calls you may ask “are you alright?” “anything up?” type questions to acknowledge you hung up, but no outright rudeness. So, Dead Rising 2, +5 points.

No Frank!

In Dead Rising 2 you are no longer in control of everyones least favourite war reporter, Frank West. Instead, we get Chuck Greene! – I do refuse to acknowledge Chuck as a name, so from now on, he’ll be called Barry.

Barry is a motorcross champion who now resorts to the cheap gimmicky celebrity reality TV world, and enrolls into Terror is Reality. Basically, a crappy reality programme about killing zombies…

Barry’s primary role is to get Zombrex for his daughter Katey once every 24 hours, while trying to the bottom of what is happening.

Barry is more likable, and is somewhat more useful than Frank, as he can make combo weapons. Dead Rising 2 + 5 points.

Some costumes/weapons have a "non-desired effect"

Some costumes/weapons have a “non-desired effect”

Combo Weapons

These are the biggest change to the game, they don’t offer much, and most of the weapons are a waste and too much hassle to bother with. But take two items (from a recipe)to a maintenance room, and you can make cool stuff.

Boxing gloves and a knife? Fuck yeah, you’re wolverine now!

Sledge Hammer + Axe = Holy fucking christ that is awesome.

To be honest, these are the only 2 I bothered with. You can combine chainsaws and canoe paddles, but the life span on everything is woefully low. 20-30 kills per weapon as standard. The way round this (like DR1) is to find books that increase the weapons durability, but A) this requires a guide, and B) takes up much space in your limited inventory space (on first playthrough). Dead Rising 2 + 5 points.

No Camera

Since Barry is a motercross champion, there is no need for photography as a “thing” in Dead Rising 2, as a result it is missing, and to be fair, I didn’t miss it. 0 Points.

The Story

Right…

I can’t tell if the story is really really clever, or if it is a lazy “isn’t celebrity culture bad” type thing. But basically, it is in Not Las Vegas (Fortune City), Barry enters a zombie killing competition to make some money. For some reason somebody decides to frame Barry, by releasing all the zombies.

What follows is a convoluted attempt at, plot twists, whodunnit’, bizarre sex fetishes and the FUCKING conspiracy.

Can we please have a Zombie “world” without the customery conspiracy???

Anyway, you run around for 3 days, then the obligatory 4th day solving the cases, plus a super secret overtime mode of a further 12 hours, rescuing survivors. Dead Rising 0 Points.

Barry "Chuck" Greene goes for the Drag-Grocho Marx-Hippity-Hop look

Barry “Chuck” Greene goes for the Drag-Grocho Marx-Hippity-Hop look

The AI

The AI isn’t great, but it is a vast improvement on DR1. Survivors will no longer run headlong into a crowd of 100 zombies, the female survivors are mostly useful, and only incompetent if the “story” calls for it (Drunk chick needs carrying, or people with a sprained foot need a shoulder/wheelchair). You can now comfortably move 5-6 survivors without an issue, and getting the escort 8 survivors type achievements is no longer worse than having a red hot poker shoved in your bellend.

Most survivors can be given a weapon and can also be trusted with melee weapons. Dead Rising +5 points.

Psychopaths

Almost all the Psychopath fights are next to impossible first time you play the game, they require multiple fails to figure out how to beat them, are overly long, and pad breakingly frustrating.

When you fight the guy on the motercross bike on day 1… FUCK he is impossible. It is day one, you don’t know where shit is.

The dude with the bobblehead on roller blades…. FUCK he is impossible, you still don’t know where shit is.

Snowflake… FUCK! Though you can bug this one.

The “final boss” who we totally didn’t see coming… FUCK he is impossible

The “other” final boss who we did all see coming… FUCK. He… just took a few attempts to figure out what the hell was going on.

All the case bosses, and a lot of the standard psychopaths are unfairly hard on the first play through. You don’t know you’re encountering them, you don’t know the map, so you have no health, no food items, and a flashing red crowbar as your only weapon going into a fight, and 3 survivors who inevitably die, or due to time constraints you can’t run off, as you probably just saved after rescuing 3 survivors, so only just have time to run from A to B… Dead Rising 2, – 10 points.

This scene felt a "bit rapey" after my costume choice went awry.

This scene felt a “bit rapey” after my costume choice went awry.

Infinity Mode

This exists, and to be fair, after spending 11 hours on DR1 mode last week, I am not doing that again. So I didn’t sit through it again.

Load times

Still loading…

Still, still loading…

FUCK YOU I’M STILL LOADING.

It takes about 1 minute to load each area. It really feels like you’re being punished when you have to change areas. And since you’re running from A to B, you’ll usually pass through C, D and E to get there.

FUCK YOU LOADING TIMES. FUCK YOU. -5 points

Conclusions

Dead Rising 2 is a far superior game to the first, but it still isn’t “Good”, or “Great”. Some tough but fair scoring brings the overall score down, but I didn’t particularly have fun while playing, and spent a lot of time shouting at the screen.

This was mainly due to psychopath fights. Perhaps in DR1 they were too easy, but in DR2 they are far too hard for a first play through.

The loading times are also punishing, particully if you left a survivor in the previous room, and you need to go backwards.

Pros: No Frank, Otis and AI improved

Cons: Psychopath fights, L..O..A…D…T…I…M…E…S

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