Dead Rising 1 Review====
Think of Capcom's Dead Rising as a twisted Toys 'R Us, only instead of action figures and video games, it's katanas and sniper rifles. Part free-form murder spree, part allegorical testament to the virtues of vegetarianism, part fashion show, the core draw of Dead Rising is giving players a bevy of objects and items to violently employ. Like a giddy kid browsing monolithic product aisles at an archetypal toy store, there's a certain joy to be had and curiosity to fulfill by simply discovering what's available. Yet, despite all the bloody thrills, Dead Rising suffers from a few issues that keep it from truly excelling.
If the profession of photojournalism ever needed a poster boy, Dead Rising's Frank West is it. He doesn't just cover stories on location, he splatters the story's brains across a movie theatre floor, kicks it while it's down, then drop kicks the next story in the chest. With such stunning dedication and sheer disregard for being soaked in countless gallons of infected blood, it's fortunate he's the game's controllable character and not the end boss. After riding a chopper into an iconic American suburban strip mall, Frank finds it overrun with the undead. And when you really think about it, is that so far from the truth? The answer is yes, stupid.
As soon as Frank's feet hit the concrete on the roof of Willamette Mall, the chaos begins. Players are quickly drawn into Dead Rising's story, which is much more substantial and enjoyable than might be expected. After finishing the game's initial 72 Hour mode, players will find the story continues even further in Overtime mode. In terms of how long that will actually take, the 72 Hour mode can be completed in roughly seven hours, including cut-scenes and discounting game reloads. The Overtime mode can be beaten in less than two real hours. An Infinite Mode can also be unlocked, though it's entirely devoid of story elements. Instead, it challenges players to see how long they can survive as their health bar constantly depletes.
What can be found in Willamette Mall's shops falls very much in line with any large real-life mall. Hardware depots, lots of clothing shops, hair salons, jewelry boutiques, a food court, toy stores, sporting goods outlets and much more demand exploration. The variety of items and weapons to be found is one of Dead Rising's best aspects. Weapons range from hockey sticks, bowling balls, water pistols, and shopping carts to shotguns, machine guns, motorcycles and even a convertible. Plenty of options to clothe Frank are offered as well. Shoes, suits, women's and children's clothing, Servebot heads, Mega Man helmets, and lots of other silly options exist. They don't affect gameplay, but they're fun to experiment with.
Dead Rising 2 ReviewEdit
The setting is new -- Fortune City, Nevada -- and the cast is different, but Dead Rising 2 sits very comfortably in the "more of the same, but better" school of sequel development. That's not meant as a disparagement, since Dead Rising 2 just doesn't stray from the core principle of the original. Murdering zombies in creative ways is immensely entertaining.
Before we get into that, let me save you some suspense: If you didn't like the original Dead Rising, there won't be much to sway your opinion in Dead Rising 2. The overarching design is the same. As Chuck Greene, you have three days to survive a zombie outbreak, discover the truth behind said outbreak and round up as many survivors as you can, all while dispatching the undead with any means available. The occasionally frustrating boss fight is back (protip: a bit of pre-fight planning and preparation goes a long way), as are the lengthy loading screens.
Also, love it or hate it, Dead Rising 2 utilizes the same save system as the first. In other words, apart from a few major checkpoints, all saving is done manually, and can only be done in certain locations. Given the sandbox nature of play, it's entirely possible to lose half an hour of progress (or more) thanks to an unexpected death. I like the suspense and risk it adds, but it's not for everybody. Of course, killing zombies with a firesledge axehammer is for everybody, so I hope you can get past it.