Maniac Grade: A-
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Dead Rising:Blood & Fun
January 01, 2007
Would you like to know a recipe for endless fun? No?? Well, I’ll write my thoughts on it anyway. The recipe for fun:
-2 dashes of Horror fan envy
-1 cup of Romero fandom joy
-4 teaspoons of Zombie squashing fantasy
Mix these ingredients together and bake them in a Dead Rising café. Columbia Roastmasters(a café in the game itself) will do you just fine in this task.
Dead Rising is quite a bit of fun from a gamer’s perspective and it’s even more splashes of wild joy from a horror fan’s perspective.
Producer Keiji Inafune and his crack team from Capcom pull no punches if you grew up alongside those Romero induced films throughout your earlier years. In fact, they TKO you right in the gut and throw in a few slashes, bites, and “rrrrggggghhhhhhh” along the path to bloody conquest in the setting of Williamette, more specifically their town’s mall.
You, the gamer, are Frank West(professional freelance journalist) who comes sweeping into a town in the midst of subdued chaos with his trusty camera and a desire to get that next breaking story which will shatter the world in awe and propel him to “Icon Journalist” status.
It seems from the obvious facts that since this game is centered on a Zombie outbreak, that breaking story is going to happen right from the beginning but obviously, things don’t go Frank’s way. Do they ever?
Once you set down on the mall’s roof(fall down is the more accurate description), you have 72 hours to live out your story inside this undead infested mall complex and that’s it really if you come down to the basics.
Sure, you can choose to do the storyline of solving the Zombie outbreak mystery if you so choose. Hell, you can decide to grab a cup of joe inside one of the many mall cafes, go back to the helopad and sit your butt down for 72 hours waiting for your ride to come back and save you. Seriously though, what’s the fun in that?? You’re here to kick some zombie butt and that’s what you’re going to do.
There are some great things about this product if you just want to mess around with your gaming time, just kill things and move around in a fake wonderful world. Capcom’s production team gave “loads” of options in terms of gamers’ options.
To this date, there are 6 Official endings to this game:
Endings A-F depends on the outcome of storyline(or lackthereof) from how you, the gamer, control it. If you take it to it’s “true ending”, you beat Ending A and then you beat Overtime mode.
By beating Overtime mode, Capcom gives you 3 different styles of game modes to play from that point onward.
72 hour mode
In context to the fact that this is a time based game, folks, there are hang-ups on the save process in this game…At least from the gamer’s perspective. I think we all know how annoying it can be realize you’ve erased whatever game you’re playing and you have to start over. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to erase your game in this due to how Capcom designed the save process for Dead Rising.
The reason the save process functions like this is mainly due to the fact the timing of certain missions have to be somewhat carefully done on your part. If you decide to go after the many psychopaths that plague the mall, you have to be pretty close to the area they occupy in time. If you save your game, yet don’t have enough to defeat the boss to continue the storyline, you die….you’re going to start back on that same last save spot so the process would have to repeat. I never had this problem but I’ve seen criticism on this issue and I have erased my game the first few attempts before figuring out the reasoning of it. It was frustrating at first but then I thought it out and figured it to be designed that way since it’s a time factored game. Capcom gave the player an out even if that “out” was starting from scratch.
You ask, what kind of out is that? Well, this game doesn’t take very long to beat if all you want is the storyline.
The main objective of the game is to remain alive for at least 3 days. In-game time runs 12 times faster than realtime, so one day in the game is exactly two hours in real time. Therefore, the game can be completed in six hours with a little effort. However, there are several other elements to the game that the player can choose whether or not to pursue.
I guess those elements depend on what you, the gamer, wants to do with this game. Most fun can be taken out of just roaming around smashing the heck out of blood thirsty Zombies!
Since it takes only a few hours of straight gameplay time to beat the main storyline, you get to realize how much more fun it is to try doing all the options at once. Saving people(stragglers) in the mall, beating the story, and surviving all at once can be a real challenge since the survivors at the mall come with annoyingly quirky AI issues and detriments. Just like imagining yourself in a real life zombie outbreak and coming across people along the way, obviously some of the people you come across will be crazy or griefstricken. If you choose to save their butts, it may not be an easy task. Sometimes, you have to hold their hands(losing your chances of holding a weapon), carry them, kick them to wake em out of their terror & screams, or just feel like bringing your chainsaw to bear on them because sometimes their very annoying to deal with. Your patience and stellar game play will decide their fates. Kill them, leave them, push them around, save their sorry butts. It’s up to you decide.
Up to now, there’s 50 unlockable achievements in this game. An unlockable achievement is you going above and beyond to do something great alongside the game play. Each unlockable achievement gives you something “extra” for your next game.
Let’s say you save 50 humans(a very hard task), you unlock the “Saint
” achievement and next go around, you have yourself a cop hat to wear on your character.
Let’s say you kill 53, 594 zombies(the population of Williamette), you unlock the “Zombie Genocider
” achievement and get a real life MegaMan gun which shoots out bad-to-the-bone plasma electic bolts. Believe me when I say this is a awesome weapon, right there alongside the small chainsaw from Adam-the-Scary Clown.
There's plenty of unique add-ons connecting with these achievements. I've done 32 of the 50 achievements found and it's always an added bonus to go roaming around dressed as a convict or wrestler fitted with my Mega Man blaster. Muhahaha.
As I said above, there are plenty of gaming options in Dead Rising, a wonderful ingredient for kickbutt fun for you.
I’d recommend, however, that you have a HDTV before buying this product as the text of game is very small indeed for anyone without it. Though, of course, if you have a Xbox360, I’d advise you to have a HDTV anyway for their line of games.
While the small text, the survivor AI, & save processes can be annoying hang-ups, the game fun factor for you makes this a welcome addiction & addition to your gaming library.
I’ve beat this game 8 times in various endings & formulas for a month now and each time I begin again, I find something new and highly amusing to do again so the fun factor is there.
I’m ranking this a 9/10 for ole fashioned fun, a 8/10 for gameplay, & a 10/10 for horror fandom geek power. Click here to read the staff review by Mania.