Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Ben's Top Horror - #8: Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2! Man this game was great. I know I reviewed Dead Rising 1 years ago, but I never really said just how much I love this series. So today with number 8 on my count down, I want to fix that!

When the first Dead Rising came out I had no interest in it what so ever. In fact I didn't care about the Xbox 360! Nope I was all about the Nintendo Wii, because "Xbox Sux!" Yeah, I grew out of that pretty fast. Anyway the first time I heard about Dead Rising was actually when looking up information about Mega Man X. Dead Rising 1 featured some eastereggs for the series (Z-Saber, X-Buster, and even the Servbots from Mega Man Legends), and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Still I wasn't a fan of zombies, and I didn't have an Xbox. Heck even when the game came out for the Wii I didn't give it a chance, because again, Zombies. After I had my 360 for about a year however, I did finally decide to give the game a try, and man am I glad I did.

I still remember debating getting it, and looking at videos online. It was a Friday afternoon and a friend and I were watching gameplay clips of it on YouTube. We were sitting in the cafe at our college, and looking for something to do when he came over to my house later. I mentioned Dead Rising somewhat randomly, and after we both looked into it a bit more we decided to try it out. So on my way home that night I stopped by GameStop to grab a copy, and then waited for him before I started it up. The two of us then spent the rest of the night glued to the TV. It was amazing.

When Dead Rising 2 came out I was a little hesitant to get it. As I've mentioned in the last two games of this list, I WAS A POOR COLLEGE STUDENT! Brand new $60 games were games I had to choose wisely. I only had enough extra funds for maybe one game every month or two, so I had to be completely sure that the game I was buying was worth it. But then when I found out about the game's co-op, and saw other friends of mine playing it online, I pretty much just caved. Actually when a cousin of mine came over and hyped the game, that's what finally pushed me to buy it. In fact shortly after we both got in my car, and I drove us over to GameStop to pick it up. After that I spent all of my free time playing it for months to come.

The thing that makes Dead Rising so fun is it's setting. You have a mall (or in 2's case a Mall/Casino) that you are free to explore, with everything in the mall becoming your weapons. You can put on clothes to customize your character, and you're free to use anything you can grab to kill zombies. It's like when you're a kid wishing you could have a mall and all it's toys to yourself, and finally having that dream is become a reality... With zombies. It's just a fun setting, and there's so much to do before the game ends.

Another thing that makes the Dead Rising series unique is the time limit. Different events happen at different times, and it's up to you to decide what's worth doing or not. The first time you play through the story it's unlikely that you'll save everyone, see all side stories, or even fight all bosses to get the true ending, but the game is short enough that new game plus playthroughs are easy to get through. Your character progress carries over each time, so you never really lose anything. This same play style carried over into Dead Rising 2, but on a much larger scale.

With DR2 not only do you get a larger world with more side stories and what not to complete, but there is a much wider verity of items to pick up and use, AND they added the ability to mix things together to create unique new weapons. For example mixing knives with a boxing glove will give you Wolverine hands to slash things to pieces. Or you can stick nails into a bat, or strap machine guns to a wheel chair! Then you also have crazy unrealistic combos like the flash light and gems to create a beam saber to slice zombies in half. These weapon combos add a lot of verity to the already massive pool of weapons, and they helped make each player a bit more unique when playing online. Which was another great addition.

Being able to jump into anyone's game at any time was amazing. You loaded into their world with your current gear/skills/weapons, and you got to keep whatever you found in their world. Find a new weapon recipe you missed? Now you've got it. Level up and unlock some new skills? Bring those new stats back to your own game for an easier time. It was basically new game plus at any time, without actually having to restart your own save file. And as long as you still had friends (or even random people) playing, you had an unlimited amount of fun to be had. It was just perfect. (Well, except for the loading screens).

Although Dead Rising 2 is technically a horror game, that's not something that should scare people off. Yes it's zombies, but everything is handled in such an over top manner that it really isn't scary. The horror elements of the game actually come from a lot of the bosses you encounter throughout the story. Often these scenes will feature disturbing content or jump scares, but they don't last long at all. That doesn't mean they won't lose a lasting impression, but it's easy to overlook then if you are bothered by them. That being said, what little horror is here is great, and the gameplay is spot on. Really I could've put this game higher on this list, but oh well. Really good game! Go play it if you haven't!