At least it was only 5 dollars.
I've never been too into writing reviews, but this game is one I just couldnt avoid. After seeing gratuitous amounts of blind praise heaped upon this demo, I decided it was necessary to add a review that addressed both the good and the bad.
No photography minigame:
Nobody liked going around taking pictures with Frank, and now, you'll never have to again!
An interesting mechanic to improve your weaponry. My feelings on this are kind of mixed. While some of the combinations you come up with are pretty amusing, only a few of them are really worth building. Usually I just found myself stockpiling nail bats and just beating my way to my next objective.
Same core gameplay:
Honestly, the gameplay from the original to Case Zero hasn't changed much, but that isnt necessarily a bad thing. If you liked hacking zombies apart, then you're in luck; it still works the same way. Certain key mechanics such as moving while strafing have been added, which make the game feel just a bit more up to date than its predecessor.
Friendly A.I. is still terrible:
This is my number one complaint about this game. You would think that Capcom would have at least TRIED to improve their A.I. to a level where you wont run all the way across the map, only to find the person you were supposed to be rescuing back where you started, running into a wall.
While not a terrible thing for some games, Dead Rising was a game I would have liked to see improve their graphics in the sequel. Sadly, the graphics in Case Zero look exactly the same as the original.
Lack of character development:
In the original game, you had a sense of what kind of person Frank West was, and even though you inevitably hated him at the end because he was an annoying arrogant douchebag, you still had a feel for what his character was all about. In Case Zero, all I really learned about Chuck was that he can fix things, and apparently he really cares about his daughter. Oh, and I learned that his kid is really whiney.
There was just something about a mall setting that appealed to me. The elevator music, the shops on all sides, the thrill of running from convicts as they try to gun you down... These were all things that Case Zero didnt have. By comparison, Case Zero is a virtually empty, monotonous grind through crowds of zombies, where the only sound you hear is the moaning of the undead, which is especially bad when combined with the boring desert scenery and the lack of anything interesting to do in between zombie slaughtering sessions (psychopaths).
In fact, It was a real letdown to find out that there was only one psychopath in the game, and he was directly tied to the main plot. Finding the random psychopaths was one of the best parts of the original IMHO, because it helped to break up your war on zombies into manageable chunks which didnt get old nearly as fast.
Very little weapon variety:
THIS is where you start thinking of this game as more of a demo. Dead Rising had quite a catalog of weapons that you could find around the mall. Unfortunately, in Case Zero, your choice of weapons is quite limited.
I'm not sure if i have just become pro at gaming since I played the last Dead Rising, but it seemed that the zombies were a lot less grabby, ESPECIALLY when you were rescuing people. It seems like the zombie A.I. is a lot easier to slip by, which is a shame because it was already fairly easy to do. The only part of the game that I actually found challenging was the psychopath battle, and even that was fairly easy.
Due to the drab environment, lack of variety in the weapons and the shortage of activities to do around town, I decided that this game was no longer worth playing ever again once I had beaten it and gotten all of the amazingly easy achievements.
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero pales in comparison to its predecessor, and while it takes a few steps forward, the rest of the game feels like a significant downgrade. While it may be only a 5 dollar game, I would recommend that you save up your money and just buy the real thing for 20.