Dead Rising 2 is a broken game.
Perhaps not technically, but socially this game is completely out of touch.Despite my love for the original Dead Rising, I am not immune to it's flaws. Unnecessary frames of animation, a clunky and unresponsive inventory, a general insanity that demands the suspension of reality to justify lengthy boss encounters that, and this is the important part, nobody enjoys. These are all invaluable tools in the Dead Rising arsenal, and Dead Rising 2 not only holds them together with duct tape, but clubs you over the head with them.
I loved the original game far too much.It was and remains the primary reason for the purchase of my Xbox 360, and the sequel confirms that I made the right decision in doing so. The reasons for this surpass even my love of zombies: Dead Rising is a fucking hard game, and it requires patience, understanding and an unhealthy dose of sadistic self loathing to fully enjoy. For some reason I really like that in a game. Dead Rising taps into primal gaming urges, exploiting a formula that holds true to the classics; back when games were hard, years ago, when games were too difficult to complete.
I respect and admire Dead Rising 2 for looking at it's predecessor and saying "Yes, this game is broken, awkward, tedious and unforgiving. But we are going to keep it that way. Fuck you."
So for all the Dead Rising haters:Cry some more?
Enslaved: Odyssey to the west has me slightly confused.
I don't really know how I feel about... well... all of it.The game borrows heavily of Uncharted 2 to the extent that there is actually a scene where you are being chased by a giant mech towards the camera. That blatant plagiarism felt pretty dirty, and unnecessary. The game goes through a sort of cycle between platforming and combat in 15 minute chunks. Neither is particularly groundbreaking, though the game is beautiful enough to justify the patronisingly simple climb mechanic of "Hold the direction you want to climb and tap A." The combat involves 5 different types of mech which are cycled endlessly, and they can almost entirely be destroyed by mashing the face buttons, though there is decent platforming element to the combat in which enemies must be prioritised depending on their type - sentries must be avoided and taken out as their bullets will kill you in a matter of seconds - to the extent that the game has minor stealth elements.
The strengths of the game lie in it's beauty, and hackneyed though it may be to say so, this game is stunning. I mean that in the truest sense of the word: I was actively stunned. There is an excellent sense of scale - when you are told you must cross the city, you actually have to cross the whole damn city. The level design is so fantastic that no two platforming sections feel alike, and Enslaved finds entertaining ways of mixing up the action to keep it fresh. Every section of the city feels like a set piece, and it does an excellent job of keeping the tempo high. Again, this teeters dangerously close to Uncharted 2, but I'm prepared to forgive for the following reason:
The characters in Enslaved are awesome. The modelling and voice acting is top notch and the characters feel endearing and alive. The writing was perhaps the most surprising element of Enslaved - something that seems to have been missed in some of the reviews I have seen - this game is funny. There aren't many extensive cut-scenes, most of the banter takes place as you run around climbing and fighting, but the back and forth between the characters is truly excellent. "What is all this stuff?" asks Monkey, gesturing to the stacks of boxes bearing the words "HD Televisions". "Oh, that's just some ancient, redundant technology" replies Trip, nonchalantly.
Despite the writing being superb, there are chunks of the story that are slightly disappointing. There seems to be a lot of fuss over some war that involved mechs, though this is never really explained in any detail and just left me feeling confused. The slavers, who have you held captive at the beginning of the game, aren't explained either - and seem to spend more time killing people than enslaving them. Trip bounces between being seemingly awestruck by Monkey and bossing him around like a prissy little bitch. There are also several moments in the game which I assume were designed to be dramatic and meaningful, though just end up feeling undeserved and hollow. As for the Ending... that shit is just weird.
If you never had a chance to play Uncharted 2 on PS3 then this is probably the closest you are going to get on 360. It's not perfect, and I wouldn't recommend playing through the entire thing at once, but it retains a sense of high quality and polish throughout and is both amusing and fun to play. Also Nolan North remains absent, which is a blessing.
In Other NewsThis is blog 299. I need to find something classy for the big 300. I don't know exactly what it's going to be, but if there's one thing Sweep is known for, it's class.
Thanks For Reading