Fear And Loathing In Fortune City

Posted by Sweep (8975 posts) -

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 News 

This 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 
Love Sweep
#1 Edited by Sweep (8975 posts) -

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 News 

This 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 
Love Sweep
#2 Posted by Interfect (981 posts) -

I picked up Enslaved over LOS and I'm really digging it. Except I don't care much for fighting the mechs with shields.

#3 Posted by Sweep (8975 posts) -
@Interfect: Just work in a charge attack and it's easy. Or upgrade your combat skill so you know the evade + counter moves, that way you can just roll behind them and fuck them up that way.
#4 Posted by Baillie (4281 posts) -

I only read the Dead Rising 2 part. 
 
"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."

 I'm just going to say, just because you respect and admire a bad quality, doesn't make it right. If other broken games kept this up, I'm sure you wouldn't be praising it. 
 
Wouldn't you prefer a Dead Rising game with great control mechanics, fidelity in the motions to really enjoy those combo weapons tearing apart the zombies? Good encounters with NPCS, friendly/psychos? I would sure as hell prefer it if they did. They can do these with keeping the dead rising feel.

#5 Posted by Interfect (981 posts) -
@Sweep:  Okay. For a good combat system I've just not really been using it in a smart way. I haven't really been blocking or countering... But thanks for the help. It will probably make things alot easier.
#6 Posted by Sweep (8975 posts) -
@Baillie: I'm entirely aware that this is almost compeltely down to personal preference, i'm in no way endorsing the widespread appreciation of dead rising 2. It's clearly unsuitable for anyone who doesn't actively enjoy pain. But if you can put up with that then you get to experience a truly faaaaantastic game. 
 
This is what I meant by it being a classic. It's fucking hard because of all this junk. It's like a fucking sega mega drive game but with modern graphics. And I love that. It reminds me of the first time I played sonic 2 and used up all my lives by the third level. It's about setting it's own social rules and then punishing those who ignore them. Dead Rising doesn't care how you expect it to play. Awesome, awesome fucking game :D
#7 Posted by HistoryInRust (6398 posts) -

Dicks. That must be the topic for blog 300.  

#8 Posted by Brodehouse (10128 posts) -
@Sweep said:
This is what I meant by it being a classic. It's fucking hard because of all this junk. It's like a fucking sega mega drive game but with modern graphics. And I love that. It reminds me of the first time I played sonic 2 and used up all my lives by the third level. It's about setting it's own social rules and then punishing those who ignore them. Dead Rising doesn't care how you expect it to play. Awesome, awesome fucking game :D "
Really I think that's the strength of almost all of Capcom's releases.  Lost Planet 2 is well hated by many because it has a very specific playstyle and ignoring it will lead you to your Brad-like doom.  Resident Evil is the same way.  I know people who think that Resident Evil 5 is technically broken because you can't run and shoot.  It's simply a design philosophy.
#9 Posted by jim_dandy (891 posts) -

Posting because I liked the blog title.

#10 Posted by Skald (4370 posts) -

Someone needs to mod Dead Rising 2 and make it into a real virtual mall. It would really highlight the strange inventory of some of the stores seem to have. I mean, seriously, how can a store only sell MMA gloves and metal bats?

#11 Edited by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

I think DR2 is a hard game to understand, but isn't actually all that of a hard game. 
 
@extremeradical said:

" Someone needs to mod Dead Rising 2 and make it into a real virtual mall. It would really highlight the strange inventory of some of the stores seem to have. I mean, seriously, how can a store only sell MMA gloves and metal bats? "
You talking about ''Man's Sport'' shop? That sells boxing gloves, dumbells and medicine balls you can also collect from there.
#12 Posted by DaemonicGrim (184 posts) -

First, I fucking love Dead Rising 2 and the pain it put me through the first time. But after the first play everything becomes a breeze because you know what you need and when you need it, so you're always prepared. (and the extra levels don't go amiss either) It's just plain fun, it might not be great in controls, looks, AI or anything else, but it's so damn entertaining. 
 
As for enslaved, I have not yet stolen this from you nor bought my own copy but my god do I want to play it so badly. The thing you mention about stealing from uncharted 2 feels redundant to me since at the time of uncharted's release that same chase scene was pegged as an homage to crash bandicoot, so why shouldn't other games endorse it even if they're not made by the same studio. Also, the platform some, kill some methodology is used all across almost any games that involve platforming anyway, and it works, so why the hell not :D 
I can honestly say that I'm not surprised that the acting in the game is above standard because I actively enjoyed andy serkis' performances in heavenly sword. 
 
PS, pub soon?

#13 Posted by Oni (2110 posts) -

First off, fucking great blog title, congrats on that. Secondly, I am with you on Dead Rising. I actually thought part 2 wasn't messed up hard at any point, except for the twin battle and fuck trying to fight psychos without the dodge roll. Basically, level up until you get the dodge roll, then restart the game.
 
Also: It is a beautiful day. It's a beautiful day. That car has a loud horn. Its horn is loud.
 
possessive: no apostrophe.

#14 Posted by Sweep (8975 posts) -
@Oni: I hate that fuckin'g apostrop'he. I just st'ick it in ra'ndoml'y and h'ope f'or the bes't.
#15 Posted by eroticfishcake (7789 posts) -

I should probably point out that in the Enslaved part of the blog you occasionally call it Enslaved 2. PErhaps you're getting jumbled up with mentions of Uncharted 2 in the same paragraph?

#16 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -
@Sweep said:
"

As for the Ending... that shit is just weird."

They fuck, don't they? 
 
And are you aware that you reference Enslaved as "Enslaved 2" twice?
#17 Posted by Sweep (8975 posts) -
@eroticfishcake: Jumbledness. My apologies. It was a 4am blog, you see...
#18 Posted by eroticfishcake (7789 posts) -
@Sweep: I gathered that. Well if it makes you feel any better I did enjoy reading the blog. Also,@FunExplosions said:
" @Sweep said:
"

As for the Ending... that shit is just weird."

They fuck, don't they?"

#19 Posted by Johnny5 (1355 posts) -

my view is basically the same as jeff. It doesnt play to its strengths, and to get the most out of the game you have to forsake one half. Or do the other half first.

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