Axe? Check. Hammer? Check. Axe taped to Hammer? Hmmm
This is a co-op review of Kimerex and I that we thought would be fun to do. Kimerex is the lead on the review with my thoughts scattered about.
Andyb0y: When I played the first Dead Rising, I was not impressed with the gameplay. Time limits being the major issue, I never understood for this style of game having a strict time limit hanging over your head when Capcom gives you a perfect playground to kill zombies in. Hoping that Capcom got it right this time, I decided to try Dead Rising 2 on both the Xbox 360 and PC. I must say they have my interests peaked but with the looming time limit still a major part of the game, will this game hold my attention till the end? Maybe.
Kimerex: Sadly I never jumped on the Dead Rising train. I let it slip by due to zombie games becoming the bane of my gaming life. There were just too many. Honestly I'm beginning to think video game publishers are trying to train us for a possible (and most likely comedic) zombie armageddon with the over-saturation of the game IPs involving zombie killing. Lets face it, the only genre that mirrors it in size are the war type soldier FPS games, some of which the military actually uses for training. Up until this point I've only played small bits of Resident Evil, Killing Floor and I guess you could say the zombie parts of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. So my zombie killer training is only average, though in all the above I am superb at doming zombies with anything, which is fortunate seeing as how Dead Rising 2 claims it has more ways than any other zombie game to brain some dead heads. So alright then. I got Evil Dead running on my side monitor, so its time to hit up Dead Rising 2. And best of all, I get to bring Andyboy as bait.
Andyb0y: Although the zombies are still that slow, dumb type (with the exception of a few that fast walk to chase you down) I thought they were well enough done to satisfy my zombie killing needs. You could, for the most part run by them but wouldn't you rather slaughter hundreds of zombies instead? I mean that is what the games main attraction is, at least I believe it is.
Kimerex: Of course its the main attraction. And I agree, the zombies are just that. Its the cultural norm we have come to accept as zombies. Nothing too outlandish though they have their humorous side. Watching them push around stuff they would have been using before they got zombified. Being able to kill large groups of them just by killing a queen bee. The thing that makes the zombies a little more interesting in Dead Rising than usual are their Pokemon like aspects. If you want to find a bedazzled-casino-floor-dancer-girl-emon you have to go to the casino habitat that she would have been in. In all the places you g0 the zombies feel right. The construction workers aren't to far from the construction sites. Cops are in specific places in every area. Mall zombies feel like the proper ratio for a mall crowd of old to young. My issue is that the envelope wasn't really pushed, though it didn't really have to be. This game by no means is looking to toy with your psychological state though I would like to propose a challenge to companies planning future zombie games. Child zombies. In every undead riddled film I've seen, when they pull the "you have to kill a child zombie to advance from here" card it tends to make audiences cringe at least a little. Dead Rising 2 didn't suffer for not trying to break the limits. After all, you can run around with a laser sword in a banana hammock. That is its own special brand of disturbing.
Kimerex : Dead Rising 2 totes more weapons than just guns and standard melee thankfully, though I feel a lot of opportunities were missed. In games such as Left 4 Dead you have guns and and frying pans and knives and you call it a day. In Dead Rising 2 your running down a hallway with a flaming sword and shield you made out of motor oil and a casino prop. After weeks of playing Killing Floor, the flaming sword approach is a much needed reprieve. I thought after time it would become gimmicky but the amount of stress that freezing a load of zombies and running them down in a golf cart relieves is incredible. Though some weapon combinations seem less reasonable than usual, most of them will probably make their way into every zombie nuts end of the world survival kit. I do feel a little screwed over as to the amount of weapons you can craft, let alone the depth of crafting. After looking through a guide to all the weapon combinations I found that their were less than what I was hyped into believing and only a few of the combos felt like their own thing.
Andyboy : OMG!!! The weapons!!! I love this game for the weapon combos it gives you, however limited. I agree with Kimerex in wanting a more in depth crafting system. If you can combine a lawn mower with a 2x4 to get a portable zombie blender, why can't I combine a toy helicopter with dynamite? Some of the weapons are broken in a sense. Weapons such as the Broadsword, the Defiler (combine a fire axe with a sledgehammer) and the Battle Axe is sort of all you need in the game. Even with that, I have to give credit for Blue Castle Games coming up with some cool combinations, even if some didn't make any sense. I kinda want to try making some new combinations with duct tape right now. I wonder if I could combine a skunk with dynamite?
Kimerex: The survivors were a minor inconvenience in the game. The core of the quest type model. And though some of their stories were funny, for the most part they were boring. Go here. Possibly bring them something. Get them to safety. I was told by Andyboy that they have more functionality though he had his own issues with that. I just hated when they popped up in context with the story line. I would usually get word on 2 or 3 of them while just beginning a major story line quest. After a while I just stopped caring and let zombie nature sort them out.
Andyb0y: I found out by accident that Survivors can be equipped with weapons from your inventory. That coupled with how the survivors are smarter when it comes to avoiding or killing zombies while following you made it easier to manage them, as long as they weren't hitting you when attacking zombies. In one incident, I was rescuing a couple that were strapped, one with a hand gun and the other with a shotgun. When getting them to the door to the next zone, the couple decided to open fire on the zombies blocking the door. Unfortunate for me I was right in their line of fire. I died and had to restart from a previous save that was 20 minutes back. Not sure how this could have been better implemented since it kinda makes sense to shoot like crazy when surrounded by zombies. I just wish the A.I. was a little bit smarter in knowing if a friendly was in the way. I never really went after the survivors after that since like Kimerex, I too hated how the side quests would pop up like mad when trying to do a main story mission. Again, the time limit factor combined with how many things the game asks you to do makes for a stressful game, which is never fun.
Andyb0y: Ok, this is were I have to call out Blue Castle Games. What in the bloody hell were you guys thinking when designing the Psychopaths? I understand that you have a level progression system as well as the option to restart the game while keeping your stats intact but COME ON!!! When going up against a Psychopath, I should not die a thousand deaths. It's almost like you want people to restart over and over again just to get to level 50 to beat the Psychopaths. Let me tell you, it is not fun at all to play for 45 minutes, run into a "boss fight" and die, thus losing all that time. The game is suppose to be fun with a decent challenge to it, not a ball busting, unbalanced mess.
Kimerex: The key part with the psychopaths I didn't like did have to do with the difficulty, but mostly with the saving. One of the two moments that had me turn Dead Rising 2 off and play something else was when the storyline psychopath fight between the two dancers pushed my save back almost 45 minutes in real world time. Its not that I didn't want a challenge in this game, I just found them to be few and far between to really be ready for the next one. Most of my time between missions was spent exploring the world. There was so much in it that I didn't want to miss anything. Sadly the psychos felt situational. Run too far away and they go back to their starting point to wait for you to aggro them again. In the end you can cheese most of them down. It's just some of them require you to have certain abilities you can only unlock at later levels to fight head to head without use of cheap tricks. That is where the reload story mechanic comes into play, though I don't really like that idea.
Kimerex: The story mode in this game feels like it tries to seem big and scary until you pull away its mask. I feel this was done in its attempt to remain different in the genre of so much the same. What do I mean by this? One of the constant story moments involves getting medicine to your in game daughter. This either comes by exploring or by purchase. If you go to buy it you'll find yourself robbing casino slot machines just to scrape the money together. Issue here is that early on I found my self with no money in a pawn shop saying to myself," Crap. I'm about to let Chuck's daughter die." only to find out that money is nothing in Dead Rising 2, as long as it has an online community. I spent maybe 25 minutes online and earned enough money to buy Zombrex's for every time I needed it in game. That just led me to feel as though this game really didn't have too much pressure to micro manage everything. That brought the game to a level of casual only equaled by the elevator music playing in the background as you grind down zombie heads to paste with some drills and a bucket.
Andyb0y: I never once thought the game was trying to be big and scary. More like comical and cheesy. Not saying that is bad since it worked for me. I still wish Blue Castle Games added a "free play" mode instead of restarting the game but keeping all of your stats mechanic. I would love to run around co-op with Kimerex and just do whatever I feel like. Fortune City is vast and a lot of places I have yet to see. It seems a lot of attention went into making Fortune City amazing with all the nooks and crannies yet failed to let players explore them without some sort of penalty. Kimerex is spot on about the economy being broken with Terror is Reality online mode. Playing a handful of mini-games against other online opponents for about 25 to 30 minutes will net you enough cash to stock up on Zombrex for the whole game. Why have that but also put in secret locations where you can find Zombrex in the game? I would much rather explore the world you designed to find Zombrex versus playing some mini-games to get cash. One last thing, when stating that your game will work with an Xbox 360 controller, make sure to say that it is just the wired version and not the wireless one. I had to use an emulator to get my 360 Wireless Controller to work with Dead Rising 2. Hopefully a patch will be released soon to fix that issue
Kimerex: The gaming engine used for Dead Rising 2 seems to have been the right choice. Having crashed my computer playing Mount and Blade with infinite corpses and rag doll on, I can appreciate the coding needed to have as many things on the screen at once as Dead Rising was able to pull off. I have always viewed game engines as a type of home for ideas, and this link up seemed to be the perfect fit. I can't say the same for things used within the engine itself. Particularly the use of Playboy images in the game environment. Now let it be known that I'm not knocking porn. What I am trying to bring up is the use of real pictures in a surreal environment. Though in this case it is funny to be slaughtering hundreds of zombies to the back drop of hot and nasty co-eds and their savory stories , it just doesn't feel attached enough to the game. Almost like its own separate entity that demands attention, that most like was what they were going for. But to have posters and images made for the game as well that fit into the scenery seemed like a better thing to establish this world that Chuck lives in not consisting almost exclusively of T and A.
Andyb0y: Playing on the Xbox 360, I thought the graphics were pretty good with hardly and glitches or screen tearing. Then I tried it on PC and WOW is the game sexy. Everything felt smoother as well as detail was clearer with the environments. I would recommend playing this on PC for the most enjoyment of the visuals.
Kimerex: The sounds chosen seem fine. Their were hints of artistic license sounds that fit well into the game itself, and I even heard music from bands I'm familiar with during some fights. Biggest personal gripe was a lack of vocal personality from Chuck. One liners, sounds of pain or joy. Anything to really give him more life than,"Hello, is anyone there."
Andyb0y: I too was miffed about the lack of vocal personality they gave Chuck. I wanted him to converse more in cut scenes or in game as well.
Kimerex's Hard Drive Space Worthiness Rating: 7.2/10
Gaming Value: $39.99
Controller Preference: Gamepad (keyboard is still acceptable)
Favorite Zombie Killing Song: Chopperhead - Two Steps From Hell
Andyb0y's Hard Drive Space Worthiness Rating: 7.0/10
Gaming Value: $29.99
Controller Preference: Gamepad (Even though 360 Wireless Controller Adapter is broken for this game)
Favorite Zombie Killing Song: Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough