wildfire570's Dead Rising (Xbox 360) review

Killing zombies would be more fun if it wasn't so frustrating...

Dead Rising objective is quite simple; kill zombies in a mall, find out what the heck is going on, and saving people all within a time limit. Sounds quite interesting in that perspective considering that its a great homage to Dawn of the Dead. However while it is fun, it ends as you progress in the game.

Another obvious thing about the game is the best part is killing the zombies with...well...EVERYTHING! It can be quite entertaining to see zombies get killed with Katanas, Shopping Carts, Lawnmowers, Cars, Battle-Axes, Soda Cans, and Toy Laser Swords? Yeah I think its safe that this game doesn't take itself seriously; with all the crazy outfits that you can put on your character and all the helmets that you can put on your zombies makes it quite hilarious.

Speaking of the Character, you start as a photojournalist named Frank West (He's covered wars ya know.). He decides to get a closer look and investigate the zombie issue and so his chopper drops him off and won't come back for three days. In the meantime he has to uncover the incident, slay zombies, and save people. That is a lot of work for one guy! The story overall is pretty good and keep things flowing nicely. Voice acting is solid also.

Game play is an interesting mix of third person action/photography (don't worry its not like Pokemon Snap), and RPG all rolled into one. Sounds crazy but it actually is pretty solid. As you kill zombies, take excellent/funny pictures, and resucing survivors you gain Prestige Points (PP); they act like experience points and you level up and gain new moves and enhance your character, etc. Although you can't distribute your points to whatever you wish though. Killing zombies is also quite a button mash but its okay especially with all the blood and gore in the game that keeps things from getting too stale. Tired of killing them with a baseball bat? Then hit them with a knife or Shopping Cart! Controls for the shooting is kinda rough and then there is the Survivors but I'll get to that later.

As you progress through the game you encounter Psychopaths. Psychopaths act like mini-bosses in the game; you have to take them down differently as every approach to them is different. Its nice that they are different from each other and keeps things fresh. Obviously most of them are CA-RAZY! Ever seen a clown wielding chainsaws?

Now killing zombies is good fun and all, there were little quirks I had with the game that while seems small, it builds up to annoying to just plain frustrating! First I'll explain the controls for the game; while killing zombies with many weapons is pretty good, I can't say the same about the shooting. You have to aim and shoot with a weird cross hairs and while standing  and no moving (a la Resident Evil 4 or 5).

But unlike RE5 your targets move fairly quickly and enemies will maul you constantly, add the fact that Psychopaths are fairly quick and you got the clunky shooting. Also another beef I had with the controls is how you execute the moves you gain as you level. Some of these combos are very hard to execute because of the tedious timings of them, but it not like it matters because most of the combos are useless. I rarely had to use them because of all the objects that you can use as improvised weapons.

I think the one thing that frustrates the most is the rescuing the Survivors. You have a time limit to find these survivors and they come in different numbers. However you get more and more of these tips from a character with a walkie talkie but if one enemy hits you, you get interrupted and you have to have him read it all over again! And because they have a time limit to find them and add the fact that some come in multiple numbers, if you don't get to them on time they die and you lose a big opportunity to gain PP. Finding them isn't that bad of a problem, however, getting them to safety is.

Their AI is almost to the point of stupidity and it gets even more annoying if you have more than one. You can command your survivors to come with you but its pointless considering that they don't even following and your pointlessly mashing the Y button just for Frank to constantly yell "Come on!" or "Follow Me!" over and over and over. Or you can use the tough point to a certain area and command them to go over there which is weird to use but its the only thing that they actually respond to.

I'm not going to lie, this game is a guilty pleasure. Seriously, you can't find one person that doesn't enjoy killing zombies to death with everything around them. Although every time I try to sink my teeth in the game, I always end up feeling frustrated. If your a hardcore-zombie-killing-machine, you will love this game; but it is very tough for me to recommend to someone.

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