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Posted on Jan 17th 2009 at 10:44:48 PM by (NES_Rules)
Posted under Random Review, Review, Dead Rising, Modern Gaming, Xbox 360, Microsoft

Random Review: Dead Rising

My last review was a Famicom game, this one is 20 years newer and a totally different experience, but still a blast. Dead Rising was released August 8th 2006 for the Xbox 360 and at the time, was an exclusive for that system. It has since been announced that it will be coming to the Wii as "Dead Rising: Chop 'til You Drop". This game is huge and as my reviewing skills are not top notch yet, I probably will be excluding portions, but I'm trying more for a overall experience review anyway.

The Plot:
The plot of the game is essentially: you (an independent photojournalist, Frank West) come to a small isolated town via helicopter and after the US military forces your pilot to drop you off on the roof of the mall, you soon realize the town is infested with zombies. All you know is that you want to cover the story and the helicopter will return in 3 days. Through the game, you will uncover the mystery of the zombie outbreak if you do everything correctly, but if you don't finish a mission in time, the facts will be lost to you (and the rest of the world) forever. But, you can still finish the game and get a sub-par ending that inevitably ends in the destruction of the world. In addition to the regular missions, you can embark on numerous "side quests" rescuing survivors and killing psychopaths.

The gameplay is simple; finish the missions and kill as many of the seemingly infinite zombies as you can before your 72 hours is up. But, there are a few aspects of the game that make it unique. The first is the RPG elements the game uses. As you gain "Prestige Points" in the game (by killing zombies, taking photos, killing psychopaths, rescuing survivors, or the other numerous ways) you gain abilities like increased health capacity, increased storage capacity and new fighting moves. These gained abilities are kept once you finish the game and start again, so you can go through the 72 hour mode as many times as you need to get the abilities to finish with the best ending.
The second feature that sets Dead Rising apart, is the weapons. Of course, there is the standard handgun, rifle and shotgun of any good zombie game, but there are also items like Molotov cocktails, katanas, swords and battle axes. But, that's not all, basically anything you can pick up is a weapon, whether it's a trash can, potted plant, 2' x 4', lead pipe or one of the other 250 items in the mall. Using everyday items to kill zombies is a blast, there's nothing like slicing a zombie down the middle with one fell swoop of your Katana or using a hole digger to skewer and zombie and use his spinning body to kill more zombies. This is definitely the best part of the game for me, on my first playthrough I didn't bother with the missions, I was having too much fun slamming faucets into zombies and watching them bleed out through it and cutting up hoards of them with chainsaws and lawn mowers.

Sound and Graphics:
The sound effects of the game are top notch. Zombies groans and moans seem to be all around you and the screams of distant survivors make it seem more real. The weapons all have their own sounds and they all sound pretty realistic.

This was my first Xbox 360 game, so the graphics blew me away at first, but after playing more games on the system, the graphics are pretty standard. Nothing super awesome, but everything is smooth and I didn't notice any kind of glitches in the game. There are numerous zombies which is nice (especially if you compare it to a game like RE4 where it seems there are only 5 different "zombies") and at first you may think they are all unique, but after a few hours into the game you'll start recognizing zombies by their appearance.

In conclusion, this is a very, very fun game and is definitely worth a pick up. I got my copy for $20 and it was well worth it. For me, it got a little boring and redundant after my 2nd playthrough, but I can see myself coming back to the game after a while.
I'm giving this game a 95% as it really is worth the money and if you've got a 360, you really do need this game. It's not a game you'll devote your life to playing, but it's good for many hours of play time.

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Great review! Smiley
Ditto! Great review Mike!
Nice review. I look forward to playing the Wii version.
Still my favorite 360 game.
One of my favorites too.  I must've drained several hours just in the demo.
Absolutely fantastic game, it's the reason I bought a 360 Cheesy
I'm sorry, but the wii version looks terrible compared to the 360 version.
I have this game.  I enjoyed running around killing zombies, but unfortunately that was all I was really able to do.  I found myself unable to move on in the game's objectives because I have a SDTV and can't read the text.  I hadn't read up about the whole deal with this game not being optimized at all for SDTVs.  Sad

At least I have something to look forward to when I buy myself a HDTV this summer, though!
For some reason I thought they patched the text issue on SDTVs some time ago. I could be wrong, though.

Anyway, excellent game which I still need to finish. Hope there's a sequel! Cool
Nice review Mike. Smiley


Yeah they never fixed it but you can guarantee they won't make that mistake again.
Great Review - enjoyed reading it. I bought this game but could never get to grips with the one slot save system and the time management aspect. So never really got that far. I don't like games where you have to do certain things at certain times. But graphics and game engine were fanstastic.
Thanks for the compliments guys!

I'm sure the Wii version won't look nearly as nice as the 360 version, but I'm hoping it will still be fun. I haven't looked into it much, but I hope they change it up, I would buy it if the story is at least a little different and the missions are different. But I don't know if I'll get it if it's the exact same thing with Wii Remote function thrown in.
Though it will be very nice using the Wii Remote for aiming, it was kind of hard to do on the 360 version and one of the reasons I only used guns when I had to in the game.

@Rajaat the Warbringer: Dead Rising was the game that made me originally want a 360 as well.

@Mr. Ksoft: I didn't realize there was an issue with SDTV's. But on my HD 720p LCD some of the text was hard to read. The scrolling yellow text at the bottom was near impossible to read. The rest of the text was OK though. It probably doesn't help that I'm still using composite video either.

@Lord Roke: I know what you mean, on one of the last bosses I didn't get to him quick enough to start the next mission but it was soon enough that the game let me fight him and I didn't realize it was too late for the next mission so I saved it like that. So no matter how quickly I would kill him, I couldn't finish the rest of the game.
@NES_Rules: The Wii version is gonna have much much much fewer zombies on screen at once. Up to 75% less as I recall.
That makes sense. But does there really need to be hundreds on screen at once? You can only kill so many at once anyway. That shouldn't affect gameplay very much, just the overall experience and the daunting feeling you get when faced with hundreds of zombies.

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