Still dead (Dead Rising)

I really like Dead Rising. Spoiler alert, in case you’re sensitive to these things. I’m now trying to figure a solution to the final fight in the sweetly apocalyptic (Day of the Dead -ish) last scene, with the sea of undead wallowing around the tank you’re fighting on. I admit that it’s frustrating, since you have to go through the throwaway-easy run to the jeep and the machinegun-fight with the tank before getting to the bare hands showdown with the enemy commander. These take easily some five minutes of going through the motions. And the final boss is just hard, whereas each and every psychopath before him has fallen on the second try – at the most.

I dig the preceding (and sensible checkpointed) run through the zombie tunnel with the chick, really a suitable finale and a change of pace from before.

The game was weird to begin with, as the demo gave such a different impression of the gameplay proper. You thought it was a sandbox kind of game, while in reality it’s a pretty tightly timed, linear narrative, even though you have the option of running free and spoiling your chances at completing the game. Completing the narrative opens up different options though, and the Overtime mode, unlocked at completing the so-called 72 hour mode, is loosely timed.

As I completed the main storyline, I was starting to feel really at grips with the game and I am tempted to go through it again, this time perhaps saving more than ten survivors (out of some fifty or so), and maybe taking down all of the psychopaths. I love it because you get to know the mall: where the necessary items respawn, like the mini-chainsaws, the orange juice, the katanas and the submachine-guns, where it’s dangerous (the North Plaza), how much time you need to get across the mall and what weapons are the most effective. In the end, I used machineguns and katanas exclusively. Oh, and cars…

Dead Rising definitely comes recommended. It’s the only really original kind of game I’ve played on the Xbox 360, I think, and even though you need to learn how to play it before you can appreciate it, it’s a taste I’d advise you to acquire.






7 responses to “Still dead (Dead Rising)”

  1. Mikki Avatar

    I really dig Dead Rising myself, but I’ve got some problems with it. It’s kind of rare for me to be this conflicted about a video game, but Dead Rising manages to do it to me.

    On the plus column: A mall full of zombies. Like an orgasm or punching a Nazi, that doesn’t need any particular justification. That, combined with the fairly smooth gameplay and a lot of fun little details and the constantly ticking clock, makes the game fun.

    On the downside: the psychopaths. It’s not that they are particularly difficult, because, well, they aren’t, not if you pay attention to what you’re doing and refrain from trying to just button mash. It’s just that when I think of the ultimate and most rewarding zombie experience imaginable, shooting a man fifty times in the head doesn’t factor into it. That’s just bullshit.

    I understand that the conventional wisdom says that video games need boss battles. There’s even something to that notion. And I’m not opposed to human opponents in themselves; if anything, it’s a staple of zombie fiction that in the end, humanity tends to be the more horrific and evil danger than the walking dead.

    But couldn’t they at least have come up with something that was even a little bit stylish? I look at Romero’s work, or 28 Days Later, or World War Z (incidentally, Joonas, that’s a book you would probably hugely enjoy, if you already haven’t), and the things that make them awesome are things that seem to be effectively nullified — or at least greatly diminished — when, instead of dealing with the masses of zombies, you have to spend five minutes circle-strafing a boss enemy…

    Still, it’s easily one of the best Xbox 360 titles out there.

  2. joonas.laakso Avatar

    Well, true, the psychopath (boss) fights don’t really fit in, and I do loathe the respawning escaped convicts in the army jeep, even though they’re easy enough once you figure it out. But they’re change. Many of them are entirely optional and you have to go out of your way to confront them. I felt that they broke the routine of zombie-smashing in a nice manner, especially since most of them are not that hard if you keep your cool.

    The movie theater episode was so great that it alone justifies the existence of the psychopaths, though. The boss was boring, but his cohorts were an absolute laugh.

    World War Z I hadn’t heard about, no… I thought I should maybe read the first book in the “series” (the zombie survival guide thing), but haven’t done that either. One for the list, then. Thanks.

  3. Mikki Avatar

    Er, or not. I dunno, those comments show up as blank. Is that some kind of a weird-ass way of showing me that they’re in moderation or something?

  4. joonas.laakso Avatar

    FFS, what’s up with this thing… trying to re-post your comment now.

    (Uh, sorry for reposting this — I think I screwed up the URL, which in turn apparently confused WordPress. Anyway, as I was saying…)

    Oh, you can pretty much skip the Zombie Survival Guide. Not that it’s a bad book, mind you, but it’s not hugely insipring or anything, either — I’d imagine that there’s nothing in it a man with your credentials (ie. years and years of rigorous training in the sacred ways of the geek) couldn’t figure out by himself, and in any case there’s no real continuity between the books; the Guide is a kind of funny and appropriately dry guidebook to surviving a zombie uprising, but that’s pretty much it. Good fun, but it won’t rock your world. [I had to take out the link, it’s somehow mixing things up… JL]

    World War Z, on the other hand, is a serious effort, an utterly fascinating, haunting and amazingly believable account of how the zombie uprising actually took place and how the human race around the world dealt — or, more often than not, failed to deal — with it. It’ll probably keep you awake and turning pages well into the wee hours; it’s one of those books that you really just can’t put down. I admit that when the son of Mel Brooks writes a book, my first thought isn’t “boy, this’ll probably be really great,” but he showed me, and then some.”

  5. joonas.laakso Avatar

    So it was the link, then. I don’t know, looked like a perfectly normal link to me! I tried posting it myself, to no avail. Anyways, got the book ordered already. I can post it alone (see below), but it just won’t display the post if the link is included! O_O

  6. Mikki Avatar

    Huh. I done busted up your crib, yo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.