Thursday, 16 June 2011

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

Yesterday I purchased Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. Today I have conquered it. And that one 24-hour span was worth more to me than every infuriating hour spent trying to succeed its predecessor. I always thought the idea of Dead Rising was a solid one, unfortunately marred by some pretty awful game design decisions.

No Otis. No constant, unskippable "phone calls" in unreadable text that disarms you while you're surrounded by zombies. A main character who isn't an ugly, unlikable cunt. A main goal that's a little less vague and a little more personal. A location that feels more grounded in reality and less zany than a mall or a casino. More than one save file.The ability to perform well enough on your first playthrough, instead of having to fail miserably and level-grind through multiple campaigns. A boss fight that isn't cheap as hell. A vehicle segment that is relatively quick and painless.

Nearly everything I hated about Dead Rising is gone, and they threw in customizable weapon combinations in their place.

I can't speak for the quality of Dead Rising 2, but I was surprised by how much I was able to enjoy these hors d'oeuvres(yes, I had to c+p that word from a Yahoo Answers post). That's basically it: A small taste of things to come. A quick sampling of something bigger. The diminished scope and the small-town feel actually may have helped this one keep its focus, than if they were allowed to go hog-wild with an epic and confusing level geometry.

Something else: There was a point where I had no idea what to do next to achieve the main purpose, and ran out of time and I got one of the not-so-good Endings. Not a "BAD END" deal, but certainly not ideal. But I also knew that I'd risked that by taking time out to help straggling survivors, instead of focusing on Chuck Greene's mission.

Remember that? Remember when losing in a game was YOUR fault? And mine? And not because of some draconian bullshit disguising a development team that had no idea what the fuck they wanted? The people who worked on Case Zero sure as hell remembered.

 ...Oh, and I also bought "Ilomilo". One of the few puzzle games I've played that doesn't make me feel like an idiot when it gets tricky, or like a genius when I win. Which, honestly, I think is the right way to go about it. Instead of judging or propping up the player on a pedestal, it invites us along for its own weird-ass ride and trusts we can keep up.

My only complaint(besides a terrible soundtrack) is the lack of zombies... far.



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