Games Meet Metal: Dead Rising 2 Case 0: The Riff Review

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Dead Rising 2 Case 0: The Riff Review

By Nathan Werp, aka Riff, editor-in-chief

I hated the first Dead Rising. Literally, I despised it. What I thought was going to be a mass zombie extermination turned out to be a game of dress-up written my George Romero. Go on, get yourself looking like a silly Japanese robot to clean out the undead! Fun, right? At first, yes. Then, the crap starts shining through. Super-hard bosses, an unforgiving time frame, that damn picture-taking gimmick that I loathed, and my biggest complaint: no great variation in weaponry. Our poor war photographer was left with a major lack of varying weaponry, thus making every encounter feel way too similar. Apparently, dressing up like a clown ad other things was supposed to make up for it all. Not for me, it didn't. After trying my hardest to stick with it, I gave up. I was bored. I was apathetic. I didn't want to see zombies for a long time.

A lot of other people thought is was fun, thus making me the minority in this situation. It sold so good, that now we've been graced with a soon-to-come sequel. To sweeten the deal a bit, Capcom has released a prequel/demo of the game called Case 0. Here, Capcom shows off some new features to the series, as well as giving a ton of background info on out main protaginist, Chuck Greene. Being only 400 MS Points off of Xbox Live Arcade, I decided to give the zombiefest another shot.

The plot of Case 0 centers around Chuck and his daughter, who is facing zombiefication herself if she doesn't get her medicine. Plus, Chuck has to find five pieces of a motorcycle to escape the little po-dunk town they're trapped in. Let's not forget the military, who are going to arrive an hour after your kiddo needs her meds. If they see your kids with the medicine, they take her away. Needless to say, you gotta haul ass.    


Like it's predecessor, DR2 Case 0 lets you restart your quest with all your XP and money even after you suffer the fate of becoming zombie chow. While in the first game this became increasingly annoying, Case 0 adds a remarkable new skill: the ability to combine weapons into nifty super weapons. I found myself purposely dying, just so I could have more time to find stuff to combine. My fave was the drill bucket. Like the name says, it's a bucket with several drills and their business ends pointing to the inside. Throw one of these bad boys on a zombies head, the drills gouge into his cerebral cortex, then POP! His head splatters all over the place like beads at Mardi Gras. You also get combo cards that add different "recipes" for weapons once you built them. As a bonus to those buying the full game at the end of the month, you also get to take all your experience points, combo cards, and cash you earned in the prequel over into the main story, ala Dragon Age or Mass Effect.

The best part about the weapons customization system is that it replaces the photo taking gimmick, and eliminates my worry of repetitive weaponry, thus killing two birds with one stone. On the down side, the silly costumes are making a return. At one point, you can have Chuck wear a women's tiny restaurant apron while having a mohawk. However, their importance is very much down-tuned in favor of the weapon's system. The main character, Chuck, is also more likable than last game's photographer, and that makes you want to invest more time in seeing how his story plays out.

In the end, Dead Rising 2 Case 0 did the impossible: it made me want to return to a series I had previously sworn off. The weapon customization system is fun to toy with, and it's fun to use those creative toys on the rows of zombies awaiting you. Plus, at only 400 MS points, that makes it one of the best deals on Xbox Live, since you're gonna be getting about 10 hours game time for a mere $5. So go ahead, make the purchase. I predict you'll have some limb-slashing fun.

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