Friday, August 18, 2006

It's A Dead Man's Party

Not a lot to talk about on the gaming side. I bought Dead Rising but wasn't going to start playing it until I had a) finished the main quest in Oblivion and b) finished Kameo. Last weekend I finished the main quest in Oblivion and then realized that I didn't like Kameo all that much. As a result, the plastic came off of Dead Rising and I played a little.

It's a fun game, however if you're going to play it, make sure you like staring at loading screens as the flow of the game goes something like this:

Fight zombies
Loading screen
Cut scene
Loading screen
Cut scene
Loading screen
Run through zombies
Loading screen
Cut scene
Loading screen
Cut scene
Loading screen
etc
Loading screen
ok, that's enough
Loading screen

Thankfully, those times that involve fighting zombies allow you to do things like hit them with hot frying pans, run through them with an open patio umbrella, chop them up with a push mower and smash them over the head with large, ceramic planters. After a while, the loading screen becomes your friend as it allows to collect your wits and decide what seemingly normal object you're going to use to dispatch the shambling masses of the undead. Maybe a cd case? Perhaps a nightstick? Without the loading screen to provide a well deserved diversion, you might not think to smack a zombie with a severed hand from its recently dispatched co-zombie.

The cutscenes are well done, and well acted in the voice department and have the usual Capcom cute chick with big boobs. The Department of Homeland Security may see an increase in job applications from young, barely post-pubescent men who see it as the only viable option should they want to pursue a career in both smashing zombies and ogling women.

The much derided save system deserves every bit of criticism flung its way as it is both cumbersome and silly. Having one save is bad, but having a mission structure that demands you be at a certain place at a certain time, lest the entire game come to a screeching halt and you can't proceed is fucking stupid. Why Capcom felt that people, when faced with a mall filled with zombies and nearly every means of killing them possible, wouldn't want to just spend time killing said zombies is beyond me. They should take some time talking to the fine folks at Bethesda who, with their excellent RPG Oblivion, have realized that people want to do things at their own pace and if that means putting off the main quest for 75+ hours while they run through meadows and pick flowers, then OK, let them go and do that. I have heard rumors of an Infinite mode where you can run around the mall and kill zombies all the live long day, but my understanding is that this mode doesn't include the various escort missions, which would make it somewhat difficult to obtain certain achievements without starting the main game all over again. At least the game allows you to keep all of your experience should you spend too much time hitting zombies in the face with a toolbox and miss a mission. At least then you don't feel like you just wasted all that time and it makes your character a leaner, more efficient zombie killing machine.

Myself, I have come up with a solution to this save/mission system in which I don't give a fuck about the other people trapped in the mall and instead let them instead realize their dreams of being a huddled, shivering, zombie buffet. This allows me to be in the right place at the right time, to get the missions, and prevents me from having to give up my weapons and food to keep these morons alive as I escort them back to the security office. I have to admit, that the first time I saw the "James Smith is Dead" overlay on the screen, informing me that the poor chap trapped in the Hair Barn just met his demise, I felt bad for poor James. Now, when I see those screens I cackle with glee as I know that I won't be held behind by their plaintive wailings and substandard speed. Plus, if James is dead, I'm sure he'll come back as a zombie which will give me a chance to apologize before I cave his zombie face in with a mannequin arm. Here's hoping he understands. I'd hate for it to become a thing between us.

Soon the gaming deluge of DS games will be upon us, so I need to spend some time clearing up space in the old DS case. Between that, Guitar Hero, Dead Rising, Oblivion, the mewling of my all but abandoned copy of Burnout Revenge and the newly downloaded games for my new Treo there's a lot of gaming to be done and very little time to do it. Thankfully I have a week in between jobs to help me ease the load. It's a tough job, but I think I'm up for it. Now, if you'll excuse me, but my weedwhacker has a hankering for a hunk of, a slab or slice or chunk of, a hankering for a hunk of zombie.

4 comments:

Bones said...

I purposely missed one of the main case sections for my first go through, I decided the best way to play would be to level up before attempting to take on the bosses and whatnot. I finished my first 72 hour mode this morning, and restarted at level 16 on my second run through. I plan on playing through only the main cases this time, and after I finish, I'll be at it again for the escort and side missions.

This is a game that I won't mind playing through several times. It's not too long, and it's just damn fun. I'm going to attempt to see all the different endings as well.

Good write up though, I agree with you as usual.

Greg said...

Eventually, they'll release Dead Rising for the PC, and I'll give it a try.

Booster MPS said...

Agreed, it is certainly a fun game. I just hope that I am not ever waiting to be rescued by you in a mall of zombies cause I would be screwed.

suburbanjoe said...

Don't worry, if I get a call from Otis that Booster is trapped in the Jurassic 5 section of the music store, me and my heated frying pan will be along shortly. Just try and hold on!