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Capcom Vancouver (formerly Blue Castle Games)



M (Mature)



September 28, 2010



- Weapon crafting
- Giant locales to explore
- Co-Op play
- Three save slots and more places to save
- Crazy story fits the kind of crazy setup in the first game



- Boss fights that may induce Broken Controller Syndrome
- Some weird graphical bugs



Review: Dead Rising (360)

Review: Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (360)

Review: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)



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Dead Rising 2

Score: 8.5 / 10


dead rising 2          dead rising 2


After the zombie outbreak in Willamette, the plague spread. But rather than completely stamp it out with military force, some jackass thought it would be a good idea to set up a reality show where the single goal is to slaughter zombies (or "infected").

Chuck Greene is taking part in the slaughterfest to earn money to keep him supplied with Zombrex, which inhibits the "turn" of the infected. In this case, it's his daughter Katie that needs the drug. But then, as these things are wont to do, the shit hits the fan and Fortune City -- a replacement Las Vegas, which has been wiped from the




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map -- is overrun by shambling monsters that no amount of socialized medicine will cure. If that weren't enough for Chuck to deal with, he's been framed for the outbreak. So besides basic survival, keeping his little girl alive, and saving other Survivors, he has to clear his name before the military arrives.

If you played the original game, you'll already be familiar with the basic


premise of being trapped in a mall-like area swarming with zombies. Many items in the environment can be picked-up and used as weapons. Trash cans, benches, you know the kind of things. Then he has access to a giant list of specifically offensive items like baseball bats, chainsaws, hand guns, and machetes. The difference for Dead Rising 2 is that Chuck can combine specific items into more powerful weapons, a craft system that still extends to the various cocktails Chuck can mix-up. A chainsaw is awesome, but when it's combined with a kayak paddle it becomes that much cooler (and gruesome) to wade through hordes of zombies. Or what about a lead pipe and some fireworks for an improvised rocket launcher? Or a fully operational Blanka cosplay mask? Some of the items required for these kinds of combos are scarce or located in very specific areas of Fortune City. It's probably the first time I've made notes about where to find items since the original Dead Rising, and that's a good thing. In this way exploration is encouraged to some extent.

There's a fixed 72-hour timeline, with events happening at specific times during the story. There are plenty of optional missions to take on, but the emphasis is really to stay as close to the story missions as possible. At least, until Chuck has levelled-up to the point where he's faster, more resilient and has more moves. The ability to restart the game with a high-level Chuck can make it much easier to explore Fortune City and race from point to point and rescue even more Survivors and take down more Psychos.

The Psychos are the boss fights, and, man, can they be a pain in the ass. There are plenty of optional boss fights (which can accidently and unexpectedly be stumbled upon) but the main story line can't help but have a few encounters. Each boss has a definite pattern to recognize and take advantage of but because most of them have attacks that drop Chuck's health to almost nothing very quickly, learning how to defeat a boss can be very painful. It's especially jarring because the zombie hordes are so easily eliminated, it's difficult to adjust to more calculated movements.


dead rising 2         dead rising 2

To be honest, even with a bout of Broken Controller Syndrome, I found myself having more fun with Dead Rising 2 than the original for a few reasons but one of them is the fact there are three save slots. The original had one, which meant that if you saved at the wrong time you might have to restart the game simply because you weren't keeping an eye on how much time was left on certain cases. With three save slots and many save locations throughout the game, Dead Rising 2 allays the frustration that ran all through the first game. This way, if Chuck's experimentation or exploration ends in death, you're not too far from the point at which he died. On my first run through I didn't restart the game once. In the original I played the first 30 minutes of the game over and over again until I reached Level 15 before really digging into the rest.

Dead Rising 2 also adds a multiplayer component that is a welcome feature. Playing along with a buddy, is fun, even if the story progress only counts for the person hosting the game.

There's also a mode that focuses solely on events from the crazy zombie-killing game show, which are played for cash. It's a little like a gory version of Fuzion Frenzy. Four players vie for points performing such mundane tasks as scopping up zombie guts with a "Zomboni" then spraying the remains into a big clown head or "moosing" -- charging then flipping the zombies onto a weighing platform. And of course my favorite, which actually opens the single-player game, riding around in a closed arena on a motocross bike with revving chainsaws strapped to the handlebars. The only goal: kill anything that moves, especially if it has a balloon attached to it. Those are worth more points. The cash earned during the TIR session are carried over to your single-player progress, which makes trips to the Pawnshop for vital items merely a bump in the road, rather than a race against time.

There's a lot to see and do in Dead Rising 2, even after the credits roll. Loads of nooks and crannies to explore and strategies to develop. Money well spent!

- Aaron Simmer

(October 22, 2010)


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