Thursday, October 28, 2010

Done with Dead Rising 2, and a Castlevania Query  


Games: Finished up my play of Dead Rising 2 tonight. I'm contemplating doing a review, but still undecided. I guess I’ll sleep on it and see how much effort I want to put out in the morning.

After rolling credits for both the main campaign and the Overtime mode that comes after (and really, that's not a spoiler... they did the exact same thing in Dead Rising) my thoughts about the game are basically the same -- it's a note-for-note reproduction of the original with a much gentler difficulty curve and a create-a-weapon mechanic that doesn't feel like a good fit for the schedule-oriented structure of play.

Hmmm... This territory feels REALLY familiar. Better check my GPS.
If I had never played the first game I suppose I would have been much more entertained by DR2 since I wouldn't be so aware of how badly it was recycled.  Seriously, there were only two or three brief segments overall that I thought were fairly inspired, although I admit that the story was sufficient to keep me moving forward. New protag Chuck Greene is definitely okay in my book, though I have to say that I still prefer original hero Frank West by a large margin.

While I certainly appreciate how much easier DR2 is (got the S-Rank ending with very little effort) I think I preferred the original in just about every other way. Better main character, better story, and although it felt vaguely broken in a few places, it was fresh and original at the time. This new iteration isn't bad, but it just doesn't have that spark… all the I’s were dotted and all the T’s crossed, but I'm still kind of struggling to figure out what it was really supposed to bring to the table.

All things considered, I'd say that I had a much better experience with the prologue DLC Dead Rising: Case Zero than I did with the full game offered in DR2. The setting of Zero didn't feel like another mall, the area was much smaller and more compact, and I liked that a perfect run could be done in two hours or so, provided that the player did a few practice restarts beforehand. It was fresh, tidy, and got right to the point. The $5 price tag didn't hurt, either.

"Come on, Chuck... I'll show you how a war journalist does it."
I'm still looking forward to the epilogue DLC titled Dead Rising: Case West for sure, but if Capcom was to greenlight a new Dead Rising 3, I'd say that they would have to retool the thing from top to bottom, re-think the structure completely and fix all of the issues before it would get my attention. If they go for just another minor-upgrade iteration like this one was, I'll pass.


Games: Prior to starting DR2, I put about two hours into Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Those first few hours didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth, and I postponed it for the time being. However, my wife decided to give it a go, and she's pretty far into the adventure. I've been peeking over her shoulder and keeping tabs on the game, and although there are certain things about it that intrigue me, I see quite a bit that turns me off. As for her, she's plowing ahead like a trooper but has little good to say about it.

To those players who have already been through the game, I would love to get your opinions on it, whether you liked it or you didn't. Tell me what makes it good, or where it went wrong. The two schools of thought on the title appear to have a fairly large gulf between them, and if you've got an opinion, I want to hear it.

I wanna know!


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1 comments: to “ Done with Dead Rising 2, and a Castlevania Query


    I know I've talked about LoS to you before, so I'll try and keep this simple. While there's A LOT I like about the game, at it's core it's still an action game and imo, the action is very, very good.

    After playing Dante's Inferno I can give you a very detailed description why. Perhaps the most important detail is that you can block and dodge at any time during an attack animation which already makes it head and shoulders better than GoW and DI in my book.

    Also, I felt like DI had a lot of balancing issues and moves that served no purpose. LoS fixes that with the focus meter which strongly encourages you to go for variety points so you can fill up your magic. Initially it seemed very hard to fill up the meter, but it becomes essentially later in the game and you realize some tricks utilizing every move in your arsenal (hint: blocking and countering is very useful).

    The light and dark magic thing is pretty great too, even if I found light magic more practical. Almost dying only to siphon health of your foes and get back in the game is incredibly rewarding.

    I could go on about the setting, and boss fights, and puzzles, but I find that to be even more subjective. Combat is subjective too, but for all the reasons I mentioned I found it far more engaging that other recent entries in the genre.