So, I have one of those friends.
You know, the ones that get new gadgets when they come out and then shows them off and makes you go all ooh and ahh over their shininess and then you somehow wind up buying one yourself?
That kind of friend.
Mind you, that wasn’t really a complaint. It’s good to have someone around to test drive stuff for you.
Anyway, back in early 2006, I was visiting this friend and he was, as normal, showing off a new gadget, in this case the recently-released Xbox360. I don’t actually remember that he was showing games on the thing so much as showing off the way you could download trailers and such, including a trailer for a game he was quite anticipating, Dead Rising.
I had to admit, at the time, that it looked like an enjoyable romp. Zombies are one of the Two Perfect Videogame Enemies, being that you can kill… well, you know what I mean… all the zombies you want, and nobody objects.
It wasn’t, however, a system seller for me, so I didn’t buy an Xbox 360 then, or even in August when it was actually released.
But, when Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 came out, and I bought an Xbox 360 so I could play it, I did put a copy of Dead Rising on the counter next to it.
It turned out that, while it did feature lots of zombie bashing, it was also kind of a frustrating game to play. Your character, Frank, is kind of a wimp and the whole thing is time-driven instead of event driven, so you’re constantly playing against a six-hour clock and trying to keep NPCs alive so the story can progress.
This is, I am told, As Intended. You’re not expected to finish the game on your first play-through; you’re supposed to play until you get eaten, then start over. Since Frank does get stronger, faster, etc, as he gets experience, and since your character building does carry over from play session to play session, the idea is that you gradually get buff enough that you can actually try to finish the game.
This is Dumb. This is a personal opinion, but I believe it to be nigh unto fact.
I went along with it for a bit, anyway, and got Frank up to level 12 or so. I’ve seen recommendations of level 20 before you actually try to finish the game, by the way.
On the other hand, something I discovered at the time was that you can start the game, leave Frank standing in the same spot for six hours, and you will get, if not a Good Ending, at least An Ending, and this ending comes with 51,000 experience points, which is a fair bit in Dead Rising terms.
I did this a couple of times and got burned out and put the game aside.
The impending release – and I am deeply shamed because it was a superhuman effort not to type “wii-lease” – of the Wii remake brought the game back to mind, and I’m going to make a serious go at it this time, just as soon as I get Frank up to level 20 by leaving him on rooftops while I’m at work, at school, overnight, yada yada yada.
It’s cheap, i admit, but I have no shame.