Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MashButtons goes Off the Record with the new Dead Rising 2 review

Frank West is back, but this time, he has come to Fortune City to get back in the limelight after the events of the Willamette incident in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. My first dilemma, do I review as a standalone title or as an expansion, I still do not know. This takes place in the same locale as Dead Rising 2, stars the lead character of the original Dead Rising, and after games worth of complaining, a new sandbox mode, which means no time limit to explore. To top it all off, it is priced at $39.99, so I will leave it up to you to make the call. Along with the new old lead character, there is the old new Fortune City with my favorite area…Uranus Zone. Also, new to the Dead Rising franchise is the Sandbox Mode, which removes the countdown clock to complete missions and find your needed Zombrex. Enough blowing smoke let’s get our hands dirty and see how Frank fares in the city of sin.
Well, to start I must say thanks to Capcom for only making us play through two Dead Rising games before they put in the sandbox mode. As someone that was not a fan of rushing through a game and literally seeing things to my left and right that I wanted to do, but no thanks to the timer, I was unable to do so. Sandbox mode is your solution to this as you are unleashed on fortune city and unlock challenges as you kill zombies. That is not the only improvement that Capcom has done, technical aspects has been revamped to run faster and smoother, the long and numerous load times from Dead Rising 2 have fallen victim to this…yay! Frank West also looks a bit more weathered which is nice to see how he has gone downhill from the first game and though I thoroughly disliked the camera in the first, the aesthetics have been improved to make it less of a nuance.

This is a first as I may be at a loss of words trying to come up things I didn’t like with my time spent with Off the Record. I mean the story mode does have the timer still so you have to manage your time wisely, but if that isn’t your thing, you don’t have to worry as you can play sandbox mode from the get go. Also, I was never a big fan of the camera and gameplay does not rely as heavily on it, but like I said the process for taking pictures and racking up PP’s is less daunting than in the original. In terms of pricing, since this is technically an expansion, it is priced higher than other expansions out there but being less than the other retail prices for disc based games, you are still getting a lot of content some new, some old, but through the eyes of a different lead character so it all goes down a little differently.

I have this sort of love/hate relationship with Dead Rising. I love zombies, huge varieties of weapons, and open world games, but on the other hand, I do not like having a set amount of time to complete a game or having to take pictures when there are zombies to kill. It seems as though Capcom has listened to their fans when it comes to Off the Record as the sandbox is the missing link on bringing people back to the title that were turned off by the countdown timer. In regards to whether this is an expansion or standalone game as a quasi Dead Rising 3, I am still torn but did have a blast with, in Sandbox Mode and Uranus Zone of course.

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