Archive for Capcom

Review of Dead Rising 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 9, 2010 by Baggie

Dead Rising 2 is the sequel to Capcom’s rather good zombie game Dead Rising, where you play as the reporter Frank West who is trying to figure out exactly is causing the outbreak. This time around you play as Chuck Greene, a former motor-cross champion who is thrown into his second zombie outbreak in a vegas-esqe city called Fortune City. You have a small adorable daughter who has been bitten in the past and has to be injected with a medicine called Zombrex to prevent her from turning into a walking dead, and also try to uncover why you’ve been framed for the outbreak.

To start with, Dead Rising 2 is pretty much more or less Dead Rising 1 with a few well placed tweaks, and that’s a sequel I can admire when the first game was fairly good, too many games try to change the games too much and end up with something that’s not as good. The core elements of tonnes of zombies and using hilarious and varied weaponry are still there, and some of the things that kind of sucked in the first game, like survivor AI, have been fixed.
The zombies, those ‘lovable violence without guilt’ flesh-bags are there, and are still as fun to destroy in exciting ways as ever, with so many possible items to use as weapons it’s quite staggering, and a new weapon combo system, where you can make powerful amazing weapons, though it misses a few basic obvious weapons that I though would definately have been in. (Like putting a car battery on a 2×4 would have made a tazer-pole. Seems obvious enough.)
However, it still has a few annoyances than have remained from the first game.

Dead Rising, as a series, has always had a large focus on screwing around in it’s games. As said, you can use almost anything you see as a weapon, from Pot Plants, bundles of CDs, firecrackers, lawnmowers, all fun to use, and there’s a huge amount you can do that’s not central to the plot, but will give you bonuses and are just generally interesting. I would gladly play a game that is essentially Dead Rising but without a central plot and time limits, because as the game is now it seems to not want you to actually have fun with it, but still includes thousands of screwing around opportunities for some reason. Especially with the addition of Co-op, I figured that 2 pals running around a zombie apocalypse fighting bad guys and laughing like hell would have been obvious.

The game is heavily based around time limits, which can be a bit intrusive when you want to concentrate on doing something fun. For example you might want to go outside and ride around on your newly acquired motor cycle for a while, try to get the “Kill 1000 zombies” achievement, have a fun time. Or maybe play some slot machines, break some ATMs, get enough money to buy the keys for that fancy car in the plaza. Except you can’t if you don’t want a timer bar keeping an innocent old lady alive to run out and get her eaten. It’s not really fair on the player, because the player wants to have fun, not be constrained by dead lines that make little to no sense. This was remedied a tad in Dead Rising 1, where it had an “Infinity mode” which involved you staying alive and killing zombies indefinitely, but it was taken out in this game in a way that screams at me “We’re going to use it for DLC”. Which does not fly well with me. Oh no.

The save system is the same, that is you go to a toilet and save your progress. While functional, it does tend to become annoying, especially when you forgot to save before the big boss fight and you lose half an hours progress. Still, there are more restrooms around the place than the first one so it’s a tad better.

The boss fights are the same standard of difficulty that they were in Dead Rising, which is mostly incredibly difficult. Which isn’t in itself a bad thing, but it forces players to use game limitations to kill them more often then not. Hell, one boss I was fighting got stuck in a wall and let me pummel him to death, and I was downright grateful to have been cut a break. Another one I defeated by taking 4 survivors with me, giving them all assault rifles and kept the boss busy while they did most of the work. Most others can be defeated by learning their moves and figuring out a routine to whittle away their health while avoiding attacks, which will utterly destroy you. It all feels kind of unsatisfying after a while, when routine and essentially cheating the game are the only way to win against these guys.

The this that really annoys me though, is that ultimately, it doesn’t matter apparently. The escort, psychopath fights, and all the timed missions are completely optional, and you can apparently not bother with them and still get the best ending. So… why exactly did you putĀ  a flashing timer on my screen that makes it feel like the most important thing in the world Dead Rising? I mean I don’t mind, but you didn’t even give me a score at the end, you just threw a bunch of stats I already knew at me. And they’re clearly the best part of the game as well, so why did you make them worth so very little?

The game has co-op and multiplayer which are nice additions, but not really that amazing. The co-op essentially puts 2 players into a campaign instead of one, and it doesn’t let you interact with one another than much. I had a vision of one person with a shotgun, one person wheeling them around in a wheelchair, or even some co-op fighting moves. But nothing of the sort. Functional, but kind of dull.
Multiplayer, where 4 players play on the fictional game show “Terror is Reality” that centers around killing zombies in exciting ways, is kind of dull honestly. I mean there’s a few different mini-games, and they’re all functional, but they aren’t fun enough to really play the game for. Though you can export the money won to a save game, which is a nice addition.

All in all, it’s a very solid experience of zombie destroy fun, and definitely worth playing through, but it does have a few annoyances that can lessen the experience at times.


Retrospect: Resident Evil 4

Posted in Retrospect with tags , on April 19, 2009 by Baggie

Resident Evil 4 is a zombie game by Capcom, where you play as Chris Redfield, leading a 1 man expedition to rescue the president’s daughter. First off I’ll say that if Spanish terrorists actually got their hands on the president’s daughter they’d send in a good amount of SWAT teams and then nuke the entire island once they got her out, just to emphasise the point.

It was a game originally created for the Gamecube, and has been ported to the PC rather sloppily.
First gripe I have is that they didn’t even bother letting you use the mouse, rather they just ignored it entirely and kept the same control system as the Gamecube had. While it was rather appropriate for a controller (more about this later) it made the PC controls hard to use and rather irritating.

To aim your equiped weapon you have to press the ‘aim weapon’ button, where the character aims and then the movement keys turn into aim keys.
This annoyed me immensely, since I hadn’t needed to use the keyboard to aim since they invented the SODDING mouse. But I can deal, right?

Well the next gripe was that they don’t ever tell you which keys you need to press for specific actions, they give you pictures for ‘Button 1’ etc. While this is bearable if it’s easy, like Enter being Button 3 to do most actions that was fine. But then they ask about the 1,2,4,5,6 buttons and I have no idea what the hell they’re on about. I figured how to open the Inventory and it felt like a big accomplishment, cause the game never tells you how to do it.

Third, there are quite a few quick time events. I don’t have a major grudge against well done quick time events, there are problems I’ve encountered where it’s asked me to mash E repeatedly but it won’t register because I’m mashing too quick (I’m too awesome), or when it flashes up before the actual button becomes active, and if more than 1 button is pressed it fails and I die, so I’m wondering if I didn’t press it right and if I press it again will it kill me, like some sort of Quantum quicktime event. Not great.

But here the control problem comes up again. Suddenly it’s asking me to press 5 and 6. Well hell, I don’t know what those are! Game never told me, I’ve probably been using them all this time without knowing what the hell they were labeled. So I die, wondering what the hell the buttons were, but it’s okay, cause it flashes up a different combination of buttons I don’t know. So it never gives me solid testing groups to find what buttons are which.

Mainly though it’s not a fault with the game itself, it’s the team who ported it either being too lazy, not given enough time, or not paid enough. Or all 3. PC gamers are 2nd class citizens in this respect a lot of the time.

So I was trying to get through the game while feeling I was playing it in Japanese or something. Not really enjoying it but compelled to keep playing because the story was decent.
Then I borrowed my brother’s controller.

Suddenly the sun came out and flowers started blooming, Parades happening in the street. For this game was now actually playable. And it was pretty fun.

The buttons on screen actually matched the buttons on the controller, quick time events were possible, and I could aim. One could argue that the game was designed to be used with a controller on the PC, due to the instant compatibility and design, but what idiot creates a game that you need a specialised piece of hardware most people on the particular platform don’t have?

The graphics aren’t terrific, the environments and most of the characters look like they were created just after Quake 3 was, though again this was a Gamecube design restriction, the console not being able to pull the skin off a custard, so I can’t really blame them.
But what stands out is the main character look extremely high detail, better than a lot of recentish games. While this is good, it’s be a better if they did this to the entire game, cause the characters look like they’ve invaded from another, more recent game, and clearly don’t belong in this pixelated mess.

The zombies, while entertaining to a point, it takes FAR too long to kill them.
What would happen if you got shot in the head with a 9mm pistol? Why, you’d die. So why can these guys take a good 5 rounds before their head explodes, presumably due to the built up force of 5 bullets to the skull. And why does carrying a chainsaw give you the ability to take 3 shotgun blasts? Cause I’d have one on my person at all times if it were the case. Zombies do notĀ  get bulletproof skelletons, they die like the rest of us, something only a few zombie games do properly unfortunately.

While this game is supposed to invoke a sense of horror, I found myself running away from zombie hordes not out of fear, out of frustration, because it would take a good half a minute to kill 5 zombies and I wanted to get on with the plot.

(Speaking of which this game MAY be scary to your average person, but I’ve played far too many horror games to be squimish at virtual blood or limbs flying off.)

The game has a bit of a treasure hunting mechanic, where random jewels, jewellery, other things of value are scattered around the place, and gives you more money to buy weapons etc. I actually enjoyed looking for these more than the zombie killage, and the brief level you play as the President’s daughter (Whom I REALLY wish would put on a longer skirt) where you didn’t have conventional weapons was insane fun for me, pity it only lasted ten minutes.

Back to quicktime events, now I can actually perform them they’re pretty decent, however there’s one particular cutscene that has about 7 quicktime events. Cutscenes are supposed to be a time to learn about the plot and reflect, not be watching the bottom half of the screen in-case of of the 2 quicktime combos popup and kill you in a variety of fun and messy ways! I don’t mind quicktime events in gameplay e.g. Press X to throw zombie off you, but in cutscenes seems a bit cheap.

The inherit danger in playing a game that’s been lazily ported from one platform to another is there’ll be some inherit bugs at the very least. Take the Orange Box, it gave me about 500 hours of entertainment for 50 dollars. Brilliant. It was released at the same time on the Xbox 360, which was also awesome, everything worked brilliantly, the only issue being Microsoft’s unwillingness to let developers give away free content.
But EA decided it wanted to port the game to the PS3, because EA, as we all know, are money grabbing whores. The game never really ran well, controls were sometimes unresponsive and a couple of bits were nigh unplayable, because EA did a lazy port, effectively ruining the game for anyone silly enough to buy a PS3 (their own fault really).

So Resident Evil 4, rather strangely for a PC game, practically requires a controller to be functional.
It’s decent enough and compels enough interest to actually get through, but don’t go out of your way for it. Personally I only bought it cause it can with Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, but that needs about 2 gigs of updates before it works, so I might be able to play it at some point in the distant future.