I find myself in a bit of a quandary lately. I was talked into pre-ordering Dead Rising 2 by the guy at Game Stop a while back when I took a bunch of games in for credit. He told me if I pre-ordered an upcoming game I’d get even more credit. I liked what I saw about DR 2 and love zombies, so I said sure. I went and got the game Wednesday and have been playing it in my free time. Just before that, though, I went back to my old favorite Peggle and saw there was a brand new set of boards to play called Peggle Nights or somesuch (which worked so well with Baywatch). I wasn’t sure about downloading the new series or not and got sucked back into the challenge version of that game which I hadn’t completed. Now I find myself trying decide which one to play.
Here’s the deal: I love Peggle, but it’s taking me lots and lots of time to finish some of the original challenges (I’m burning through the Nights regular stuff). I kind of want to savor the new levels and also conquer the challenges, but I also want to get my money’s worth out of DR2 and hopefully trade it in for a pretty good amount of credit. The problem is that I’m not having as much fun with Dead Rising as I thought I would. I was really hoping the game’s save mechanic would be better. I don’t so much mind having to find a bathroom to save, but the fact that if you save in the wrong spot with not enough time, you’ll have to start all the way over. Knowing that was a problem in the first game, I utilized two of the three save spots and was able to go back, but not to the very beginning, when it turned out that I was going to have enough time to finish a mission.
I also wish there was a little bit more thought put into the game as a whole. So far, I’m in a mall, part of which is under construction. Real original. I also wish the fighting gameplay was better. It doesn’t feel as fluid as a lot of other games which is a shame because bashing zombies is obviously such a huge part of the game. But is it really? You’ve got so little time and so much potential cool stuff to do (there are new improvements like weapon combining and random Vegas-style games you can play, that I only just realized cost you money), that those two elements seem at odds. And, sweet Christmas the story’s stupid. You’re a guy who rides around on a motorcycle with chainsaws killing zombies because that’s the national sport, but your daughter got bit a while ago and you have to give her Zombrex to keep her from turning. That part’s not so bad, but the game show you compete on is called Terror is Reality? Ugh, talk about clunky. And most of the voice acting is just boring and overwrought. “I heard you wife died, maybe you shouldn’t suck so much at killing zombies!” Something like this is said to our main character early on in the game.
It really comes down to this: when I lose a round of Peggle, I want to play again right away to figure out what I’m doing wrong and get even more points, but when I die in DR2, it just feels like such a pain in the ass. How far along was I? When did I save last? Am I going to really have to do all that shit over again?
I’m downplaying the good parts of DR2, for sure, but that’s how it’s working in my head. At this point I think I’d rather played the game that cost me a few bucks and I downloaded than the one I spent a TON of my Game Stop credit on. I will say that playing with a giant Blanka from Street Fighter mask on my head and “hip hop” clothes on is pretty fun. When I’m going along strong in the game, it’s more fun than anything, but when I find myself dying more than once in a session, I’m good for a while.