Reviews - Xbox 360
Written by Eric Dionne Friday, January 21 2011 16:00
[editor's note: This is a review of epilogue DLC for Dead Rising 2. Spoilers be ahead. You've been warned...]
It is now time to end the saga that is Dead Rising 2. The dust has settled, Chuck is safe to take care of his daughter and survive...that is, until Dead Rising 2: Case West! Frank and Chuck join forces to take on Phenotrans, the company directly responsible for both the Zombie outbreak and the temporary cure known as Zombrex. Does this dynamic duo have what it takes? Is this game worth your 800 MS Points? Come on in and find out, but beware, there may be Dead Rising 2 spoilers. Also, while you're here, don't forget to check out my Dead Rising 2: Case Zero and Dead Rising 2 reviews.
Dead Rising 2: Case West
Platform: Xbox 360
MSRP: 800 MS Points
The game starts off like any DLC/expansion/sequel/whatever you want to call it. We see Chuck dealing with a zombified TK (which is odd since in Ending S on DR2 he falls into a pit of zombies and is eaten, but in Case West it goes with the DR2 Ending A where TK becomes a zombie). Just when it seems as though Chuck is screwed, BAM Frank West to the rescue. You see, our favorite war-covering journalist apparently can fly his own helicopter now. He comes to Chuck's aid and tells him about a secret facility, which is where Case West takes place.
Some noticeable things about the story right off the bat is... where did Chuck toss his daughter? Now I didn't get Ending A in DR2, but at the end of Ending S he, his daughter, and Stacy walk away and the game just ended. So I was a bit confused when Chuck simply flies off in a helicopter with Frank to some facility and doesn't even mention his daughter until the end of the game. You see, our boy Frank is infected with the virus as we know from the original Dead Rising, so he himself takes Zombrex. This is hinted at the beginning and ending of Case West. This gives our protagonists a common goal; find a cure and put an end to Phenotrans once and for all.
The game is fun as hell, let me just throw that out there. It's about 3 hours long to beat, but it is very enjoyable. One thing I felt stupid about was that I played the whole game, not realizing Chuck could take pictures. On my second play through, I noticed a tutorial about picture taking that I must've skipped my first time around. But to get to my point, picture taking is a sad excuse compared to the original Dead Rising. You simply take a picture... nothing more. No points, no ranking, no "Faaaannnntastic". Just a picture you can save for posterity. Granted, sometimes Frank will comment on your photos, but it's just not the same nor as in depth as Dead Rising's camera. The only amusing thing about the camera's is that Frank has his classic journalist badass camera, while Chuck has this small yellow disposable looking camera. But otherwise, adding in the picture taking ability almost seems like something they threw in last minute.
Combo weapons make a return, albeit far less than in Dead Rising 2. About half of the combo moves in Chuck's arsenal are in this game with a few new ones. The interesting part about combo weapons is that a few are for Frank. Chuck can make these weapons, but he doesn't get the "x2" PP points that you'll get if Frank makes it. One of the coolest weapons is the Laser gun. This is the only weapon out of all three Dead Rising 2 related games that is created from two different, already made combo cards. Take the Laser Sword (gems+Flashilight) and the Lightning gun (BFG+Electric prod) and you got yourself a laser gun that after a few seconds makes zombies explode. On top of this, you have an electric floor buffer known as the "Zap 'n Shine", and my personal favorite, the Reaper (sickle+Katana). Give Frank the Reaper and he does more damage, gains more PP points, and has a different attack than Chuck does.
On top of zombies, you have zombie handlers and the regular military guards. The guards all carry Flash grenades and ARs, while the zombie handlers simply have electric prods. But watch out, because there's also Hazard Unit soldiers. These guys pack a punch with their Impact hammers, a new weapon for the series. It's simply an industrial pneumatic hammer that blasts zombies back on impact. You can also hit the ground with it hurting numerous zombies/enemies around you.
Survivors make a return, as always, with nine in total this time around. The only difference is that when you save a survivor they go off on their own. No more walking them back to a safe house since you really don't have one (unless you count the shipping office, but that just serves as the place to be at the start of each file of the case you're on currently). Most of the survivors require you to do something for them, however. One simply needs you to clear zombies away from him, one person wants a prod, some need a blended drink, and one woman even wants you to get a human liver and a human heart for her, so she can continue her research. Do what they ask and you save them, and save all nine for the achievement. Keep in mind, some can only be found during certain times in the case.
Ok, so co-op... I'll say this. it's fun, I'm sure, but finding a match is a hassle. I currently have no XBL friends who have Case West (hell, most don't even have Dead Rising 2), so finding a partner to play with online was painstaking. First, you have to wait for it to find someone to connect to. If they deny you (since it'll prompt them during their game that someone wants to join), then you go all the way back to the main menu and have to go back into co-op. Now other times, it simply cannot find someone for you to join, which luckily doesn't kick you to the menu but to the save slot screen where you choose which save file you want your current stats to transfer from when you play. Once connected, I played Case 3-1 with some kid, he got hurt and was down and I needed to get him food. I run over and get him OJ and save him, we start Case 3-2 and then I get kicked. I'm Unsure if he booted me, or if it simply glitched out, but either way I was annoyed.
Achievements in this game are very simple. You may think it's hard to find all the cameras or survivors, but I found every survivor my first play through simply by playing the game and looking everywhere. The same goes for the cameras. They're not really hidden, just always over doorways or in rooms with computers. The only achievement I needed is to beat the game in co-op, and as I said before, this is no easy task. The interesting thing is if you simply hop into a game and the person is at the final boss and you defeat him, you get the achievement while the person playing as Chuck does not. This is why I was so pissed when I got kicked in that kid's game in case 3-2.
Long story short, this game is very fun. It gives you way more to do than Case Zero did, but now allows two player co-op where each of you is not a Chuck clone and Frank himself actually has different (and personally WAY better) moves than Chuck. Frank has his friggin' "Guile Flash Kick" that decapitates zombies, and his Zangief style Lariat. Frank is the better character hands down, both in moves and style. Chuck has his moments, don't get me wrong, but having his daughter makes him a tougher character to enjoy since he constantly has to deal with that situation. Frank is a freelancing journalist with no ties to anyone, and no goal other than finding a cure. This is where Chuck and Frank joining forces is a great sign. If there is a Dead Rising 3, I cannot wait because we now it'll be 100% co-op with both Frank and Chuck leading the way, and that's a game everyone can love.
So is Case West worth your 800 MS points? This guy says hell yes. I mean I already beat it twice and eventually have to beat it in co-op, but Frank West is amazing. I only wish you could play as him when you're playing solo, but sadly you can't and that's a gross oversight. That definitely knocked a few points off my rating of this game. But if you loved Dead Rising 2 and want the rest of the story, you owe it to yourself to play this game. With Frank's fun dialogue with Chuck, and commenting when you take photos, it's definitely a fun and gory experience. With new weapons, a co-op player who has his own moves and combo cards especially made for him, and the return of picture taking (as I said not much of a return sadly), this game is worth it. Period. Hell, the fact that I could dress up like Dr. Wily made this game amazing in it of itself.
85 out of 100