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Something for Halloween: I Dream of Dead Rising

In the spirit of Halloween, I’m going to air some of my wishes for a game that I really hope comes out at some point, and nothing says Halloween like zombies! I am talking about Dead Rising 3, or whatever they decide to call the next game in that series. My time with Off the Record a couple of weeks ago really allowed me to narrow down what exactly the next game simply needs to have in order for me to carry on buying them.

One of my favorite things to do in Dead Rising (as of 2) is build the combo weapons and hunt for new ones. This system is really fun, but can get annoyingly particular at times with what it actually lets you bind together with the magical powers of duck tape. A couple of examples that always bug me, you can attach hunting knives to boxing gloves, but not machetes or butcher knives. You can attach chainsaws to paddles, but not plain old power saws or just a bunch of swords for that matter. Any sense of realism has always been left at the door with Dead Rising, and I really wish they would ease up on how exact these combo weapons are when there are other combinations that would yield the exact same effect. If there were, say, at least two variants on some of the rarer combo weapons it would be a huge improvement. If this is asking too much, then there at least needs to be a way to store or repair your combo weapons for future use. Repairing would be simple enough: find a work bench, which fortunately there are tons of in Dead Rising, and pay money to fully repair it. Allowing the player to do this three times per creation would really encourage them to build the more (for lack of a better word) interesting combo weapons.

 

There are few images that do not require a caption. Wait…

In light of touching on the idea of storing items, I’ll get to my next
point. Anyone remember those big old item boxes located in all the save
rooms in the early Resident Evil games, where you could store a bunch of
goodies and have them magically appear in all the other boxes throughout
the game? Now in Dead Rising, we have maintenance rooms where simply
closing the doors will protect you from anything, as well as the actual
save rooms. Now seeing as how having large industrial boxes present in
bathrooms wouldn’t make a lot of sense, for a second we will take an
element of realism into account. Why not put a tool rack on the
maintenance rooms where you store items? There could be a limit as to
how many things you could store, but balance doesn’t seem of much concern to Dead Rising and I certainly wouldn’t object
to being able to stockpile an arsenal of lightsabers and hunting knife enhanced boxing gloves.

Like this, but with way more lightsabers, paddlesaws, head exploding guitars and orange juice obviously.

Anyone that has spent even a little time exploring either of the environments in the main installments of Dead Rising has no doubt come across the various magazines that give you bonuses to your character. The original Dead Rising had a far more relaxed approach to this system, but because carrying them took up item slots, the bonuses had to be pretty substantial. In Dead Rising 2, this system was toned down so severely that the slight improvements you gained from having them in your inventory were negated by having to sacrifice a space. Being able to use a weapon 27 times longer than usual is more valuable than the three item slots it takes up. This is quite a nitpicky issue, but it was one of those things that really made the original Dead Rising unique and it might as well not be present in the sequel for how useful it actually is. The fastest way to get around in the first game was by using a skateboard or bike and holding the books that increased its durability meant you didn’t need the extra inventory space you would if you were just running through zombies loosing health every and now then. The books also gave you boosts to certain weapons as well. Whether it was by chance or intentional, this system added a lot of balance to the game that is noticeably absent from the sequels.

Couldn’t think of an image to go with the preceeding paragraph, so here’s a clown with two chainsaws

That about wraps up the main improvements that I’d like to see in the following Dead Rising game. Obviously I could go on for pages regarding mechanics, but part of the charm of Dead Rising has always been its imperfections. Atill, I want to know what you think. What would you fix to make your perfect Dead Rising game? Let me know in the comments below.


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