Dead Rising Review «

Gory mobile games are quite rare. Instead of going through the ESRB, mobile games are regulated by the phone companies that carry them. As a result, most mobile developers aim for the equivalent of an E for Everyone rating, so it’s pretty surprising that you can truly slice your way through Dead Rising’s zombies — and leave buckets of blood in your wake. The gore is a satisfying touch, but Dead Rising isn’t a particularly complex or lengthy game, even if it is fast-paced and fun in small doses.

Set entirely inside the Willamette shopping mall, the storyline closely follows the Xbox 360 original and features many of the same human bosses, like the lunatic grocer and cannibalistic butcher. This is great, because the Dead Rising story is both funny and strange in its tale of cheap beef turning Americans into zombies. After beating the first boss, the rest of the mall opens up and the game develops a quick pick-up-and-play quality, even if dull visuals and plain zombies are simply repeated throughout.

Dead Rising uses a handy autoaim feature that faces your character, Frank, toward the closest foe, which can make running and fighting a snap, especially with stronger weapons like Uzis and chain saws. Not every weapon Frank wields is satisfying, however, and some of the slower items (like pans, plates, and shovels) can feel a bit useless. Another disappointment: Since the weapons are spread randomly throughout the mall, there’s little payoff for exploration because the best items can be found anywhere.

The linear mission structure and helpful compass (which points you toward your goals) can make Dead Rising a little too easy. Without much thought, you can race from one end of the mall to the other and face only the human bosses while ignoring the zombies. You need to take out zombies to level up your character, but if you stick to the main goals, you’ll probably beat the game in around two hours. Even though you’re free to hang out in the mall and take photos, Dead Rising isn’t endlessly entertaining — it’s just enough fun to kill an afternoon.

Played on a LG VX6600


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