"MORE DEAD RISING."
Since 2006, that phrase has topped my gaming wish list. From Capcom's PR department to series producer Keiji Inafune to Jesus Horatio Christ himself, there isn't anyone I haven't pestered with puppy dog eyes and plaintive whining for more zombies to kill.
It's been a long wait, but Capcom has finally decided to offer up a sequel, and it seems as if they took my cries literally. I asked for "more Dead Rising" and the game they gave me is exactly that: more of everything that made its predecessor a hit.
Dead Rising 2 sees motocross champ Chuck Greene trapped with his daughter in the midst of a huge zombie outbreak. Instead of a small-town mall, DR2 gives you a big chunk of Las Vegas... er, I mean "Fortune City" to explore. Chuck's arsenal is somewhere north of 100 implements of death (ranging from metal pans to shotguns taped to pitchforks), there are dozens of survivors to rescue, and the number of hand-to-hand combat skills you can learn has easily doubled since the first game.
In short, everything is bigger, which goes double for the game's other stars, the undead. While Dead Rising had a few hundred zombies on screen at once, Dead Rising 2 can allegedly support 7,000. Turning a corner to see that many zombies shambling toward you transcends terrifying to become awe inspiring.
While I'm still wishing DR2 included a mode that dumped the series' ever-present timer, it isn't nearly as unforgiving as its predecessor. That, along with the developers' decision to remove the first game's photography mechanic, eliminated the two biggest flaws the series had, leaving a sequel that's everything you liked about the original without the stuff you hated (and a whole swath of clever new multiplayer modes that I'll be covering in depth on the Mercury's website). Fans of the first game should be on their way to the store right now, and if you haven't played the series, now is a perfect time to discover your new favorite addiction.