Capcom's Dead Rising series helped kicked off the last console generation with the Xbox-exclusive first entry and promises to do the same with the release of Dead Rising 3 alongside the newly-released Xbox One. And across three games so far - Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and the digital prequel, Dead Rising: Case Zero - what a curious series it is, full of fratricide, odd eroticism, plague bugs, killer clowns, and, uh, photography?
Although reviews are indicating that Dead Rising 3 might take a darker tack with its open world zombie-killing formula - Kotaku says the current game attempts to keep the narrative "grounded," while IGN isn't sure if the game knows it's a parody - we thought we'd revisit some of the stranger choices in the first three games. Let's celebrate the weirdness of the dead, from the stories, to the mechanics, to the question everyone will ask: why are you so needy Otis, oh god won't you leave me alone?!
1. After the Zombie Apocalypse, the Televised Thunderdome Begins
Following the events of the first Dead Rising, the zombie plague was simply something the surviving population had to deal with. It was really only a matter of time before the networks figured out how to make them into a ratings phenomenon.
Enter Terror is Reality, the in-game reality sports program in which hard-luck hero Chuck Greene participates to keep his daughter alive with a steady supply of anti-zombification drugs, Zombrex. The show is the mixture of motocross, mass murder, and flamboyant announcers one might expect in the middle of an ongoing zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, and highlights just where the survivors' priorities lie as the world burns.
2. Being Asked to Commit Genocide
...of zombies, that is. One of the early tests of Xbox gamers' endurance, the "Genocider" cheevo tasked players with killing 53,594 zombies in the game's no-breaks-allowed "72 Hour Mode."
This number is, coincidentally, the total population of the town of Williamette, CO, where the first Dead Rising is set. The achievement would return in Dead Rising 2 with the Z-Genocider 2: Genocide Harder and Zombie Genocide Master challenges, requiring the player to take out 3,596 and 72,000 zombies respectively.
You could always try to find guns and explosives to try to reach this achievement, but if you prefer the truly bulk approach to zombie killing, there's always smashing them to paste via car in the tunnels underneath the mall.
3. Getting to Use Mega Man's Gun
Before the series introduced weapon-crafting in Dead Rising: Case Zero, Frank West had to rely on whatever zombie-killing implements he could find littered around the Williamette Mall. And the collection of swords, knives, guns, bowling balls, chairs, and umbrellas wasn't too shabby (although their longevity left a little something to be desired).
Enter the Real Mega Buster, replicating the Blue Bomber's iconic weapon from the Mega Man series, unlocked with the Zombie Genocider achievement and available in the mall's security room in a New Game+, offering a maximum of five hits to kill any enemy in the game.
Now, the Mega Buster only has 300 shots, but you could always run back to the security room to pick up a new one and keep up your Mega Man-inspired killing spree.
4. A Strange Definition of "Erotica"
Not content with being an open-world zombie killing game featuring a quirky clock and bizarre, frequently nonsensical story, the first Dead Rising also had a very unexpected mechanic with its photography system.
Taking pictures was one of the quicker ways to nab XP ("PP" here), allowing Frank to level up with well-shot compositions featuring tons of zombie carnage, human drama, and upskirt photos of zombies.
Sure, you could snap sexy pics of any of the panicked female survivors in the game, but for some of the truly choice PP, you'd have to capture one of the game's lingerie-clad zombies in action to get the maximum "Erotica" points.