This weekend we’re playing only two games: Dead Rising 2 and Final Fantasy XIV.
Our experiences with FFXIV have been well documented over the past week with posts explaining certain features or the nature of the game. We won’t go into much more now about FF, other than to let you know that we’ve explored a bit beyond Uldah. We’re now based out of Limsa Lominsa which is an island city with rolling green hills that remind us of Ireland. It’s a beautiful area and there seems to be more mob density here. We’ve reached ~physical 12 and ~class rank 10 each. With crafting thrown in and a lot of exploring, it’s been a great deal of unconventional fun.
What do we mean by unconventional fun? We mean that the way in which fun is had for us in FFXIV is not standard or common or similar to how fun would be had naturally in today’s usual MMO’s. We’re not having fun by trying to level or trying to do anything. We’re having fun by not really doing a lot of any one specific thing. The other night we wandered around looking for a way to reach this castle we saw on the map. We spent about thirty minutes running and another twenty trying to get down a cliff. It ended up being a little village that seemingly serves absolutely no purpose. The NPC’s didn’t talk to us and as far as we could tell it might as well just have been there for looks. Instead of being bothered by how pointless it was, we reflected upon the unconventional nature of our evening and realized we had still enjoyed roaming around.
Dead Rising 2
It’s very similar to the first Dead Rising in that you have a mall-like setting that you have to survive in for a few days until getting rescued. In DR2 you’re not the same character as the first — you have a daughter who is infected with the zombie disease and have to keep getting her medicine. This adds an element of timed anxiety to the mix. In DR2 you’re not just in one mall — you’re in several with a few casinos and outdoor shopping areas mixed in. It’s like a mini new Vegas.
We’ve been playing coop together online which is a fantastic feature. One person hosts the save file and the other joins the game via the communication device you find in the first ten minutes of the game. Playing together, surviving in a mall, killing zombies however you want, and completing the story seamlessly together are top notch. One of the most fun things to do is wander the mall together finding all the cool stores. In them you’ll find all sorts of things to use as weapons against the zombies. Just about anything you can possibly imagine being in a mall is in the game and most usable as a weapon — you can even use a little tricycle for girls.
Combining items and trying to make neat weapons is also fun. We found bows and arrows and dynamite and combined them. Shooting arrows with dynamic strapped to them and blowing up chunks of zombies rocks. Taking a rake and strapping on a battery to make is electrical, taking boxing gloves and putting nails in them to make them spiky, taking a machete and strapping it to a broom handle to make a polearm, or taking a fireaxe and mounting it on a sledge hammer to make a brutal zombie slaying battlehammer-axe are just a few of the great combinations.
It’s very open gameplay. You can rescue or kill whoever you want. You can choose to do all the side missions or just survive and have fun. There are multiple endings like the first based upon how you choose to play (even your daughter can die if you don’t get her medicine and the game still goes on). We never feel really pressured to finish the game a certain way because we know we can play through again.
Multiplayer online (not coop) in the Terror is Reality gameshow mode makes for some quick fun. It’s in the form of four mini-games that you play with four people and based on how much you earn, you get to take that money out of multiplayer back to your singleplayer save. The mini-games are fun and quick. One puts you on this lawnmower-juicer that sucks up zombie juices when you run them over and lets you squirt the juices into some clown’s mouth. Whoever gets the most juice in the time limit wins. There’s another where you have to snipe zombies and another where you dress zombies up.
Solo, or coop, the game shines. Lots of replayability, sandbox/open play, and extremely creative gameplay with props and items that really stretch the imagine make for great times. We highly recommend it. You can find some rather poor webcam footage of us playing coop together at ‘Keen and Graev’s Livestream‘.