Dead Rising 2:  Off the Record

Wicky wicky wild, wicky wicky wild
Wild Wild West, Frank West, desperado.
Infected, no you don’t want nada.
None of this, don’t mess with this, photojournalist,
I’ve covered wars yo, look it’s like I said bro.
Any showgirl that’s in distress
Be out of that dress when she meet Frank West
Combos so go check the maintenance door
Watch your step, don’t slip, there’s some puke on the floor
Zombrex in store, don’t miss injection time,
You don’t wanna see me rage, turn your brains to slime,
Fuck all of this, from the start of this, in Willamette,
Frank West, shamin’ the rest, with the biggest balls yet

Now who ya gonna call?  *Not the Chuck Greenes*
Now who ya gonna call?  *Muthafuckin’ Frankie*

Zombie heads and teeth I really wanna bust, freak out
before you get chainsawed at the (Wild Wild West)
When I stab into the (Wild Wild West)
When I slice into the (Wild Wild West)
When I chop into the (Wild Wild West)

We blowing straight through that zombie’s chest
We blowing straight through with Wild Frank West

So anyway, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is pretty fun — I wouldn’t rearrange a Will Smith song if it wasn’t.  If you’ve played either of the two previous Dead Rising games, you should already know what to expect: zombies, silliness, and zombie silliness.

The opening cinematic shows the rise and fall of Frank West as a celebrity hero, up to and including how he ends up in Fortune City.  I’m pretty sure this is an alternate universe and not a side story to Chuck Greene’s adventures in Dead Rising 2 — you will save some of the same people, kill some of the same psychopaths, and so on.  In fact, Off the Record is basically Capcom saying,

“Look, Frank West is a way better character than Chuck Greene, so how about we pretend that other game didn’t happen, and you can play through Dead Rising 2 all over again as Frank West instead.  Oh, and did you see our newest Street Fighter game?  It’s way different and better than the last 27 Street Fighters.”

Frank and his story are more light hearted than Chuck’s, and that’s a welcomed change.  Even though that annoying little jerk-off Katie isn’t around to worry about, it turns out that Frank himself is infected, so you still have to scavenge for Zombrex.  In fact, your first mission is to go find some Zombrex before you go full-fledged zombie crazy.  The fact that Frank is infected is apparently a secret, yet everyone in the game seems to know about it anyway.  They must be psychic.

No really, I'm a psychic

The same timeline exists in Off the Record as well.  You have three days to rescue people and uncover this whole conspiracy plot, all the while searching for Zombrex, and then the military arrives and spoiler spoiler spoiler.  Of course, you could just ignore all of that responsibility and play through the new Sandbox Mode.

Sandbox mode is perhaps the biggest reason to pick up this game.  There is no time limit.  There is no need to search for Zombrex.  The other survivors are people to kill instead of people to rescue.  There are Challenges scattered all over the mall that task you with killing a certain number of zombies, collecting a certain amount of PP, getting from A to B as fast as you can, etc.  All of these challenges can be attempted as many times as you’d like and earn you cash bonuses.  Your character progress is also shared between Story Mode and Sandbox Mode, so everything you earn in the game can be utilized in both modes.

Both modes also feature a new Checkpoint system that careless noobs will appreciate.  Oh shit, you died and didn’t save your game in the past two hours?  Normally, that means you are going to start over or redo those last two hours, but with the new Checkpoints, you may not be as screwed as your imprudent ass normally would be.  I guess that might be progress.