Sunday, October 9, 2011

The 31 Days of Halloween: Day 9

Halloween is the best time of the year. It's a wonderfully indulgent time, where your inner ghoul is given societal license to be put on display. To celebrate it to it's wicked fullest, the Midnight Cheese will be posting every day in October with excellent ways to enjoy the season. Whether it's horror films, video games, books or activities, check back every day for some new Halloween fun.

Dead Rising

Dead Rising is the first video game we're taking a look at, as part of our 31 Days of Halloween celebration. Released in 2006, this zombie video game takes place completely in a mall, nestled within a small Midwestern town, which has suffered an undead outbreak. You play as dashing photojournalist Frank West (who's been in wars, y'know). He purposefully charters a helicopter to break the government quarantine and expose the story to the outside world. Frank plans to be picked up on the roof in three days time. Interestingly, the game clock runs continuously as you play; plot events don't advance the time.

So you've got a limited time to save people, acquire supplies, fight the undead and get out alive. It's a great tension builder. On the subject of fighting, Dead Rising allows you do use nearly anything, no matter how ineffective, as a weapon. Want to use that mall trash can to fight? Go ahead. Golf clubs, baseball bats, diamonds, shopping carts, lawn mowers, bowling balls, cash registers and way more are available to smash and bash the walking dead. You can even wield garden sprinklers, to gory blood fountain effect. It's all in the name of camp, of cheese, and it's just so much fun.

While the thrust of the game is gleefully slaughtering the aimless, shambling zombies, your most dangerous foe of all are psychopaths, humans gone all different flavors of violent crazy. In many ways such as this, Dead Rising heavily apes from the Romero formula. The game manual even has a disclaimer that it is in no way endorsed by Mr. Romero. However it's clear inspired by it, paying homage to it and giving us license to live out our Dawn of the Dead emergency plan fantasy. Don't be coy, we've all thought about where we'd go in a zombie apocalypse. Well, here's a game that allows you to live it out. I can't think of a better way (at least today) to get into the Halloween spirit. Happy hunting.

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