After finally replacing my dead Xbox 360 (purchased in anticipation of Dead Rising) with one of the new slim 360's, I got a chance to play Dead Rising 2 for a few hours tonight. And it's pretty fantastic!
Firstly: I really dig the new Slim Xbox 360. It's no longer Xbox huge (it's smaller than my non-slim PS3) and is really damn quiet. Add this along with built-in Wifi (802.11n to boot), more robust hardware in general and a shitload better cooling and you have a mighty fine 2nd major hardware revision. Good on ya Microsoft, took ya long enough! ;)
DR2 however, is just such an improvement over the original. The first Dead Rising was a fun game (who doesn't like killing zombies in a mall?), but it was riddled with flaws. Awful aiming mechanic, stupid save system, HORRIBLE survivor AI, messed up in-game text, Otis and his stupid action canceling calls, generally klunky controlls..so many things were wrong with this game. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it! It was fun and I don't feel as my money was misspent..but it was a very flawed game.
Dead Rising 2 seems to have fixed the vast majority of the problems with the original. Better aiming, much better survivor AI, smoother controls, a fixed and proper save system, fixed transmission system..I could go on! It's like they..*gasp*, actually listened to people's complains about the first game and fixed them! It's refreshing to see a universal fixing of some of the most fundamental issued with the first game. Bravo Capcom..or Blue Castle, whoever (Side note! Blue Castle Games was just purchased by Capcom. Gee, I wonder why?).
The other huge addition to the game is multiplayer. One form of it is presented as a zombie themed gameshow who's results actually care over into the single player game. A multiplayer mode that directly impacts the single player experience, neat! Haven't played it, but looks fun. But...but but but! The most awesome thing I've been looking forward to is co-op. Cooperative gameplay's always been a favorite thing of mine going all the way back to Doom and Duke Nukem 3D. It's finally gained massive popularity in the last few years and we're starting to see it included in more and more games, which makes me happy. I got go through about 4 hours of gameplay with a good friend of mine tonight, coop'ing along and killing the shit out of some zombies. It was fantastic! Not the same experience as Left 4 Dead, equally as fun and enjoyable (again, who doesn't like killing zombies?).
Props to the devs on this one. They fixed the flaws with the original game, working in new and meaningful gameplay additions, and gave us a pretty awesome lead character (I like Chuck as much as Frank at this point, and I lurvs me some Frank. He covered wars, y'know). I'm really looking forward to playing more and finishing it with my friend and having a blast killing the shit out of the undead. While running around in a Servbot head.