All’s Fair in Love and Covering Wars – XBox 360 – Dead Rising – 2006

20190706233207_1.jpgDead Rising
XBox 360
Capcom
Genre: Action Horror
2006

Zombie games are everywhere. Like the creeping undead they promote, they seem to have vastly grown in number and even when you don’t think they have made their way in, games suddenly have a new mode that has you facing off against the hellish creatures. As someone who swears by Zombie Ate My Neighbors being one of my favorite games of all time, even I have to admit that there’s a lot to look through and not much to be done to make the zombie pseudo-genre feel fresh.

Looking back a bit, though, it didn’t feel like the wave of zombie-centric gaming started to swell until popular games like Resident Evil 4 and Dead Rising hit the scene, bringing a more action-oriented approach to slaying the already slain than many of their predecessors of the era. Plenty of ground had been struck within the Resident Evil series and other one-off titles here and there to give credit where it’s due. At the time of its release, though, Dead Rising felt like a revival of a sort. It was shiny and new while calling back to similar works from film and gaming.

There’s also been about thirteen years of efforts to replicate those shiny and new feelings in a number of ways since. Some have been successful while others have paled in comparison. It only feels right to look back into Capcom’s Dead Rising series, one of the original members of the new wave, and see how it stands up now that so many other games have come around. Plenty of games make a splash and get lost in an ocean of titles and efforts to be the best.

After all of this time, does Dead Rising still hold its own in the arena?
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The Scales Always Need to Balance – X-Box 360 – Alan Wake – 2010

20190214182750_1Alan Wake
X-Box 360
Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Game Studios
Genre: Action Horror
2010

Writers are a very special brand of people. They dream up amazing worlds and characters making their way through gripping situations that resonate with their readers and leave a bit of their own creative blood on the page. The written word has shaped many people in the way they think and what they enjoy thematically among other influences.

Alan Wake is a game that sparked my interest from the get-go. The advertisements touted the main character as a troubled author. Doubled with my love of horror- both in video games and in literature- and I kept an eye on this until it came out. Like most games at the time, however, I had waited until it dropped in price a bit before actually diving in and purchasing.

Growing up reading the likes of Stephen King, John Saul, and Agatha Christie among a number of others, mystery and horror have permeated my media tastes for as long as I can remember. Despite having played through Alan Wake in the past, I found myself drawn to playing it again with a more critical eye. Much like re-reading one of your favorite novels from the past, having a host of life experiences between playthroughs can alter your perceptions and opinions of a game. With nearly ten years having passed since Alan Wake’s release, I was definitely intrigued about whether my views on it would change with another round in the author’s shoes. Continue reading