What’s In A Name?
It’s no secret that up to this point Dead Rising 3‘s DLC has failed to impress. Thankfully, Capcom’s latest surprise update to the Xbox One launch title that wowed us at E3 breaks away from the previous mediocre offerings and delivers us a highly energized and tongue-in-cheek experience from totally out of left field that old school fans of Capcom’s classic franchises are sure to enjoy.
Ludicrously titled Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α, this arcade-centric expansion greets you with a mock arcade test screen and “Winners Get Chipped” notice that anyone who spent their pasty youth in the dimly lit catacombs of their local ’90s arcade will undoubtedly recognize. After that you’re treated to gloriously absurd attract mode reel that rival’s Capcom’s best, and showcases the wild, over the top action that awaits in this slapstick chapter in the Dead Rising series, then it’s off to the races for some ghoulishly fun arcade-inspired zombie busting action.
Before you’re able to set foot in the zombie ravaged streets of Los Perdidos you’re able to choose from one of five characters: Frank West, Chuck Greene, Nick Ramos, and Annie Greene, each with their own distinct moves and weaponry. However, you’ll be able to unlock 16 additional costumes each featuring their own unique stats and movesets by earning Zenny- the game’s in-game currency- that pay homage to a wide variety of Capcom classics. From series stalwarts like Chun Li and Ryu to more obscure characters from Capcom’s arcade heyday like Captain Commando and Final Fight’s musclebound mayor Mike Haggar, the wealth and variety of characters is staggering. And there’s few things more awkwardly enjoyable than running amok through Los Perididos with veteran zombie slayer Frank dressed as Darkstalkers’ innocent looking but armed to the teeth Baby Bonnie Hood, or Nick Ramos donning Felicia’s furry cat suit as he claws the undead to rotting mincemeat.
Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + replaces Dead Rising 3’s weapon-scavenging play style with something more akin to a classic arcade beat-’em-up. Divided into four zones, each with five missions and a bonus round to complete, the action takes place in a variety of forms as 1 to 4 players work together to defeat a set number of undead ghouls, run a zombie valet service as you hunt down and return vehicles to Nick’s garage, and attempt to find and rescue adorable pixelated survivors from the clutches of the walking dead. While death is certainly possible, it’s largely negated by the ability to spend those aforementioned shiny Zenny you earn to bring yourself back to fighting form after you’ve fallen. However, if the timer expires it’s game over, man, as you’re promptly booted to the title screen. That’s right, you’ve only got one life- so make it count. Slogging through the zombie infested streets of Los Perididos solo can be a real challenge, however with a seasoned band zombie hunters you’ll likely blow through the game’s 20 missions in no time as you divide and conquer the game’s myriad challenges, which come complete with boss encounters including a few bouts with some ferocious super zombies, an Akuma-inspired Shadow Boss, and a towering zombified incarnation of M. Bison complete with laser blasting eyeballs.
While running rampant through the city with its new whimsical new neon facelift offing the undead with a a three of your closest zombie exterminators is undeniably a blast, there are still a few rough edges that carry over from the core Dead Rising 3 experience that tend to mar the fun, along with a few other missteps that rear their head and mar the overall package. The first of these gameplay-gobbling ghouls that Capcom failed to sort out for this expansion is the game’s frustratingly floaty controls, which are back in full force in this expansion. While it was possible to overlook the wonky targeting issues and vehicles that handle like refrigerators strapped to skateboards before, they are much more egregious gaming offenses when stacked against Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α‘s ever ticking timer. Failing a mission because your car doesn’t seem to want to turn when you want it to, or because your character got snagged on a bit of terrain is maddening. Also, the total lack of balancing can make tackling the game’s four districts a colossal chore for those going at it alone. Last but not least, this DLC comes with some serious load times. Expect to quickly tire of the main menu theme, as you’ll be hearing it quite a bit as you wait to jump into the next session.
While these nagging issues can be tiresome, it’s easy to overlook most of these flaws when you’re knee deep in the dead trying to get top ranks in the game’s varied stages. The main attraction may be easy to power through in an afternoon with friends, but unlocking the all of the game’s exceptional costumes to fill out your roster of characters, hunting down hidden goodies like classic arcade machines and other collectible goodies gives the game considerably more mileage if you’re up for the challenge. Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + doesn’t take itself seriously, and it’s all the better for it. This DLC sets itself apart by transforming the somewhat tired core experience of the game into something wholly different and more addicting than candy-coated bacon. It’s not without its flaws, but for $9.99 you’ll be hard pressed to find a more instantly infectious zombie apocalypse on the Xbox One to date. If you’re a fan of Capcom’s glory days or arcade beat-’em-ups in general, Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α deserves your attention.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Xbox One (reviewed) ; Publisher: Microsoft Studios; Developer: Capcom Vancouver; Players: 1-4 (online); Released: June 9th, 2014; ESRB: M; MSRP: $9.99
This review is based on a copy of Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + purchased by Hey Poor Player.