Review

Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha Review

  • Game release: November 22, 2013
  • Reviewed: June 18, 2014
  • XONE

You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.

by

Dead Rising 3 struggled with the balance of its tone. It portrayed a grittier, serious world while still trying to appeal to the fans who enjoyed the series' more offbeat humor. Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha swings as far in the opposite direction as possible, going completely over the top while also paying more homage to Capcom's arcade history than all three Dead Rising games combined.

Unlike previous downloadable content for the game, Super Arcade Dead Rising 3 takes the bare-bones controls and format of Dead Rising 3 and does something very different with them. The world is not open, your weapons cannot be combined, and there is no real progression of characters or story. Instead, you are given a time limit to you fight your way through a series of arcade-like challenges, ranging from "Kill 50 zombies" to "Retrieve the vehicles" to Escape the city." While you can accomplish this alone, the challenges are best played with a group of up to four online friends, all working together while at the same time fighting for a higher score.

This isn't because the co-op is innovative or expertly designed. Honestly, you do the exact same things with one person as you do with four. However, tasks that might become monotonous alone are accomplished far more quickly with help, which makes for a brisk, exciting pace through the game's challenges. For example, one of the tasks you come across more than once is "Rescue the survivors." The survivors in question--8-bit-style citizens crying out for help--are merely pickups that you need to touch to "rescue," but running around the environment to find them all can take a long time when you're on your own. With friends, you can each explore different sections of the map and be done with the matter.

The way it moves you briskly from one challenge to the next is one of Super Arcade Dead Rising 3's strengths, as each individual task doesn't stand tall on its own. While the basic act of killing zombies (whether with weapons or in vehicles) in Dead Rising 3 is as fun as it ever was, the game is great about giving you different goals to accomplish, usually in rapid-fire succession. You may be asked to kill 100 zombies, yes, but then you are immediately sent to destroy specific items around town before you need to escape the area altogether--all as a timer ticks down, encouraging you to hurry. With skill, you can finish a list of tasks within a few minutes before moving onto the next round of challenges.

You do this across four districts, each based on a different section of Dead Rising 3's map. Fundamentally, these are the same environments from the base game, but they've been brightened up with lots of color, neon arcade signs, and a generally cheerier atmosphere than the drab color scheme you're probably more familiar with. So while the city's major landmarks won't be new to you, the coat of paint makes them at least a bit fresh.

Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix's main draw isn't the slaughter of the undead; it's the zaniness surrounding it. The second you jump into the DLC, accessible from Dead Rising 3's main menu, its arcade influence is front and center. You're greeted with an old-school memory check screen, a joke about those old "Winners Don't Use Drugs" PSAs (fitting in with Dead Rising 3's canon, this one reads "Winners Get Chipped"), and then Capcom's classic logo jingle, right before a remix of the old Street Fighter II menu music starts up.

It's clear that Capcom aims to tug at the nostalgic heartstrings of its old fans, and frankly, it works. At just about every point possible, the developer shoves something in your face and says, "Hey, remember this old game we made? What about this one?" These references are old enough that they don't feel like advertising (there are no references to the likes of Dragon's Dogma or Monster Hunter) and instead evoke the feeling you might get when flipping through an old video game magazine and looking back at the biggest hits of the 90s. Whether it's Frank West dressed up as Mike Haggar or a billboard for Mega Man X4, you see signs of Capcom's history everywhere.

But it doesn't feel like outright exploitation of old brands. In fact, it feels like a celebration of them, as if at least a few people at Capcom woke up one morning and said, "We haven't paid as much homage to our classics as we perhaps should have." So when you see references to Rival Schools or Power Stone, or when you turn into Tofu (a particularly obscure Resident Evil 2 reference), it all seems to come from a place of genuine appreciation.

This is also true of the character selection. Each of the 20 options on the character select screen are different variations of established Dead Rising characters Nick, Annie, Chuck, and Frank, but more than half of the options are nods to other characters from Capcom's past. And these aren't mere costume changes. Each character feels unique, with its own attributes and attacks. Each character also has a unique special attack that is directly influenced by the character's source material. So when you play as Annie dressed as Regina from Dino Crisis, it feels more like you're playing as Regina herself, especially when her special move involves a pterodactyl that swoops in to attack the enemies in front of her.

The result of all of this is an homage to classic Capcom. When developers cash in on its audience's nostalgia, they often do so through half-measures such as classic costumes and other trinkets that have little to no bearing on actual gameplay. Instead of taking that route, the developers of Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix have created something unique and heartfelt, and ultimately much more entertaining.

The entertainment has its limits, though. Nostalgia can take you only so far, after all. The game is obviously intended for co-op players and is most enjoyable when played with friends or even strangers, and you can blaze through the game's four districts in no time at all, whether you're playing alone or not. The replay value comes in unlocking all of the game's 20 characters, which requires replaying levels many times over with different characters, as well as hunting down arcade cabinets hidden throughout each district. If you don't have allies to do this with, you might find the experience a slog, and whether it was due to technological inferiority or the DLC's unpopularity, I often had difficulty finding strangers to play with.

If you don't have much love for Capcom's back catalog, or you don't already enjoy Dead Rising 3, there's not much for you here other than a possible chuckle or two. You need to understand and revel in a bonus level that involves nothing more than destroying a car in order to fully grasp why this DLC is special. But if the idea of fighting a giant zombified M. Bison as Nick Ramos dressed as Felicia from Darkstalkers is exciting to you, then Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix is a blast.

The Good
Packed with nostalgic references
Plenty of the goofy tone that makes Dead Rising unique
Terrific four-player co-op that balances cooperation and competition
The Bad
Short-lived, with content that demands repetition
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Dead Rising 3

About the Author

/ Staff

Dead Rising 3 was Britton Peele's favorite game from the Xbox One launch. Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix tugged at the strings of his nostalgic heart more than once, and he liked it enough to unlock everything and earn every achievement before writing this review.

Discussion

39 comments
slaytrix_allday
slaytrix_allday

I'd love to play this game with other players but I haven't been able to find a game to join. If anyone wants to play on xb1 toss me an invite. G3NEr4lM4lice

sa18
sa18

its super fun, but its a DLC. i wish they made a full game out of this and not just a DLC. it deserves more, for a DLC in this era its at min an 8

freedom01
freedom01 moderator moderator

thats a very long title

camichan
camichan

I laugh every time I read "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha". Gotta give Capcom credit for taking themselves and their extremely long winded titles lightly.

whocaresrly
whocaresrly

Are people seriously impressed with this?, if nostalgia beats fun then this deserves a 10 otherwise it looks pretty unentertaining .. you walk around hitting the bombs health down to 0 then move onto the next one .. wow big deal.

meeghoulz
meeghoulz

CAN I PLAY 4 CO-OP OFF-LINE?

jnw93
jnw93

ex plus Alpha was my fave SF game

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

The absolute best name for anything ever.

OGKNav
OGKNav

That was painful to watch.

Ensabuhnur
Ensabuhnur

Deserves a higher score for the fact that they took a gritty open world game and converted it to a bright arcade game in-engine.  From a technical standpoint that is pretty slick and not to mention its bloody good fun.

Mar_Sama
Mar_Sama

I HATE TIME LIMITS IN GAMES!! I don't know if this is the right thing to do. As a DLC it is cool because it is not the only option but full games build that way are annoying!.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

WT hell is that name?


Ahhh, gotcha!  Fair enough.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

Either the folks at Capcom can't name a game for shit or they like games with long names.

Justin_G
Justin_G

it's funny how easy it is to please Capcom fans. as a serious Mega Man RE fan... this is upsetting.

DanieltheDead
DanieltheDead

So in other words, this DLC is Capcom's way of teasing their fans by reminding them of games to which they'll never see sequels.

4kgamer_lmxxx
4kgamer_lmxxx

I like how they mock the Street Fighter naming scheme with their DLC name. :D

shinjuki
shinjuki

How did this not get a 10?


This is the most awesome game right now. And the insta release was crazy.


This is going to be a staple in my library for the life of the console, I guarantee it.

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

Good review....awesome DLC but gets repetitive after a few hours.....well worth the 10$ and great use of nostalgia

wEEman33
wEEman33

I would have preferred some actual new games in these series instead of these cheap cameos.


Dino Crisis, Rival Schools, Power Stone, Final Fight, et al. deserve better than this.

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

This is easily one of the best add-ons I've experienced in a good while. Plan, simple fun that will keep a smile on your face throughout.

Eribuster_basic
Eribuster_basic

Everyone seems to be forgetting the "Dash" after "Alpha."


Nice review!

RevLux
RevLux

@freedom01  Yes, yes it is. I love Britton's refusal to use an acronym for the title throughout the piece. Which makes it seem even longer by the end. (j/k he leaves off a few words to shrink it.)

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

@meeghoulz nope. but you can play single-player at least, it's not an 'always online' thing...

Hurvl
Hurvl

@BARRICADE_28 I love the acronym for it as well, SUDR3ARHEEXPA. It sounds like a japanese title, which is quite fitting given the origin of Street Fighter.

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

@Eribuster_basic the narrator in-game doesn't say it, so, no one else should… he stops at "alphaaaaa…" 

Dead Rising 3 More Info

First Release on Nov 22, 2013
  • PC
  • Xbox One
Dead Rising 3 places players in the role of Nick Ramos who must find a way to escape a city full of zombies before an impending military strike wipes the city of Los Perdidos, California, and everyone in it, off the map.
7.8
Average User RatingOut of 107 User Ratings
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Developed by:
Capcom Vancouver,
Published by:
Capcom, Microsoft Game Studios
Genres:
Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
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