As much as we admired the concept behind Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it was still a vastly familiar experience under the neon-hued exterior. That’s to say, the AI routines, vehicle handling and even some of the mission objectives were identical to its full-price counterpart.
Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha – to use its delightfully elongated full title – is the franchise equivalent of Ubisoft’s unexpected spin-off, featuring a far brighter colour palette and a strong dose of ‘90s nostalgia, including a faux arcade cabinet start-up sequence. There’s one major difference between this and Blood Dragon though – just like a hapless zombie caught in one of Haggar’s spinning piledrivers, the source material has been turned upside down completely.
Don’t come to Ultra Dead Rising 3 expecting anything resembling a plot. There is a (very) loose premise however – series protagonists Chuck, Nick, Frank and Annie stumble across a store selling ‘cosplay’ props, and so after dressing up as characters from Street Fighter, Power Stone, Final Fight, Dino Crisis and more they take to the streets to indulge in light-hearted zombie-bashing horseplay. It’s a right old Capcom love-in – Forgotten World’s ‘Zenny’ is used as currency, while power-ups include Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins’ golden armour and the chance to call in the planes from 1942 for an air-strike.
Although it’s possible to play by your lonesome, Ultra Dead Rising 3 is at its best with three others. The focus is on notching up the highest score while cooperatively killing certain amounts of zombies, destroying super-sized bombs, racing around the city and rescuing survivors within time-limits.
Twenty missions feature in total, spread across four districts of increasing difficulty. Each district is based on a location from Dead Rising 3, but there’s no lazy recycling going on here – bright blue skies, neon lights, huge spinning collectables and colourful billboards featuring artwork from various Capcom hits render some locations almost unrecognisable. There’s a filter of sorts in place too – characters now have a thick black outline, giving the game a more cartoon-like appearance.