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Monday, June 4, 2007

Achievements Unlocked: Dead Rising

WARNING: There are a number of spoilers to Dead Rising contained throughout this post.

Some games seem well-suited to the Xbox 360 achievement point system while others seem to include achievements as an afterthought. Linear games in particular, such as Fight Night Round 3, are forced to award achievement points based on a player's natural progression through the game's main story arc. Granted, this makes it easy to pick up a number of achievement points with very little extra effort, but I think that this method of assigning achievements too easily dismisses the true power of the points. When you have a game that awards its achievement points based on story progression and quirky little special or hidden tasks, a game's replay value increases greatly.

All this to say that I'm going to go through and describe how I've picked some achievement points playing Capcom's blockbuster next-gen title: Dead Rising. Dead Rising is a classic example of a game that makes great use of Xbox 360 achievements. Rather than simply awarding points for story-line breakthroughs, Dead Rising makes you step outside the box in an attempt to further expand the game's replay value. I'm sure you'll agree with me as we go over the unlockable achievements offered by Dead Rising.

The methods I used are, for the most part, not my own. If you're stuck and my description for beating a particular achievement aren't helping you, just check out the following sites for all the help you could ever want or need:

I've listed the achievements in the order that I cleared them; this list will be updated as new achievements are cleared.

Drop from a height of at least 16 feet (5 meters).
20 GamerPoint
I finished off this achievement when I knew nothing about the 360's achievement point system. My wife was at her baby shower (even though my son had already been born by this time) and I'd just popped out to EB Games to pick up a copy of Dead Rising. I'd just seen a pretty good commercial for the game earlier that day and thought it looked pretty cool.

About 10 minutes into the game, I accidentally jumped from the Entrance Plaza's second floor to the first floor. And just like that, I'd earned my very first achievement of the game.
Photograph at least 10 survivors.
20 GamerPoint
By photographing everyone in the Entrance Plaza at the start of the game, this achievement gets cleared. Just like that, an easy 20 GamerPoint were mine.

Score at least 1,500 PP from a single photo.
20 GamerPoint
I got this achievement after starting the game again - I only lasted an hour into my previous game before dying. I got the 1500 PP shot from the exploding gas station...although I may be mistaken. If not from the gas station, the picture would have been of Jeff and Natalie Meyer being reunited.
The Artiste
Score at least 3,000 PP from a single photo.
20 GamerPoint
Jeff and Natalie Meyer, the rooftop lovebirds, came through for me on this one. One picture of the happy couple hugging can earn in excess of 5,000 PP if your timing is right and you catch the PP photo opportunity.
Raining Zombies
Knock at least 30 zombies aside with a parasol.
20 GamerPoint
I still wasn't clear on the whole achievement point thing at this point in time. I certainly didn't know that a list of achievements possible existed via the Xbox 360's dashboard. In my defense, my Xbox 360 wasn't Internet-capable at this point (it was setup in our bedroom to allow for quick dashes to and from the nursery) and I was extremely tired.

I got this achievement by accident while following Brad on case 1-2 or 1-3. I had no weapons, having used up all the ammo for the revolver that Brad had given me. In a desperate attempt to keep up with Brad, I grabbed the closest "weapon" and ended up holding a parasol. Once opened fully, the parasol allowed me to make my way through the zombie horde and earn this achievement.

FYI: I continued using the parasol as my primary weapon until I was viciously taken down by a crotch-biting lady zombie near the CD store in Paradise Plaza. Those were the days...
Zombie Hunter
Defeat at least 1,000 zombies.
20 GamerPoint
When I returned to Dead Rising in March 2007 (I'd taken a 4 month hiatus to finish of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Gears of Wars, and a few other games), I realized that I needed a better weapon to get through the game easily.

When I discovered that a Real Mega-Buster could be mine by successfully completing the Zombie Genocider achievement and finishing the game with any ending, I made a quick stop over at Xbox360Achievements.org and Achieve360Points.com to find the best methods for reaching my goal.

The basic strategy is to grab a car and drive a set path through the mall's underground maintenance tunnels. These tunnels are packed with zombies and it's rather easy to kill many, many zombies in a short period of time.

This achievement was cleared in a few minutes of driving around in the tunnels, continuously pushing sports cars, sedans, and delivery trucks through the tangled and gory mess of flying zombie limbs and liquified zombie torsos.
Self Defense
Defeat at least 1 psychopath.
20 GamerPoint
Before realizing that I had to kill all 53,394 zombies for the Zombie Genocider achievement in a single play through the game, I was trying to solve Dead Rising's Case Files as they appeared. Case 2-3 gave me my very first look at one of the game's psychopaths: Steven Chapman, manager of Seon's Food & Stuff.

This guy killed me a few times before I figured out his attack pattern. Basically, when Steven was able to run me over with his Grocery Cart O' Doom, he'd do so - and trust me, you don't want to get hit by that thing. I lasted all of ten seconds during my first encounter with this psychopath.

My second attempt saw me jumping atop the aisle shelving in an attempt to get away from the cart and buy some time and room to take some shots at him with the revolver I was holding at the time. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that Steven also carried a shotgun for situations such as these. I lasted twenty seconds before getting shot up pretty badly and then getting run over by Steven's grocery cart.

My third attempt was a good one. I positioned myself towards the end of one of the Seon's aisles such that Steven was forced to pull out his shotgun to get me. Using Frank's ability to shoot while remaining in cover, done by positioning Frank's body out of harm's way and rotating the camera until your target is in your weapon's sights, I unloaded a clip into Steven's head and won the day.

Frank lived to tell the tale of the mad grocer, Isabella was spared a potentially gruesome fate at the hands of sweaty and clearly deranged psychopath, and Brad got the medicine that he so desperately needed. Of course, I got the 20 GamerPoint that I wanted too!
Zombie Killer
Defeat at least 10,000 zombies.
20 GamerPoint
Realizing that I had a lot of zombies to kill, I decided to forget the case files and focus solely on running over zombies.

Back into the tunnels for another run, I took out 10,000 zombies in no time.
Stunt Driver
Jump a car at least 33 feet (10 meters).
20 GamerPoint
This achievement cleared rather strangely. Rather than attempting to jump a car off any sort of ramp, I became a Stunt Driver while running over zombies in the maintenance tunnels.

During one of my runs, I happened to run over a zombie carrying a propane tank and a large explosion pushed my truck off the ground. At that point, I landed on a shopping cart which prevented my wheels from touching the ground for at least 33 feet and earning me this achievement. Weird? You betcha!
Zombie Genocider
Defeat at least 53,594 zombies.
20 GamerPoint
This achievement is not difficult at all; however, it is a test of patience. To clear this achievement, I had to spend a couple hours (maybe a little more) just driving around the maintenance tunnels in a set path. I'd drive into the tunnels, run over some zombies, change cars a couple times, and leave the tunnels. Repeat this just north of 50 times and the Zombie Genocider achievement (and the Real Mega-Buster!) is yours.

If you'd like to know what to expect, take a look at the following video:

3 Day Survivor
Survive for at least 72 hours.
20 GamerPoint
I really wanted my Real Mega-Buster. After finishing the Zombie Genocider achievement, I made my way back to the security room, saved my game, then put Frank out on the roof of the mall. Here, Frank waited for the remaining twelve hours or so for the helicopter to arrive and take him to safety.

That's what I did and just like that, I'd cleared the 3 Day Survivor achievement. More importantly, I had a wicked gun that would give me a huge advantage during my future runs through Dead Rising!
Steal the convicts' vehicle.
20 GamerPoint
The convicts scared me and pissed me off the first time I met them. When they attacked Sophie's boyfriend, I was helpless to save her or to take care of the convicts. At the time, I was carrying a revolver with 5 rounds of ammo, a soccer ball, and a baseball bat.

However, I did get my revenge, both for myself and for Sophie. When I found myself strolling into Leisure Park with the Real Mega-Buster, I had those convicts killed so quickly that I'm not sure they knew what hit them. To add insult to injury, Frank was wearing a giant teddy bear head at the time of the shooting.

With the convicts laying dead, Frank jumped into the convicts' vehicle and I was 20 GamerPoint richer!
Costume Party
Place novelty masks on at least 10 zombies.
20 GamerPoint
When I learned of this fairly simple achievement, I got Frank into the toy store on the first floor of Paradise Plaza. From there, it was a simple task to place ten masks on the heads of some zombies.

NB: If you put a mask on one zombie and then kill that zombie, you may pick up that zombie's mask and use it on another zombie. Each zombie masked in such a way counts towards fulfilling this achievement.
Psycho Photo
Photograph at least 4 psychopaths.
20 GamerPoint
With the Real Mega-Buster in hand, it was a simple task to kill off Steven the Grocer, Jo the Cop, Adam the Clown, and Cliff the Machete Man. Once these psychopaths had been dispatched, it was quite easy to take their pictures...
Peace Keeper
Defeat at least 5 psychopaths.
20 GamerPoint
In addition to the 4 psychopaths dispatched above, I also took care of a few psychopathic snipers, pushing my kill count to 7 and earning me this achievement.
Marathon Runner
Cover a distance of 26.2 miles (42.195 km).
20 GamerPoint
I honestly did nothing special to earn this achievement. After having had Frank walk the zombie-filled hallways of the Willamette ParkviewMall for hours on end, the Marathon Runner achievement was mine.

However, if you'd like to clear this achievement without playing the game, simply put Frank on the mall's roof and tape the movement analog stick forward. Frank will run in place and eventually earn this achievement (or so I've been told in various achievement guides for Dead Rising).
Snuff Shot B
Successfully photograph zombie Brad.
20 GamerPoint
After finishing off Case 7-2, I went back into the maintenance tunnels. As promised in the various guides I'd read, Brad was waiting for me. And, again as promised, Brad turned into a zombie and posed for the camera.
Snuff Shot J
Successfully photograph zombie Jessie.
20 GamerPoint
And then, as I was making my way back to the Security Room in order to save my game, there was a cut-scene with Jessie. It seemed that she, too, had a little of what was ailing Brad. When I finally arrived, Jessie was standing about being all zombie-like.

I took her picture then put her out of her misery. This seemed to please my 360 as it awarded me the achievement and 20 GamerPoint.
Overtime Mode
Unveil all CASES and be at the heliport at noon.
20 GamerPoint
After case 7-2, the rest of Dead Rising is child's play - especially when that child is holding the Real Mega-Buster.

I finished off the remaining case files, then waited for 12 hours with Isabella at Carlito's Hideout. At 10 AM, there was a cut-scene showing all the soldiers leaving the mall. Frank spoke to Isabella, she told Frank to leave her, and so he did.

I got Frank over to the helipad in record time and waited for noon to arrive. If you'd like to know what happened, you can check out this post and watch the Ending A movie.

Once the cinematics were through, I was in overtime mode and picked up the 20 GamerPoint promised to me by Capcom.
Legendary Soldier
Defeat at least 10 special forces soldiers.
20 GamerPoint
With the real mega-buster in hand, it wasn't hard to kill 10 special forces soldiers. 10 shots, 10 kills, 20 GamerPoint!
Bullet Point
Fire at least 1,000 bullets.
20 GamerPoint
In order to complete Overtime Mode and to pick up the Karate Champ achievement, I was travelling to and from the maintenance tunnels beneath Seon's Food & Stuff. Each time I passed through the grocery store, I made sure to pick up four fresh machine guns from the soldiers who'd decided to make the grocery store their home base. I then used these machine guns to clear the zombie scum blocking my way down into the maintenance tunnels.

With 150 bullets per machine gun, it only took me a couple trips and seven machine guns to pick up these 20 GamerPoint!
Hella Copter
Successfully repel a helicopter.
20 GamerPoint
I actually had problems with this achievement. I almost gave up on trying to get it, but luckily stuck with it after reading the Dead Rising forum over at Xbox.com.

On my first few attempts, I tried to take down the helicopter patrolling Leisure Park with my Real Mega-Buster. This gun had done so much for me and I wasn't about to abandon it just yet. Unfortunately, on my three attempts to shoot down the helicopter with the RMB, I ended up getting shot dead with nary a scratch on the helicopter to show for it.

And so I made a quick stop at the gun shop in the North Plaza, grabbed a sniper rifle, and made my way to Leisure Park. Overtime mode was coming to a close and all the zombies in Leisure Park lay dead. The helicopter circled at the far end of the park, noticing Frank standing on the steps leading into the North Plaza.

Within seconds, the helicopter had maneuvered itself into attack position. During this time, I'd raised the sniper rifle and took aim on the right-side (Frank's right) of the helicopter's cockpit. Before the helicopter could begin its attack, two shots rang out in the crisp, clean morning air.

Achievement Unlocked...
Stunt Rider
Jump a motorcycle at least 33 feet (10 meters).
20 GamerPoint
Following this guide, I took the motorcycle idling just outside Seon's in the North Plaza and drove it south into Wonderland Plaza. From there, it was easy jaunt up to the second floor of the plaza, a short ride to hit the bike's top speed, and a short jump off the second floor at one of the staircases.
Perfect Gunner
Don't miss with a machine gun.
20 GamerPoint
Admittedly, I used one of the "cheats",discussed in various achievement guides, to clear this achievement.

Towards the end of Overtime Mode, there were two soldiers standing by a jeep. Once the soldiers were dead, I grabbed one of the machine guns and unloaded all 150 shots into the parked military jeep. I didn't think it was working since the jeep showed no signs of damage, nor was I given any indication that my bullets were actually hitting anything.

Thankfully, once the clip was emptied, I was awarded the Perfect Gunner achievement and it's associated 20 GamerPoint.
Get the ture ending without being knocked out.
20 GamerPoint
I made it through Overtime Mode without being knocked out or captured by the soldiers; hence, the Unbreakable achievement. This achievement is really easy when you've got the Real Mega-Buster to keep those darned soldiers off your back.
8 Mode
Get the true ending.
20 GamerPoint
A scavenger hunt, a little bug collection, a pleasant stroll through zombie-packed passageways, a battle with a giant tank, and a fist-fight with high-ranking soldier is all it took to get the True Ending.

A very satisfying ending...and one which you can watch below in the embedded video.

Get at least 10 survivors out of the mall.
20 GamerPoint
I guess I'd somehow managed to save 10 people while getting Frank through all the cases and to the True Ending. In any case, I'll take the easy 20 GamerPoint!
Group Photo
Get 50 Target Markers with the camera.
20 GamerPoint
To get this wonderful little achievement, I started a new game and made my way to the Entrance Plaza.

Once the zombies had broken into the mall, I jumped up on one of the advertisement blocks scattered around the floor. Elevated above the zombie threat, I was allowed to take a number of pictures of all the zombie action going on around Frank. It took a few tries, but I finally captured a photo containing more than 50 zombies and survivors.

All the survivors died, but I walked away with 20 GamerPoint.
Spend at least 24 hours outdoors.
20 GamerPoint
Easy! I put Frank up on the roof and taped my 360 controller's analog stick forward. I went outside to mow the lawn while Frank ran continuously into a wall on the Willamette Parkview Mall's rooftop. Two hours later, I had my Outdoorsman achievement locked up!
Send at least 10 zombies flying with bowling balls.
20 GamerPoint
I'd actually tried to get this achievement ten times before I finally cracked it. I took Frank to the sports store in Paradise Plaza, picked up a few bowling balls, then crossed to the food court via Leisure Park. At the doors to the food court was a large group of zombies, tightly packed together and begging to be knocked down. It took only one bowling ball to knock down 10 zombies, earning me the Strike and the 20 GamerPoint!
Zombie Road
Walk over 33 feet (10 meters) on the backs of zombies using the Zombie Ride.
20 GamerPoint
I'd tried to clear this achievement at least 30 times prior to my latest, and successful, attempt. The problem was that I was not using the Zombie Walk skill properly. Instead of jumping up onto the backs of zombies and having Frank actually crawl around on top of them, I was constantly hitting the jump button. So I'd have Frank jump onto a zombie's shoulders and then have Frank immediately launch himself into the air.

I finally solved this little puzzle by having Frank jump onto the zombies amassed outside the door to Paradise Plaza (coming from Leisure Park). Once on the backs of the zombies, I just moved the left analog stick and Frank began to crawl around on top of the zombie horde. It took about 20 seconds of crawling before my Xbox 360 gave me the ever-so-lovely Achievement Unlocked message.
Eat all types of food available in the mall.
20 GamerPoint
I followed this link, read the gourmet guide, and earned myself 20 GamerPoint.
Karate Champ
Defeat at least 1,000 zombies barehanded.
20 GamerPoint
A quick trip to the maintenance tunnels, armed only with bare fists and jugs of orange juice, allowed Frank to find his inner Chi and become a Karate Champ. I planted myself just outside the meat processing room (next to the maintenance tunnel entrance to Seon's) and proceeded to use the Double Lariat move (aka the Zangief spinning punch) over and over and over. When my OJ ran out, I'd pop into the meat processing plant to grab some milk, heal up, then head back into the maintenance tunnels.

The entire process took a little longer than I would have liked, but it wasn't too bad and, better yet, it was pretty easy to finish off from a trying-not-to-die point of view.
Item Smasher
Break at least 100 items.
20 GamerPoint
I finished this achievement off while completing the Indoorsman achievement.

I started a new game, then made my way to Paradise Plaza. Once there, I took Frank to Marriage Makers (P201). In the store, you can equip Gems as a weapon and throw them. Gems come in packs of 10, meaning that it only takes, at most, 1000 presses of the X button to clear this achievement. It took a few less throws for me since I'd already broken quite a few items in my previous games (this achievement is cumulative over all games of Dead Rising played).
Spend at least 24 hours indoors.
20 GamerPoint
After starting a new game, I took Frank to Marriage Makers (P201) and started killing off time. I knew it would take 2 hours of having Frank stay indoors to clear this achievement; however, I didn't want to sit in front of my Xbox 360 for the whole two hours.

Instead, Marriage Makers has a circular counter through which zombies cannot pass. By placing Frank on the safe side of the counter and taping my controller forward, I was able to step away from the game and let Frank jog his way to 20 GamerPoint for me!
Sharp Dresser
Change into at least 20 different costumes.
20 GamerPoint
Frank became a Sharp Dresser while working towards becoming Frank the Pimp (art mirroring life?). A little shopping while lugging Leah around from store to store earned this achievement for me.

A full clothing guide is available here, if you're interested in playing dress-up with Frank.
Tour Guide
Escort 8 survivors at once.
20 GamerPoint
I cleared this achievement concurrently with the Frank The Pimp achievement, described below.
Frank the Pimp
Simultaneously escort 8 female survivors.
20 GamerPoint
I cleared this achievement by making good use of this guide.

Although I was really worried about survivors getting easily killed by the gaggle of zombies, it wasn't that bad. Carrying Leah around was actually quite good. I found that Frank couldn't be grabbed by the zombies while Leah was clinging to his back (I'm not the first person to mention this). It was quite easy to get around from store to store while giving Leah a piggy-back ride.

I ended up saving Leah, Pamela, Heather, the four girls being tormented by Jo, and Jennifer (cult sacrifice). As soon as I had Jennifer in my group, I was awarded both the Tour Guide and Frank the Pimp achievements!
Level Max
Reach Lv. 50
20 GamerPoint
Having completed Overtime Mode and the Zombie Genocider achievements, Frank was at level 46 when I started working towards obtaining the Frank the Pimp achievement. By saving each of the 8 girls and delivering 7 of them back to the security room (Pamela was, unfortunately, eaten by the zombies), Frank easily reached Level 50.

I could have probably finished off this achievement much sooner had I focused on finding and saving more survivors, as each of these activities awards an abnormally large number of PPs.

Remember: PPs = experience = more levels for Frank.
Clothes Horse
Change into all costumes available in the mall.
20 GamerPoint
It didn't take me very long to finish the Clothes Horse achievement while using this guide. It got a little tedious walking into so many stores and trying on every item of clothing available, but I guess that's the price I'm willing to pay for some achievement points. When I finally put the game away, Frank was wearing a nice brown suede fall/winter jacket, jeans (I think), a black baseball cap, red sunglasses, and a pair of black sneakers. Classy!

Well, that's all I'll be doing with Dead Rising for now. I've still got 10 achievements to go before this game is considered "complete", but I'm really into Crackdown right now.

So Dead Rising will be lent to a friend and I'll continue to play as much Crackdown as humanly possible. However, in a few months, I am planning on coming back to Dead Rising to see if I can hammer out some of the Psychopath-related achievements. I'd also like to see if I can get a few more survivors out of the mall.

One last note: the fact that I've played Dead Rising as long as I have speaks volumes as to how much fun one can have with the game. Capcom attributes much of its success last year to the fact that this game sold over 1 million copies. In honour of this news, Capcom has released some new free game content that is available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace. And for those who care, a couple picture packs (50 MS Points) and a couple themes (150 MS Points) are available for purchase.

Have a great weekend everyone!