There was a time…when I was so brokenhearted. Brokenhearted, bloodied, dragging my feet, I was hurt. And yet, all I wanted to do was eat. And there were others like me. Hundreds, thousands of us, all craving our next meal. Death wasn’t much of a friend of mine. I went from the big screen to the small screen to the handheld. I am the undead. I am a…wait! Are we supposed to use the “Z” word? Well, either way, I want to take a look at some of the games of my people and see what made them great. Great, that is, until the world of gaming was completely overrun with zombie games like some sort of outbreak. These are my top three favorite zombie games:
3. The Dead Rising Series
Frank West and Chuck Greene have a tough task. They both end up trapped, with thousands upon thousands of the undead looking for their next meal. The Dead Rising series allows gamers a lot of freedom. There is freedom in where to go and what to do. There is freedom in how to dress and how to dispatch of the multitude of zombie fodder just ambling about. The stories of West and Greene take a total back seat to the action and humor that the Dead Rising games provide. The only thing I dislike is the time limit. Everything has a time limit. It makes sense within the context of the story but it has a tendency to put a damper on the game. With the release of Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, Capcom provided a sandbox mode without a time limit. Unfortunately, these games can get somewhat monotonous. Despite that, the Dead Rising series is a fun time had by all; save the undead of course.
2. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Yep, that’s right. Remember this gem of the Super Nintendo era? Forget Left 4 Dead and Dead Island and the rest of the new generation of zombie games. This was the original zombie action game. Everything from the box art to the 2-player co-op gameplay, this game was awesome. It had a very campy horror theme and didn’t just have zombies as enemies. Players faced off against werewolves, vampires, and numerous other creepy crawly nightmarish creatures while trying to rescue their remaining neighbors. Even the main characters, Zeke and Julie had a crazy cartoony look to them. Zombies Ate My Neighbors was a great action game that was totally unappreciated until it became a cult classic. Luckily, it’s available on the Wii Virtual Console for a new generation or for those of us who love the classics.
1. The Resident Evil Series (1-Code Veronica)
I know, obvious right? Resident Evil brought zombies front and center in the video game world. And the reason I’m only including the first three numberedgames and Code Veronica is because the enemies in four and five weren’t technically zombies. You have to come back from the dead to be a zombie, being just “infected” doesn’t cut it. The story of the Umbrella Corporation and the zombie outbreak may be campy horror, but it is still entertaining. The voice acting may be god-awful, but lines like “Barry. Where’s Barry?” and “I hope this is not Chris’s blood” are some of the most memorable lines in video games. Resident Evil has gone more action than horror as of late, and it seems this is the direction it will continue. I think that’s a shame. I really enjoy being scared when playing a video game, and the Resident Evil games provided hours upon hours of sweaty palms and screams.
So, there you have it. These are my top zombie video games. My hope for the future of zombie games is that the industry slows down on them. These things are cyclical. Vampires, zombies, Ricky Martin, they are popular, fade away for a bit, and then come back. What are some of your favorite games starring the shambling undead?
Just In Bailey –an homage to the secret code from Metriod, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her suit– is an editorial column at Vagary.TV brought to you by Joey Alesia. Each week Joey will challenge you to look at a different perspective of the characters, gameplay, and/or plot in your favorite games. Chat up your thoughts below, or send Joey an e-mail at Joey.Alesia@vagary.tv and remember to follow him on Twitter @wrkngclsswrtr.