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In 2011, a faintly redressed model of Dead Rising 2 and a replacement hero in Frank West may have seemed crass. Now, with both Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record released simultaneously and priced identically, it's a simple matter of choice. Do you want Dead Rising 2 as it was conceived, or a genetically modified clone that's less inspired but, technically, a lot more fun?
Dead Rising 2 and its spin-off cousin, Off the Record are solid re-releases that lack vital DLC add-ons released years ago, bringing down the value of the ports somewhat.
Off the Record is still Dead Rising 2, with the thematic dissonance that I mentioned in that game's review. It's even more pronounced here, if anything, as Frank throws out sly little side-long quips on everything like he's starring in both a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode and the movie it's mocking. I don't exactly mind Frank as a character, but you have to be a lot more of a fan of him than I am before this works as well as Dead Rising 2 did. Still, it improves on that game's basic model and adds the much-needed sandbox mode, so call it a wash.
These problems are extra frustrating, because when Dead Rising 2: Off the Record functions properly, I have a blast with it. The story is nothing memorable, but the toybox that is Fortune City allows for all sorts of emergent storytelling that I'll remember for some time. I'm hoping that Frank's return in Dead Rising 4 fares better.