Super Ultra Dead Rising 3: Hyperkinetic wasteland

June 25, 2014


After spending some time with (deep breath) Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha’ (whew), I came out of it like a kid stumbling out of a major house party for the first time: overwhelmed, dazed and unsure of what happened, but feeling like, despite the sensory overload, I had a lot of fun. I just wish I could get invited to more parties.

Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 acts as a separate menu item from the game proper, launching as its own thing despite being DLC tethered to the core game. This is important, because as a ten-dollar 31st anniversary celebration of Capcom craziness as much if not more than it is an expansion of the massive zombie-slaying simulator, it probably would have fared better as a solo downloadable title. Think Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. The sad truth about Dead Rising 3 is that it was a launch title for the Xbox One, and it wasn’t as warmly received as the two games before it.

In our current gaming market culture, people bought it, played it and traded it in. Not many people (including the fans) are playing, or even still have Dead Rising 3 at this point, and it has an unfortunate effect on Super Ultra. It takes some serious patience to even get into a game. I’m talking minutes of sitting and staring at the screen as it searches for someone, anyone for you to play with.


If you can get into a game, or decide to just give up and play by yourself (which is an option at least for the easier levels), you are guaranteed some laughs. Super Ultra effectively transforms Dead Rising 3 into a silly arcade beat-’em-up, with timed objectives, pixelated collectibles and Capcom references everywhere.

Sometimes you will have so many seconds to destroy a huge number of zombies, sometimes you have to scramble around the map disarming bombs and other missions can range from vehicle races to enormous boss fights. As the carnage takes place, the aesthetic reflects the tone as a blurry, neon color filter coats the action and arbitrary point values fly all over the screen.

You can choose from four characters, and each one has a set of Capcom-themed costumes to unlock, which entirely change the respective character’s moveset. For example, selecting Annie Green by default gives you her signature machine gun, but choosing Schoolgirl Annie gives her boxing gloves and a set of abilities akin to Sakura’s moveset from Street Fighter. The mad dash to unlock characters will have you not only rushing to complete your objectives but also constantly scanning your surroundings for hidden arcade cabinets. This game knows how to keep you on your toes.


The Dead Rising rules of engagement don’t quite apply here; each character/costume has a defined weapon that never changes or runs out of ammo or durability. Costumes range from the predictable set of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters to more obscure offerings such as Captain Commando, Power Stone and Dino Crisis. Since unlocking each costume gives the player more options in play style, there is plenty of replay value here. Unfortunately, some of the requirements can be difficult to achieve without a full arsenal of four players, so good luck with that.

The mechanics work about as well as you would expect them to in this kind of environment. The controls don’t change at all, so expect some jankiness as you try to keep your melee attacks on target. The game tries to help you out to some extent, and taking on crowds of zombies usually isn’t too taxing. Fighting boss characters can be more trying, but luckily the goofy power-ups you can pick up help out a ton.

I still don’t understand why the folks at Capcom Vancouver thought mapping a dodge roll to clicking the left stick was anywhere near the ballpark of a good idea. The limited movement options feel particularly egregious here since you really only need two attack buttons, and the leftover buttons just awkwardly give you random pieces of your light or heavy combos.


Super Ultra Dead Rising 3, despite problems both internal and external, is a ton of fun. If you’re a fan of Capcom and its often-ridiculous history, you’re going to laugh out loud as you uncover all of the references and unlockables. Unfortunately, the biggest thing holding this back is a lack of local co-op and a community that was already in its death throes before it came out of the gate. If you have a bunch of online friends to play with, definitely give it a shot.

Pros: Shameless, over-the-top smorgasbord of Capcom fanservice
Cons: Sometimes-wonky control, online is practically a ghost town

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.