By M.S. Feather 3 Comments
By Capcom, 2010.
It's October and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is hitting shelves today, making it the perfect time for me to pull out one of the gorier books in my collection.
After an introduction by series creator, Keiji Inafune, the book kicks off with “The Evolution of Chuck Greene” a great little section filled with early concept work of our new zombie slaying hero. Did you know Chuck was originally named Chuck Reid and worked as a smokejumper (with no mention of family)? Or that one of the proposed
combo weapons were a pair of drill stilts? It’s interesting facts and concept work like this that really gets me into videogame art books and this one didn’t really disappoint in that regard. One of the more amazing concept pieces I found was of Fortune City, where the game takes place. What wound up as a simple Vegas parody in the middle of the desert was once a fertile neon oasis built atop island plateaus in the middle of an enormous canyon. It’s quite beautiful…at least I think it is. It’s kind of hard to tell since that particular image is little more than an inch in diameter.
That brings me to some of the issues I have with this book. As is the trend with most art books that come packaged with special editions these days, it’s roughly the size of a DVD case. While I can understand the decision to make them compact enough to fit in the packaging, I find little reason that designers couldn’t attempt to make up for this in page length. As a result we get quite a few pages packed with tiny thumbnail sized images; the worst offender being a page in the “Environmental Concepts” section that crams a whopping nine full color spreads into itself. Another big problem I found were a few pages that placed small images right across the books crease… Talk about frustrating!
Despite it featuring a few shining examples of how not to design an art book I did enjoy the artwork and it did feature a plethora of content. It covered everything from zombies and psychopaths to vehicles and 3D renders. All of which would have been more enjoyable if they’d simply expanded the book a bit and gave us some nice full page spreads.