DeathSpank, Limbo, and Lara Croft. All these recent Xbox 360 games cost $15 or €14, indicating a new premium price for premium download titles - equivalent gems such as 'Spolsion Man, Peggle and Catan once debuted at $10 or €9. The new Dead Rising 2: Case Zero goes the other way with a $5/€4 tag, acting both as bite-size game and teaser for the late September retail release of Dead Rising 2 on 360, PS3 and PC.

Whereas the first Dead Rising was about a photographer stuck in a shopping mall during a zombie outbreak, Dead Rising 2 and its M / 18 rated prequel Case Zero feature handyman Chuck Greene who, as it turns out, possesses quite the talent for fabricating makeshift weapons.

He also has a broken-down car and a beloved daughter who requires a daily dose of Zombrex medicine in order to stave off the infection.

The need to find more medicine and better transport results in a whole load of zombie carnage. It's the resourcefulness of TV's MacGyver crossed with the comedy bloodshed of a George A. Romero movie.

So is it worth the money, or are we looking at nothing more than the emergence of a new, hideous beast: the paid-for demo, shunned to death by those in the know?

Gametrailers' video review estimates a "short two hour duration" per playthrough, but as J oystiq's Randy Mitchell notes, in-game awards that carry over between plays and link to Dead Rising 2 mean that "there's plenty of reason to go back in." Fidgit's Tom Chick, writing for 1UP, tots it all up and reckons upon "a solid ten to fifteen hours" all told. That should at least put it on a par with its $15 siblings.

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