I’m not a huge fan of horror games or horror movies. Not because I don’t like them; it’s that my bladder is easily frightened and has a tendency to cry at inopportune times. So why did I take on a review for a game that could have me crying in the fetal position in a corner with a flashlight and a shotgun?
[image1]Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is basically the same game as Dead Rising on the Xbox 360: You play as a photo-journalist dropped on the roof of a mall in a quarantined town in Colorado, where you’re off to find the story of a lifetime. There are others with you in the building, trapped and looking for you – even though you just got there – to save them. Which is actually surprising, since zombies don’t shop (no, really; they don’t go into shops under typical circumstances). [I beg to differ. ~Ed.]
The whole thing, funny enough, feels more like a Gamecube game than a Wii game, and it especially doesn’t look like it ever existed on the 360. It just doesn’t have the polish and fluidity that titles like Super Paper Mario and even Wii Sports show off. The amount of detail on each zombie isn’t too bad, but there are so many of them that they tend to just blend together after a while. It’s especially noticeable when groups of zombies appear out of thin air… that’s right, the dead have invented teleportation before the living. And even then, it’s very, very disappointing that there isn’t any serious feeling of intensity as they just stand there unles you’re way too close for comfort.
[image2]For a game that really pushed the angle of using everything in the mall to do the dirty work of eliminating the undead, the Wii version of Dead Rising doesn’t have many diverse weapons to choose from. Sure, there’s still a handful of brooms, boxes, and the heads of that little yellow fella from Mega Man in the toy store [That’s Servbot! Bad geek! ~Ed.], but way too often an enemy goes down and leaves a treat: bullets. Of the three major guns in the game, you constantly find yourself with an abundance of ammunition, turning it into yet another “shoot everything that moves” action game.
And of the three types of guns – pistol, rifle, and shotgun- only the shotgun is actually worth its salt. That’s extra odd, since it
follows is completely against the rules of zombie engagement (read the manuals, they’ll tell ya). The shotgun is so overpowered, it can take down a group in one or two shots, even at long range. Couple that with ammo being dropped everywhere (seriously, who’s bringing bullets to the mall? Money, I can understand, but who’s stuffing their pockets full’a shells?) and it’s not even a challenge anymore.
[image3]As for the controls, even ignoring how your character runs like he’s trying really hard to hold in a fart at all times, the movement is slow and he turns like a tank in the original Resident Evil. Using most weapons is fairly straight-forward, though not really taking advantage of the Wii’s sensing capabilities; once in a while, you find the opportunity to waggle the ‘mote, but it’s a total novelty and is used sparingly throughout (though the "drop a zombie on his cranium" back-body drop is a thing to behold). And regarding the shooting, it’s so basic with the “over-the-shoulder” style, it’s unremarkable.
The story… dude, screw the story, the mall’s full of the living dead! There is a story in there, but it’s not remarkable. The voice acting is done surprisingly well, and the cut-scenes are well done for the Wii, but some of them are just too short to really make it worth showing. And with loading times dotted just about everywhere, it makes a short scene significantly longer… and more of an annoyance than a tension builder.
For a big friggin’ mall, it’s just too bad it’s just a bunch of window shoppers. The slackers.