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Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Review: The Happy Shopper Value edition

Ever since the first screenshot of Dead Rising on Wii appeared, we all wondered whether the technically inferior console could render the same number of flesh-eating zombies as the 360 version.

The quick answer is 'no'. But while Chop Till You Drop does manage to retain much of the same gameplay mechanics (the mall, zombies, missions etc.), it fails to push the Wii hardware anywhere near its potential.

It's no secret that Wii's little microchips don't pump out as much polygonal power as the beefier Microsoft console. And we expected a downgrade in visual quality. Slightly fewer zombies too. But otherwise we expected the same game we first played two years ago.

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Chop Till You Drop, however, under-performs not just in comparison to the 360 game, but even compared to other Wii games. It feels rushed, cheapened and does the console an injustice in just about every way.

The Wii version appears to have been softened since its 360 debut - but not in the wisest of ways. For example, the first boss on 360 was a battle of wits, as the guy you're trying to shoot skips from one shop rooftop to another, staying behind cover while trying to give you the slip.

In the Wii version he just runs around at ground level, stopping now and then to take a few shockingly inaccurate shots at you, while you stand right next him and blast bullets into his face. He's dead within moments and you needn't use any strategy.

The zombie hordes of the 360 version adhered to the traditional principles of zombies - they only pose a threat in numbers. This, of course, goes out the window with a greatly reduced zombie count.

The buzz of entering the mall area with a sea of zombies and the challenge of plotting your route through certain shops, grabbing anything to hand with which to defend yourself, was what made the original worth playing. Now you just skip past the dozen-or-so zombies in your way, waggling the Remote to break free if one grabs you.

Capcom's made up for the lack of zombies by streamlining your path through the mall with stupid impassable strips of red tape that block off certain areas, forcing you to follow a more linear path , usually towards the zombies. For me it ruined the sense of freedom and diversity you had before. You can't just smash through shop windows, walk through pools of water or climb ledges. It's invisible wall hell.

Ammo (which appears where killed zombies fade away) is plentiful too. So using different objects as weapons is no-longer necessary. This isn't what Dead Rising was about.

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To offset the now not-so-threatening zombies, the game has been bolstered with an infinite supply of ravenous poodles and parrots - because that makes perfect sense - that are faster-moving and harder to shoot.

These annoying additions somehow strafe bullets, too. How does that make sense? If human zombies are too stupid to dodge bullets, how come dog and parrot zombies have increased intelligence?

But it's not just the zombie count that appears to have gone to the pits due to the technical downgrade. The physics on the zombies are poor - there's little impact when you clobber them. Running them down with the lawnmower isn't fun anymore.

The game takes ages to load different areas, even if that area is a single, empty, pointless room. The cutscenes look so blurry it's offensive, and we're pretty sure there are sharper textures in GoldenEye 007 on N64 than on some surfaces in this.

It doesn't do the Wii justice at all. Not even in the control stakes. You can clobber zombies with objects by swinging the Remote, but it doesn't always work and the swing takes ages to happen in the game. You hold B - the trigger-like button on the Remote - to aim, and A to shoot. Erm...

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