Game Review: Dead Rising – Chop Til You Drop (Wii)

deadrisingbox

Being the only guy on staff that never played the XBox 360 original, and being the designated ‘Wii Reviewer’, it was only natural that I’d get to review Capcom’s ‘zombie mayhem in a mall’ game.

Think about it… I can’t compare it to the XBox version, so it’ll be measured on it’s own merit.

Right?

Read the review inside.

Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop is the story of photojournalist Frank West as he travels to a small Colorado town to take some pictures and expose a coverup of massive proportions.

What he finds (as he’s dropped off at the Willamette Mall) is that the town is overrun with zombies. He also finds ineffectual survivors that need saving.

Strangely enough, for a guy coming into town to take some pictures, I think he forgets his primary objective about halfway through the first cutscene.

Speaking of cutscenes, why weren’t they done in-engine? Certainly the graphics aren’t spectacular in this game, but I think engine generated cinematics would look better than the overly compressed, washed out and blurry YouTube clips they used instead.

Seriously, if the engine looks better than the canned cinematics USE THE DAMN ENGINE.

Also along the lines of graphics, the game has a glaring problem with draw distance and zombies.

I’m guessing it was to save processing overhead or memory usage, but zombies will fade out of existence when they get a certain distance away from you. A big problem with this is when you’re trying to plan a route through a throng of the rotting bastards, you run towards a gap in their ranks… and a few more pop into being, spoiling your route, and frequently causing you to be surrounded.

The ‘phantom zombie’ problem also gets annoying when you’re running and one pops up RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. This ain’t Burnout, and Frank doesn’t have brakes. I don’t know how many times I ran head first into a zombie that wasn’t there a second ago.

The AI for survivors is pretty nasty too. They don’t seem to like following you out of harm’s way unless reminded.

I had a truly bizarre experience where I was leading a couple to safety and they just stopped. I kept walking. When I realized they weren’t with me anymore, I turned around to spot them. They were quite a distance away, but there were no zombies between us. I started walking back to them, so I could gather them up, and…

PHANTOM ZOMBIE ATTACK!

As I got closer to the couple, zombies faded in RIGHT NEXT TO THEM and started chowing down.

How can I put this plainly? That’s simply broken, and there’s no excuse for it. They cut a lot of corners to get a higher framerate, and not only did they break the game, but the framerate STILL chops like it works at BeniHana.

Other things in the game are just as inexplicable, but were obviously intentional, like parrots carrying grenades. Why not include a coconut laden swallow instead? That would have at least had some humorous context. Did I suddenly slip into a Matt Hazard game?

What about a janitor that refuses to let me use employee hallways without a cash incentive? HEY MORON! I HAVE A GUN! I SUGGEST YOU OPEN THE FRIGGIN’ DOOR!

On the bright side, the controls aren’t bad, reminding me a bit of a light-gun shooter. Serviceable and rarely inaccurate, they work. Point and click… somewhere a zombie’s head is vaporized.

I can also see some potential with experimentation; using varous object as weapons can have some hilarious results. I just don’t see anyone spending more than an hour or so with sandbox exploration in this game, and that’s the only real fun I had.

I have a personal policy of not handing out bad reviews if a game at least works. If nothing is broken, it at least deserves a rental.

In case I’ve been unclear up to this point, it’s broken: DODGE IT.

Still want to pick the game up?

It’s your money: Buy Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

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1 Comment

  1. Great review!

    Check out my Zombie Research Society blog at:

    http://www.zombieresearch.net

    Hope you like it, and keep up the good work!

    AM


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