Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is at the same time one of the Wii's most fun survival horror titles and a definite downgrade from the Xbox 360 original.
Let's get one thing cleared up right away. If you've played or have the means to play the original Xbox 360 version of Dead Rising, there's no reason for you to even give the new Wii iteration, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, a second glance. While the Wii version does away with some of the minor gripes of the Xbox 360 original like the braindead survivor AI, the constantly-interrupting Otis, and the harebrained save system that only allowed you one slot, the game is inferior where it really matters. The low-res visuals are nowhere near Xbox 360 quality and some of the more enjoyable gameplay aspects have been neutered or removed. Photography? Gone. Jumping? Only at a few select spots. The amount of zombies onscreen as well as the amount of weapons have also been drastically reduced.
- Solid combat, a fun story, a tighter mission structure that ensures you don't miss out on any story elements
- The gameplay and graphics can't match the Xbox 360 version, some new enemies are a bit too cheap
Chop Till You Drop is a pretty fun survival horror experience for the Wii. With a wide selection of wild weapons and brainless zombies to use them on, Wii owners have a downright decent undead slaughter sim on their hands. Folks who have played or have access to the Xbox 360 original should still consider that the definitive version of Dead Rising due to its better visuals and more expansive weaponry and movesets.
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But you know what? None of that should or will matter to Wii owners. Even with the heavy modifications done to the game, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is still a hell of a lot of fun. At the core, it's still the only game to capture the glee of decimating hundreds of zombies using dozens of items. You've still got to deal with a whole host of psychopaths made crazy by a mall full of the undead. And you're still unravelling a bizarre story about insects and animal research that lead to an entire Colorado town being overrun with the undead.
Brain Dead Fun
The combat in Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is a fine blend of the weapons-based brawling of a modern-day Double Dragon and Resident Evil 4-style shooting. The Wii Remote is put to about as much use as it was in the Resident Evil 4 port, as the pointer is used to make aiming much smoother, and the motion-sensing allows for a few finishing moves (some new weapon-specific finishers have been added for the Wii). Some new animal zombie types have been added, though quite frankly, they shouldn't have, since they're too strong and difficult to kill in comparison to human zombies.
You spend your time in Chop Till You Drop alternating between missions in which you must find and bring survivors to the mall's safe area and story sections that have you uncovering the mysteries of the zombie conspiracy. The 360 original merged both parts of the game together, so you had to manage your time correctly. This is one part of Dead Rising where I'm torn between which version is preferable. The Xbox 360 version felt more open-ended as a result, but mismanaging time would cause you to let a survivor die or miss a vital story element that would cause you to miss out on any future developments. Breaking the game into missions takes away from the open-world (or is it open-mall?) gameplay, but at least you're ensured that you'll get the most out of your time with Chop Till You Drop.
When it comes down to it, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is a game Wii owners should seek out and Xbox 360 owners should avoid like a zombie bite. It's a little rough around the edges, so we'd still recommend Resident Evil 4 as the premiere Wii survival horror game, but if you want to dismember the undead in a non-lightgun setting, it's a pretty solid choice.
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