Back in 2006 Capcom came out with the original Dead Rising for the Xbox 360. It turned out to be a great new title, one of the few released during the 360’s first year on the market. If you missed it on Xbox then your big break has arrived, like several other games it has been redesigned for the Wii.
In Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop you get to explore the glorious retail stores of a shopping mall while fighting through hordes of zombies. The game’s controls are identical to the ones found in Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, including pointing the remote at the screen for pixel-perfect aiming.
Capcom took the idea of going on a “chopping spree” quite literally. There are dozens of items that can be used as weapons. The environment is extremely interactive, and you will quickly learn which items are the most useful. One of my favorites was the soccer ball. When thrown into a group of the undead it bounces around like a pinball as zombie limbs go flying.
Almost everything you see can be used to maim the living dead: shopping carts, park benches, bats, stuffed animals, TVs, lawnmowers, and so forth. One of the more entertaining resources to use is the drill. Piercing a zombie with one spins him round and round until his body parts soar through the air in different directions. Weapons aren’t enough to keep Dead Rising interesting on the Wii, though.
Missions become a chore to complete, and so much the time wasted getting around the map. The general mission layout begins in a safe area of the mall where you learn someone needs to be rescued. You go into a vent, cross the roof to elevator, go down the elevator, walk through a warehouse looking area, and finally appear in the mall. Only then has your mission really begun. You could still have the entire mall to cross to get to your objective, and then you’ll have to escort them back through everything.
Like any good zombie story, there is an overwhelming sense that you are fighting a losing battle against an endless army of the living dead. Eventually the repetition becomes too overbearing, however, and you will find yourself opting out of a crazy weapon for the skateboard so you can move traverse the mall faster while avoiding zombies altogether. Even the boss fights are only average, and the storyline progresses far too slowly.
All of the right ingredients are here. There is a huge mall to explore, a massive arsenal of zombie-mutilating weapons, and enough missions to keep you busy. The game’s faults are in its layout. It takes all these entertaining elements and forces you to play them in a way that quickly becomes repetitive and frustrating. Something went horribly amiss in the transition to the Wii. If you’ve got your heart set on a zombie adventure, skip this one and pick up the original Dead Rising or Resident Evil 4.
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