Wii

North America

Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

by Nick DiMola - March 20, 2009, 4:03 am PDT
Total comments: 18

6

A Frankenstein monster that is one part Resident Evil and one part Dead Rising.

Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is an odd title. The game is a Wii conversion of the 2006 Xbox 360 title Dead Rising. The story, featuring photojournalist Frank West, has not changed, and the Willamette Mall, the setting of the original, is also present and unchanged. Unlike the original, though, Chop Till You Drop is a linear title in which all of the missions from the original (both side and main) have been strung together back-to-back to provide a new gaming experience. While this change seems fairly harmless, its effect is quite profound.

Before I explore Chop Till You Drop, it is worth mentioning what makes the original game so endearing. Dead Rising is a sandbox-style game that has an array of mandatory missions and a wide variety of side missions that you are informed of via walkie-talkie, such as rescuing trapped people in the mall. In addition to the open-ended mission structure, players are able to lift nearly every single item in the mall and use it as a weapon against your undead foes. With such an extensive selection of items, the game adopts primarily melee-centric gameplay. Finally, the game included the element of photography as a secondary means of increasing Frank's experience level, giving the game yet another freeform element.

The Wii port has downgraded the original's controls, removing Frank's jumping and photography abilities (an odd choice considering he is still a photojournalist). While the absence of photography is nearly negligible, jumping is sorely missed because it offered an extra element of exploration, a second set of moves for dispensing of zombies, and a maneuver for avoiding a zombie attack. The most profound change, though, are the guns, which play a much more dominant role now in comparison to the original's melee-centric fighting mechanics.

Players familiar with Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition will feel right at home with Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, as the game is built off of the same engine. Thus, inventory management (via an equip/unequip pause menu) is handled similarly, and just like the zombies in Resident Evil 4, the Dead Rising zombies now drop health, ammo, and money, which is displayed on the screen with the familiar colored cylinder of light. The game's camera has even been brought in over Frank's shoulder, and the controls found in the original Dead Rising have been scrapped in favor of the Resident Evil 4 control scheme.

The changes are both good and bad. As one would expect, with so many alterations, the two games feel very different from one another, regardless of the fact that they are supposedly the same game. As mentioned earlier, a major appeal of the original Dead Rising was the sandbox-style gameplay; in Chop Till You Drop, the game has you on such a tightly linear leash that players will rarely venture outside of the safe room between missions to simply roam the mall. The control changes work well enough; however, they feel overly clunky and can often cause problems in missions. The close camera, combined with the slow turning speed, ensures that players will be successfully attacked by enemies from behind on a regular basis, which is an issue not present in the first game.

The game's downgraded visuals also play a part in changing the general feel of the game. The mall is devoid of hoards of zombies, instead merely featuring small clumps of overly aggressive zombies. Combined with the inability to jump, this just makes the game feel even more scripted. Not only do the visuals impact gameplay, but they are downright distracting to look at. The game is a blurry mess, featuring many low polygon models and poor resolution textures.

Aurally, Dead Rising has not changed much. Though players won't hear quite as many angry zombies groaning in the hallway, the background Muzak and fitting sound effects set the stage well, giving the mall a very real feel. Just as in the 360 original, the in-game dialog easily stands out as the worst sound feature in the game. Awkward pauses and oddly narrated lines, in addition to the poor overall script, can make watching cut-scenes nearly unbearable.

Just as the majority of the Wii game has been altered, the unlockables you earn upon completing the game have also been modified, though this time it is for the better. Rather than unlocking the overall boring Infinite Mode from the original, players unlock Odd Jobs, a collection of missions that require running around the Willamette Mall to do … odd jobs. These include things like fighting off a hoard of immortal zombies for a set amount of time, or defeating a collection of close-quarter zombies in an elevator. After a few Odd Jobs missions are completed, players will unlock Second Amendments, a sniper mini-game which also features a number of missions. With the Wii Remote controls, this mini-game is moderately enjoyable for a little while.

Wii gamers looking to finally experience the critically-acclaimed gameplay of Dead Rising will be sorely disappointed with Chop Till You Drop. The many changes made to the original formula in order to use the Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition engine totally transforms the game into something new. Limited controls and technology, as well as the sandbox-less gameplay, have made the title into an average, linear zombie-killing experience. That said, the Resident Evil 4 controls provide a reasonably fun experience, even if it doesn't stand out in any way from the crowd. Wii gamers without access to an Xbox 360 are best off giving this game a rental to see what the fuss is all about, while others who have already experienced the original should skip this version.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4 8 7 6 6 6
Graphics
4

Very few zombies appear on the screen at a time, and the ones that do look unimpressive, as do the majority of items and characters found within the game. The graphics are passable but they clearly could've been much better.

Sound
8

The in-game sound effects and background music give the game a very realistic feel, though the stilted dialog and poor voice acting drag down the overall package.

Control
7

The shoehorned Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition controls work well for the new shooting focus of the title; however, the over-the-shoulder camera feels needlessly restrictive, and makes melee attacks and smooth, quick motions impossible. The lack of jumping and sluggish motion controls also hurt the gameplay.

Gameplay
6

Chop Till You Drop is a linear take on a non-linear game, and the melee-heavy combat found in the original has been modified into a shooter experience. The changes can be fun at times, but in many instances they feel overly restrictive. The game never feels open and accessible, and the lack of zombies definitely kills the excellent ambiance set in the first title.

Lastability
6

After completing the main quest, there is little to come back to. Since players are graded on each mission, they can replay each one to obtain S rankings after they complete the game. They can also tackle both the Odd Jobs and Second Amendments mini-games, though these too only offer limited appeal. Players can always wander the mall and kill zombies, but due to their lacking numbers and the poor overall presentation, running around the mall quickly becomes boring.

Final
6

Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop has a major identity crisis. On one hand it is Dead Rising, and on the other it is Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Unfortunately the combination of the two titles only proves fun in very few instances. Those that expected a similar experience to the Xbox 360 title will surely be disappointed, as it removes much more from the Dead Rising experience than it adds, but those looking to explore the series would do well to rent the game.

Summary

Pros
  • Contains the full Dead Rising mission set, and then some
  • Good Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition controls
Cons
  • Too linear, with downgraded sandbox gameplay
  • Visually unappealing
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

I find it ironic that a conversion with the word "chop" in it would have less chopping (and more shooting) in it than the original.

decoymanMarch 20, 2009

Disappointing. So they took away most of what made this game unique in the first place. I have to think a version built from the ground up for the Wii wouldn't have to be gimped to such a disappointing degree...

It's like the developer's setting itself up for failure in the marketplace.

mac<censored>March 20, 2009

Is Capcom capable of doing anything right these days...?

HypotheliciouslyMarch 20, 2009

Your review was well done, though I for one was already certain I wasn't going to purchase it to play it (to burn it?).

I feel like I should mention the boycott thread, but I'm too lazy.

TJ SpykeMarch 20, 2009

Quote from: mac

Is Capcom capable of doing anything right these days...?

They announced a sequel to the excellent "Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles".

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 20, 2009

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: mac

Is Capcom capable of doing anything right these days...?

They announced a sequel to the excellent "Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles".

And Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (if it ever gets here).

You know what's surprising about CTYD? When the original game was released people praised it to no end. But now that the Wii port is here people realized that the game wasn't that great to begin with, and I am not talking about the conversion from 360 to Wii.

For example, Gametrailer's review of the title mentions how the story is stupid and that the concept was poorly executed. Yet, their review of the original game had nothing but praise for the concept and design.

So it makes me wonder...

Was the game so new back then that people praised it more than they should have? Or is the Wii port so bad that it ruins the enchantment of the original?

I thought the story was pretty good. I remember one night just as we were about to beat the game our group of friends came over to go bowling and have dinner, but then nearly everyone stayed glue to the TV just waiting to see what would happen to Frank next. Needless to say the story was captivating and did its job till the end. So I don't understand why its bad all of a sudden.

ShyGuyMarch 20, 2009

You have to remember that the 360 was having a major drought its first year and I think Dead Rising got a case of "Launchitis" even if it was six months or so later.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 20, 2009

Quote from: ShyGuy

You have to remember that the 360 was having a major drought its first year and I think Dead Rising got a case of "Launchitis" even if it was six months or so later.

That's what I am thinking as well. Since Halo 3 and Gears were still away there were very few notable games on the 360, so when Dead Rising hit it was a blessing. Hell, I remember my friend saying that DR was the first notable game to own on the system.

GoldenPhoenixMarch 20, 2009

I played Dead Rising (360) again and while it is fun, the game is still really flawed. This is one game where the time limit makes zero sense, the game is BUILT like a sandbox game yet rushes you through it.

ShyGuyMarch 20, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I played Dead Rising (360) again and while it is fun, the game is still really flawed. This is one game where the time limit makes zero sense, the game is BUILT like a sandbox game yet rushes you through it.

QFT a great game ruined by forced rules.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMarch 20, 2009

Yeah I personally felt that both games had the right idea just the wrong execution. Some combination between the Wii and 360 version would've made for the ultimate edition of Dead Rising. Maybe a third, further retooled conversion for the PS3 is in order?

As it stands though, as flawed as the 360 version is, it is still more enjoyable that the Wii version IMO.

I loved the demo for Dead Rising on 360 and then picked it up used about a year later. I played for a little bit and really didn't enjoy the timed aspect.

It's funny, I'm actually more interested in the Wii version despite the fact that it is technically inferior. However, I still wouldn't pay money for it.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 23, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Yeah I personally felt that both games had the right idea just the wrong execution. Some combination between the Wii and 360 version would've made for the ultimate edition of Dead Rising. Maybe a third, further retooled conversion for the PS3 is in order?

As it stands though, as flawed as the 360 version is, it is still more enjoyable that the Wii version IMO.

I will definitely agree that the time limit was not well executed, affecting the overall flow of the game.

There will be times where you have to wait till the next part of the story and you just wander around, only to realize that a mission ended hours ago because the text was so goddamn small! Then if you aren't there at the exact, same time the story ends there and you wasted good gameplay time.

ThePermApril 17, 2009

wow sounds way different. Come on capcom where is dino chrisis with resident evil 4 gameplay? Now that i want to play!

GoldenPhoenixApril 17, 2009

Quote from: ThePerm

wow sounds way different. Come on capcom where is dino chrisis with resident evil 4 gameplay? Now that i want to play!

I have a bad feeling that Dino Crisis is an extinct brand now.

PeachylalaApril 17, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: ThePerm

wow sounds way different. Come on capcom where is dino chrisis with resident evil 4 gameplay? Now that i want to play!

I have a bad feeling that Dino Crisis is an extinct brand now.

With Mikami gone, I'd rather it stay extinct.

Spak-SpangApril 17, 2009

Nope, anything with Dinosaurs attacking is completely ok with me.

PeachylalaApril 18, 2009

Star Fox Adventures says hi.

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Wii

Game Profile

Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Capcom
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
Release Feb 27, 2009
PublisherCapcom
RatingMature
jpn: Dead Rising: Zombie no Ikenie
Release Feb 19, 2009
PublisherCapcom
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