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Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Review

Incredible Fury Rising, more like...

This review has been written in a rage. We're hoping the process of writing down everything that has annoyed us about Capcom's zombie-slaying romp will be like going to see a therapist - by the end we'll have purged all that negativity and we'll come to a rational conclusion. Here goes.

Dead Rising should be brilliant, but it's not. That's what annoys us most about Chop Till You Drop. Look at what it's got going for it. It comes from Capcom, the same company that brought us the magnificent Resident Evil 4 and uses the same point-and-shoot control scheme, game engine and basic premise (running around killing zombies, basically).

Click to view larger image

Let's Talk Chop

It's got a great sense of humour too. Plunging a spinny-drill type thing into a zombie results in your impaled foe spinning around and around

on your weapon of choice, spraying blood everywhere. Nice. Similarly amusing is the ability to dress up your character, the grumpy photojournalist Frank West, to make him look a bit stupid, which is always a winner in our eyes. It's got loads of different weapons, too - you can pick up and swing about a surprising amount of stuff to keep the undead at bay, and a lot of the items raise a smile.

So why hasn't Chop Till You Drop claimed a Gold Award with ease? Let us explain. The mall you're stuck in is - obviously - infested with shuffling, bloodthirsty zombies. But we'd like to meet the fool who decided to throw zombiefied parrots and poodles into the mix and give them one hell of a Chinese burn. We're all for a bit of variety where zombie-slaying is concerned, but both of these new additions to Dead Rising since its original outing on the Xbox 360 appear from nowhere and attack without giving you any chance to react. The first clue you get that either of these little blighters are approaching is a squawk or growl. The next is usually once they've taken a bite out of you. Having fought your way across the mall taking out countless 'standard' zombies with glee, it's utterly infuriating to have an enemy that you haven't even seen take the last slither of your life meter.

Even if you're in relatively good health, these fast moving, smaller enemies are a nightmare to actually fix your sights on. The poodles are often too fast or too close to your legs to actually target, and the parrots are so hard to see and swoop past you so quickly that they've usually taken a couple of bites off you before you finally take 'em down.

Daft Mall

Other annoying elements: You can't jump over stuff, so while the mall is very open-plan, you're forced to run down predetermined routes designed to cram you in with the zombies - a pretty cheap trick. There are night-time sections where it gets so dark we had to turn the brightness on our TV up to maximum just to see where on earth we were going. And while it was the saving grace during this blackout, the big arrow at the top of the screen nullifies any real need to learn the layout of the mall. This reduces the missions to a straightforward dash in the prescribed direction.

Click to view larger image
Progression through the game is also pretty repetitive. There's an awful lot of running to and fro, usually to fetch survivors, items or hunt down bosses. All this is done from a safe area, which means you run down the exact same corridors a zillion times. And it doesn't help that even if you take out a room full of zombies, there's no continuity whatsoever. They simply respawn once your back is turned. A couple of times they've even respawned right in front of our very eyes. In the end you just decide run past them, knowing they're a waste of ammo, until you get to a tougher bit. If you're keen on playing for several hours and getting immersed in the whole process, you're in for a real disappointment. Chop Till You Drop is definitely one for playing in short bursts.

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Comments

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  1. Ganondorf Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 13:04

    The way ONM hyped this, I was expecting a 90%+ game. I held out on getting it for 360 for that reason, and now I learn that it was a waste of my time.

    Oh well. I usually ignore reviews anyway.

  2. YCshinobi Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 13:13

    Pretty much guessed the score. This must be the laziest thing Capcom have done.

    Wii need more titles like Zack & wiki, Capcom, not downgraded ports converted into half-baked RE4 clones, running on RE4's engine, essentially a gamecube game, and the worse thing about it is that RE4 still looks better than this.

  3. ploiper Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 13:45

    my copy is already in the post and i can not wait to play it. i fully dissagree with the bad points this review said, mainly because none of the bad points bother me in the slightest. for me it is a 90% game, and when i start playing it i know im gunna spend hours and hours on it.

  4. popenicker Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 15:43

    to be honest, the story mode was not what i wanted it for. I have no intention of playing the story, I'm buying it so i can kill tons of zombies for fun.

  5. YCshinobi Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 15:58

    to be honest, the story mode was not what i wanted it for. I have no intention of playing the story, I'm buying it so i can kill tons of zombies for fun.


    Like the review says, you might as well just stick to RE4, or the other better zombie shooters out there.

  6. DragonLordZ Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 16:26

    I think 68% is a bit low... I played it all day on my mates wii and its great fun, the poodles and parrots arent that bad, okay there annoying but not enough to downgrade the games score, theres only one thing that annoys me with it, and thats the cloned RE4 weapons. But on the whole I would give it 92%.

    But hey, it's a matter of opinion I guess.

  7. Super_Sonic96 Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 18:00

    Well...There goes my dream of going all Gears of War in a bikini...

    Did i just say that!?

  8. SuperPaperWario Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 18:28

    Wasn't there meant to be a Bikini Zombie Slayers review today?

  9. Mama Luigi Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 21:02

    I knew this wouldn't be as good as the original as soon as I heard they removed the camera. The whole point was that it was Pokémon Snap meets Resident Evil meets GTA in that it was a sandbox zombie snap em up. I wouldn't have bought it again even if it was excellent though.

  10. AbbaCraka Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 21:12

    Wow they actually made a port, they made it worse, and it's for the wii? a couple of years later? Seriously that is terrible, even on the Wii's poor standards.

  11. Ou3nDaN Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 22:13

    The zombies are plentiful

    You couldnt do it could you. You coulnt admit that the wii's shortcomings is what makes the game worse, to the extent where you have to sugar coat. The word plentiful is highly innapropriate, there are much less zombies in the wii version than the 360 version, but they are still "plantiful". the dead rising expereience promises hoards of zombies yet your quick to gloss over and sugar coat the major short coming of the wii version, the fact there are significantly less zombies....

  12. superh Thursday 26th Feb 2009 at 22:29

    Hahaha!! Flop...

  13. ploiper Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 09:21

    woot mines just arrived in the post ^_^ i'll be back later with some honest opinions. i wont be biased and say its awsome if i dont like it, i'll give complete honest opinions on it.

    EDIT

    just spent me first hour on it (would of played it more but got to get ready to go out) and so far in loveing it. the controlls are easy to get used to, moveing around is simple, pressing z+a to open doors and speak to people caught me off guard at first but that quickly got into me system. the skateboard was fun to whizz around on, the shotgun can cause mondo damage, the zombie count is just right i feel. ive been surrounded by them a few times now and there is quite a lot of them. more than you think at first. so far, so good. the only gripe i have is the loading times after you open a door to a new area, i think it was also on the x-box original though. not to bad, just a few seconds.

  14. Rudie111 Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 10:37

    The way ONM hyped this, I was expecting a 90%+ game. I held out on getting it for 360 for that reason, and now I learn that it was a waste of my time.

    Oh well. I usually ignore reviews anyway.

    Agreed!!

  15. Don_Corleone Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 16:11

    I didnt really like the one on 360...so I wasnt expecting much from this TBH

  16. Doctor Who Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 16:22

    woot mines just arrived in the post ^_^ i'll be back later with some honest opinions. i wont be biased and say its awsome if i dont like it, i'll give complete honest opinions on it.

    EDIT

    just spent me first hour on it (would of played it more but got to get ready to go out) and so far in loveing it. the controlls are easy to get used to, moveing around is simple, pressing z+a to open doors and speak to people caught me off guard at first but that quickly got into me system. the skateboard was fun to whizz around on, the shotgun can cause mondo damage, the zombie count is just right i feel. ive been surrounded by them a few times now and there is quite a lot of them. more than you think at first. so far, so good. the only gripe i have is the loading times after you open a door to a new area, i think it was also on the x-box original though. not to bad, just a few seconds.

    It is a 360 game, not for the Xbox. And "the zombie count is just right i feel" made me lol. Are you being serious because if you are then oh dear god...

  17. ploiper Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 16:54

    no seriously the zombie count is just right, to say theres not a lot of zombies is to say peach is a guy. its plain wrong, the outside areas show that. you cant turn anywhere without being surounded by them. for my personal enjoyment im glad theres not as many zombies as the original, but i dont care if people dont like it anyway. all that matters to me is that i enjoy it. and i do. each to their own an all that.

  18. bazmeistergen Friday 27th Feb 2009 at 20:35

    Just started it myself as well. Not bad so far. Silly plot and the zombies are aggressive. There's about 30 or so on screen at the start of the game. Some more pop in as you move (I'm sure that could have been improved).

  19. Akerjlg Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 00:55

    I actually prefer this to the 360 version.

    A lot of the irritating little niggles have sort of been weaned away and what we have left is essentially the concept of Dead rising in it's rawest and most entertaining form. Allow me to explain. After all, as the self proclaimed Zombie Aficionado, you know that what I am about to say is going to make a truck load of sense about a nonsensical topic anyways...

    But first, allow me to start off on a negative. Well, maybe you for lot it's a negative, I am rather unaffected by this. By now, a lot of 360 owners have taken the liberty of shouting into their monitors about how I may be talking out of a certain hole. But to please this crowd - and most of the kids - the graphical downgrade on the Wii is more than noticeable. The draw distance on the zombie characters themselves is very low, textures are rather bland at times and the cutscenes tend to have this unusual MPEG sheen to them that really doesn't seem to stack up in the games favour.

    For those that arn't actually reading this, let me break it down for you: zomg the grafix, they sux lolz.

    However, Dead Rising Wii is a perfect example of how less, is indeed, more. One of the most obvious design changes in the game is the inability for Frank to do what he does best and take a few snapshots with his camera. The Wii version does not have this at all, and I for one am incredibility thankful for Capcom for doing so. I never used the camera in the 360 version, at all, in fact, I considered it a downright nuisance that so much levelling up relied heavily on you taking a few pictures of a whole load of rotted corpses you just mangled. I also have delightful memories of muttering rather harsh words to myself when you get to meet that grinding photographer for the first time and he walks you though how to get some good pictures. I spent ages on that part and loathed every single second.

    I also found it rather irritating as to why I should be rewarded for taking pictures of some undead vixen's cleavage. I consider it almost disturbing how the game openly gives you a big thumbs up every time you perv on some numerous day old, rotting harem's bosom. I may like a lot of perculiar things, but there are limits.

    As such, the Wii said: "No. None of this, let's make room for more zombie fuelled slaughter!" and I find myself hacking up just a few more zombies than I regularly would have done if I was on the 360. I even find myself using more of the armaments the game provides, which swiftly brings me onto my next point.

    Gun play in Dead Rising 360 was abysmal. I remember some of the bosses being an absolute nightmare, just because it took a good few seconds longer than it should to take aim at someone. Thankfully, Capcom came up with the genius idea of setting the whole thing out like Resi Evil 4. Essentially, you could argue that this game is nothing more than one game's skin slapped onto another. But then again, aren't most games we play exactly that nowadays? As such, firing weapons about feels as much fun as it was in Resi 4 and of course, you can get in all those important head shots or generally just shoot off a few in a zombie crotch for the giggles. I have. It's hilarious.

    In fact, the player is rewarded for this , as zombies drop cash and ammo, which urges the player to spend more time actually offing zombies and earning experience not sapping at the expense of enjoyment. After all, if you get bored, go grab a bowling ball and cave in some heads, you may even pick up a load of ammo anyways and fully restock yourself as you do. Essentially the point of the game is to get rid of these zombies, and you're being rewarded for doing so, a feeling which was somewhat distant in the 360 version.

    The whole idea of 'missions' as well is a very nice twist on things. Instead of accidentally discovering a survivor and carting them back , so the conflicting ideals of saving this person, or fail at progressing through the story often left me at my wits end and incredibly frustrated. In the Wii version, I am handed a mission and told to do this for a while - take a break form running about like a tart - go do some good for a bit.

    And of course, completion of these missions rewards the place even more. Cash to buy more abilities and weapons and the smug satisfaction that all the Resi Evil 4 Ashley Saving has payed off as you break your way through the ranks of shambling freaks all the way to the safe room.

    In closing, I find the Wii version of Dead Rising to be much more quicker, easier to actually pick up and play and genuinely entertaining. When the 360 original came out, I expected it to be just this - sadly, it wasn't, and what I was presented with left me feeling a tad upset. However, upon picking up this version I noticed that all the things I genuinely hated , the ability for people without HDTVs to READ THE GAMES IN GAME SUBTITLES as text based conversation is a huge part of this game after all, and generally a much more enjoyable Wiimake that in some aspects should be noted. The game is outright fun, and anybody not being able to see that clearly is taking part in this unusual hobby we call 'gaming' for all the wrong reasons.

    Don't stick to Resi 4, play this as well. God forbid you actually enjoy it.

  20. YoshiLimbo Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 09:39

    Thanks dude. I'll get this now.

  21. cheezwiz45 Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 11:16

    Why is that guy in the gun store now a friend rather than a psychopath?!

  22. ploiper Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 12:41

    Why is that guy in the gun store now a friend rather than a psychopath?!

    meh why not. does anyone else think frank looks like jonny knoxville?

  23. TMCOFFEY Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 12:53

    If this is anything like the 360 one it will be rubbish

  24. TMCOFFEY Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 12:58

    instead of this why cant capcom bring re5 to wii :evil:

  25. AbbaCraka Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 13:04

    Thanks for the interesting post Akerjlg, still I found the 360 version very enjoyable and the Wii version just looks like a worse version to me, even if it changes a few things to make it less annoying, such as aiming and whatever.

    I think this is the most appropriate place to post this perhaps so here it is:
    They are porting Mario Power Tennis to the Wii, I don't buy ONM so I don't know whether they have mentioned this or not though I think they probably have.
    Mario Power Tennis came out on the Gamecube in February 25, 2005, 4 years ago. Now they are giving it new controls and bringing it to the Wii... To me this is another indicator of how Nintendo is alienating it's former audience, the audience they had when the DS and Wii first came out. I walk into Game and Gamestation, take a quick look at the DS and Wii titles and the DS is plagued by repetitive titles; Imagine games, Baby games, Bratz... the Wii with cheap rip offs, like 10 world sports, Beach Party Games, Monkey Mini Games. Now they release a port 4 years later? Seriously couldnt they make a new Mario Tennis game? If you didnt get the chance to play it 4 years ago, enjoy the same graphics and a gimmicky control scheme, its not as if tennis has been done before on the Wii is it? I don't understand how they can sell this for Ł25 on play...

    instead of this why cant capcom bring re5 to wii :evil:

    Whats the point? Anyone who actually wants to play Re5 will have a PS3 or a 360, you cant trust the Wii for new titles ha.

  26. Akerjlg Saturday 28th Feb 2009 at 13:19

    instead of this why cant capcom bring re5 to wii :evil:

    Because most people who the game is actually originally intended for are old enough to have jobs and buy either a 360 or a PS3.

    Besides, I can see Resi Evil 5 being a little less greater than we expected. Essentially, it's just Resi Evil 4 again, but prettier and they gave Ashley a gun.

  27. 4curtis Sunday 1st Mar 2009 at 18:36

    I dissagree about this game. I got it on friday and did not play it til sataday and finnished it on sunday without a walkthrough and i really enjoyed it. The guns are great, the zombies are nice and violent and the graphics are great for a nintendo wii. So i would give it 90% instead. Also when i completed it to my shock i got a rank A! (No walkthrough's or cheats) But what i like the most is the diffrent types of zombies. Beacause when you see a kent or a jo it makes you think not instant go in and whack it. This game is so good i just wish people would look past the not jumping or blockades for harder walking. Here is what a great game actually is. Not to baby-ish, not to adult-ish just a game in the middle with lots to do. I admit it is a bit shorter than the xbox 360 version but it does have some more great features. (Mainly the new gun store!)

  28. bazmeistergen Tuesday 3rd Mar 2009 at 06:50

    I just completed it last night. I have to say I found a couple of moments tedious, but overall I really enjoyed it. It's at least as fun as Disaster. So there are only 25 zombies on screen at once? There's more in the Mall, but they pop-up as you move. It's not technically great, but it is enjoyable. I'm even considering a replay on hard already.

  29. TMCOFFEY Saturday 7th Mar 2009 at 12:17

    instead of this why cant capcom bring re5 to wii :evil:

    Because most people who the game is actually originally intended for are old enough to have jobs and buy either a 360 or a PS3.

    Besides, I can see Resi Evil 5 being a little less greater than we expected. Essentially, it's just Resi Evil 4 again, but prettier and they gave Ashley a gun.

    Well ign gave it 9 out of 10 so it can't be that bad

  30. master sword Friday 17th Apr 2009 at 08:10

    to be honest, i just want this game so i can kill stuff, (a great way to get rid off stress) however i want, if it does that well then i will be considering getting it, i don't care to much about the story (which is a first for me :shock: )

  31. mantisboy1 Wednesday 22nd Jul 2009 at 19:43

    Oh? I was expecting something more..... better scored?

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