Cry some more zombies!
Published by Gedow Man
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Review
Here's the thing guys. I actually already posted this review on IGN, but I wanted to show you guys in case you never go there. If you want to read it there just go here. Or since you've already loaded this review page you can just read it here. I'd been working on this review for weeks and on Microsoft word it takes up 3 pages! I hope you like it... anyway. Here it is.
Letís face it. Thereís nothing more satisfying than tossing, shooting, and beating zombies around as blood flies all over the place. There just isnít. The feeling you get from seeing blood fly and heads explode as you mow down mobs of the undead with your weapons is something that only the most well-made games can satisfy you with. So naturally, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop for the Wii is one of those most well-made games and is incredibly satisfying as any other good zombie game out there.
Based off the X-Box 360 game, Dead Rising: CTYD is a zombie action game in which you play as a (rather muscular) photographer named Frank West who is trapped in a mall full of zombies and psychopaths for 3 days before his helicopter arrives to pick him up. Until then Frank must shoot, beat, and suplex his way through various situations, rescuing survivors of the incident and discovering the cause of the zombie outbreak along the way. The story will really make your weekend a weird one. Like you go to school and someone asks ďHow did your weekend go?Ē and you say ďOh well letís seeÖ I watched a clown disembowel himself, tore a guyís head off, ran through the supermarket from an homicidal store manager, watched a guy get mulched by a meat grinder, got chased by 3 escaped convicts, was almost sacrificed to a cult, and blew a redneckís face in with a shotgun only to see that he still lived. You knowÖ The usual.Ē
It's been one of those days.
There are a lot of differences I could easily rant on about concerning the differences between this and the original Dead Rising, but I wonít because a game should be judged based on what it has. Not what another game has.
The game is played in a somewhat linear mission-based structure. Most of the time you will be talking to the janitor, Otis, who will give you missions to rescue survivors and escort them back to the security room, after which he grades you based on factors such as how long you took and how many zombies you killed. Getting good grades on some groups of missions will allow you to take secret missions (2 of which have boss battles in them). All of these missions are virtually just going to one point, getting the survivor, and going back to the security with a survivor, but they all have a different twist to them, and have you going all around the huge mall with all kinds of different stores to pick up stuff along the way to kill zombies with. Like Iím walking through the entrance plaza and I grab a baseball bat from a nearby sporting good store and start whacking the zombies 20 feet away from me. Thatís hilarious and I do it all the time. The thing that probably impresses me the most is how much this reaches out to a wider audience. There are 3 difficulty modes for 3 different levels of players, making it accessible to everyone, and the shortcuts it gives you can cut the player a break if they want. My dadÖ. My dad who has never played an action game in his life was actually able to play this and get somewhat far into the story. I canít help but feel bad that heís having such a hard time on easy mode though.
"Hey dad... how 'ya holding up?"
Though clearing a path through a ton of zombies can be fun, Dead Rising sometimes suffers from a problem a lot of games have: dumb AI. For the most part the survivors just follow you once you rescue them and not much else. On occasion a survivor might have a weapon and sometimes will simply kick or punch an enemy, but most of the time you just have to turn around and get the zombies off of them. This gets really annoying. Especially when the survivor is injured and youíre out of healing items so they just limp the rest of the way like a walking zombie chew toy. Thankfully thereís enough diversity in the missions to stop it from getting too repetitive. To help with the missions is a guy you rescue later in the game who gives you shortcuts to the section the survivor is in. This makes missions go much easier (even if it does affect your grade), so if you think a survivor is too far away or you just want to get something over with and you donít care for the grade, this makes the mission easier for you. In my opinion the shortcuts were a very smart inclusion to the game.
In the mall at your disposal is a large slew of different weapons with each one having a different use and giving you a good variety of ways to kill zombies. You could slice them up with a chainsaw, hit one 20 feet away from you with a baseball bat, or you could slam showerheads on their skulls and watch it pour out blood. Naturally those weapons include various guns (all of which are taken from Resident Evil 4 aside from one). The guns are incredibly easy to use and almost as satisfying as the sub-weapons. Like the Wii edition of Resident Evil 4, the camera is always over your shoulder (which occasionally causes an enemy to blindside you unfortunately). The camera never really bothers me and it keeps itself under control, so it doesnít back up into corners and annoy you like other games. When you aim your gun you simply hold down B, point with the remote and shoot with excellent response and accuracy. It aims so well Iíve been able to snipe from far distances with a handgun. Itís that accurate. Sniper rifles are controlled a little differently; you use the control stick to aim and the Z and C buttons to zoom in and out. It works well when I use it, but considering the accuracy of the pointer, I rarely do. With aiming this good I NEVER use my sniper rifle. Other simple motion controls are used during certain instances, such as shaking the remote to dodge certain attacks in a boss battle or to shake a zombie off you. Some might say they seem tacked on, but I think they add some nice innovation to the gameplay. Thankfully they didnít go crazy with the motion controls.
The graphics are pretty standard for a Wii title. The mall has a wide assortment of nicely colored stores and items. And there are several ridiculous outfits Frank can unlock and wear that look very well (technical-wise I mean. They make Frank look weird). The FMV cutscenes look good and add more detail and character to the main game, but itís a pity Frank reverts back to his normal attire when a cutscene plays. And I canít help but feel strange when the cutscenes have hundreds of zombies, but when itís over a lot of the zombies disappear. Though the overall graphics are okay, the zombies are a little bit on the blocky side, but I canít really complain about that because thatís like complaining that your bowling pins arenít perfectly smooth. You donít care how smooth they are, you just want to see them fly! I think I should also mention the blood effects. The blood looks about as blocky as the zombies to and they donít really stain they just fade away after it splatters. Iím not one to complain about graphics in a game as good as this, but I really think the blood couldíve looked better than that.
The audio is excellent. Some of the best sounds Iíve ever heard in a game. The sounds of chainsaws tearing through a zombie, the sound of a frying pan burning a zombieís face, and the acoustic sound of a huge propane tank explosion all come out wonderfully even on my somewhat small TV speakers. The soundtrack is mostly composed of various heavy metal rock songs and elevator music, and unless youíre fighting a boss the music doesnít really change often; youíll hear the same elevator music and automated mall announcements through most of the game. When youíre fighting a boss they play some good sounding songs in my opinion, but that depends on your taste. The music always fits the situation and like I said the sound effects come out great. I think my favorite collaboration of sounds comes in when youíre fighting the supermarket clerk. In the background thereís a blood-pumping fast-paced action song as youíre running through the store while a madman is chasing you with his deadly cart shooting his shotgun while screaming at you. Never before have I heard so many sounds together in such harmony without becoming a muffled mess. Itís truly pleasing to the ears.
When they took Kent out of the game. Some said "We have got to get his music in the game somehow!" Thankfully they did.
The voice acting is ok and they get the job done (Steven Jay Blum is in it). Not much to say about that, but the voice samples they have for the survivors can lead to some inconsistencies if youíre paying attention to the text dialogue. Like why are the Japanese tourists screaming for help in English? And how are some of these survivors screaming Frankís name even though he never introduced himself? Who knows. Who cares. Itís still fun. Next.
The replay value is surprisingly high for such a linear game. Iím impressed. I already beat the game 7 times and I still want to play through it again. When you play through the game again you keep your level and weapons from your last playthrough. But youíre probably asking why you would want to do that. Well the answer is for a few reasons. First of all there are a lot of things you might have missed on your first playthrough, like secret missions and secret outfits, second of all you might unlock something more at the end of the game with a good grade, and third of all you can see just how far you can level up and see what kind of new moves you can get. There are some nice features and a satisfying number of unlockables you can get in this game, such as 2 special mission mini-games and Capcom inspired outfits, but I wonít spoil them. Playing through the game with better stats means getting all these unlockables will be easier, but I must complain that for some reason even after 7 playthroughs I still donít have the Bionic Commando outfit.
Really what seems to make this game last significantly longer is challenging yourself. Sure you could just run through the game using the strongest weapons, but wouldnít that go by too quickly? If you donít pace yourself then your fun will deteriorate much faster. Itís like youíre a kid and youíre getting a bunch of toys to play with. Go nuts.
So in summary, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is a great game. I know I said I wouldnít talk about the original, but I have to say that the 2 versions really depend on your taste. If you have a Wii and not a 360, you must get this game. If you have a 360 and not a Wii then this isnít quite good enough to make you want to own a Wii. If you have both then you might want to be careful on which you choose. If you like better graphics, more zombies, more mÍlťe weapons, more bosses, non-linearity, a time limit on the entire game, and virtually unreadable text, go with the original 360 version. If you prefer OK graphics, a large number of zombies (though not as much as the original), selectable difficulty, more guns, better controls, more enemies, simple linearity, minigames, and taking your time, then you should get the Wii version. Both of these titles are great games and the fact that they are now on 2 systems means more people will be able to play it. That alone makes me happy. I was really psyched that Dead Rising would be coming to the Wii so I could own it and the final product does not disappoint.