Infendo Review – Dead Rising Chop till you Drop

Infendo

Taking one scan through your local game retailer shows you just how many developers are deciding to make a quick and easy buck by simply porting an older title to the Wii. There’s no doubt Capcom is this generation’s game port king what with titles such as Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 0, Okami, and more hitting the system within the past two years. Their newest retooled title is none other than the Xbox 360’s 2006 award winning Dead Rising. Does this port have what it takes to entertain newcomers yet keep returning fans pleased at the same time? Read our review.

(Note: I have not played the original Dead Rising for the Xbox 360. This review is unbiased towards any differences.)

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Pros

-Story

I was surprised to find a lengthy intertwined plot embedded between bouts of zombie slaying. The story is generic and clichéd at best, but flows near perfectly with the game. You play as photographer Frank West who is suddenly hurled into a cover up of a zombie outbreak in a small town’s shopping mall. If timed right you should be able to finish Dead Rising in less than ten hours…not bad for a hack-and-slash.

-Gameplay

It wouldn’t matter if you had ten zombies, or a thousand zombies to kill….it’s just fun. The shear amount of items that can be used to kill the undead are scattered all throughout the shopping mall waiting to be wielded at anytime. A few memorable moments I experienced include me running ten zombies over with a shopping cart and proceeding to shank them with a gas powered post hole digger. Good times. To save development time and create an easier transition from 360 to Wii, Dead Rising is running on the old Resident Evil 4 engine for visuals, and game mechanics. Players familiar with RE4’s third person shooting via remote IR will adapt nicely with the controls.

-Sound

Hearing zombies go “Arrrghhhblahhh”, or “gloooyaahhhhhmph” for a few hours may sound dull (It is), but hilarious touches such as the splurting of guts via chainsaw help mix up the mood. Strolling through the mall while listening to casual elevator tunes enhances the comedic side of Dead Rising.

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Cons

-Controls

Though not required to play (thank goodness) the motion controls in Dead Rising just plain suck. It feels like the developers finished porting the title and said “how about we make them swing the remote to swing the in-game baseball bat, but instead of 1:1 sensing we’ll have a 2 second delay…woot!”. Outside of lame tacked on waggle the IR shooting mechanic controls just fine, but please do me favor and press “A” instead of flailing around in front of your TV all day.

-Visuals

There was no denying the Wii adaptation of Dead Rising was going to have to be scaled down in the graphics department. After hearing the title was to use the beautiful Resident Evil 4 engine I expected a decent visual output similar to RE4. Wrong! It looks like I’m playing a cross between a N64 and a Gamecube title. While character models look fantastic everything else looks unfinished. Textures look extremely muddy up close, anti-aliasing is no where to be found, and the “colorful energetic” shopping mall looks boxed, bland, and unexciting. Loading times can be extremely annoying. In some instances you’ll be waiting ten seconds for a load, walk through a shop, and be prompted with another ten second load. I know a lot more could have been done in the graphics, and optimization department, but what can you expect from a third party developer these days, eh?

-Final Thoughts

To sum everything up in a sentence, Dead Rising: Chop till you Drop is a decent port. You’ll be entertained with the open world zombie massacre element which will last for a few hours, but may wear thin quick depending on how you play. Priced at $39.99, Dead Rising Wii is a solid rent. Don’t venture into a purchase until you see a 20, or 30 dollar deal.

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Second Opinion: Sean Buckley

I didn’t hate it! That is to say, It’s not the same experience you’ll find on the 360, but it’s not bad. Yes, there are less Zombies, but the remaining zombies are more aggressive than in the 360 version. Navigating the horde is also more of a challenge, a result of the limited mobility of the “Resident Evil” control scheme.  A change that turned me off far more than the heavily touted “less zombies problem” was the lack of a timer – In the original game a clock was always counting down until the arrival of the helicopter, and you had to budget your time in order to complete all the story missions. While time budgeting was not fun, having story missions unlock relative to the clock rather than by completing a mission tree allowed you to skip some “save the survivor” escort missions if you found them boring or repetitive.  The Wii version seems to make it mandatory to rescue every single survivor – something I found frustrating and dull.

Echoing what other reviews have said, it’s Average, but fun. We’ve all seen the Wii perform better, and while the game has the familiar feel of Resident Evil 4, I can’t help but think that a custom built engine just for the Wii would have served Dead Rising better than an overhauled Gamecube Engine. The game retails for 39.00, 36 at Amazon – but it really belongs at $29,  next to Onechanbara and the other “budget” titles.  It’s fun,but it doesn’t feel  worth the big “four-oh.” Maybe thirty.