Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chop Til You Get Tired Of It

I'm only a few hours into the game, but I'm about ready to start laying into this thing. Chop Til You Drop is fun, for sure, but it's far from perfect.

The story is okay so far, but the acting is less than convincing. And not in the campy horror movie way that's funny. But the low-card summer teen movie way that's distracting, disappointing and makes you kind of hate the production crew. And the writing is just so mediocre. Dialogue feels forced and unnatural. Had it been made into a movie, this thing would've been right at home on SciFi Saturdays.

Plus, why the hell does that fat guy run so damn fast? Frank is hobbling his battle-scarred ass around the mall, but when chunky gets a hankering for steak, he takes off and blows straight past a horde of zombies like he's Jesse Owens.

Wow, I am way too young for that reference. Sorry.

The graphics have obviously taken a step down from Xbox-land. The zombies still look pretty convincing, and you can pretty nicely chop, shred and dismember them with whatever you've got on hand. The animations seem to have suffered, though. I understand it's called Chop Til You Drop, but I didn't think that was referring to how the zombies' movements look when you run them down with a picnic umbrella.

The variety of subweapons is nice, but some of them are just plain unnecessary. The skateboard is easily the most useless item in the game. As long as you're holding it, you can't use subweapon attacks of any kind, and unless you can get a decent running start, don't expect to hop on and skate your way through a dangerous situation. And maybe I'm retarded but I couldn't figure out how to drop the damn thing besides picking up something else.

I really like the firearm/subweapon system, though. It's nice and easy to switch between melee and ranged weaponry, and the wii-mote makes aiming a gun second nature. Now, I know it's not the best gun or anything, but I just love the shotgun. You can't go wrong, man.

The wii remote also takes over with subweapon attacks, and I think this is where the wii controls shine the brightest. With some items like shopping carts, it's useless, but others it really takes over. Any boxes, benches, etc. can be thrown by swinging the remote overhand, which feels very natural. Plus, some items will give you different attacks you can use by swinging the remote. The sledgehammer is one of my favorites. Knocking a zombie flat, then swinging the remote overhead and whaling on it with a sledge is easily one of the most satisfying moments in the game.

So, overall, it's not completely blowing me away yet, and the overall presentation has definitely suffered from the move to lighter weight hardware, but it still makes for a fun gameplay experience. There are flaws, sure, but I kind sort of overlook them, if only for the simple reason that I love smashing things with a sledgehammer.

If you already own an Xbox, there's no real reason to get this. The essentials are already there in the original. The wii-mote controls are a lot of fun, but not worth shelling out the extra $50. If however you're like me, a sad little worm who doesn't own an Xbox360, never played the original Dead Rising, the Nintendo Wii is the only current gen system you own, and you seriously need to find some reason not to take a razor blade to your own wrists, consider checking out Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop. It's definitely worth a rental, if not an outright purchase.

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