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Despite constant attacks, Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop zombies stand tall

12:00 PM on 02.16.2009 // Jonathan Holmes

By "tall" I mean over ten feet tall, in what looks like one of Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop's many side quests. Other such quests include taking on three chainsaw wielding killer clowns at once, killing an unspecified amount of zombies with nothing but soccer-balls, and getting through a section of the zombie-infested Willamette Mall with nothing but a bicycle. More about these quests can be seen on Japanese scans found here.

It's stuff like these side quests that continue my optimisism that Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop will be worth its $40 price tag. Often times though, I feel like I'm the only game blogger on the planet who feels this way. The game has been a magnet for non-stop negative attention pretty much since it was announced last year, with the latest piece of pessimism coming from up and coming gaming site That Videogame Blog.

As the defacto leader of the "Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Defense Force" I feel it is my solemn duty to address this article, and "The five questions for Capcom about Dead Rising: Chopt Till You drop" it contains. Hit the jump for the most fanboyish, pro-down port rant you'll read all day.

The first question that That Videogame Blog's Ashutosh Chhibbar asks Capcom is, "Why does the game look so much worse than Resident Evil 4?" I can't be sure, but my guess is it's for same reason that Dead Rising on the 360 looks so much worse than Resident Evil 5 on the 360 -- money. Out of all of the games in Capcom's Spring line up, Chop Til You Drop is the title expected to sell the least, so it stands to reason that it would look cheaper that the company's flagship titles. Conveniently, that point brings us to question number two ...

"Why is the budget for the game so small when the game is projected to sell 500,000 copies?" That's a strange question to ask, especially seeing as we have no idea how much Chop Til You Drop cost to make. It's also strange a strange question because it effectively answers the writer's first question; Chop Til You Drop looks worse (and presumably cost less to produce) than RE4 because it's not expected to sell as well as RE4.

While I'd be the first to say that the game looks cheap, I'm also aware that it costs some money to create the game's many new enemies, new quest modes, gameplay elements, weapons, costumes, etc. Chop Til You Drop  may not be a high-budgeted game, but to imply that Capcom has been lazy with its work on the title is a little off-base.

If Capcom wanted to make a thoughtless port of Dead Rising, they would have just thrown the original game, pixel for pixel, onto the PS3. Now that would have been lazy. Instead, Capcom is putting the effort in to actually addresses some of the things that they apparently didn't like about the original game, which brings me to question number three ...

"Why can Frank West, a photojournalist, no longer take photos?" People keep assuming that the reason this feature (as well as other dumped features the ability to jump and the ability to carry multiple melee weapons at once) were removed because they would be too hard to port. I think that assumption is wrong. From what I know of game developer, there is nothing expensive or difficult about porting those kinds of features.

So if it wasn't to save time or money, there is only one reason why those features were cut -- because Capcom thought the game would be better without them.

One of the most annoying parts of the original Dead Rising was the section towards the beginning where you have to take pictures of a rival photographer while he effortlessly jumps around and beats up zombies, all while taunting Frank for sucking at his job. Not only is this part of the game not fun, but it really rubs it in your face that, unlike the zombies of Resident Evil, Dead Rising's zombies are almost completely harmless. Speaking of zombies, lets look at question number four ...

"In an attempt to make up for the lack of zombies, why weren't shambling zombies made faster and more aggressive?" Valid question, but I believe the answer that Capcom would give you might be, "What the hell are you talking about? The zombies of Chop Til You Drop were made faster and more aggressive!"

We've seen the fast moving zombie poodles and parrots. We've seen new, Paul Blart-looking zombies run at Frank West, taze him (bro) and actually shoot at him with guns. We've even seen regular zombies run at Frank with Dawn of the Dead remake speeds. None of these things were present in the original game, and all can bee seen in the Chop Til You Drop trailer below.

So yeah, question four is valid, but only if you haven't seen the above trailer, which I assume Ashutosh must have missed.

Now for the final question, which happens to be my personal favorite: "Why Dead Rising and not Lost Planet?" The answer to that is simple -- Capcom thought that Dead Rising needed to be remade, but Lost Planet didn't. 

I'm not saying that Lost Planet Wii would be bad. The pointer controls could work really well, maybe well enough for some to ignore how much worse the game would look on the Wii. Beyond those changes though, I can't imagine what Capcom would want to do with Lost Planet Wii that would make it different from the original.

Anyway, Capcom seems happy with how Lost Planet turned out, enough that they brought it to the PS3 and the PC. They don't seem as happy with Dead Rising. 

Other than the uglier graphics, all the changes Capcom has made with Chop Til You Drop are willful design choices done to try to improve the quality of the game. These are not changes that appear to have been done because they were necessary to make the game run on the Wii. I fully believe that from a hardware standpoint, Dead Rising could have been brought to the Wii with the same style of gameplay and almost as many zombies as there were on the 360 version, (as this video of Chop Til You Drop vs Hitman: Blood Money proves). I also believe that it would have been cheaper and easier for Capcom to go that route, but they didn't. Instead, they took this opportunity to try and fix Dead Rising. It makes sense that people who thought the game wasn't broken in the first place wouldn't be interested in these "fixes", which leads me to my own question...

"Why are so many fans of Dead Rising on the 360 even paying attention to Chop Til You Drop?". When Dead Rising fans say that Chop Til You Drop is going to suck, it really makes me scratch my head, like if a bunch of hip hop fans got online and started complaining that the new Coldplay album needs more phat beats.

It's been clear from the start that Chop Til You Drop is not for fans of the original game, and really, why should it be? It wouldn't make sense for Capcom to attempt cater to those fans, because those fans already own the original game. No matter what, there is very little chance that those who already own Dead Rising would buy a port of the game on the graphically weaker Wii, and Capcom knows this.

No, Chop Til You Drop is for people who either didn't like or never played the original Dead Rising, an audience that Capcom must be guessing is a fairly significant part of the Wii-owning populace. Personally, I can attest to being one of those Wii owners. Though I loved the idea of Dead Rising, after a few hours, I completely lost interest in the game. The farther into it you get, the less it feels like a horror beat 'em up, and the more it feels like a series of monotonous (although delightfully violent) chores. Coming from a huge Animal Crossing fan, that's saying a lot.

This is the exact opposite of how I feel about RE4:Wii, which never stops being fun -- a trait I attribute mostly to the way the game controls. That's not to say that I'm sure that Chop Til You Drop will be even close to being that fun, but just knowing it will try and play like RE4: Wii is enough to get me excited.

Like I said in a recent Cblog, if Chop Til You Drop sucks, I'll be the first one to tear it apart. But no matter how the game turns out, I'll respect Capcom for attempting this remake. They are trying to fix a game that they not only feel was unappreciated the first time, but that they themselves didn't like as much as they wanted to. That takes a lot of guts, and it's a shame that more people don't get that.

The only thing that I'm sure Capcom screwed up on with Chop Til You Drop is the decision to make it a retelling of the original's story. If the game were about another survivor of the Willemette zombie disaster, people wouldn't have been so quick to use the original game as the standard to compare Chop Til You Drop by, and that alone would have saved Capcom from a lot of negative press.

I hope you're reading this, developers of Dead Space Wii

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
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