First, it uses the word "till" instead of the abbreviation 'til. Technically, both are correct, but when I see "till" I think "plowing fields." So... you've got to chop up your zombies before you plow them?
Second, Dead Rising came out two years ago on Xbox 360 - why do we need a Wii port now? We've got an amazing lineup of horror games coming out in the next four months; one of them being Resident Evil 5. Would it kill Capcom to develop the Wii version of that instead of crapping out a Johnny-come-lately Dead Rising?
Third, as Wii ports go, this one is shaping up to be the most bastard of bastard step-children. They've chopped more content out of the game than zombies have limbs and only gone so far as to add poodles in return. The motion controls are twitchy at best (but, thank God, totally optional), the graphics are jagged enough to cut your eyes on, and the only two playable missions were a "kill as many zombies as you can in two minutes" mode and the one with the chainsaw clown on the roof. There's no more photojournalism of skanky zombies (despite Frank West still clutching his camera throughout the game), and all the missions are untimed - removing the desperate sense of urgency that ought to come standard with any zombie apocalypse.
"[We]wanted people to experience all the content," says Capcom's Chris Kramer - the man running the hands-on at Nintendo's Fall Media Summit. Chris meant this in regards to the untimed missions. By taking the pressure off, you actually have time to go through and do all of the missions instead of having to choose which ones to fail and go back for a replay later.
I still find it funny that he said "all the content" with a straight face immediately after telling me there'd be no Pokémon Snap with zombies. "We added poodles," he says, weakly.
Yes, yes they did. In addition to the max count of six zombies on screen at one time, there were two bloodstained poodles and a zombie parrot.
"We've been able to get about 30 zombies on screen in some of the screen shots," Chris tells me. "And this build is the old one from [the Leipzig Games Convention] ; we have a new one at TGS that has more [zombies]and better graphics."
Gee, why not show off the new build here in the US? Where the skeptics like me live?
Chris shrugged and said he didn't even know there was a new build until that very day. He then muttered something about "the joys of working for a Japanese company."
If the build I was playing truly is a rough draft, then there might be hope yet. The motion controls might morph into something more intuitive. They might well get a lot of zombies on screen at one time - enough to make you freak out like you ought to when you get grabbed by two or three of them and dragged into a brain-starved horde.
I guess the folks at TGS will get a better idea of what to expect when Chop Till You Drop hits shelves in December. For my part, I'm completely underwhelmed and still sad - especially since I just now got the pun.
P.S. I get that the Wii can't do what the 360 can in terms of graphics and in terms of memory storage. But what I don't get is why developers treat the Wii like leper. With games like The Conduit and the Wii version of Guitar Hero: World Tour proving that the console can handle pretty decent-looking graphics and a lot of content, there really isn't an excuse for something as fugly and awkward as Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop looks to be.