The Wii version of Capcom's Dead Rising, (subtitled Chop Til You Drop) starts out with a unique problem: It's a port of a game that strained the Xbox 360's capacities, so it's hard to imagine how an exact copy could possibly work on the Wii. The 360 Dead Rising was like an epic zombie flick (Think Dawn of the Dead), where the Wii's technical limitations may make Chop Til You Drop more like a low-budget, indie zombie flick (Think Dead Alive.) Like any self-respecting low-budget flick, Chop Til You Drop makes up for its constraints with some ingenuity and twists on the original formula. Whether it will pan out when the game is released later this year remains to be seen.
First off: The number of zombies. Massive zombie mobs was the point of the original game, with hundreds of shambling ghouls onscreen at any given time. As you'd probably expect, there are less of them in the Wii version of the game. I counted between 10-15 undeads onscreen in the level open for play. It's not enough to give you that "OMG! They're everywhere!" feeling, but still enough to be interesting. Capcom reportedly plans to squeeze more in, though, by the time this comes out.
Players of the first game will recognize the setting of the demo level right away. It's the main area of the mall from the 360 version. The graphics are impressive for a Wii game, but not as spiffy as the 360 version. Again, pretty much as you'd expect. Parts of the mall are closed off to the player, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. A tighter arena makes it seem like there are more undead around anyway.
To add to the game's variety, Capcom has thrown in some new enemies. We saw zombie poodles (they leap at you and are much more aggressive than "regular" zombies), zombie parrots (They fly around and dive-bomb ya) and a zombie mall security guard, complete with crackling tasers. Hey, don't tase me, zomb!
The mode we played was a timed level where the object is to slay as many zombies as possible in 2 minutes. We picked up a bench, waggled the Wii-mote and smashed some brain eaters. There are less objects with which to smash monsters, giving the game a sparse feeling. As is the case in many ports, the use of the wiimote seems like an afterthought. It's possible to attack by waggling your Wii around, but we quickly changed to the "A" button--it's just easier.
After a call from the detestable Otis (yes, the most annoying dialer ever is back) we were transported to a boss battle against Adam the evil clown. Adam was hanging out on the mall's roof, but other than a change in scenery, he played pretty much like the first game: Dual toy chainsaws, blowgun, balloons, dodges and all. We were pretty handily dispatched by the clown, but it remains an incredibly awesome enemy to fight. When the game is released, there will be a rematch.
We'll have to wait to see how the game will play out as a finished product, but taken on its own terms, Chop Til You Drop seems like a fun little game--it only suffers in comparison to the 360 version.