Gory 'Dead Rising' remake is fun but flawed

If it's zombies you crave, it's a good time to buy a video game. Between Sega's new House of the Dead: Overkill and Capcom's Resident Evil 5 due out this weekend, you'll have plenty of flesh-eating creatures to take down.

And then there's the campy Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, a remake of Capcom's popular 2006 horror game for the Microsoft Xbox 360 that now takes advantage of the Nintendo Wii's motion-sensing controls to hack, slash and shoot hordes of the undead.

The game proves to be gory fun — but despite the intuitive controls, it doesn't look as good or play as well as the original slasher.

In case you haven't played Dead Rising, you assume the role of Frank West, a young photojournalist holed up in a zombie-infested shopping mall. You must get out alive by finding and using real and makeshift weapons (from shotguns to bowling balls, respectively) to keep the relentless mob at a distance. As you learn at the start of this over-the-top tale, you've got to stay alive for 72 hours, which is when the rescue helicopter will arrive. Plus, as you're on the hunt for the "big story," you must also try to find out what caused this epidemic that has taken over this fictitious suburb of Willamette, Colo.

The Wii remote adds fun to the zombie killing as you can swing it like a bat or sword, use it to push a shopping cart into zombies, use it to aim and shoot a gun or use it like a chainsaw. You can also wave the remote from side to side to shake loose zombies who grab Frank by the throat.

You will also face tougher boss characters, rescue survivors, solve a few puzzles and watch entertaining cut-scene cinematics.

With its copious amounts of blood and decapitations, Chop Till You Drop is as gory as a B horror movie such as "Dawn of the Dead," which also takes place in a shopping mall. While the game is clearly rooted in fiction (it is about zombies, after all), some parents might take offense at a mall-based killing spree — and now with more realistic controls. A ticker in the bottom right corner of the screen keeps a tally of how many zombies you've killed.

If you take it for what it is — one of those "guilty pleasure" games —Chop Till You Drop proves to be fun for mature players, but the Nintendo Wii doesn't have the same amount of horsepower as the Xbox 360 — and it certainly shows here. The graphics pale in comparison to Microsoft's machine and there aren't nearly as many enemies on the screen at once. Not sure why it was taken out for this Wii port, but Frank doesn't use his camera to take pictures in this version, which was very much a part of the original game play.

Despite these shortcomings, this zombie thriller should deliver a good eight to 10 hours of nonstop action, which means you can likely finish it as a weekend rental.

Contact Saltzman at gnstech@gannett.com.