In our opinion the most annoying, least fun to fight enemies in any game cheap enough to have them are the pint-size scurrying creatures that run along the ground below your gunsights and leap up at your face. Rubbish, aren’t they? Actually, maybe it’s a tie between those and the little flying enemies that are incredibly hard to target and do a disproportionate amount of damage. Take your pick. The vicious buggers have ruined many a level of otherwise decent games. We hate them both.
Dead Rising is absolutely riddled with them; an inexplicable plague of deadly poodles and parrots that have absolutely nothing to do with the story and are completely unsatisfying to kill, because as soon as you take one out, another of its horrible little mates will materialise from the ether. What purpose could they possibly serve? Why do they even exist in a game that’s meant to be about fighting zombies in a shopping mall?
Ah yes. It’s because there aren’t actually all that many zombies to fight. Almost everything that’s wrong with Dead Rising on Wii can be traced to the game engine’s inability to generate a sufficient density of undead horde. Instead of being harried around the mall, smashing through windows and taking any available route to avoid being surrounded by the milling throng, you’re funneled down narrow paths that force you past small groups of zombies, appearing in the same place every time.
Much of the mall is closed off with impassable red ropes. You can’t climb things or smash through windows. You’ve got no choice but to walk through a confined area where you know a bunch of five or 10 zombies will fade in when you’re a few meters away. One shotgun blast will clear them all out, if you can be bothered, or you could just weave your way through their slow, grasping hands.
And that’s where the poodles and parrots come in. Other than the occasional boss they’re the only enemies that pose any sort of threat. The dogs will even do sidesteps when you point a gun at them, like guards in GoldenEye. They’re so damned hard to hit and so infinite in their respawning capacity, we were soon reduced to running past them rather than making an effort to take them on. We spent an unreasonable proportion of our time in the game pursued by a chorus of yaps and squawks.