The arcade and Sega Dreamcast classic House of the Dead is back, this time on the Nintendo Wii. But should you pick up your weapon once more or has your life changed too much over the past decade to warrant the effort? We get pistol-whipping to find out.
If you ever managed to play House of the Dead 2 at the arcade or with the gun pointing at the television with the Sega Dreamcast version you'll be right at home. Identical in graphics and gameplay to the original, there isn't anything new here apart from the fact you're now controlling this with your Wii Remote rather than something that's likely to get you stopped by the police on the way to your mate's house.
For those who've never heard of the Sega Dreamcast, let alone owned one (oh the horror) then the House of the Dead series sees you play one of two characters as you move your way through a landscape beset with zombies, killer frogs and monsters that look worse that a bad pull the morning after - think George A Romero and you're on the right track.
Without worrying about walking around, the game takes you on a pre-defined route with your task to kill virtually everything in your path before it kills you. We say virtually because if you manage to save anyone then you're thrown the odd life pack or taken on a different route with less zombies and flesh eating vultures.
Just as with the Dreamcast version and in keeping with the arcade approach, you've got a set number of credits to use up and depending on whether or not you play with a second shooter will depend on how long those credits last for.
As you might have guessed there isn't a save option either so it's either arcade adrenalin stuff or frustration from the off and you'll know which one you are.
Likewise the baddie placement never changes. This means that you'll either be one of those people that enjoys knowing that on the third corner on level six there will be two zombies with axes, or someone who is driven mad by it. If it's the latter then you'll find this House of the Dead compendium more frustrating than tea with the mother-in-law as you try over and over again to complete the game from the start every time you die.
There isn't much between House of the Dead 2 and House of the Dead 3 to write them up separately. Personally we prefer 2 we always found it tougher and it was the game out of the two that we spent the most time playing the arcade during University years...
The fact that Sega has bundled the two together on the one disk for a cheaper price than usual shows that this isn't cutting-edge gaming, but a chance for fans of the games to play once again without having to result to buying a Dreamcast and a CRT television on eBay.
If you are fan should you get it? Of course, it's good fun and at £25 will give you more than one night of entertainment, compared to spending the same on a round down the pub.
Memories will come flooding back, just don't expect the ability to drink Vodka shots at 50p a go until 4 in the morning to come back with it.
If you're not a fan, we would recommend checking it out first before you buy, either by finding an original arcade somewhere (probably a grotty student union) or by hiring it and seeing how you get on.
They don't make 'em like they used to and depending on who you talk to, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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