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Zombies and country rock…

February 25, 2009

overkillSo I recently finished playing ‘The House of the Dead: Overkill’, and even though it was way too short, it sure was fun. Here’s my review of the game.

I’ve been a fan of ‘The House of the Dead’-series for a long time, ever since my brother came back from his trip to Hong Kong back 1996 and told me about the arcade shooter he played there. Zombies, guns, lame ass dialogues, etc. I wanted to play the game so bad. Especially because I’ve been watching horror movies ever since I was a kid. So throughout the years, I’ve played every game from the ‘The House of the Dead’-series, and whenever I go to an arcade hall, I can’t leave without playing at least one game of the series. Hell, I even watched Uwe Boll’s movie, (no, I’m not proud of it…), because it was based on the game. And yes, I know there’s a second movie, but I don’t feel like watching that and shatter my dreams of this cool series. And I think I watched all the recent of zombie movies about a month ago as well (‘Land of the Dead’, ‘Day of the Dead’, ‘Diary of the Dead’, basically everything that ends with ‘…of the Dead’). So I got pretty exited when this game came out.

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So what’s the game like? Well, it’s a rail shooter, so not much to say about the gameplay I guess. It’s pretty basic, you see zombies running toward you, and you shoot them and watch them lose limbs or explode into a puddle of red goo. Not much new, and the graphics…well…it’s a Wii game, what do would you expect?

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Maybe, it’s just my TV, but this screenshot sure looks better than my TV itself. Maybe I should get an HD TV…hm…

But anyway, the graphics aren’t that good, the gameplay is pretty old school, so what is good about this game? Well, maybe you’ve seen the trailers already, but the game is in a totally different style than the other games. Below is a video of the developer’s diary, so you can see the style of the game a bit.

So in the game you play Agent G (from the other ‘The House of the Dead’ games) and Isaac Washington. The whole game revolves around the two of them going after a guy named Caesar and finally lead them to an [spoiler] incestuous mad warden [/spoiler]. Yep, that’s right, there’s some weird shit in the game alright. But their whole trip toward the end is really funny. Here’s a little screen of the two main characters.

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So on the left you see Agent G, the cool agent who’s even too cool to tell anyone what the G stands for. On the right we have Washington. This guy is basically Samuel L. Jackson when it comes to his vocabulary, only 10x worse. He drops a f*ck, motherf*ck, mutherf*cker or a combination of the three, along with some other bad ass words in every sentence. I personally think the dialogues are really really funny, but I’m sure some people may think it’s too much. But it’s a grindhouse-style game, sex, gore and violence is supposed to be there. The style of the game is just amazing, every mission is presented as grindhouse movie and there’s this very wrong country rock soundtrack. It all fits together very well and I really enjoyed it.

So back to the gameplay, the only new thing here is that you can purchase and upgrade weapons, and you can carry 2 of them on every mission. After every mission you get some more money to buy more upgrades. Another new feature is the slow-mo item. When you hit this item, everything slows down; and I do mean everything. Music, reloading, movement, etc. The funniest thing is that the music slowly starts to speed up again and you hear this fast forwarding in the music. Though I didn’t find this item very useful (it’s only useful if you play with the cross-hair so you have more time to aim), I just used it because I like how the music slows down.
Another huge difference with the previous games is that the boss fights are way too easy. The first boss puts on quite a fight, but the rest of them can’t seem to hurt the player at all. Compared to the almost impossible boss fights in the previous games, these are way too easy. But at least that means you can finish the game, because I think I never finished ‘The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return’ on my Wii, the boss fights are impossible. I remember putting a fortune into the arcade machines and still, I never finished either one of them.
Another thing I noticed is that when playing as Player 1, you get a lot more attacks than Player 2 does. And most of the time, it’s because the zombies are just outside of the screen, and all you see is an arm attacking you. It’s kinda annoying because it’s very hard to see that arm and even harder to shoot it. If they made the camera like ‘Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles’ it would already be a lot better. In that game, you could move the camera a bit even though it’s on the rail, so you can get a clear shot at things.
And one last thing, the game is very short, I mean, you can finish it in an hour or so? Though it’s longer than ‘Ghost Squad’ on the Wii (which was about half an hour long) it’s still too short. But you unlock the director’s cut after the original story mode, and I have yet to play that. Hopefully that one is a bit longer.

So yeah, the game is fun, the style is great, it’s just a bit short and the camera can get on your nerves. I would have rated it 4 stars, but because of the length of the game, it doesn’t deserve that.

Rating:starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

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