Review by Pokejedservo

Reviewed: 01/24/06 | Updated: 01/02/07

As for my final review of 2006, is this pretty good shooter with nice next-gen graphics.

The House of the Dead series has been well known for being a pioneering force in the Genre of Arcade-styled shooters and its not hard to see why. This latest title with rather spiffy next-gen graphics is actually a bit of a prequel to the 2002 Arcade hit "House of the Dead 3". It might seem strange at first but it does pull off the concept pretty well. How so you ask? Well in House of the Dead 3, a rather certain mysterious man in glasses willingly gets himself involved in a chaotic series of events involving several monstrous Zombies. He does this not only to finish off what he started a few years ago but also to save his son. In this game you get to play out what happened during those aforementioned few years ago.

Okay, okay going over the storyline maybe nice and all but I'm sure there is one question a pretty darn good amount of you are thinking of. How is the gameplay? Its all pretty good I can assure you. The gun you'll be using is more of a Machine Gun instead of a Shotgun with the usual limited ammo that you'll eventually have to reload. You'll also have the option to potentially throw grenades at foes to potentially aid you on your way. (Which is surprisingly rather easy to do with a little grey button in the gun you'll be holding.) One rather intrestingly different take is that sometimes you'll be held by the zombies you fight and you'll have to shake the gun to get them off before they attack you. It can also be used to open certain doors or use certain levers and the like. And is a good alternative to refill your ammo compared to just shooting off the screen. Its not an incredible innovation nor is it as versatile as the likes of Time Crisis 3. But it is a rather intresting take on the gameplay of the latest installment in a renowned series if you ask me.

The Graphics in this game are genuinely sharp and very much "Next Gen" in structure. Its not absolutely perfect (our respective heroes in this game might look a little too "clean" for some gamers) but overall its very good especially on the monsters you'll face. The game's screen is nice and wide and genuinely responsive to ever bullet that'll fly as you mow down every zombie and monster in your path. The Challenge factor is not too bad at all either, as it won't feel too easy but its not necessarily for Masochists only either. You'll have the traditional 4 bits of a health meter in which will lower if your undead adversaries get a good hit on you and you'll have to insert coins/tokens to continue if you run out. (The game is not incredibly hard but your more likely to beat it if its on Free Play.) And the Bosses' you'll face generally have weak spots for you to hit as well. Each of the bosses alongside the regular foes are in a pretty good amount of variety. (Not too mention the various pathways you can go each of the stages.) The Audio is alo pretty good, most notably the surprisingly pretty good voice acting as well. Many of the aspects about the House of the Dead series have still been going strong over the years. Though I dunno about you but it nice to see the voice acting in this series to go from laughably horrible to actually pretty good.

Overall its simply another genuinely solid genre-pleasing title here. Its currently only on Arcades so only places that have good Arcade support like South Florida will actually have it. (But it might have a good port in the Nintendo Revolution in the future but thats uncertain.) One of the bigger flaws about it is that its one of those infamous games that cost 4 coins/tokens to start and 2 to continue. So it might be a little too "Coin-munching" for your tastes if you know what I mean. Its absolutely worthwhile for fans of the genre, especially for the series but its also somewhat worth a shot for more casual players as well. Overall its simply another solid example on Sega is still a force to be reckoned with in Arcades.

+ Solid Gameplay with nicely balanced Challenge
+ Generally above par graphics
+ Good presentation
+ Variety is plentiful here in foes and pathways.
+ Surprisingly good audio, especially voice acting
- Gameplay is not as versatile as the likes of Time Crisis 3
- Some might miss using a Shotgun like how one could in previous HOTD installments
- For the most part its only availible in places with good arcade support like South Florida and the like
- Sadly its another one of those Arcade games that cost 4 coins/tokens to start playing it.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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