Review by PyramidHead87

Reviewed: 03/01/06

Not quite the ease of an arcade game that I wanted, but it did offer some entertainment

I haven't reviewed many arcade games, and since I did manage to play HOD4 a while ago, I thought I'd review it. As many may know, the fourth installment just hit the arcades a little while ago. I'm surprised that some developers are actually still making arcade versions of games, but I guess it is necessary to keep arcades alive for at least another year or two. Despite the fact that arcades are dying, Sega still insisted on releasing the arcade edition of a game that's clearly a next-gen title. We can only wonder where things will go from here...

One look at the graphics for this game and you may immediately assume this will be an Xbox 360 title. The details and speical effects are nicely rendered, giving everything that next-gen "polish". I don't expect much more from these graphics anyway, and saying that Xbox 360 graphics can be 100x better sounds like expecting too much. So, the graphics are good enough for me.

The voice-overs are a tad better than they were in some of the previous games. Admittingly enough, the characters show a little more emotion when speaking. I remember in HOD2, the characters sounded like stiff cutouts of real action stars. Here, even though the voice-acting won't win any awards, it's still decent. The sound effects themselves suit the game nicely, from your gun going off, to a group of zombies coming at you. As long as there was nothing out-of-place or any sound glitches of the sort, the sound is okay.

This is where the game falls down a bit...when you first see this game, you'll immediately notice the new Light Gun that Sega made for it. It's a machine gun, this time around. This succeeds in making zombie horde shooting a little easier than in the previous titles. One thing the game definitely does different is that you have the ability to chuck grenades at enemies. This helps clear out hordes of monsters without you having to pick them off with the machine gun, quite possibly opening you up for an attack from a different part of the screen. It's a little awkward, though...the area you aim in justifies the direction in which the grenade will travel after you throw it. If you're like me and play a lot of games where you can get away with throwing the grenade in random areas, you'll kind of get frustrated with the grenade tossing here. So, you can't drop your gun and throw the grenade at someone, or else the grenade won't go anywhere.

One of the new "added" features is the ability to "shake" the machine gun. The gun has a sensor in it that allows you to shake off enemies if you are grabbed. Sometimes, this helps. Other times, it doesn't help at all. Yeah, shaking the gun will get you out of a few hairy situations for the first few minutes, but this only serves to tire your wrist after a while of ridiculous shaking. If you are playing on Single Player, however, shaking the gun relies totally on the strength of your wrists. If they're tired, shaking the gun will become more of a chore than a help. With a second player, shaking enemies off is easier and faster, but like I said, on Single Player, shaking only becomes a hastle after a while.

One really big spit in the face is the Boss Battles. If you're playing on Single Player, not beating the game is a default choice. Bosses are only cheap a-holes that will make you go through all your quarters (if people still use quarters) before beating even one of them. I saw a two-player duo fighting against one Boss and even THEY could barely do it.

One reason while beating Bosses on Single Player is practically impossible is because you're a single person fighting a Boss with two health bars: one bar for the Boss itself, and one for its weakpoint. As a lone person, trying to get the weakpoint health bar down to 0 is enough work as it is, since it slowly depletes. Throw in the fact that the moron is ALWAYS moving, and the fact that you may have bad aiming skills. You always seem to hit everything BUT the weakpoint when times are desperate. When the weakpoint health bar goes down to 0, the main health bar goes down at least a few inches. If you ever get to the Boss in the moving train, you'll see how all these problems work together.

So, one lesson about the game is to find a second person to play it with, then you'll at least be able to get through the greater part of the game while putting up a good fight.

To be honest, I forgot what the story was after leaving the arcade. This story won't be winning any awards, definitely, but no one plays arcade games to be wowed by the story.

HOD4 is a decent game that may even make you feel as though you can do better, even if you die in the game. However, it's highly recommended you find a second person to help get the dirty work done, because unless you're a master sharpshooter and expert quickshot, you'll never see the entire game. 7/10.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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