Review: The House Of The Dead III
House Of The Dead III is of the same period as those good old’ arcade days. It's a typical Japanese rail shooter where you shoot at zombies with a shotgun. There's nothing more to it than that, actually.
- Worth The Time?No, rather play Mass Effect 3. That's a better time investment.
- Things LovedI loved the old school arcade feel of the game and the weird types of zombies that I ran into throughout many of the stages. That's about it, really.
- Things HatedThe visuals have not aged well. The voice acting is terrible and the game's storyline is as corny as that of a Steven Segal movie.
- RecommendationIf you enjoy Time Crisis and games similar to it. Then this is for you. Otherwise play something else, seriously.
- Name: The House Of The Dead III
- Genre: Rail Shooter
- Players: 1-2
- Multiplayer: Co-op
- Platforms: PSN
- Developer: Wow Entertainment
- Publisher: Sega
- Price: R55
- Reviewed On: PS3
I was asked to review The House Of The Dead III and with fond memories I remembered the days of old school light gun games on the PS2 like Time Crisis, House Of The Dead II and even Point Blank. Most of these games I played when I was a younger gamer frequenting the arcade like a lone survivor with a shotgun weaving through the masses of ‘zombies’. ‘Zombies’ in my experience were teenagers who wanted to get it on in the recesses of the putt-putt section at the shopping mall. Those were the good days. House Of The Dead III is of the same period as those good old’ arcade days and its age shows clearly from the first play-through, all the way through into the later levels.
Like any Japanese rail shooter, House Of The Dead III has a story which is as nonsensical and ‘wtf’ as those weird Japanese adverts you sometimes come across on YouTube. Some scientist’s kid has succumbed to the effects of a horrible disease. As a means to curing his son the suspect scientist thinks it a worthy mission to turn all of the employees that work for him into Hulk-like zombies which are most of the bosses, and a number of different zombies who are as absurd as the storyline itself.
In the game, you play as Lisa Rogan, daughter of the first game’s protagonist, and a guy named G. Yes he is named G. You can switch between both of them. Either Lisa or G. It’s all up to you. So I chose to play as Lisa because she looked badass with the shotgun and G looked like he shouldn’t be anywhere near any type of weapon. He was always in constant danger whilst play, and was attacked by zombies countless times. So I didn’t trust him to hold his own. Let alone with me controlling him.
The game starts off with you breaking into some kind of facility with video sequences played throughout telling the story of the deranged scientist and his zombie child. The game itself is as simple as any light gun game gets. Especially, when on a PlayStation 3 and the fact that I didn’t have PlayStation Move meant that I couldn’t test out the new PlayStation move optimisations built into this new release of the game.
But moving on to the actual gameplay, all you basically do in House Of The Dead III is shoot zombies on the screen as the flounder towards you with Thriller dance moves and weird superhuman speed. You are equipped with a shotgun. Therefore, you shoot the damn zombies with the shotgun. It’s simple science and the game is all about timing. If you waste all your rounds and miss a few of the undead you can lose a life. But if you time your shots well enough you can earn a high amount of points, earn a better ranking at the end of a stage and win a life as well. However, you have to be careful as you only have a few lives. House Of The Dead III is a trial and error game which rewards replays due to its arcade roots which back in the day was more about eating up your pocket money as fast as possible, then letting you overcome the difficulty curve.
However, I was used to Time Crisis so House Of The Dead III was not too much of stretch for me. I made it through a few of the chapters before I died. As a result, I can safely say that the game isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does indeed have a fetish for puking out huge-ass bosses like its going out of fashion. Every boss you encounter in the first few stages is basically the same guy; huge with a central weak point. Again, I expected this kind of level design with House Of The Dead III because of its arcade roots. What is nice about this instalment of the game is that the visuals have been up scaled for HD resolutions and the arcade feel of the game is still maintained. despite a move towards a console platform like the PlayStation 3. Although, I do have my doubts about the PlayStation Move support; I still think the game is decent enough.
I just feel that the visuals haven’t dated well and the storyline is too corny and predictable for the gamers of today. The sound design is terrible and the voice acting involves some of the most hysterical dialogue. In truth, House Of The Dead III is like a B-Grade action movie and many gamers won’t understand that going into the game.
After playing the game quite a bit I still think that the Time Crisis series is more challenging, and that this type of game is still more suited to the halls of an arcade than an analogue controller, or motion-based controller. I would really dig a light gun peripheral for the PlayStation Move. Maybe then I would consider buying the motion-based controller system, and recommending this game to anyone.