House of the Dead: Overkill

Discussion in 'Game Reviews' started by snickothemule, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. snickothemule

    snickothemule brb gonna go fist the world lol Junior Contributor Award Winner!

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    House of the Dead: Overkill [Wii]

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    It's go go, not cry cry

    When SEGA decided to produce an on-rails shooter for the Wii to ride with the success wave of The Grindhouse Double Feature, particularly Planet Terror, I laughed off the notion and payed little attention to its development. That was a stupid thing to do, for in its own little way, this is probably one of the best House of the Dead games ever made, even though the game is profoundly stupid. Still, any excuse to fire up the Wii will do and this game had me hooked.

    Being in the same vein as a 70's Grindhouse movie, we are treated to a fairly tame pole dancing video with the obligatory video filter to make it look like a stretched and worn out film reel, yes strippers on the Wii while the opening credits roll out, so far this has got the theme and content right. After starting the story mode we are thrust into the heat of battle with Agent G, the typical mysterious white guy FBI agent, and Isaac Washington in woeful blacksploitation glory.

    These guys are out to stop whatever the hell is going on by going to a mansion in stop some geneticist from making zombie like monsters or something. The setup is so brief and terrible it's really hard to do it any justice, needless to say the hair thin plotline is an excuse to shoot zombies in the face and that's all of an excuse I'll ever need.

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    Racial mother******* equality

    Being an on-rails shooter designed primarily for consoles there are some liberties that are not necessarily present in the previous, arcade centric versions. You can carry two weapons at a time and you have unlimited ammo, if your character dies, you can opt to have a severe penalty to your point score to keep playing, or you can end it right then and there. This way if you aren't very good at the game you can see it all the way through without having to beg your parents for another dollar to keep playing.
    Aside from this the game is still very much a full blooded shooter, movement is completely automatic, zombies die when you shoot them lots, reloads are unlimited and you are awarded points for your efforts. At the end of each level you are given cash to spend on new weapons such as rifles, machine guns and shotguns all with different abilities. It's pretty straight forward stuff.

    Give him all the guns

    What isn't completely straight forward is the way to get the most out of your point score. Instead of blindly firing at the screen with nary any care for accuracy for what you hit, HoTD;OK rewards you for being a better player. If you manage to keep your accuracy right up and not miss any opponent then you begin to accumulate your combo meter, when it is completely full you enter 'Goregasm' mode, a patriotic and hyper violent mode. If you miss once it will spell disaster and you meter will reset. In multiplayer, this can be a real challenge to get seeing as you buddy is just as likely to kill the abomination in your path as you are, you have to be the one with the quicker trigger pull, so in a way the multiplayer can be seen as competitive as opposed to being co-operative.

    It wouldn't be an on-rails shooter without some bosses and the ones in this game are, honestly rather lame. The first boss for instance, on paper it is downright hilarious, a wheelchair bound scientist kid who is injected with a special serum to make him more powerful, he does this to protect his sister from the evil Papa Caesar, and is transformed into a giant headed floating psychic dude who can control small objects around him. All you have to do is blast him in the face and shoot the occasional projectile that comes your way, fairly basic stuff and understandably for the first boss, however the rest of the bosses are equally uninspiring which is a letdown.

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    I never miss

    Of course being on Wii hardware means that there isn't going to be bountiful things to shoot in the background. On rails shooters can take advantage of hidden items and difficult to hit targets, but this HoTD doesn't really afford itself the opportunity. Of the things in the environment you can fire upon are health items, golden brains and Slow-Mo-Fo green globs that slow down time to make headshots all the more simple. Apart from this zombies will occasionally throw knives, bottles and barrels at you, which again is all pretty standard fare.

    Once you finish the game the Director's Cut and Dual Wielding mode will be unlocked. The director's cut is an extended version of the story mode with levels becoming longer and with a seemingly higher difficulty. As far as replayability goes this is a fantastic inclusion and definitely worth playing through again.

    That boy's got the devil in him

    Visually the game looks kind of washed out, zombies are themed with every level, be it a carnival, hospital, swamp or prison and are all okay to look at but aren't necessarily spectacular to look at either. Audio wise there is a very cool 70's style soundtrack that never really interferes with the action, but what will stick out are the two characters vocal tracks. Essentially Isaac will drop more F-Bombs than you could possibly imagine, it honestly goes from being comical, to being annoying, to being tragic to being comical again and it is absolutely glorious to witness.

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    Never did like that son of a *****. About as useless as a pecker on a pope.

    Honestly the way I am describing the gameplay it can sound rather boring and simple, and when analysing the game at a certain level it's true, but the game has more than enough style to give what simple level of substance it has more than enough zazz to keep it ridiculously fun, stupid and entertaining all at the same time.

    Earlier I talked about the first boss being kind of lame, well when this kid is eventually killed, his sister Varla Gunns comes onto the scene in typical slutty attire and vows to avenge his death, the whole time giving our two 'heroes' (and in this context I use the term extremely loosely) a massive feminist serving leaving the two somewhat powerless to make any relevant point. Not that Isaac would make any other point than motherf***** this and motherf***** that but the scene is so downright terrible that I couldn't help but love the game all the more, because of how terrible it is.

    Thus the game is almost necessary to play if you own a Wii, while it isn't the most technically proficient on-rails shooter on the market it is definitely one of the most enjoyable, hilarious and tragic games to play, especially for the ridiculous/ gross story and sassy characters. If you love on-rails shooters get it, if you don't, give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
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