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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review: The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)

Since I was first introduced to Sega's The House of the Dead II on the Dreamcast, I've been enamored with the franchise. This most recent title may well be the best yet.

I with most fans of the HOTD games, believe that HOTD II is the best of the series. (Reason enough to own a Dreamcast and light gun). So I was skeptical when I heard from another gamer that Overkill surpassed HOTD II. Yet it took me less then 5 minutes with Overkill to come to the conclusion that it was the best HOTD game to date.

Overkill is exceedingly gory and profane. Yet if you're not bothered by that, you'll find the charm of this game infectious. First of all, the soundtrack is wonderful, uptempo music that is reminiscent of 70's funk. This is fitting because the game is designed to feel like an old theater film. The comical sound effects in the menu screen, the ridiculous story and voice acting, even the cover art demonstrate how this game doesn't take itself seriously.

9.5 out of 10

Like previous releases, HOTD Overkill is a first person shooter on rails with simple controls, just point and shoot. Some new features include, new weapons and upgrades for each, and ability to switch between two weapons during gameplay. Additionally, the combo meter/bonus is very well implemented with the goal of reaching Gorgasim.

I need to mention that this game can be played with a single Wii remote: no nun-chuck is needed. This may be the only FPS on the Wii that does that and it's beautiful.

It may not be expansive but there are more levels to complete then other HOTD games. Once the story mode is completed, the director's cut is unlocked for longer levels and more zombies er... I mean mutants. It's a shorter game but at $20 you get your money's worth.

Yup, those are mutant clowns

The one real beef I had with was with the profanity. Detective Washington drops the F-bomb 50 times or more through out this game. This is intentional to be funny, and it is. However, my wife didn't appreciate it and I couldn't play with my son within earshot. The movie audio can be adjusted to eliminate most of it but not all.

House of the Dead Overkill is addictive, casual and fun. All elements are really well done. I might be bias because I'm a huge zombie fan but I'd give the game a rating of 9.5 / 10.

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