Sega are keen to exploit their existing games collection on previous formats that have proved to be very popular and dish them out on the Xbox.
Here is yet another offering from their extensive range House of the Dead III. So can blasting your way through levels still be fun?
First thing you will notice if you have played House of the Dead II is it continues 16 odd years on from the last game. This time it is an ageing G and Thomas Rogans daughter Lisa that has to rescue Lisa’s father from the grip of the monsters in the game. Your firepower has been greatly improved with this game replacing the fairly slow gun for a nice heavy duty shotgun to blast your way through the levels.
Also no more hearing “Reload” every few seconds, instead enjoy the fact that reload is automatic and the only time you may wish to reload manually is when you have a bit of a breather from the attacking onslaught and want to make sure you are prepared for the next bunch of walking disasters.
The graphics are certainly an improvement as you can imagine sporting some lovely lighting effects and atmospheric scenery. The thing that really stuck out though was the lack of outside levels. You are outside for only a very short time after which you use lifts to access different areas of the game. I would have liked more action outside, but this doesn’t spoil it. There is some choice of which route you would like to take, but it is pretty sparse offering little for adventure.
Instead you can enjoy the rich detail on the monsters and the scenery, especially when a large infected security guard comes stomping towards you and you only have a few rounds to shoot left before he wallops you. All the monsters have some lovely visuals especially when you have made some good sized holes around their body with your trusty shotgun.
This game is certainly best experienced with a light gun for quicker movement of the screen, but also the game pad control is very accurate which allows for great fun with or without such a device.
If you are lucky enough to have two light guns, then you and a mate can have a great two player game helping each other out from the impending dangers that lurk round every corner.
The Dolby Digital sound is good but there is little to no action that comes from behind making the rear speakers rather redundant most of the time. The sounds are all very pleasing and the character voices are not too bad either. Just don’t expect an engrossing story line. There are clips and snippets to just give you enough to understand what is happening as obviously in this type of game you want to start shooting again as soon as possible.
The arcade feel to the game is perfect and add a light gun to the action and you will never need to venture into the outdoors again to visit your local arcade if Sega keep presenting true representations of the arcade experience to your home. The vibration from the controller is also well done making every attack felt and brings the whole atmosphere to life.
The game is quite short on easy settings, but push up the levels and expect to get killed many times over, certainly a challenge. Once you have completed the game you also get access to playing House of the Dead II on the Xbox in all its glory which is a nice treat for us House of the Dead fans.
Other little features include some rather rough video from the movie House of the Dead, which like many films are now using ideas from video games to put on the big screen. Also Time Attack mode is a much quicker romp around as the clock is constantly ticking down and as you shoot the monsters time in small amounts is added. Also though if you get hit you lose 5 seconds which in such a small amount available makes a staggering impact.
If you love arcade then this game is right up your street. With blood spilling all over the place and graphics to gawp at, you can spend many an hour using your trigger finger so expect some aches with the constant use.