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Author Topic: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)  (Read 2884 times)

Mark

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Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« on: February 18, 2009, 05:23:05 PM »


Wow... this game way surpassed expectations.  It has trumped Ghost Squad as my favorite console gun game.  Don't let this one fall off your radar because it is worth every blood-soaked second of your time.

But before you read too far, let me mention this:  This is an M-rated game.  I know, it's on the Wii.  This game has more cursing per second than any game I've ever played on any system.  There is sexual innuendo.  And let's not forget the fact that you're turning humanoids into crimson chowder as if it was just another day at the park.  This game should not be played, heard, or watched by impressionable youngsters.

So the very first thing you should ask yourself is, do you like the grindhouse style?  Planet Terror?  Tarantino?  B movies in general?  If so, you will like this game.

Do you like light gun games?  The House of the Dead games in particular?  Do you enjoy shooting things and watching body parts fly?  If so, you will like this game.

Did you just answer yes to all?  You will LOVE this game.

The very first thing you will notice when the game starts up is the production.  The game has a very authentic "grainy" feel, like you were watching a reel some guy in a trenchcoat pulled out from a tin canister.  Even the audio has that phonograph noise with the little scratch sounds here and there.  Speaking of audio, the music is so awesome it sets a new bar for original game soundtracks.  The whole package is so tight that it works.  You are immersed in the subculture.

So after watching a stripper dance, you start up story mode.  Right away, your sweet little virgin ears are deflowered time and time again.  "You muthafuggun muthafugga!!!"  Foul language in games generally puts me off because it is usually a cheap tool to come off as edgy.  And let's face it, most game developers don't have the tact or cleverness to pull it off well.  But in this case, it's a genuine aesthetic to the game's ambience.  Like, if you were going to decorate your room with puke-green carpet, you need to have the curtains with the big yellow flowers to match.  So although it might get a bit old, it doesn't feel entirely out of place.  It almost feels necessary.

This is probably a good time to mention the voice acting.  It is excellent.  And frankly, I probably couldn't tolerate all of Washington's F bombs if not for the fact that his voice is played so well.  Agent G comes off a little Christopher Walkenish at times, which is creepy awesome.  I guess one of the nice things about spoofing B cinema is that you actually get cred for overacting.  It works.

OK, time to start filling bodies with holes.  When you first play level 1, you may think to yourself that the gun shoots kind of weak and sluggishly.  And you'd be right.  You shoot a mutant in the arm and he kind of just lurches back and then continues to try and maul you.  You beat the level and get cash to spend at the gun shop.  You upgrade your gun.  Now it is blowing arms and legs off.  You beat that level.  Now you've got a shotgun and heads are popping like balloons.  There are several different weapons you can buy.  And you can carry up to two that you can switch at will throughout any level.  This adds a nice strategic element in addition to the novelty.  Once you are wielding two fully-upgraded tools of death, the true beauty of this game really shines.  They don't skimp on the damage animations for the enemies.  You shoot them just right and you will be treated with all manner of bloody, fleshy chunks flying every which way.

Cash is actually distributed largely on your performance which includes accuracy, combos, saving hostages, and acquiring items (among other things).  This actually adds a nice little motivator for replaying levels and improving your score so that you can buy more loot.

There are 7 story levels.  Each level also has a director's cut.  And every level can be played with "extra mutants".  It's not a long game (each stage can be done in 5-10 minutes), but the fact that the gameplay is so fun and each episode is so varied adds a lot.

The enemy designs are fantastic and the bosses are some of the freakiest, most disgusting things I've ever seen (what better motivation for a lead injection?).  In one stage you are offing mutant clowns.  CLOWNS.  And let me tell you, it's no coincidence that my kill and headshot percentages go WAY up on that stage.

On the single-player scale this game is easily a solid 8.00.  On the coop scale, it gets an 8.50.  The whole main game can be played from beginning to end with 2 players (locally).  There are also modes where you can play with up to 4 players.

Highly recommended if you are into this genre of style and game.

Before I close out, I do want to mention a few bad things.  One, this game has locked up on me twice so far (it was brand new and we just got it last week).  I have never had a Wii game do this.  Two, the framerate does suffer from time to time.  There were also a few rare times when it felt like we couldn't shoot when we wanted to.  These events were not common or intrusive enough for me to splatter in the middle of the review, but I did want to mention them.

One more thing.  We use Perfect Shot gun husks for the Wiimotes.  I recommend them if you plan on playing any of the Wii gun games.  See our Ghost Squad review for more details (http://www.coopgamer.com/smf/index.php?topic=292.0).
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 12:21:43 PM by Mark »

Tina

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 04:10:02 PM »
I love this game; it is a lot of fun.  We are big fans for the original House of the Dead.  This is one is better, I think.  I didn't know there is a new House of the Dead until we went to pick it up at Game Crazy.

tina

Alchemeron

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 11:27:30 PM »
What are the controls like?  Is it really a light-gun game, or is it just a Wiimote substitute?
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Mark

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 12:04:52 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean by that.  It plays similar to any other gun game on the Wii (you use the Wiimotes, preferably in gun accessories).  Only it is super chunktastic.

Alchemeron

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 12:20:15 PM »
I mean, as a light-gun game, not as a Wii game, how does it hold up.  As an actual light-gun, how is the Wiimote.  Or is it obviously just a Wiimote.
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Tina

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 09:57:03 PM »
Well...it's Wiimote.  But when use a light gun, it is not bad.  It's not the best light gun we've used, but it's good enough.  We don't have any problem with it. 

Tina 

Mark

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 02:37:07 PM »
You absolutely need the Perfect Shot or some other gun accessory to stick the Wiimote in.  You could play it without but it's like playing DDR on a regular controller.

You pull the trigger of course to fire (B).  It will auto reload once you run out of bullets or you can manually force a reload by pressing A (you do this all the time and it feels good).  Pressing the 1 button switches between your 2 weapons.  Pressing the minus button throws a grenade (you must find and shoot them to acquire them on the levels, it's not unlimited or anything).  I should also mention that if you get grabbed you need to shake the Wiimote to break loose.  This actually is rather annoying with the gun accessory, but fortunately you will only be grabbed if you screw up and it is pretty uncommon.

The gun's aim is pretty accurate.  Once you get the shotgun, it gets substantially easier to rack up combos due to the larger reticule.

One thing I must say - and this is true for ALL Wii gun games - is that your aim will always be either higher or lower than it actually is depending on where your sensor bar is located.  That is to say, if you are physically aiming dead center at the TV, it will always register a little high or a little low.  The sights on the gun are essentially cosmetic.  This is true regardless of how well you calibrate the gun.  The larger your TV, the larger the aim differential.  The only possible way around this would be to glue the Wii sensor bar dead center in your screen (not recommended).

That said, it doesn't actually affect the gameplay once you fire off a few rounds.  It's just a matter of getting used to it and since you have an aim reticule present at all times while you are pointing at the screen, it doesn't take long for your brain to register where the Wii's version of center is.

I really should post a video to show you all just how much of a good time this is.  Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

semmelbroesel

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 06:34:27 PM »
Why don't you just post one on Youtube and link to it here?  ;)
(Actually, they'd probably take it off for violent content or something, but hey, it might be worth a shot.)
Otherwise, most message board systems have a way of adding attachments or uploading files and linking to them.
If nothing else, you can upload the video file to a subfolder of your server and link to it, completely ignoring PHP.
If you need help with that (and if you're still interested in doing this), PM me, I might be able to help a little.

Mark

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Re: Review - The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 01:29:14 PM »
Dude!  Welcome back!

Well at this point, the game is old and there are tons of videos on Youtube for this game.  If I decide to do this for a later game, I'll shoot you a PM.

You can get this game for a mere $13 from places like Newegg now. 

Personally, while I still like the gameplay, the game itself is a little hard to come back and play.  It's just so vulgar that it's entertaining the first couple times through for shock value but it starts to get more and more uncomfortable as time goes on.

I almost want to go back and lower my score a bit for this reason, but will refrain from pulling a George Lucas.

Here's a mini trailer for the game that gives some good presentation style as well as gameplay footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSszWaKCh_Y

 




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