House Of The Dead 2 & 3 offers complete versions of two highly acclaimed light gun shooters, ready to play, on Wii
There is no slowdown, the details are as good as they were in the arcade editions and everything works the way you would expect. Because of this, it makes the games very accessible and very natural for the gamers to play and enjoy.
Furthurmore, the game incorporates the Wii controls decently. The wiimote acts as the gun and you simply point and shoot by pressing B in order to kill some zombies and save your skin. It is pretty cool, especially with the Wii Zapper for authentic like gunplay. To reload, you have to shake the Wiimote as well.
Sega have gone as far as to have a calibration test for both players, which can be conveniently be accessed even during the game itself. This makes the game play more accurate for players Whats best is that the game doesn't require a nunchuck or any other Wii controller add-on so two-player modes and quick games are alot easier to set-up.
The games themselves, House Of The Dead 2 and House Of The Dead 3 are what the main attractions of this collection though. House Of The Dead 2, originally released on Sega Model 3 hardware and the Dreamcast, has you play as AMS agents James and Gary as they attempt to put a stop to the evil Goldman and his sinister creations. It probably goes without saying that House Of The Dead 2 has aged alot worse than House Of The Dead 3, with some very shocking (but hilarous) voice acting. However, the gameplay itself is frantic and tense, which works out well for a rails shooter.
Many types of zombies appear in vast numbers and its a decent challenge trying to catch the fast Ninja zombies whilst worrying about the crazy chainsaw wielding zombies that are straight in-front of you. The bosses also make House Of The Dead 2 a very enjoyable game and they're tough but not quite enough to be impossible. With that said though, the game can get quite cheap with enemies literally poping out of nowhere and taking cheap shots, but it isn't quite enough to tamper the game's overall enjoyment factor.
You also are expected to save the innocent bystanders who will reward you with lives if you save so many, although they can be a bit of an annoyance too when taking down zombies. The levels are also interesting in House Of The Dead 2 where some will have you transcending the city in a car and boat and others taking you higher and higher through arrays of enemies. Its typical Sega arcade stuff and can be very enjoyable especially when played with a friend in co-op.
What perhaps makes House Of The Dead 2 better than 3 as well is the various other modes that the game has to offer such as boss battle and training mode which test your overall skill in terms of speed and precision in shooting. They're good time wasters away from the main game itself. There is also original mode that allows you to play with RPG style customisations like better shooting or more lives and is more gradual in how you improve by finding new upgrades and extras. This can also be played with a friend.
House Of The Dead 3, the other game, is set many years after 2. You play as G and Lisa on your quest to save Rogan, one of the heroes from the original game. The most distinct feature of 3 has to be the addition of the shotgun which replaces the pistol of 2 and packs a lot more firepower. However, it requires more moderation as there is more delay in firing and it takes more skill to use correctly. House Of The Dead 3 is graphically superb on Nintendo Wii. The brillaince of 3's visuals are evident in the glossy lighting and shading effects that the Sega Chirio hardware had to offer when the game was originally in the arcades.
As a video game itself, House Of The Dead 3 is more of 2 but perhaps more difficult. There are far more baddies to fight and far less open spaces, which makes the shotgun come in handy. What makes House Of The Dead 3 more significant in difference has to be the variation in foes with each passing level and they all have their own weaknesses such as the plant creatures. As for the bosses, they're alot cheaper and nastier which makes the game a bit of a chore to play in comparison to 2. Especially as they come closer to the death, the bosses rely on some very sneaky attacks and are generally too fast to shoot too.
With that said it doesn't make the game that much worse. A nice idea implemented by House Of The Dead 3 is instead of saving civilians you save your partner instead and these parts of the game are a good challenge because they require more tactically thought to handle in order to save your friend, it also rewards you with a life everytime unlike in 2 when it is more occasional. Your also rewarded lives and bonuses based on your grade at the end of levels which depends entirely on how fast and skillfully you take down baddies.
Besides that, House Of The Dead 3 doesn't offer much else. It does have far better cut-scenes and voice acting however. There is also a time attack mode but it only makes a hard game harder. There is also an unlockable mode that you earn from completing the game and it is quite interesting, however I won't talk about it in this review :P
So generally speaking, House Of The Dead 2 & 3 is a very good package on Wii. Some flaws though, the presentation of the package is a little lacking and also it is a little unfair that lives have to be unlocked with each playthrough, which demands continous returns to the game. Although thats obviously there to make the game longer than it is, seeing as they're designed for the arcades and stretch no longer than a hour long when played together. Also, rail-shooters can eventually grow tiresome and dull which is why it is alot better to play House Of The Dead 2 & 3 with a friend. However it would be a very good game to play at parties because of that.
Overall, I recommend you buy this game. It has two very good lightgun shooters which have been ported graciously to the Nintendo Wii. And of-course, being a Wii game that actually uses the remote well, there isn't much to moan at aside from the lifespan of the game itself.