The original and probably still the best shooter!
House of the Dead is one of the original shooters that became prominent in movies and arcades in the early ninties. Its a simple setup, you have a big screen to shot at, you use an early form of the guncon as your controller, shot of screen to reload. It about as close as your gonna get to feeling like your really there.
The story is pretty simply, you are some kind of cop/detective and find out that someone you know has gone missing and have traced them to a mansion. There you encounter various zombies and monsters, as you venture further into the mansion. There are of course boss fights as well, where you are instructed to shot at various weak points to defeat the boss. You can play by yourself or have a friend join.
The graphics and sound for the time were really good, and they still hold up pretty well today. The control is fairly realistic, and on the arcade version you do not have the hassle of having to configure the control like you do for guncon games when playing on a video game console.
The difficulty is a toss up, on the one hand, the action is fairly difficult and you will die many times, but on the other hand on the arcade version you are only limited by the amount of change in your pocket. So even if you suck, you can beat the game but you will be spending a pretty penny. Me and a friend easily spent 12 bucks each before beating the game. For each play you get 3 hearts, but you can get bonuses including hearts and better ammo by shooting various secrets on the screen. One hit, one heart lost, simple as that. Tips: aim for either the legs or the head, body shots take way to long.
I personally believe that the first House of the Dead is the best, the others are good, but none have matched the first one. Alas the only drawback is that this game is getting harder and harder to find in arcades with the sequels being released, and the saturn version is equally rare. But if you see it, go ahead and give it play.