The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return Hands-On

Sega's classic light-gun arcade shooter makes its way from the arcade to the Wii. We armed up and found out how it's shaping up.


House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return may be the most awkwardly titled game this year, but it's coming to a Wii near you anyway. Combined with the publisher's upcoming Sega Bass Fishing and Samba de Amigo remakes, it seems as if Sega views the Wii is a perfect platform for it's old arcade titles. While the graphics in House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return may have aged badly, the gameplay thankfully retains enough of its charm to make for a pleasing diversion.

According to Sega, The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return will include both original games, including the branching story, six game modes, and bonus content. The game will be compatible with and well suited to the Wii Zapper, offering more horror-filled light-gun action for those left wanting more after Capcom's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.

We recently got a chance to play the game and wasted no time in picking up the Wii Remote and laying waste to some pesky zombies. We had a few issues trying to calibrate the game to make sure it was tracking the remote accurately, but once that hiccup was resolved, we settled into blowing countless zombies away. The game follows the same conventions as many others in the genre; you're firmly stuck on-rails and shooting offscreen reloads your weapon.

Playing both games on a large plasma display, the graphics in House of the Dead 3 held up reasonably well considering it's six years old, but House of the Dead 2 looked considerably worse for wear (much like its residents) especially in the cutscenes between stages. The game will feature as-yet-unannounced new content, as well as tutorial videos from the development team covering beginner and advanced techniques.

Despite its patchy visuals, The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return should be warmly welcomed by fans of the series. It's infecting homes this March, so get those Wii Zappers ready.

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