The House of the Dead 2 - Sega Dreamcast - Sega - Action -1-2 Players
Control: ****w/gun **w/out gun
Replay Value: *** 1/2
Overall Rating :****w/gun **1/2 w/out gun
Sega brings another of it's arcade juggernauts home for the Dreamcast system launch with The House of the Dead 2. Having never played the arcade version, I'll stick to the facts here.
Graphically the game is pleasing to look at. The enviornment look good and convey the appropriate mood, excelling when giving an extreme closeup of the undead. Fans of horror films and gore in general will love the graphic results of bullet hits, which often blow limbs off or blow heads apart.
The games sounds, however, leave much to be desired. The voice overs are absolutely horrible and the "ping" carnival sound used on some head shots is absolutely out of place and unacceptable. Ultimately the sound in the game greatly takes away from the suspension of disbelief a great game can put the player in, and this is without a doubt the games most glaring fault.
When it comes to the controls of this game, the quality varies greatly depending on what kind of controller you choose. The standard Dreamcast controller is a chore to play with and a tremor pack just adds to the difficulty of use. Aiming with the pad is a slow and annoying task which puts the player at a definite disadvantage. I also tried the game with Interact's Starfire Light Gun, and what a difference it made! First, despite the rumors I had heard, calibration of the gun was easy and exact (hold the gun real close to the screen when calibrating). I'd also definitely recommend a tremor pack plugged into the guns open VMU slot as the vibration effect is used extremely well and does not affect the balance of the gun. Sega wisely chose to have the game check port 2 for a VMU allowing the player to save games via the standard pad when the gun is in use. The only gripe I have is that you occasionally have to use the second controller to choose some pre-game options. A minor gripe, but an oversight nonetheless.
Gameplay is fast and furious - a light gun with a seperate reload trigger/button or an autoloader is a must as you just won't have the time to point off screen in the middle of a friefight. Personally, I can't wait to pick up a second lightgun and give the undead an old fashioned butt-whuppin' John Woo style!
The replay value is better than most shooters as a branching story system allows for multiple game paths. Still, after constant play, you will get to know the game and it's twists a little too well. Some players will also find House a little to short for their liking.
Ultimately The House of the Dead 2 delivers exactly what it promises, an adrenaline pumping, high speed, no drag shooting adventure as well as a hell of a good time. I'd definitely recommend this one, but make sure to pick up a light gun and tremor pack or you'll be sorely dissapointed.
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