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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

WOW Entertainment

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Wicked graphics
- Steady and intense action
- Easy control
- Two-player action
- Multiple paths mean some replay factor
- Includes House of the Dead II

 

 

- Can get repetitive. Okay, it does get repetitive
- A movie has been made

 

 

Review: Emergency Mayhem (Wii)

Review: Target: Terror (Wii)

Review: TimeSplitters 2 (XB)

 

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House of the Dead III

Score: 7.8 / 10

 

house-dead-iii-1.jpg (57530 bytes)           house-dead-iii-2.jpg (65246 bytes)

 

When I first load up a game, I always spend the first half-hour or so exploring the menus, the extras and various options. One extra included with House of the Dead III (HotD3) is an extensive look at the upcoming House of the Dead movie.

Throughout the clip, I couldn’t help cringing and emitting an “Oh my!” as the “Coming in 2003” flashed on the screen. If the clip is anything to go by, the whole videogame to movie curse will continue – and in the goriest way possible. I’ve never seen so many exploding heads in my life! Although some of the action looks slick, the acting seems suspect. Ron Howard’s brother, who hasn’t had a good role since Tex Murphy: Overseer, makes an appearance along with some wu-whooooo! women blasting the sweet potatoes out of a veritable army of rotting corpses. Plot?

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They shoot zombies – lots and lots of zombies – sometimes in slow motion, sometimes at full speed. And things explode. Lots of explosions. Boom! Boom!

Basically, it looks to confirm yet again that movies based on videogames, are hit and miss, miss, miss at the best of times. Anyway, that’s one of the extras on the disc…

HotD3 is the best-looking

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House of the Dead game to date. It’s cartoony, gory, and downright gorgeous. And there’s never a hint of slowdown – the animation is fantastic. Part of this is the predefined pathway. Essentially, you’re on a rail and you simply blast away using the on-screen reticule to aim. This is the cause of some repetition even though there are multiple pathways to take though a given area.

Control is pretty darn good with the basic controller. It takes about all of five minutes to get a complete handle on how everything works. (I have no idea how it plays with the Blaster since Armchair Empire was unable to wrangle a unit from MadCatz.)

 

house-dead-iii-3.jpg (58792 bytes)         house-dead-iii-4.jpg (60308 bytes)


And although the gameplay is simple and to the point – shoot zombies before they get you – it’s hard to put down, especially when playing with a partner. Blasting zombies is a timeless pastime. The upside is that you don’t have to really think, you simply react, which can be quite relaxing after long days at the office. The downside is that those looking for a deep, involving gaming experience will probably be disappointed, but even before opening the package you should be able to discern that deep and complex gameplay isn’t what HotD3 is showcasing.

HotD3 is actually a two-in-one package. House of the Dead II can be unlocked for even more zombie killing fun – just in case you didn’t get enough playing through HotD3.

Before closing I should probably pay some lip service to the audio (like every other review you read). It’s excellent. And even though it’s a comic book cliché, “Nuff said.”

If you’re looking for beautiful non-stop zombie killing, you can’t do better than House of the Dead III!

- Omni
(December 12, 2002)

 

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