|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SEGA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
House of the Dead 2 was obviously released before the third installment, and it shows. Even in comparison to the third title, the second game looks incredibly rough. I remember playing this title in the arcade and thinking, 'wow, this game looks amazing.' However, several years later, this game is almost painful to look at. House of the Dead 3 fairs much better, at least looking like a Dreamcast quality title. Since these are older games just being ported to the Wii, it is hard to be critical of their archaic visuals, but it would have been nice if they had been touched up a bit before they were released.
As with their arcade counterparts, these games really don't offer a lot of gameplay. If you are fairly skilled, you can make your way through both of these games in less than three hours. Once you finish the story, there really isn't a lot left to captivate your interest. You can play through the training mode or boss battle mode in House of the Dead 2 or the time attack mode in House of the Dead 3, but none of these will really keep you captivated. The training mode is fairly fun though, having you try to complete specific tasks such as destroying all barrels before a timer runs out or save all of the civilians in a walkthrough. Still, you are basically only going to get five to six hours out of this game. You do have the option of playing offline co-op with a friend, but it would have been nice if they had included an online co-op option as well.
With its fairly cheap price tag (only $30) and arcade perfect ports of these titles, House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return would seem to be a no-brainer (pun intended) purchase for fans of light gun shooters. Unfortunately, with the not-so-accurate Wii-mote aiming and lack of any real reason to play this game for more than five hours, the $30 price tag starts to look a little steep. If you have a Wii and are starving for some zombie shooting action, pick up Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. If you've already played through that one, maybe this game could be worth your money. Just keep in mind that it is fairly short and more than a little painful on the eyes at times.
CCC Freelance Writer