Written on: 03/12/2005 by TOMLEECEE (121 reviews written)
Pure arcade gameplay
Pick up and play gameplay
New game modes for home conversion
Woeful voice acting
The House of the Dead 2 - Sequel to Sega Saturn and Arcade shoot 'em up. The House of the Dead is yet another arcade perfect home conversion for the Dreamcast. I suspect that if you set a Dreamcast up next to the actual Coin-op machine, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference - it's that good a port over.
If you are unfamiliar with this game, here's how it works. It's a light gun game where the action is viewed through the eyes of a secret agent sent to investigate weird goings on in some nondescript city. Upon arrival in town, it becomes apparent that the place has been over run with zombies and other generally nasty beasts, who (as ever) have a taste for human flesh. With just your trusty light gun, it's up to you to get to the bottom of the mystery by popping as many virtual caps into the undead as possible.
The game is actually on rails, meaning you don't actually control anything - just line the cross hairs up and squeeze the trigger to blast anything that looks like it's about to bite a chunk out of your head. Simple.
There are certain points in the game where you have the chance to take various routes through the city, and this usually depends on whether or not you are skillful enough to intervene when a zombie is about to attack an innocent citizen. For example, blasting a zombie before it eats someones face will then enable them to show you a new route, separate from the one you would have taken had you not been quick enough to save them.
Other distractions liven up proceedings, such as the numerous boxes and barrels littered about the city streets, that when shot, yield power ups or extra lives.
HOTD2 features two different game styles - arcade mode and original mode - although from playing them, the only difference seems to be that in original mode you can store power ups in a chest and use them at different points in the quest. There are also a number of quite entertaining training games that add longevity, as well as helping to improve your aim for the main game. Some of these training missions are devilishly difficult and take the marksman skills of a military sniper, but they are a cool addition to the original coin-op version.
HOTD2 doesn't have buckets of replay value (and features some very poor voice acting), but is lots of fun in two player mode (or in one player with two guns, matrix style!). You can play this game with a joypad, but it isn't anywhere near as much fun as with a light gun, so you'd be advised to get one of those as well.
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