House of the Dead is probably the most famous rail shooter. What’s a rail shooter? Well can take that literally, you’re “On a Rail” and shooting the beasts that come out of the dark at you. The series is known for towering boss monsters, horrific voice acting and writing and music you’ll never get out of your ears. The Wii is the perfect substitute for light gun technology, so it’s not surprising to see another sequel shuffle in.
Grindhouse, Planet Terror, that’s pretty much the tone of the game. Grimy, slimy and gory. Heads explode from headshots and you can even shoot arms and legs off. Unlike previous games, the Bosses are more terrifying. Plus they’re homages to old horror flicks. In fact there are so many homages and references to movies, TV and previous games in the series. The other change is the music, which is now a mix of original metal, industrial and more. The tunes aren’t bad but the voice acting and story-driving plot are duds. Yeah, I know they’re supposed to be bad. House of the Dead 2’s hilarity was due too poor translation. Unintentional humor. With Overkill the humor is very intentional and the writing never gets good enough to sound bad enough.
You get to play as G and your sidekick is a funky 1970’s afro wearing black guy says “Motherf*cker” ALL THE FREAKING TIME. That works for Sam Jackson – he knows just how to string it – but here it’s just annoying. He says other stuff but I kept wasting my time trying to look to the right far enough to shoot him.
House of the Dead is a rail shooter, which means it’s kinda like being strapped into a carnival ride and then moved around to shoot the encrouching baddies before they relentlessly take you down. You can play with a friend and the minigames (protect innocents, rack up kills, etc.,) are genuinely fun.
Did I mention the scantily clad busty nurse zombies? Also clowns but I don’t want to talk about that. There’s some partial nudity (buttocks, horrifying hanging boobs on a boss, that sort of thing) but to be honest, I had to go back into the game to find a lot of instances of it.
Normally I don’t care about language but the bloody mess combined with stupid profanity just seems stupid and wrong (no, you can’t shut him up). The game actually holds the Guiness Book of World records for using the F word 189 times. It’s not much of an achievement really.
For a kid steeped in horror movies and bad language, this is harmless stuff. I leave it to parents to decide if horror and gore are appropriate and they need to ask themselves, do they want to hear “MF” all the time? I mean, even when Rap isn’t playing? All these forces come together into a perfect storm of offensiveness, stupidity, zombies and gore. Sorry kids: M-Mature on this one.
It’s also a really, really good rail shooter.
(Want a pistol, rather than the Wii Zapper get a Nyco Perfect Shot. Much less awkward, lots more fun.)