Wii Review: The House of the Dead: Over ‘F-in’ Kill

Duckhunt with the Nintendo Zapper was cute. Zombies with the Wii-mote… F-in Awesome! We’ve come a long way from the grey and red NES Zapper era.  Why the cussing? keep reading…

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PUBLISHER: Sega
DEVELOPER: Headstrong Games
GENRE(S): Light Gun, First-Person Shooter
PLAYERS: 2
ESRB RATING: M (Mature)
RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2009
PEREZSTART RATING: 9/10

Ingredients for House of the Dead: Overkill = Planet Terror with some ‘Psycho’, add ¼ Total Recall and a generous amount Eddie Murphy’s Raw.

hotd_overkill_zombie_trainThe characters of HOTD:Overkill, Agent G and Isaac Washington, are looking for Papa Caesar, the murderer of Washington’s father and the story continues from there.  The cutscenes are not the best of graphics (Wii at fault) but Headstrong games did the most they could and made it enjoyable.  House of the Dead: Overkill is one of the first REAL First Person Shooters thanks to the Wii-gun accessory.

The Overkill gameplay is fantastic and fun.  Shooting Zombies, err, Mutants is why the House of the Dead series is as successful as it is.  The game is loaded with F bombs and if your sensitive to cussing, this game would make your ears bleed.  If you’re still reading this, then good, it your numb to “foul language”.  The controls are pretty simple using the Wii-mote.  Onscreen aiming can be a bit confusing during two player mode, so make note of the two distinguished crosshairs.  Player one will have one ring trailed by a red light, player two with double rings and a blue light.  The “B” button acts like a trigger to shoot as you point at the screen, and the “A” button is your reload button.  Although you can also reload by firing the “B” button when prompted, strategic reloading helps keep your clip full.  In the beginning of the game, you will find that you are primarily using the Wii-mote and not the Wii-nunchuck, until you purchase additional weapons or pick up grenades.  Once you get either of those, you’ll use the “Z” button for swapping guns and the “C” button to throw grenades.

hotd_overkill_carnival-boss1Navigation does not exists, and it shouldn’t. Overkill is a rail shooter game, which means the game follows a specific route.  So as you are guided through each room, road, and staircase your movement is pre-determined.  Like previous House of the Dead’s your main mission is to shoot, and not worry about where the Mutants are coming from.  It also adds to the fear of the game, since the navigation and camera angles allow the Mutants to pop on the screen with very little room between you and them.  F-in scary!

Bosses at the end of each mission, aren’t challenging enough.  I wish it would’ve been tougher, but you’re told where to attack the boss by his weakpoints (red circles on target).  After each level, you earn money that can then be used to purchase more weapons and upgrade existing ones with faster reload times, less recoil etc.  The best weapon by far is the automatic shotgun, bigger crosshair helps too!

Pros
Wii-mote shooter
Grainy 70’s Grindhouse look
Upgradeable/Unlockable weapons
Soundtracks

Cons
Bosses too easy
Cussing is unnecessary

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If you’ve been looking for a reason to power up your Wii, and you like a good point-and-shoot game, Overkill’s a good purchase. Reminding me of Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Blood or Gore’ “Planet Terror” made this game a must have for any Grindhouse fan.  I’ve been hesitant to try any shooter games based on accuracy but Overkill’s calibration menu has assured me that it’s my shaky hands, and not the sensor, which is the problem.

PerezStart Rating – 9/10

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