Wow Entertainment

The House of the Dead III

What can I say, is it exactly like House of the Dead 2. In my opinion, (YES!), but House of the Dead 2 was also one of the best mindless shooters ever (even if the system it was on was dead before it even came out). I mean come on, you know you have this horrible day at work or at school (or your crazy girlfriend just drives you insane), and all you want to do is just shoot something in the face. Enter The House of the Dead series. You can just go home, put it in and just kill away. How many games actually give you the freedom of blowing things to all hell and not feel dirty for doing it (manhunt is a dirty, dirty game)? The only problem with games in this genre is that they are over way too fast and this one isn't out to break new ground by destroying that conception! I beat the original one for Dreamcast in about 15 minutes, and after playing the new House of the Dead 3 for only one night, I was able to beat it with an A ranking and a completion time of 26 minutes (that's sad). Nevertheless, the game gives you everything you would expect from mindless death and destruction. Now it's time for the review.


The graphics for this type of game are actually astounding, and totally blow the Time Crisis series graphics out of the water. There's more blood flowing than any Friday the Thirteenth, and by the end I swear you have fired off more rounds than any John Woo film could ever hope of having (Hard Boiled anyone?). The game is filled with some really good lens flares that are not overdone (the graphics are here only to satisfy, not to distract). Attention to detail is extremely high; you shoot a bad guy in the leg and he crumples over favoring that leg. You shoot him in the arm and he'll instinctively clutch at it you. Shoot him in the face...and well we've all seen Night of the Living Dead, and we know what happens. They die, and die for good. On the whole, I would pay the 20-dollar admission price for this game just for the graphics.


The gameplay for this title isn't about breaking new ground. It actually isn't about breaking anything; it's about simplifying things. This game does it very well, and you never feel constrained at all unless you like to yell and scream at cheap hits that you definitely could've avoided if you had faster fingers! What the game comes down to is using two buttons: one to shoot, and one to reload. The buttons are mirrored to the back of the controller as well just in case you like to fire with your thumb and reload on the backside with your pointer. It's very intuitive and easy. Once you set up your crosshair a tad faster, you can control it with ease with either the d-pad or the analog stick (I personally find it a lot easier and enjoyable to play HOTD III with a controller rather than the Mad Catz light gun). After all is said and done though, it comes down to response and that's what this game is all about. When you shoot, the game shoots with no lag whatsoever. If it works don't fix it!


If you play this game for more than twenty minutes, you're going to have gunshots going off in your ears for at least an hour after turning it off! The main downfall of this game is the easily forgettable tunes. With no option for custom soundtracks, the music is nothing more than annoying (but who listens to music when their shooting the living dead?). Basically, HOTD 3's major downfall is the music, but only the music because the sounds are amazing. It really sounds like a shotgun going off. If the living dead were really walking the earth, I'm almost positive that these screams, grunts, and sounds are the same ones they would be making. Another problem that I must address is the voice acting. I won't lie to you, it's extremely BAD BAD BAD. Yes, I had to type it three times just so you would know it's like a really bad movie (REALLY REALLY BAD). Maybe that's what they were going for - that whole bad horror movie dialog. I doubt it though. I think the producers of the game just used their cousins for the voices. Maybe the cousins used were coming off a three day bender and had speech impediments but still thought it might be a good idea to do some voice acting !! It's that bad. If you want gunshots and screams look no further. If you want a kickass soundtrack go somewhere else, like...I don't know, Sega CD's Kriss Kross Make My Video.

Replay Value

You beat the game once and you unlock House of the Dead 2. If you already played that one to death (no pun intended), then it won't really mean much. However, it is really a nice inclusion I must add. Another feature that I wish was added was more weapons. You start the game with a shotgun, and you end the game with a shotgun. I wish there were more unlockable guns, but sadly there aren't. Aside from the fact that you can get extra continues and extra points added to your score, there isn't much. I must say that the multiplayer is a blast. One player can concentrate on fire, and another on enemies. It works, but it's not an extra so it doesn't really count (unless you can convince the significant other to play with you). After you've played the Survival mode to death (once again no pun), then you can play Time Attack. This is where the difficulty really steps up, but once again no real extras. As far as replay and extras it's pretty limited. This is HOTD 3's achilles heel (especially for a game of this type). The one thing that is pretty cool is that depending on actions taken in the levels, you can branch off and see parts of the stages you wouldn't normally see. I must admit, after going through the game at least 10 times I still haven't seen everything. It still is more of the same, so I don't think it should get extra credit for it, but it is nice. Aside from that, replay is almost nil.

Bottom Line:

If you like to kill poor defenseless sprites like they stole your girlfriend or your bike, then this is the game for you. If you prefer more depth to your games, then this game may not be for you. Otherwise, unless you're like me (I'm a sucker for these kind of games because of their simple mindless fun), this game will fall under the "rent me" category. Unless you don't mind working two hours at your job for a twenty dollar game (assuming you make at least 10 dollars an hour), I would personally suggest this game a buy just for adding to your collection. It is fun with two people, but if you're hesitant, rent it. It's a good game to waste a drunken Friday on.

Related Links:

Official Sega Website

-Kohl Campbell