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House of The Dead 4 (PS3) Review

/ Jul 7th, 2012 No Comments

House of the Dead 4 (PS3) Review

House of the Dead 4 (PS3) Review

House of the Dead 4 (PS3) Review

On April 17th House of the Dead 4 was released on PSN to give rail shooters a representative on the PlayStation Network. This title was released originally as an arcade shooter back in 2005 which was a prelude to House of the Dead 3. This story follows James and Kate trying to take down Goldmen, the evil mastermind behind the zombie madness. It takes you though a ravaged world, war-torn by killer robots, swamp monsters, zombies, ghouls and goblins. What makes this title different from the arcade launch is the SP mode at the end of the title.

Story

House of the Dead 4 starts off in a sewer system with James and Kate, returning characters from previous titles. It pits them against an undead army of zombies, monsters and other creatures. As James and Kate blast though the legions of monsters you find out that they are looking for the source of outbreak. If this seems like you have heard it before it’s because you have because this has been the HOTD premise since the first House of the Dead. Once again, you are going to find yourself looking for Goldmen, the man who started it all which at this point has become very predictable. The story does little to offer anything new and you really don’t get much for story nor does it seem like they really have tried to give us an improved story.

Graphics

House of the Dead 4 in HD

House of the Dead 4 in HD

House of the Dead 4 doesn’t not look bad at all, since this is the HD remake of the title it buffs the graphics nicely. The backgrounds, on the other hand, looks like it was a major piece of the artwork that went totally forgotten as much of the artistic time was spent working on the character models. Unfortunately, this is bad because you get to see all these nicely done characters against a lackluster backdrop. As for the enemies, they do come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You get the large enemies that knock you back and throw objects and you get the smaller enemies that are going to jump and you and attach them to you. But when it comes to boss monsters, House of the Dead does get the fear across whether they are small or super-sized. I do have an issue with the characters as when they begin to talk, they do tend to move their mouths when they are not speaking and the lip sync is off in general, but hey, it’s a Japanese translation so we can forgive this small detail.

Audio

When moving on from the visual to the audio side of the game, like most Japanese ported games I have played, I tend to realize they have a techno-pop soundtrack. You really lose track of the music in the middle of the chapters when you play because it gets drowned out by all the shooting that is going on. After all you do have a machine pistol which actually seems to be an assault rifle when fired. I really don’t think they could have made the gun any louder, accompanied by all the moaning and groaning which all sounds the same from the ghouls and monsters trying to kill you. We only get three talking characters thoughout the main story and James, Kate and Goldmen don’t offer very much emotion… ever. The music does pick up towards the end of the chapters when it gives you an upbeat tempo tune congratulating you on your success. When you complete a chapter you do get a one-liner about how you did, giving gamers a letter grade based on level performance.

Game Play

HoTD4

HoTD4

A drawback with HOTD4 is that I can’t see someone being accurate when you are firing off a “machine pistol” with a 30 round clip. I just don’t see that happening, but the game play does suffer from the firepower you are given. I wish I could say the machine pistol is a nice additive to the series, but when you are trying to get a high score (when it take into account your accuracy) it does become a problem. This new mechanic also reduces the horror factor, which really isn’t there until you fight a boss. Sure, they throw 15 monsters at you, but who cares since you have a machine pistol and all you have to do is pray and spray and 90% of the time zombies don’t even get close.

If you are feeling like there are just too many zombies, don’t worry, you also get three grenades to help you along the way. I did notice a lot of the enemies you encounter feel familiar dating back to House of the Dead 2, but this game offers a change of clothes for them. Nevertheless, it does have replay value, as you can unlock hard and super hard modes, which frankly doesn’t offer a big difference, but you also get House of the Dead 4 SP, which does bring G into the picture to help Kate along. This mode offers two extra levels and 3 endings to the game. But all this does come at a price, and that is the use of the PlayStation Move. Sony thought this would be a huge hit, but never really has gotten great game to go along with it. I though House of the Dead 4 would have been the perfect game to go along with PlayStation Move, yet I was wrong because you have to endure the horrible reload system with the Move. Instead of using the button reload method, you need to shake the Move controller to get it to reload, which throws your accuracy into the thrash.

Overall

Overall, this is a good HD remake of a classic series but has no shortage of disappointing moments. You get the feel of a arcade rail shooter even though it is plagued by the PlayStation Move’s lack of control and awkward reload system. Even though this title only offers about 45 mins or so of game play, there is some decent (but not amazing) replay value. If you are a fan of the series you will be happy with this HD remake, but if you are looking to play a rail shooter you might want to look into a different title.

Final Word: Characters got the HD remake, story is predicable, audio is loud when it comes to guns and monsters but you do lose the soundtrack which does not fit the title.

Overall Ratings – House of the Dead 4 HD (PS3)

Story:

6/10

Graphics:

8/10

Sound:

7/10

Game Play:

7/10

OVERALL SCORE:

70%

Victor Chavez

Victor Chavez

Victor Chavez has been gaming for 20+ years and has loved every minute of it and couldn't ask for anything better in life. He encourages readers to hit him up via Twitter to discuss anything about the gaming industry - he's always willing to hear what others have to say.
Victor Chavez

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