Man do I love a good action game. There have only been a few light-gun shooter games that I really thought filled my action packed taste, and House of the Dead 2 is the latest addition to my very short list. Even popular shooters like Time Crisis 2 haven't given me as much fun as this game. When I first walked into the arcade, I was attracted instantly. Just watching the demo of it made me drool all over the buttons, or at least get pretty close to.
The graphics are the best of any shooter you can find in the arcades. Zombie's move and attack with immense realism, and act how a real person (or zombie) would when being shot in the gut or leg. What makes this game so graphically attractive, in my opinion, is the huge amount of blood and gore, no other game has ever been this violently graphic. Shooting a monster in the limb will most of the time completely blow it off, and shooting them in the torso will blow out a chunk of it leaving behind big bloody hole, or at least blow a little chunk of meat off. I was completely amazed the first time I shot a zombie in the chest and noticed the bones of its shattered rib cage just hanging there. The environments are very dark and murky, adding to the feeling of horror and fear.
The light-gun is dead on with its targets. If you missed a zombie by so few inches, then your aim was really off (in other words, it was your fault and not the guns). This is very good because hitting innocents bystanders costs you life. One feature I like in this game is the multiple pathways. If you save a bystander, they usually ask you to help them or give you information which changes the path you take. If you don't save them, you continue on the same path you were going. Playing the two-player mode is where this game really heats up. Its a blast playing with your friend, making your own little strategies. Also, when two people are playing it means more zombies, more zombies mean more blood and violence, and more blood and violence leads to a greater amount of fun. Again, that is my opinion (and hopefully yours too).
The sound is great, but has one low point. The gun shots ring loud and clear, and the music is very dark and spooky, which is great and adds to the eerie environment. But its the horrible voice acting which lowers this game's sound quality. The bystanders sound like there isn't anything happening, like they are having a regular conversation, but actually they are about to be mutilated by a freaky looking zombie! You would think there would be terror in their voice but no, not here. It doesn't hurt the game really, but still something Sega could have easily fixed.
Overall this is the darned best light-gun shooter game I've ever played. Beautiful graphics, great gameplay, and superb music and sound effects make this one of the freakiest, and most disturbing, game you'll ever play. Once the light-gun is released, there is nothing that can stop me from buying the Dreamcast version of House of the Dead 2.
Review By: Sean Lamma