Sega – PS3(via PSN) – Out Now
Sega’s arcade classic, The House of the Dead III is one of the latest titles in a growing (and, in HCF’s opinion, welcome) trend of HD remasters to hit the current gen consoles, and while the content maybe somewhat limited, it doesn’t disappoint. First things first, the transfer is very good. Despite retaining the 4:3 aspect ratio, which a lot of these conversions manage to change to 16:9, the graphics are fantastic and exceptionally clear, and although somewhat dated these days, really shine through. There’s plenty there for the gorehounds too, as the violence can but turned up from mild, to gratuitous!
While there’s not much in the way of a storyline with it being an arcade port, what there is, is presented in that fantastically cheesy B-movie way that Sega seem to do best! The opening prologue sees the protagonists father eventually held captive at the Curien tower. The protagonist in question, Lisa, is assisted by HOTD veteran, agent G to storm the tower and get her father back. As well as this, there are flashbacks of Dr. Curien reasoning as to why he created these monsters in the first place.
The gameplay, in the traditional on the rails, arcade style (would you expect anything else from HOTD?) is great fun, allowing the player to choose either the controller, with a crosshair on screen, or the Move motion controller, giving the game even more of that fantastic lightgun/arcade experience. Add to that, another player can jump in at any time to help you tear down the waves of undead that stand in the way. As fun as the gameplay is, there’s not really a lot of it. In total there is 5 chapters, plus a brief prologue, though having said that, despite the longevity issue, unless the difficulty is set low, it is very challenging indeed. There are a few gameplay modes, albeit all using the same levels, including Survival, Time Attack and Ranked. Survival is a straightforward story mode, allowing you to choose the difficulty, how many lives and continues you have and, depending on if they have already been unlocked, the levels as well.
Time Attack is exactly what it says on the tin, requiring you to get through the levels before the time runs out. Ranked mode is the tough beast to tame on this title. With no continues and only 3 lives, you have to get through the game as best you can with taking as little damage as possible. It is very tough indeed, but once you get used to the enemies patterns and what not to do etc, progression comes a little easier. As mentioned, it’s not the meatiest of games, but there is a lot of replay value to be had, as the Time Attack and Ranked modes become compulsive gaming.
While it’s not the best in the latest run of HD upgrades, it’s certainly one of the better Move titles available, much like the previously released HOTD Overkill Extended Cut, and should prove a treat for the arcade/lightgun enthusiasts. And it’s not too stingy on the trophies either!