Rock Zombie – EnjoyUp Games – Wii U eShop – 1 Player
Rock Zombie is the name of an all-girl, heavy rock band, and in the middle of one of their shows, the audience suddenly turns into the undead. Luckily for the band, they also happen to be witches, so armed with their instruments and magic powers, they try to escape the horde. Presented in the old arcade style of the side scrolling beat-em up, Rock Zombie looks like it came straight from the Sega Dreamcast. Fans of Sega’s ill fated machine will feel right at home with this gory arcade brawler.
The gameplay is straight forward arcade action. Go from left to right, killing all monsters in sight to progress, and the zombies are quite funny and remind me of the ones from Dead Rising in their movements. You play as one of three gratuitously dressed characters, Zoe, Sasha and Crystal, each with their own abilities and attributes, meaning one of them may be physically stronger than the other, but would take more damage etc. By progressing through the game you can unlock new costumes for your characters which increases your characters attributes as well new instruments (weapons), which are obtained by collecting coins for use in the extras menu. The character models are very basic and although probably supposed to be quite gothic looking and sexy, see previous Dreamcast statement. There’s health and magic pick ups in the shape of records and cassette tapes dotted around. In addition to the brawling, there’s vehicles thrown in, too. There’s not much to these stages really. The only thing you control is the left to right movement, as it’s from a third person perspective, and you have to dodge obstacles while trying to plough down as many zombies as you can.
What story there is to the game, is presented in the style of a comic strip, which can be read again from the options menu, if desired. The game has three difficulty modes, Easy, Normal and 1990’s Arcade. Easy mode speaks for itself, but Normal, while having a steep difficulty curve, gives you infinite continues. 1990’s mode however, keeps things strictly old school, in that once you’ve used your lives and continues, it’s game over. The one thing this game is missing is multiplayer. If there’s one thing that defines this genre, it’s being able to brawl through the streets with a friend, but this is sadly lacking. Granted, the vehicular levels would make multiplayer somewhat difficult to shoehorn in, but the standard side scrolling levels do feel a little empty without a companion to turn the ambling undead in to mulch with. If it was anything other than an indie game it would probably be panned but as it’s only a few quid on the eShop, it’s definitely worth a go if any of this piques your interest. It has an old school charm that will likely appeal to retro gaming fans or those with fond memories of the Dreamcast.