There is a House of the Dead remake on the Switch. I’m a little conflicted about it. I like how it looks, but I’m not a fan of the controls.
I’m a big House of the Dead fan! I love all rail shooters, but House of the dead holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t discover it in the arcades, though. I found it on the Dreamcast.
Over the years, I’ve played many games similar to it, but none of them recaptured the feeling I got from blasting chunks off the zombies in House of the Dead! Well, maybe CarnEvil did, but that is pretty obscure.
The last House of the Dead game I played was Overkill on the Wii. That one was awesome! The Wii controller seems to work the best because light guns don’t work on the flat TVs (I know that there are mods). It recreated the feeling of holding a light gun and shooting a bunch of pixels.
Let’s go over the remake, and I’ll explain what I do and what I don’t like about it.
TLDR: I love that House of the Dead is back, but it needs a gun controller.
This rail shooter works perfectly as an arcade game with a light gun! You don’t control the movement of your character. The game guides you on a path toward different packs of enemies or other hazards.
There are a bunch of games that do this well. Including other House of the Dead games. This game does that format very well, and it would be perfect if the controls were better.
These games work best to have a light gun or a gun-style controller. I’m not sure why that was so hard here. The joycons should work the same way a Wii controller does. For whatever reason, the developer didn’t do this.
Instead, you have to move the cursor around with the left analog stick. Then to fire, you have to press a button on the right joycon. I have no idea why they thought this was a good idea.
At first, I thought I could change the controls to work with one joy-con. That doesn’t seem to be an option. Oh, and the menu screen for changing the controls around is horrific! It makes no god damn sense!
As far as I can tell, you have unlimited continues. This is great for an arcade game like this. I wouldn’t say I liked it when the game only gave you three continues. That just never made sense. If you had unlimited quarters at the arcade, you could play forever!
I like the way the game looks. I think the graphics are good, the cutscenes are nice, and the dialogue has the right amount of cheese that you would expect from this game.
I like what they did with the zombies and other monsters in the game. They looked good, and they kept the whole blowing chunks off of them. It feels like it belongs in the House of the Dead series.
The setting is fantastic! Wandering through a creepy old mansion is always good. The lighting is dark enough to make things feel scary but not so dark that you can’t tell what is happening.
As you go deeper into the mansion and reach the lab, it looks cool. One weird thing with games like this I always wonder how your character chooses the right door to go in.
You kind of have to if you want to figure out the controls. Usually, I would play games like this to death. Especially on the Wii and the Dreamcast.
With the remake, I don’t think I would want to play this game again. If they can do something to fix the controls, or if they come out with a gun controller, I would like to come back and play this again.
6.5/10 The controls are what is holding this game back. If they can be fixed or come out with a special controller, the game might move up to a 7.5.
Overall pros and cons
Here is a quick list of the Pros and Cons of this game.
- The graphics are good
- There aren’t too many shooters like this on the market
- It’s a new House of the Dead game, which is great!
- The controls are bad
- You need two joycons to play the game
- The explanation screen of what the buttons do is mind-numbingly awful
- It’s hard to figure out how to change the controls
- As far as I know, there isn’t a gun controller of some sort
I’m pretty disappointed in this game. It’s been a while since I had played a House of the Dead game. The last one I played was Overkill. Since this was a remake, I was hoping for something awesome.
My expectations were probably too high. Granted, I didn’t think they were going to have the control scheme be as bad as it is. It isn’t very clear.
I hope they can patch it or maybe release a gun controller. It would help the game a lot! Hopefully, this isn’t the end of the franchise. At least it’s better than the movie!
Other House of the Dead Games and Unrelated Media
First, let’s talk about the history of the series. I mostly know the games from the console ports, but it’s better known as an arcade game. In some cases, I think it’s better as an arcade game. There is something about having a group gather around someone playing it.
There were a lot of installments in this series. Here is a shortlist of them.
- House of the Dead (1996)
- House of the Dead 2 (1998)
- House of the Dead 3 (2002)
- House of the Dead 4 (2005)
- House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)
- House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (2018)
House of the Dead has a bunch of spinoffs. Overkill is technically a spinoff, but I think it fits with the main story. It just wasn’t an arcade game. You also have Typing of the Dead, English of the Dead, and Zombie Revenge. There are A LOT, and I’m not going to talk about all of them because this post would get way too long.
There are also the two live-action movies that are related to the series. The first one is pretty bad. I haven’t seen the second one. It might be better?
The name House of the Dead was used in several movies and books before the video games. There are two unrelated movies called House of the Dead, one from 1932 and one from 1978. I also found a book from 1862 called House of the Dead and an opera called Return from House of the Dead from 1930.
I wonder what will be next and if I missed anything?