House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return


If there’s one lightgun series I’ve always loved, it’s the House of the Dead series. For me, Sega seem to hit the nail on the head every time in terms of completely over-the-top zombie blasting action. The first, despite being pretty dated now, thrust the lightgun wielding player into a zombie infested environment, complete with secret routes through levels and bosses on an epic scale unlike anything ever seen in a lightgun game. HOTD’s 2 and 3 have built on this each time. Bigger and better zombies, more secrets, more elaborate bosses. Bearing all that in mind, what’s not to like about the two best in the series, HOTD 2 and 3 packaged into one nice budget disc?

The games are both absolutely unchanged. Well done Sega. HOTD 2 is just as fun and as badly acted as it was on the Dreamcast back in 1999, and HOTD 3 is exactly as trigger happy as it always was. Bearing in mind the Wii’s primary control scheme is essentially a lightgun (I speak of course of the Wii Remote and its pointer functionality), the package seems to fit perfectly onto the Wii.

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Well, for a few hours or so. Whilst the games are replicated absolutely perfectly, Sega have neglected to bundle anything at all else onto the disc. Yes, you are getting two games in one, but you are getting games that are 10 and 6 years old respectively. Considering that, although fun, the games are starting to show their age, one wonders if Sega would have done a bit better to up the ante a bit with this release.

If you’ve never played the games before then it’s a good purchase. HOTD 2 focuses on 2 agents heading through a city based on Venice to get to the head of an evil corporation, headed by zombie fanatic Goldman. The game boasts one of the most awful scripts of any game I’ve ever played, but in a uniquely charming sense, and is absolutely hilarious if you happen to be a bit tipsy and have some mates around. The game itself is excellent, the guns you use are your basic pistols throughout the whole game, so you will need to be very precise with the shots you take. It’s also the harder of the two games; some of the bosses, particularly the latter are hugely complicated to the point of being impossible.

HOTD 3 is a much easier, and I would say family-friendly lightgun game (well, as friendly as zombies can be really). The agents in this sequel use shotguns, and you get a much bigger blast radius on your shots, making many of the enemies easier to kill. However, it’s not all easier, as some of the enemies have been made bigger and badder than ever before. Cue even more silly script, and some truly excellent boss battles.

And unfortunately, that’s it. If you’ve played these two before then you will literally know exactly what to expect. I would only advise getting on the “return” train if you love the series so much that you plan to play it on a regular basis for a budget price, or if you’ve never played the series before. It’s good with a friend as well, but there are only the two games, and there are only so many times they can be played through before they get stale.

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HOTD 2 and 3 Return is a nice little package from Sega but it definitely could have used some more content. Maybe we’ll get a huge HOTD bumper pack one day or something, with all of the series, including the brand new “Overkill”. That would go down better than the saliva on a zombie’s chin. You listenin’ Sega?


Hi-Score – Games are exactly the same as you remember them, good multiplayer, budget price

Lo-Score – Not nearly enough content, no extras or anything, not a lot of longevity.

Final Score – 6 out of 10

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