Saturday, February 21, 2009

N00b Reviews: House of the Dead 4 - Overkill

I have always been a huge fan of the Time Crisis gun-controller games that you occasionally see in arcades. Knowing this, my dude picked up a copy of House of the Dead IV: Overkill for the Wii so that we could go all 2-P on its ass.

And, both of us being huge dorks, we sat down and played entirely through the game in one sitting on its normal setting. (Also available with Extra Monsters.)

Overkill... is the best way to describe it. I mean, even besides the shoot-em-up that I was expecting. The characters are flat and their motivations are nonexistant and the plot is pretty much non-existant. If you've ever played an arcade shooter, you know the deal. There are zombies/mutants, you shoot at them, eventually there's a boss, repeat for 6-8 stages. There's some obligatory overarching plotline but no one really cares too much about it, it's just there to connect The Hospital Stage to The Carnival Stage to The End Boss Stage.

I totally expected violence. But since this is a home console game, the gratuitous NSFW WTF factor is very high. The atmosphere recalls Grindhouse meets Pulp Fiction with a twist of Rob Zombie, blended and garnished with a little Six-String Samurai. The two main characters are Buddy Cop-ish stereotypes, and the black one is a blatant homage to Samuel L's Jules.

And..... oh, the misogyny.

It was so bad, I kind of wanted to quit the game after the second or third stage. It was like having cocks in my face, that's how bad it was.

But I put up with it, because the gameplay was pretty much awesome. The Wiimote was meant for point-n-shoot. And at the end, I found myself nearly comatose with laughter when, as the main chars are riding off into the sunset, one of them mentions to the other that the whole game was an "indictment of feminism"... "Us two dick cop stereotypes just shot up a puking mother... there's very limited interpretations of that."

The self-commentary was too much. Hilarious.

If you are an adult who can deal with horrifically offensive content in the pursuit of gratuitous video game violence (or a 14-18 year old date-rapist in the making), you'll probably enjoy this game. I can only imagine Jack Thompson's seizures, and so it makes me giggle a little bit. Your mileage may vary.

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