Everyone says the Wii didn’t get many great third-party games. Well, that's probably true. But it did get The House of the Dead: Overkill so, y'know, who cares? Years after its release, the game still sits near my TV in case I feel the need for another goregasm or two.
Hey, I’m not being crude there. ‘Goregasm’ is the name given to the moment you max out your combo meter. You see, while concensus seems to be that the game itself isn’t so great to play, I would disagree. Selecting your favoured weapon and upgrading it to a mega-spec is rewarded with a solid hi-score game, just so long as you strive for perfection.
Miss a shot and your combo is reset. Keep it going and the announcer gets increasingly excited until you hit goregasm and then it’s like riding the crest of a wave. Erm… so to speak. But anyway. The superb Wii-mote control and decent score system aren’t the real reason I still play the game, nor the reason you should, necessarily. That’s all just the glue that cements one of the most brilliant productions of the generation.
The best thing about this ‘brilliant’ production is that it’s deliberately bad. I know everyone uses this one example, but the deliberate continuity error when Jasper Guns gets his glasses knocked off by the villainous Papa Ceasar (who has definitely 'gone too far' as Jasper tells him) only for them to be back on his face in the very next shot is just inspired.
It’s a send-up of every low-quality grindhouse movie and you don’t even need to be a grindhouse fan to appreciate the tropes.
But if I could take just one thing away from The House of the Dead: Overkill, it would be the dialogue. The two leading men have characters that are pretty much polar opposites. One is quiet, calculated, and enigmatic. The other is a funked-up, foul-mouthed, manicured brother. And he's just so quotable. "Shit man, that ain't right," is a favourite, as is: "What does a brother have to do to pacify a bitch?" And whenever I’m in a supermarket and can’t see my girlfriend, I send her the following text:
Fortunately, she’s a fan of the game too, otherwise she'd probably take significant offence.
Overkill is all about the banter between G and Washington for me. It's not really about the gore (which is just loads of red, really) and the swears are so extreme and so frequent, they lose their impact immediately. They actually add up to an ironic realisation at the end of the game, which I won’t spoil for you here.
The scenes with Jasper, the witch/phone, the ice cream truck, and the birds... it’s worth the entry fee alone. Especially as said entry fee is now around $8/£8 if you want to play the game on either PS3 or Wii. And if you have a smartphone, you can check out the recently released The House of the Dead: The Lost Reels for £2.99 or $4.99. But it's the Wii version that I recommend the most. Sure, the animation's clunkier than the mo-capped PS3 game, but that just adds to its charm. A stone-cold classic.
So forget what you think you like or don't like about on-rails shooters and give this a try. You won't ****ing regret it.
Looking for stuff to play outside of the stuff we already tell you to play on a daily basis? You're in luck! Every Saturday we'll recommend an older game for you to check out, complete with a story on how we found the game and why we recommend you play it.