Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles was good fun, but this is what we call a proper zombie shooter. Forget the stiff, wooden monsters in Resi, these guys are like homicidal street drinkers - they're angry and they want you dead.
We've always been fans of House Of The Dead. It's undoubtedly one of the most satisfying and fast-paced shooters in the arcades, and this package gives you the two best episodes in the series.
The good news for lovers of the original is that the Wii version works perfectly. Sega has slapped in a pointer calibration option, as they did in Ghost Squad, so it has no problems reproducing the exact same experience as its coin-guzzling counterparts. And it's still one of the best shooters out there.
Shoot To Kill
RE: UC lacked impact; there was no real sense of power. HotD has it right from the start though. Your shots tear through zombies, ripping holes in them and tearing off limbs as they approach. You can actually see through the gaping wounds you blow into those fat zombies that try throwing barrels at you!
These dudes aren't slow-moving idiots; they're serious killers. Crazy chainsaw blokes burst through doors and sprint at you like crazed madmen. Ninja zombie dudes flick around your screen, bouncing off walls, before lobbing knives your way. It's fast, frantic and lots of fun - the way an on-rails arcade shooter should be.
But what if, like us, you've already played the arcade versions (or any of the numerous previous console conversions) to death? What's new? The simple answer is: not a lot. The graphics remain unchanged, which isn't so bad with HotD 3, but the Dreamcast-age graphics of HotD 2 look really dated now. There are, however, a few additions to the Wii version.
When you first turn on the game you'll find the arcade modes for both games, with newly-added tutorials (just in case you're unsure how pointing and shooting works) and a handy Boss Attack mode which, apart from giving you an extra challenge, allows you to practice boss fights without having to trawl through the relevant levels.
Blast your way through both arcade modes (which is no easy feat) and you get a new Wii-exclusive Extreme mode in HotD 3 as well, which makes some cool alterations to the gameplay.
To start with, it's even harder. Enemies move faster and the spread of your standard shotgun is downgraded to the pistol-like pinpoint shooting of HotD 2. On the flip side, you reload quicker and, best of all, have a new Guard Attack.
Performed with the A button, the Guard Attack is not only a powerful melee strike but it can also block enemy attacks. It's brilliant, but mastering the timing isn't easy, particularly in boss fights.
It's not exactly ground-breaking stuff but it does give you an excuse to play it through again. But then, for fans of the game, it doesn't need to be. The thing with this game is that you know what you're getting - a classic shooter. It's still great fun today, and although it looks a little dated, fans won't care. On the other hand it is one of many ports that plague the Wii library, and as much fun as it is, we'd all surely prefer developers to spend their time making new games for the console, not porting old ones.