The Joy of Gaming with jfe2

Posted on Nov 5th 2009 at 06:47:38 AM by (jfe2)
Posted under House of the Dead 4, zombies, arcade

I recently went to the movie theater with my wife, my sister, and her boyfriend to check out the much hyped Paranormal Activity. We were going on a Saturday, so I knew that it was going to be packed. I didn't want to risk sitting in the front row, straining my neck to see what the hell was happening on the giant screen five feet from my face, so we resolved to get there about an hour early... which I guess wasn't early enough, seeing as the showing we were aiming for was sold out. We picked up tickets for the next showing that was like two hours from then, and went to go sit in line.

My wife and sister were pissed... My sister's boyfriend and I, on the other hand, knew that we would be fine, since the movie theater we were at had a great selection of arcade games to hold us over!

The first thing I saw when I walked into the arcade room nearly brought me to tears of joy. It was a House of the Dead 4 cabinet. I've been a huge House of the Dead, and rail shooter in general, fan for a long time, and have probably pumped more quarters into HOTD cabinets than any other, but I had never seen an actual House of the Dead 4 cabinet in person anywhere before. Needless to say, we cashed in some dollar bills, filled our pockets with quarters, and started 'sploding some zombie heads.

The first thing that I noticed about this game was the awesome light gun. It is a big orange uzi that has some nice weight to it. The gun fires automatically, which is great considering how many zombies the game throws at you, and reloads as most light gun games do, by firing off-screen. There is a small button on the side of the gun that tosses grenades, which you have a limited supply of.

House of the Dead has never really been known for its story, and the its the same old song and dance here. You play as some government agents or something, who are investigating an underground lab when they suddenly find the evidence they need, use it to prosecute the mad scientist they are looking for, and go home safely to their loving families...

No, actually they are attacked by zombies. Wouldn't that be something though? Nobody would have expected that from a game called House of the Dead 4. Sega should have thrown us the curve ball in my opinion.

This game throws TONS of zombies at you. Like, a million zombies. Maybe more than that. It's insane, but luckily you have a few cool tools at your disposal. If a zombie grabs hold of you, you can shake the gun up and down like a Wii-mote to throw them off. This tactic is even used in some boss fights, and makes for some rather tense situations. You can also be pushed down to the ground by enemies, which makes situations where you are being attacked by multiple enemies even more intense. You can also toss grenades at groups of enemies to help thin out some of larger zombie crowds.

The enemies consist of your usual HOTD suspects, including normal zombies, big zombies, jumpy annoying zombies, projectile tossing zombies, weird swamp monstery zombies, flying bat creatures, and those annoying leech things. All pretty run of the mill stuff, but the game really shines during the boss fights. Now THESE are some bosses.

The bosses range from a giant, four-armed, Goro looking zombie that chases you through a sewer system, to a badass ghoul that assaults you in a train with a gigantic dual-sided chainsaw. There is even the token giant spider, which chases you up an elevator shaft! These guys really make the whole experience what it is. You feel a real sense of dread while fighting these guys, especially since its your quarters at stake!

There are plenty of power-ups to be had, which can be found by shooting at secret areas throughout the stages. The setting of these stages changed up enough to keep me interested, and I never really get bored of my surroundings. The game even lets you choose your path at certain points, which should make for some interesting replay value if I ever get the chance to play it again.

We made it to the end of stage four on our play through, where we were killed by an obese titan of a zombie boss, that rolled into a ball to mush us into goo. Between the two of us, we probably spent at least $25 on the game, and really couldn't justify spending much more. It's not that we didn't want to, but as fun as the game was, we didn't want to empty our wallets on it.

The true fun-factor of this game comes from the overall experience. It literally takes you on a ride through various levels, ranging from an underground lab to a European city in ruins. The hordes of zombies popping out from everywhere, the terrifyingly huge bosses, and the camaraderie you feel with your fellow zombie hunter, all while frantically pumping quarters into the coin slot, sum up to create an exciting and unique experience.

House of the Dead 4 is such great interactive experience, and you owe yourself to try it out if you ever get the chance!

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Sounds awesome.
Unfortunately the few decent arcades i knew of in my area have closed. The only other places are Walmarts and Movie theaters which pretty much have the same selection.
Some Cabella game and some racing game. :-/
Ah, man, I don't know how much money I've spent on House of the Dead machines over the years.  I remember when House of the Dead 3 first came out in the United States, my brother and I managed to play through it at a Dave & Buster's in Atlanta, GA.  I have no idea how much money we spent, but we beat that game that very night.

I got home and discovered none of my friends even knew it was in arcades yet.  That was a good feeling.
Excellent post - very informative, entertaining and well written.  Very nice job!

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I'm a 23 year old husband, father, and gamer. This blog is an outlet for all of the random gaming thoughts that I have, and will also allow me to express how gaming impacts my life. And yes, the blog's title is a Bob Ross reference... That'll be our little secret.
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