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House of the Dead 2

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Released: 1999

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Wow Entertainment

Submitted by: James Holian

House of the Dead 2 is in my opinion, the best light gun game available on a home console. It's also one of the hardest. Even on the easiest setting with maximum health and credits, blasting your way through is no small feat. Most enemies can sustain multiple shots, and dealing with several of them at once while not getting cut or bitten or tackled or whatever will challenge all but the fastest trigger fingers. For even more of a challenge, just try nailing all of those agonizingly evasive bonus items that appear when you shoot barrels, crates, etc. Also the numerous branching pathways along the journey through the level leads to a higher replay value. The graphical level of the game is one of the best on the Dreamcast. Even nine years on it still shows it's graphical superiority just as Soul Calibur does and has recently been re-released along with the sequel on the Wii.

The Story Mode remains from the Arcade to Console conversion as well as the option for multiple players to participate. In addition there are three exclusive modes of gameplay. Training Mode offers an introduction to the game's mechanics to hone your skills and prepare for the story mode. Boss-Attack Mode is a race against time to defeat every boss in the game. An Original Mode offering the option to select from a number of items to aid you or to begin with fewer or none for more experienced players.

The game's controls may seem intimidating at first and is harder without the gun, unfortunately the light gun will not work on some newer TV’s. I would suggest purchasing Mad Catz's Dream Blaster if you can‘t find the official one. I would also recommend a second gun as well. Especially if you want to do any John Woo type duel weilding!

Sega's House of Dead 2 is certainly a masterpiece for the light-gun genre athough it may not be for everyone, if you want to have that home arcade experience, this game is a must.