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Ranking the House of the Dead franchise from best to worst

VGEsoterica

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Recently I've been replaying all of Sega's HotD franchise and capturing them, and it really made me 1) remember how big of an impact these games had on me as a kid and 2) made me think how I'd rank them. I played 1 at Great Escape (a theme park in NY) as a kid and fell in love with it, and I got 2 on Dreamcast in 99 when I was 15, so they've played a huge part in my life.

I'd rank them as follows. 2/1/4/Overkill/3. 2 has it all...awesome gameplay, graphics, and music. 1 is a close second as it started the franchise and I remember it fondly, but the Saturn port is sooo bad it's hard to love it as much as the arcade version. 4 is a super fun experience (especially on PS3 with the Move controller) and has some awesome graphics but the flow isn't my favorite. Overkill was super fun (my wife and I played the crap out of it) but tonally it doesnt really FEEL like a HotD game.

3 I never liked. Even on Xbox with a light gun. It was so dark and brown colored and just didn't really have the "fun" or "joy of the rest of the series. But I hear people say it was their favorite so maybe I am just totally wrong lol

I'd be curious to hear what others think? Especially with the remakes of 1 and 2 coming soon. Fingers crossed they are in VR and the rumors are true. Killing zombies in VR would be pretty damn epic
 

VGEsoterica

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If anyone wants to watch. Not self promotion (really just want to talk Hotd), but if its an issue any mod can just remove the link. I've been capturing a metric shit ton of light gun games recently (and repairing some arcade light gun pcb's) so it's been on my mind lol
 

drganon

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Only played the arcade version of 2. I pretty much played it every Sunday at the mall back when it had an arcade.
 
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GobbledeeGoo

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Does typing of the dead count? If so, TOTD2 and TOTD:Overkill were the GOAT. Specifically TOTD2 on the Dreamcast where the characters had Dreamcasts strapped to their backs.
 
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VGEsoterica

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Does typing of the dead count? If so, TOTD2 and TOTD:Overkill were the GOAT. Specifically TOTD2 on the Dreamcast where the characters had Dreamcasts strapped to their backs.

I guess they count? Haha hard to say. Same game different gameplay
 

Danny Dudekisser

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2 was by far the best. I also found 3 disappointing.

I know there was a light gun on Kickstarter that was supposed to work with modern displays... does that thing work on Dreamcast yet? I would kill to be able to play HOTD 2 again on there.
 

VGEsoterica

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2 was by far the best. I also found 3 disappointing.

I know there was a light gun on Kickstarter that was supposed to work with modern displays... does that thing work on Dreamcast yet? I would kill to be able to play HOTD 2 again on there.

There is the Sinden light gun which works with modern displays AND a PC, but nothing that I know of for console / arcade games
 

xpresstuning

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They're remaking the first and the second one? For what platforms?

I liked 2 a lot, didn't like 3. Those are the only couple i've played from that series.
 

dan76

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I'd rank them as 4, 1, 2, 3. I don't count Overkill as it wasn't an arcade game, but I would come last anyhow.

1 and 4 are almost tied at first place, I really love 4 on the PS3, the machine gun, the accuracy, the sheer number of zombies makes it my favourite, I still play it fairly often. I got 1 running on the Model 2 emu with a Dolphin bar and Wiimoate and it's so damn good.

2 is great but I think I've just played it too much on the dreamcast, so I get bored by it now. 3 was a disappointment because it uses a shotgun as the main weapon. You have to play it slightly differently and the graphics are a bit bland, still good though.

I was hoping that we might see a port of Scarlet Dawn on PSVR or something. I guess Teknoparrot will have it working one day. Watching a replay it seems like a turbo version of 4 so I'd probably like it.

As a side note I'd put Sega / Namco's Vampire Night up there, maybe between 1 & 2. Some of the stages are a bit empty but I really like the setting, recscuing the villagers by shooting off their infections, the shop and hidden items. It plays well on the PS2 emulator.
 
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Dane

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HOTD 2 was the Gigachad of the franchise (maximum replay value over its custom new game), 1 is great except for the saturn port, 3 is good, but didn't get me into, I've only played 4 on arcade, its a bit better than 3.
 

VGEsoterica

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They're remaking the first and the second one? For what platforms?

I liked 2 a lot, didn't like 3. Those are the only couple i've played from that series.

I don't know its been announced yet outside of "no platforms announced yet"
 

Manus

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What's the best way to play these? Can they be emulated pretty easily?
 

SegaShack

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Recently I've been replaying all of Sega's HotD franchise and capturing them, and it really made me 1) remember how big of an impact these games had on me as a kid and 2) made me think how I'd rank them. I played 1 at Great Escape (a theme park in NY) as a kid and fell in love with it, and I got 2 on Dreamcast in 99 when I was 15, so they've played a huge part in my life.

I'd rank them as follows. 2/1/4/Overkill/3. 2 has it all...awesome gameplay, graphics, and music. 1 is a close second as it started the franchise and I remember it fondly, but the Saturn port is sooo bad it's hard to love it as much as the arcade version. 4 is a super fun experience (especially on PS3 with the Move controller) and has some awesome graphics but the flow isn't my favorite. Overkill was super fun (my wife and I played the crap out of it) but tonally it doesnt really FEEL like a HotD game.

3 I never liked. Even on Xbox with a light gun. It was so dark and brown colored and just didn't really have the "fun" or "joy of the rest of the series. But I hear people say it was their favorite so maybe I am just totally wrong lol

I'd be curious to hear what others think? Especially with the remakes of 1 and 2 coming soon. Fingers crossed they are in VR and the rumors are true. Killing zombies in VR would be pretty damn epic
Funny enough I just subscribed to your channel last week! Love light gun games and have recently been on an itch to play some. Glad to see light gun games get some love on youtube. Growing up, Rail Chase 2, HotD 2 and Jurassic Park were huge arcade light gun games for me.
 
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Shakka43

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What's the best way to play these? Can they be emulated pretty easily?
PC if you have a decent enough one. THoTD 2,3 & Overkill you can play through Dolphin emulator, the first one on Sega Model 2 emulator and number 4 through RPCS3.
For 1,2,3 & overkill you can use a wiimote but for the fourth one I don't think the ps3 emulator supports move controllers.
 
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NT80

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Does the Move actually work well as a light gun for 4? I've thought about getting one just for the light gun games on PS3 like Deadstorm Pirates, Time Crisis 4 etc but have been put off by the comments about the move controller not working well.
 

Shakka43

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Does the Move actually work well as a light gun for 4? I've thought about getting one just for the light gun games on PS3 like Deadstorm Pirates, Time Crisis 4 etc but have been put off by the comments about the move controller not working well.
Using it with a gun attachment no, it is passable but not quite as accurate as a light gun would be. If you can find a cheap move controller and camera i would say go for it still.
 

VGEsoterica

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Using it with a gun attachment no, it is passable but not quite as accurate as a light gun would be. If you can find a cheap move controller and camera i would say go for it still.

it’s passable, but not as good as a real gun. But considering cabs are hard to find now it’s the best most will get
 
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Alexios

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2 >> 3 >> 1 >>>>>>>>>> Overkill, I've not had the chance to play any others sadly.

Wii (which is better than)/Move don't cut it, this is the way to play lightgun games with equal accuracy to the real deal, we need more app/emulator improvements and support for such games as many of them have issues or aren't even emulated in the supported RA cores (DC HotD2 is perfect).

The Sinden lightgun is very promising too, with some similar caveats, maybe once it's out if it sells well enough or once EmuVR gets out of beta with an easier and smoother version (or even competing programs) the various still in development emulators will start supporting such games better.
 
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VGEsoterica

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I just want someone to make a hardware based light gun for LCD. I am sitting on a bunch of arcade light gun games I am dying to play on my 4K
 

Northeastmonk

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I wonder if we’ll see Scarlet Dawn on home console? Has anyone finished it? I saw it at Dave & Busters. They’re awesome games. Use to play 1-3 at the arcade and saw 4 a handful times. Own 3/4 and Overkill on PS3. I wish we would have gotten some updated ports.


I like 4 and 3. The guns are awesome in both of those. I love 1 and 2 for their nostalgia. 4 would probably be my favorite. I’m curious about Scarlet Dawn.
 
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dan76

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Does the Move actually work well as a light gun for 4? I've thought about getting one just for the light gun games on PS3 like Deadstorm Pirates, Time Crisis 4 etc but have been put off by the comments about the move controller not working well.
I got a PS3 just for HotD4 and it's well worth it. Deadstorm Pirates is also a really good package. I prefer the Wii to Move as it does occasionally drift, but it's very playable. Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles is also worth getting for either system, but it's a lot slower paced.
 
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I remember playing the first HotD in the arcades. But that's it.

I googled the game and saw various home versions of 1 and 2 with green blood?

Blech. Was that mandatory green? Or you could set the blood to red?
 

RobotXTaisen

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I loved the second game! But I played it on PC :messenger_tears_of_joy: I read somewhere it was possible to play it with some lightgun for PC, outside of mouse.

Sadly I had only a mouse at the time
 
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DT MEDIA

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The Saturn version of House of the Dead caught a lot of flak over the years, but I really enjoyed it. A quick check on Sega Retro states that Sega's arcade HotD team was responsible for the translation, instead of Australian software house Tantalus, who gave us Wipeout, Wipeout XL and Manx TT on Saturn and Looney Tunes: Space Race on Dreamcast. In any case, it's a great game that looks solid on CRT w/composite. The only issue, obviously, are the blocky Minecraft textures, but I think we're long past the point where that should matter to anyone. The gameplay is solid and that's what matters.

HotD2 on Dreamcast is just fantastic, one of the system's highlights. It's a shame that Sega of America panicked in the wake of the Columbine shootings and refused to sell their light gun. If only they knew that Americans simply don't care about their kids being routinely killed in gun massacres...(insert Daria image here)...Fortunately, you can pick up a third-party gun or import one from Japan.

Typing of the Dead is really the best entry in the series, at least if you're a hardcore gamer snob. This is the "indie band that never signed to a major label" that you pull out to prove your street cred. But, seriously, it's great and needs to be brought back. I wish we had this game in junior high school typing class.

I haven't played HotD3, but I'm always looking for the Nintendo Wii compilation disc. I'm sure it's fine. Overkill is terrific fun and probably more worthy of the series than the "official" sequels. Its trash cinema and Tarantino vibe is just smashing good fun. And it definitely earns that "M" rating on the box.

I'm not that thrilled about upcoming sequels. The "classic Sega" is long gone, and this series has creatively stagnated for years. There's only so many ways you can shoot zombies, and what was once a novel twist on the genre now feels a bit tired. I'm hopeful that Sega can come up with some cool or new ideas, and I'll be waiting by the nearby arcade with quarters in hand once Scarlet Dawn is released.
 

Havoc2049

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The House of The Dead 3 on the Xbox is a blast if you have all the right gear, like a large CRT, the shotgun light gun and a regular light gun for The House of The Dead 2 (expanded DC version), which is included with HOD3.
 

VGEsoterica

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The House of The Dead 3 on the Xbox is a blast if you have all the right gear, like a large CRT, the shotgun light gun and a regular light gun for The House of The Dead 2 (expanded DC version), which is included with HOD3.

I’ve been looking for a HotD 3 cab to get some shotgun gameplay in but I haven’t seen one in years. Seems only 1 and 2 have arcade longevity.
 

Space Runaway

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I'd rank them in the order of release.

Only contention is if 1 or 2 is better. I recall thinking 1 was better back when 2 was pretty new-ish but I'd have to replay it to be sure.
 

Pansy

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What's the best way to play these? Can they be emulated pretty easily?
I know I'm responding pretty late, but you can play an emulated version of HOD 1 (PC version) with the Model 2 emulator, and for The House of the Dead 2 (wii version), that's available on Dolphin.
Hell, I recently even played an emulation of the House of the Dead 2 prototype using Demul. Was a pain in the ass to configure, though. The other two though were a lot of fun and easy to install! Highly recommend you give these a try.
 
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Pansy

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Damn, guess I’ll have to suffer then!

My vote is 2 for graphics and gameplay, followed by 4, 1, 3, Overkill.
 

Pansy

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Great games, found a cheap copy of HotD 2 for Dreamcast when I was in Amsterdam last October, just had to buy it for my collection <3
You’re gonna have so much fun with that, man! HOTD 2 on the Dreamcast is probably the the best port of any HOTD game ever.
 

SkylineRKR

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I would say 2 is the best. Both in Arcade and on DC they're similar. I had the DC gun. Then I would say 1, but only the arcade version. After that its probably 3. Kind of disappointing that 3 was only 4:3 on PS3. Then HoTD4. I mostly liked 4 because I never expected a console port, it only works with Move which is an awful lightgun but better than control pad (Move had just horrible drift, wasn't nearly as steady as the Guncon4). HOTD4 also lost the gore. A nice touch was that Special was included with it.

Overkill was fun but you can see its not an arcade game, the pacing is far slower and the game takes long to beat.
 

NikuNashi

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2 was the first game I got with my Dreamcast alongside a light gun. Such great memories, remember how crisp the graphics looked and how arcady the feeling was. Years later now in Japan one if my good friends actually developed that game at sega. When someone happened to work on a game that had a big impact on your childhood it's crazy.