As far as light-gun shooters are concerned, The House of the Dead and its sequel are stone cold classics. The third game in the series isn’t anywhere near as fondly remembered, however. We’d even go as far as saying that the console-exclusive House of the Dead: Overkill is more renowned.
After playing through the Wii version recently, I’ve found myself questioning why HotD3 isn’t as highly regarded as its predecessors.
It could all be down to timing. Around 1999/2000, SEGA managed to spark a small arcade renaissance with the likes of Virtua Tennis and Crazy Taxi able to woo gamers back into arcades, bowling alleys and such. HotD3 arrived in 2002, long after the Japanese giant had ditched the Dreamcast. SEGA’s short but sweet resurgence was over, which may explain whereas HotD3 – with its pump-action shotguns – is seldom seen in UK arcades.
For the home conversion, SEGA decided upon making the gloriously grizzly shooter an Xbox-exclusive. This could also have impacted the game’s popularity as the Xbox had very few light-gun games when compared to the PlayStation 2. In fact, there was just three – HoTD 3, Silent Scope and Starsky & Hutch. While shooters were certainly popular on Xbox, those of the on-rails variety were not – games with an arcade-like nature tended not to fare well on Xbox full stop.