When I first saw the score Ben gave Zombie Revenge, I thought two things: The new guy is out to prove something and he didn't bother to play through the game thoroughly. That's because I had relatively high expectations ever since I heard that Sega was going to be publishing it. After all, it was based on the The House Of The Dead arcade games and given the popularity and fun of that franchise, I was expecting it to be a modern-day Final Fight. However, barely 15 minutes into Zombie Revenge, I knew that it would do little to live up to my expectations, and that Ben was right-on damn near everything he said. It's amazing to me that while Zombie Revenge was plucked from the The House Of The Dead series, no one on the development team thought it necessary to change the gameplay to coincide with the change in genres. Instead, everything remains the same. From the simplistic level design that constitutes static stages where enemies pop up to be shot, to the dumb AI of the enemies, Zombie Revenge looks and plays like any arcade gun-shooter I would find at my favorite mall if it werent for the overhead perspective.
Like Ben, I found Zombie Revenge's graphics to be worthy of some praise, but even that is tempered because the heroes, the bosses and every other character in the game, looks simply grotesque—far too grotesque even for a zombie-filled game. It's as if the game designers took all of two seconds to come up with and then create these monsters, and that includes the heroes as well. A little more care going into the character designs would have made the cut-scenes and their respective character close-ups a lot easier to look at. Improved voice acting would be another area I thought Sega would have worked on, but that was by no means the case. Maybe some fans of anything even remotely like Resident Evil (notorious for bad voice acting) won't mind, but I think that enough is enough.
There is one thing about Zombie Revenge that Ben neglected to mention, and that is the Zombie Revenge Raising Game. It's a mini-game that I downloaded from the Zombie Revenge CD to my VMU thinking I could take one of the game's three heroes, train them separately and then take them into the game. Unfortunately, it is nothing like that. For one thing, these home-grown characters cannot be used in the Arcade Mode, and the Original Mode is only good for collecting food to be later fed to my VMU fighter. About all the VMU fighters are good for, is for Pokémon-esque battles in the Fighting mode, and even that gets old quickly. The two more traditional VMU mini-games included are a zombie fishing game (yes, you read it correctly) and a memory card game, but neither are entertaining for longer than a couple of rounds. As a whole, none of the VMU games are worth the 110 blocks of memory they demand from your VMU.
If Sega was going to milk their The House Of The Dead franchise by doing another cross-genre release, I wouldnt mind at all, especially if it were a take on the Resident Evil franchise (which is what I was expecting Zombie Revenge to be when I first heard of its existence). But cross-genre games are only worthwhile if they are made with the intent to exploit the advantages of the new genre. In making Zombie Revenge, Sega didn't show any inkling of doing that, and the result is an utterly forgettable release that does nothing but tarnish the Sega name and the The House Of The Dead franchise as well.
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