The House of the Dead: Overkill™- The Lost Reels Review
- An unconventional yet worthwhile control scheme for the iOS.
- Unlockables add quite a bit of replay value to this rail shooter.
- Fantastic music.
- Considering the cost of the game, having to purchase the final chapter is a bit much (combined with the general in-game store pricing).
- Head shots sometimes seem to have a random factor attached to them.
If you're a fan of rail shooters, and the initial investment doesn't put you off, House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels is a fantastic addition to the genre that will keep you busy for quite some time.
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The House of the Dead Overkill was released on the Wii in 2009. The 5th entry in the infamous rail shooter arcade mainstay franchise, this console exclusive diverged from its source material, creating a grindhouse aesthetic with ridiculous over the top characters, plot twists, and more swearing that even Grand Theft Auto is used to. Now in 2013 we have The Lost Reels for the iOS platform, where you take control of either Agent G or Isaac Washington as you blast through deleted scenes, gaining enough Kash to upgrade your weapons and try the whole thing over again.
The initial introduction to the control scheme is a little surprising. I thought that you'd be tapping zombies to fire, and perhaps swiping to reload. Nothing could be further from the truth (although there is an unlockable control scheme called 'tap frenzy' which I believe is exactly that)! How it works is that one hand moves the aiming reticle around like you're using a joystick, while the other hand is used to tap the fire, reload, and weapon change buttons. You can carry two weapons at a time, and swapping out is a great last resort if you have a zombie in your face and reloading is going to take too long (especially when you start off with your second weapon being a shotgun). Now it sounds like a control scheme like this would be terrible, but don't fret as it actually works pretty damn well, allowing head shots to be pulled off with relative ease. This is important too, and the amount of Kash you acquire at the end of a stage is tied to your ranking, and your ranking is partially tallied by keeping a combo multiplier going through fast and gruesome zombie execution.
The Kash (which at this point I should point out is not a misspelling) is used to upgrade your weapons' recoil, damage, ammo, rate of fire etc from bronze to gold stars, and also buy new weapons, upgrade your character, and buy game boosts. While the prices seem like they'll require grinding, you'll be able to upgrade one or two things after each level, and the upgrades do make a difference. The progression is a little slow, but not hampered by the game trying to get you to spend more money, well except for charging for the final scenario. Considering the cost of the app, this additional nickel and diming is unfortunate and a black mark against everything else it's trying to do.
With fantastic music, atmospheric visuals, and a whole host of secret goodies to discover through the levels (plus the fun of replaying levels with high powered death machines), every fan of rail shooters should consider adding this to their collection. It doesn't have the overall production value of the console original, but as a companion piece, it holds its own quite well.
DescriptionYou thought it was over… but we've found the Lost Reels.
▪ Join the original cast and blast your way through remixed worlds from The House of the Dead Overkill™.
▪ Play in Survival or Story Mode and mow down waves of infected, blood-thirsty mutants in this b-style arcade shooter.
DISCOVER THE LOST REELS
▪ Experience 3 goregasmic worlds full of carnage in Story Mode.
▪ In Papa’s Palace of Pain, Ballistic Trauma, and Naked Terror, you’ll be screaming ‘til your last breath.
DISMEMBER UTTERLY DISGUSTING MUTANTS
▪ Enjoy non-stop shooting action as you blow apart mutants for high-score thrills.
▪ See how long you can hold off the swarms of undead in Survival Mode.
REJOIN THE ORIGINAL CAST
▪ Isaac Washington: a hard-drinking ladies’ man who deals damage in droves.
▪ Agent G: an inexperienced but deadly assassin who keeps a steady hand under pressure.
▪ Varla Guns: the hottest stripper on the Bayou City club scene who enjoys the largest clip.
▪ Candi Stryper: an expert with her hands who knows how to reload.
FINGERBLAST ON THE GO
▪ Obliterate mutants with one of three control mechanisms optimized for your mobile device – Accelerometer, Virtual Pad and Frenzy Tap (unlockable)
UPGRADE YOUR ARSENAL
▪ Destroy mutants to earn Ka$h, the in-game currency, and upgrade your pistol to something that really blasts through flesh.
▪ Enhance your killing prowess with combo extenders, reload boosters, and other game-changing upgrades.