Review: Use your Wii to blow away zombies on House of the Dead: Overkill

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

It's not really news that the essential problem with the Wii is that it has no balls.

While the 360 and the PS3 serve up graphics and sound that make even some PCs weep, the Wii is basically a gimmick controller slaved to a box that leaves you embarrassed it's connected to your 52-inch plasma.

But what can be done?

The kid loves his Mario fix, the wife will actually play "golf" with you on it, and even your mom and dad will bowl a few frames when they drop by. You're stuck with it, no matter how far from the state of the art it is. Now, however, you can take your "family" console and, thanks to Sega, fill it full of zombies.

Yes, House of the Dead: Overkill (Sega, $50) lets you take the gimmick controller, point it at the screen and squeeze off shot after shot of zombie-dismembering virtual lead. This is gameplay so primordially macho that not even the Wii's limitations can inhibit the fun of it.

The format of Overkill is familiar to anyone who has ever put quarters into an arcade light-gun game. Zombies pop onto the screen and the player shoots them. It is a "rail shooter" in that the player has only limited control over where the camera points. The "story," the look and the levels (spooky mansion, monster-infested hospital, etc.) of the game are out of the grindhouse days of B-movie horror flicks, only with far more F-bombs. The player scores for head shots, consecutive hits, shooting powerups, defending civilians and clearing levels. Scores earn money to buy new guns and upgrade old ones.

There have been other "light gun" games for the Wii, but this is the one that it's worth buying a light gun to play. Turn down the lights, turn up the sound, and it's like being back in the arcade after school.

Better, actually, because most light-gun games at the arcade didn't have 52-inch screens, and the ones that did cost a dollar to play. With Overkill, you can knock down zombies, save civilians and groove to the retro soundtrack all night without a single trip to the change machine.