The House of the Dead 2
System: Dreamcast
Publisher & Developer: Sega
Released: 1999
Genre: Arcade Shooter
Capabilities: Light Gun Compatible, VMU & Jump Pack Compatible

The Game

This is the sequel to the big arcade smash hit, The House of the Dead, this title was originally scheduled to be one of the final released titles for the Saturn, but Sega decided to scrap it, and make it come out for the Dreamcast. Will it be just as good as the original? Let’s get onto the review and find out.

The Story

You are 2 AMS agents, Gary and James, the two agents from the previous House of the Dead play minor roles in this game, if you see the opening intro for the game agent Rogan dies in the opening game movie, the other agent, G, is severely injured in the beginning of the game. The new date for the setting of this game is February 26, 2000 and chaos happens all over game. The boss is named Goldman, some rich guy who sort of wants to destroy the human race. Gary and James are the two that do all the hard work, plus two more AMS agents, Amy and Harry help you along the way, by coming to the scene RIGHT after you beat a boss. I guess you can say they sort of help out somewhat until you have to start helping them because around the 3rd level Harry gets injured and Amy's taken hostage, and you got to save them from the 4th level boss, who is a chainsaw wailing maniac!, you'll have to figure out the rest of the plot by playing the game because I don't want to spoil anything for you.


The arcade version of The House of the Dead 2 was made by using the Naomi software, and the Dreamcast console also uses the Naomi software. So do you know what that means? Yes, Indeed, a true arcade perfect translation. Everything looks great, the levels you go through look great, and pretty loaded with detail, like Goldman’s tower for example, with the elevators and zombie chambers all have a high-res type of feel to it, but it isn’t high res, its just the normal power of the Dreamcast. The bosses are the most impressive in the visuals, they are loaded with just about an infinite amount of detail, and look like they came right out of a horror movie! The game runs at a smooth rate, with no slowdown at all. I only got a couple of minor complaints with the graphics, the first one, the games main four AMS characters, all look pretty bland, the only main different between the three male AMS agents is the color of their hair and outfits. They all are about the same size and have the same shape. And the only other complaint is that some animations seem to be missing a few frames, like when a zombie dies the just fall straight back, nothing really impressive. But that’s about it for complaints, everything else is pretty good.


The sound effects are really good, like the gunshots and death groans all sound appropriate. The background music in the game also fits the game properly, and is dimmed just right during the fast paced game play so it doesn’t distract from it. There is however one major flaw in the audio department, and that is the voice acting, which is very, very, CHEAP! Whenever Gary and James talk, they just sound so bland, and talk without any emotion whatsoever. Another example, is right when you save a hostage after nearly being eaten to death by a Zombie, they say in a nice, calm, voice, “Thank You for rescuing me.” Thank gosh there are subtitles so you can mute out the sound in this game.

Game play

The controls are pretty easy for this game if you have a light gun, (funny how this is only one of two games to make use of the Dreamcast Light Gun after the Dreamcast being released for 13 months, the other game which makes use of it, is a special hidden mode, in a racing game called Demolition Racer.) where you just point and shoot, and what is really convenient is you can have them set to auto fire and reload so you don’t have to bother shooting outside the screen. If you don’t have a gun, you gotta use the control stick or pad to move around a cursor and keep pressing the A button to shoot, and B button to reload. Really tedious. So make sure you got the Light Gun before you buy this game.

To beat the game is pretty simple, just destroy all the zombies and bosses throughout 6 levels. The Magician(main boss from the first game) makes a return, and right after you beat him you gotta take on another hard boss named The Emperor. Heck, to even make it here on your original amount of lives is a challenge, and you’ll be really lucky if you beat the game, heck I had to use an unlimited lives cheat just to beat it, to let you know how hard it is! There are plenty of extras as well, like new items exclusive for the Dreamcast version that the Arcade version didn't have like now having 8 or 14 bullets in a magazine instead of 5 and new health power ups. There's Arcade mode and Original mode where Arcade is just like playing the Arcade game all the way through, but in Original you can pick to start off with two power ups you collected from playing the game before, plus you get all the new power ups that the Arcade version didn't have. There's also a couple of other modes like training where you practice shooting zombies in a certain amount of time with a certain amount of ammo, rescuing all the hostages in a certain level, etc. Plus there's boss mode where you can go against all the other bosses in the game for some training.

Replay Value

1 or 2 players can play so a friend can tag along. Saving hostages in certain situations opens up new paths like if you're going to a bridge in the second level and you save a hostage he'll point you out to a shortcut to it, so you can take many different paths throughout the game. Plus the Original mode is pretty cool with exclusive items in the Dreamcast version. Plus training mode and Boss mode, also Dreamcast exclusives, are a lot of fun to play too. The game also makes use of the Jump Pack to get real vibration feedback, and really shakes the hell out of your controller when you get shot! But after you beat the game and play the bonus modes to death, you’ll get a bit bored of this game.

In Brief

+: Stunning arcade perfect translation, great background music, 3 exclusive Dreamcast only modes

-: Hard to play without Light Gun, Horrible Voice Acting, Just like most shooters you’ll be done with this game within a few months

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 9.0
Sound: 5.3
Game play: 8.7
Replay Value: 8.5

Overall: 7.8

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8


If you’re a fan of the arcade series, you’ll really love this game, especially when you get all the extra modes and items. It’s a thrill to play, as long as you don’t get annoyed by that damn voice acting and you got a Light Gun (I strongly recommend getting the Mad Catz version of the Light Gun, much more durable), you’ll love this game. And even if you’re really not a big fan of arcade shooters, this one is at least worth a rent.