You can't keep a good zombie down. In this side-story to Sega's gun-totin', zombie-blastin' horror fest The House of the Dead, you're off to find out what went wrong with a government experiment to turn the undead into soldiers (as if that isn't obvious from that premise). Originally seen in the arcades on Sega's Naomi, it has been perfectly ported to the Dreamcast.
Zombie Revenge is divided up into seven episodes, each in a different environment--alleys, sewers, on top of a train, inside a chemical plant and through the original House of the Dead, to name but a few. There are three characters--Stick Breitling (what a name, eh?), Linda Rotta and Rikiya Bujushima. To battle the zombies, you can use fists or choose from a vast smorgasbord of weaponry that are hiding in boxes or are dropped by zombies.
There are fives modes of play: Arcade, Original, Vs. Boss, Fighting and Training Room. While Arcade Mode is a straight-up version of the arcade game, Original Mode includes two enhanced play modes specific to the DC version. The first is Gun Mode, where punches and kicks are weaker while weapon firepower is increased (but you don't get as much ammo). Second is Bare Knuckle Mode, where punches and kicks reign supreme (you can't pick up weapons or ammo in this mode). There are also extra cheats to unlock by beating the game--one of which is an Area Select.
Like its name implies, Vs. Boss Mode has you only playing through Boss encounters one after another. Fighting Mode turns it into a one-on-one brawlfest between you and a second player or the computer. Here, you can also set up Zombie Assist, which will let loose a few walking corpses that will interfere with your fights. It's not the most complex fighting game, but does the trick nicely.
One of the other odd enhancements is that you can use the Fishing Controller or Dreamcast Gun to control your characters. Using the Fishing Controller seems pretty limited, but with the gun you use the control pad to move and the trigger to actually shoot. Why anyone would want to use those is beyond us, but you do have the option.
Download Zombie Revenge
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
When Sega does a game like Zombie Revenge on the Dreamcast, it makes you wonder why other companies can't do DC games that look and play this good. It's a perfect conversion of the arcade game, and Sega has made sure it's not a cakewalk by limiting the number of continues and adding new modes to make it more challenging and add replay value. The addition of the Bare Knuckle and Gun modes are welcome, and they play differently than the normal game. Bare Knuckle mode's got a strange addition of weird items like gum and apples to make the retro style complete (Streets of Rage had apples and meat you collected for health). This game makes me long all the more for a 3D Streets of Rage. Fighting Mode has got to be one of the lamest fighting modes ever, so it's a good thing it's just an extra. Whoever gets in the first punch can keep tapping punch and will likely win. The VMU game takes up an entire VMU worth of space and isn't worth it (it unlocks some cheats and builds up your power in the Fighting Mode but that's about it). Environments are super-detailed, and there's barely a hint of slowdown even when there's a lot happening on screen. Sega's got a good thing going making their arcade games into excellent home games. Now all we need is Super GT or Ferrari F-355.
The way I see it, you need at least one game like this in your library for a particular system. And ZR fits the bill perfectly. Not only does the thing look amazing, it's a lot of fun to play with a friend. Sure, it's on the mindless side a lot of the time (it is about zombie-killing after all) but as long as your library isn't inundated with games in this genre, everything is chill. And what's this--one of the later levels is the house from The House of the Dead. Cool.
People are going to think I'm weird for saying this, but I found Dynamite Cop's over-the-top approach to the 3D beat-'em-up to be more appealing. Even so, Zombie Revenge is a decent brawler that's best played with a pal. The action, as you'd expect, is mindless (made even more so because of the characters' overly useful handguns), but that's how this game is supposed to be. The replay value isn't here though, even with all the new modes.
Zombie Revenge is 3D beat-'em-ups done right. The fine line it walks between camp and chic is ever-shifting. On the one hand, it's got guns, buns, cleavage and gore galore. But then you look closely at all the little details that Sega threw into it and you come to appreciate just how dynamic ZR really is. There's a lot of sweet "design" work taking place just under the twitch gameplay. A bunch of badasses trapped in a Lovecraftian nightmare. Totally cool.