Sega’s The House of the Dead games are among the all-time greatest light gun shooters. Since 1996, players have blasted away countless mutated foes, enjoyed some bonkers storylines and heard the most exquisitely cheesy dialogue that the medium has to offer. But the series has been quiet lately, especially as classic light gun technology doesn’t work with modern televisions.
The dogs of the AMS are coming back with a bang, though, as MegaPixel Studios and Forever Entertainment (who did the 2020 Panzer Dragoon remake) are bringing the original to Switch with a modern spin. Announced earlier this year, their version of The House of the Dead will feature graphics way beyond what was possible in the mid-90s and serve up a variety of new modes. This release will be particularly significant to long-term fans as while most of the games have seen faithful console releases, the only ports of the original are rush jobs on Sega Saturn and Windows 95.
Now, courtesy of an interview with Artur Gregoznyc of Forever Entertainment, we know a little more about what’s coming. Perhaps most interesting is a Horde Mode that will vastly increase the number of enemies, giving us up to 15x as many monsters to blow away. We’ll also see unlockable characters (presumably from across the series’ long history), a redesigned UI and HD rumble features. It’s confirmed that the title will run at 60fps docked and 30fps handheld on Switch as well, and that there are plans for other console and PC ports down the line.
Even so, while the Switch’s JoyCons should theoretically be able to emulate light guns, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how it works in practice. The House of the Dead would be fun with a pad, but I’ve been craving that full cabinet feel since COVID-19 shut down my favorite arcades.
And hey, if this does well, maybe we can finally get a home port of The House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn so I won’t have to trek to Dave and Busters every time I want a game!