YMMV / House of the Dead

For The House of the Dead: OVERKILL examples, see here

The games:

  • Accidental Innuendo: "Don't come! Don't come!"
  • Awesome Music: The Magician and Emperor's boss themes.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Just before the Final Boss of 4, as you infiltrate DBR Corporation's headquarters via the same path traveled in 2, you see one room that's since been inexplicably decked out in Japanese decor, something just so contrary not just to the rest of the building, but to anything else in the mainline games. It's never mentioned why the room is decorated this way and it's never brought up again after you leave it.
  • Contested Sequel: With regards to the Typing spin-offs, Overkill. While it's still the same B-movie hilarity as its original counterpart, only with typing instead of shooting, they lack the unique boss gimmicks of previous games — most of them are just a continuation of the "type stuff to damage them" premise rather than posing unique challenges.
    • In terms of voice acting, 4 Special can be considered inconsistent since 4 had improved voice acting, but in its continuation, the quality takes a nosedive. The voice acting seems out of place in a House of The Dead game with modern graphics too.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Temperance's Ground Pound attack. Part Squick at being squished by a morbidly obese zombie, part hilarity over a boss sitting on you as an attack.
  • Demonic Spiders: There's bound to be at least one or two per game. The Hermit and The Lovers are literal examples (though they're bosses, so they don't really count). Below are some that people were probably forced to spend more credits on.
    • 1 has the zombies that swing and throw chained spiked balls. If your timing is off, the ball can keep you from landing the instakill headshot. Spend too much time trying to take them out and this allows them to hit you or allow other zombies to get close.
    • 2 has the short crouching, wall grabbing zombies with claws. They require a headshot to finish off quickly unlike the standard zombies. Not helped that most of the time they show up in groups. The tough and fat zombies also count as such because not only do they naturally take more hits to down, their movements make it hard to shoot their head. They also like showing up with a bunch of normal zombies too.
    • 3 has the zombified Rogan commandos, which unlike the rest of the zombies in the game, randomly roll, making them hard to take out. The commando who was killed at the start of the game even serves as a miniboss version of this enemy in the final level.
    • 4 probably has the most zombies that qualify as demonic spiders in a House of The Dead game so far.
      • Any tough/fat zombies are a pain once more because in addition to their traits from 2, if they're holding something and you destroy it, their recoil makes their heads harder to hit despite being vulnerable. Even worse if they're about to attack the moment they come on screen.
      • The welding torch zombies. They don't have to be right up against you to deal damage if their weapon doesn't already indicate that. What's not helped is that they don't immediately die to headshots due to their welding masks. However, they become a complete joke once you find out that shooting the propane tanks they hold instantly kills them and any zombies they are near. Though, the game never points this out, so a lot of first time players have a hard time with them anyway.
      • The dual dagger zombies from 3 become this in 4 because unlike their original counterparts in 3, they move much quicker and when they jump to attack, unlike the claw zombies in this game, there is no delay to get a quick headshot to pick them off, so if you don't shoot them down, kiss your life goodbye.
      • The zombified AMS agents, which are arguably worse than the Rogan commandos from 3. Just like their predecessors, they randomly move from side to side, only this time, they do it more quickly than the Rogan commandos, which can catch many people off guard, making them formidable foes.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Magician is very popular among fans, due to his distinctive looks, general badassery, an amazing boss theme, having a surprising amount of personality for a zombie, and having one of the few voices in the early games that wasn't completely narmy. It's quite telling that he's the only boss that appears in multiple games.
  • Even Better Sequel: House of the Dead 2, for better or for worse, is the most popular and memorable of the games. Although quite a few would say that from a gameplay standpoint and boss design, that it is genuinely better than the first game.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "Remember, there's no such thing as a second chance". Also a Broken Aesop since this is said after Judgment's second chance, as well as Hypocritical Humor because of the fact that you can use continues.
  • Fandom Rivalry: A small one exists with Highschool of the Dead due to both series sharing the same acronym ("highschool" is represented by one letter rather than two). Both of them involving zombies doesn't help.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Most of these games have hostages who stupidly run in front of you. However in these games, they actually are trying to get away from the zombies and don't know you're coming, and the ones who aren't are usually pinned or grabbing onto something like a banister. In the later games, when the Zombie Apocalypse has taken into account, you don't save hostages — you're saving your partner or yourself.
  • Friendly Fandoms: More or less with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, particularly Stardust Crusaders due to both of them making significant uses of Tarot Motifs.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • In 2, you just have to aim outside of the screen to reload. In the arcade version, you can reload just by covering the IR sensor of your gun with your hand, removing the need to re-aim your gun, making some parts of the game a breeze.
    • In the first boss fight against Justice in 4, the game doesn't tell you that throwing a grenade into Justice's mouth instantly depletes the cancel bar needed to stop his attacks, making the fight almost a complete joke. Though it's still tricky to successfully send a grenade into him when he's covering his face, so if you're skilled enough, save your grenades for those parts of the fight.
  • Goddamned Bats: Every. Single. Game. In addition, HOTD 2 manages to add the even-more-annoying kamikaze zombie owls alongside energetic, knife-handed midgets.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The ending of 4 involves a PDA self-destructing in order to destroy the Final Boss for sure. Now you can get your own exploding PDA (albeit one that doubles as a cellphone).
  • Inferred Survival: Temperance from the fourth game. Some fans believe that, due to how shooting Temperance in the head isn't enough to hurt it beyond stunning it, neither did the face of a giant clock being dropped on his head.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Let's face it, the bosses and their Tarot Motifs are what everyone looks forward to when they play these games.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Sega and Namco shooter translations seem to feature a running joke of having hostages shout "Don't come!" They've been doing it for years, bless them.
    • The infamous "Suffer like G did?" line in HOTD 2. It would have been imposing if the creature hadn't presented it as a question. And didn't have such a high voice.
    • On that note, just about every other line of dialouge in House of the Dead 2 for its infamous Narm.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "RELOAD! RE-RE-RE-RELOAD! R-R-R-R-R-R-R-RELOAD!"
    • The grunts and groans when a character is injured ("AGH!") also count.
  • Narm:
    • "The original sin that man is resphaansible to... To protect the loyfe coycle! I have maaaig a creacher to rule over maaahn kiiine! This is tha faynl bawdl! Shoe yourself! Our new ruler, the Empurr!" *followed by the camera pointing at a wall*
    • In fact, anything anyone says in House of the Dead 2 (and there's plenty of examples in the other games as well). There's enough to fill their own page. How could anyone do that?
  • Nausea Fuel: Fail to stun Temperance during his first phase and he jumps up and butt-stomps you. Eww...
  • Never Live It Down: The first two games will forever be remembered for the infamous voice acting, even though they are very playable, if Nintendo Hard, run-of-the-mill zombie gun games.
  • Player Punch: James getting hit by one of The Star's finishing attacks at the end of 4's fifth chapter. He is seen in several cutscenes in the next chapter limping and having to be physically assisted by Kate.
  • Porting Disaster: The Saturn port of the first game had terrible graphics, something largely owed to the port being released unfinished due to the impending death of the system. Most of the non-zombie monsters just look like jumbled masses of gray and blue polygons, walls are heavily pixelated (sometimes to the point of unlegibility), and the game periodically had to stop and load during levels.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: On the gun controllers on 4, there's a button for grenades on the left side of the barrel, but not on the right, biasing the controller in favor of right-handed players. While it doesn't make the game entirely unplayable for lefties, it does mean that left-handed players will have to twist their right hand into a bit of an awkward position to use grenades.
  • Signature Scene: Because of its Narm and the shrill voice of Zeal, meeting Judgement and later fighting the duo at the end of the first chapter in House of the Dead 2 is probably the most memorable and referenced cutscenes in the franchise.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The voice acting and translation, particularly in the first and especially the second game. "Don't come! Don't come!" "Suffer like G did?")
  • Squick: Fat zombies that can have holes punched in them, incest in Overkill, open beating hearts... there's frequently stuff one shouldn't dwell upon. Some of the water zombies in House of the Dead 2 look like they could be Tarman's clone, and Tarman is rather Squicky to a lot of people.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While all of the games in the series are generally good, III is notable in that the voice-acting took a serious level in competence. By 4, it's easy to forget the earlier games' Narmy goodness. Sadly, 4 Special takes yet another dip in quality with the voice acting. See WTH, Casting Agency? below.
  • That One Attack:
    • The Fool's final attack: Jumps at you and you have a very narrow window of time in which to plug an entire clip of shells (6 shots) into its claw, or else you lose one life. It gets worse in a 2-player game, as the attack now requires 12 hits to disable, meaning that if your partner is not reacting fast enough or is just plain goofing off, you'll lose a life along with your partner even though it's not your fault.
    • The Star has two attacks that could prove troublesome - a Beam Spam attack where he fires a volley of about 8 to 16 (20+ if playing 2-player) energy rays at you, and his critical-health attack where he rapidly spins around like a tornado as he approaches you. For the former, you must either shoot down the barrage of rays while ignoring The Star, or concentrate fire on The Star to get him to prematurely stop the barrage while risking taking damage from one of the rays. For the latter, simply pray you can hit him in the head fast enough as he wildly moves around you - sometimes even off-screen - before swiftly slicing you up.
  • That One Boss:
  • Underused Game Mechanic: For whatever reason, you have to turn on the score display through a cheat code.
  • What An Idiot: In House of the Dead 4, during the ending, after The World has been beaten, it mutates even more, followed by James activating a bomb in his PDA powerful enough destroy it.
    You'd Expect: For James to chuck that thing like no tomorrow, destroying The World so he and Kate can continue fighting the zombie apocalypse together. Even Max would have done the same if he was in James' shoes.
    Instead: James performs a Heroic Sacrifice by diving right into The World with his PDA time bomb in hand, taking The World with him.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Even though 4 Special was made around the same time 4 was released in the US, Kate and The Mystery Man sound nothing like they did in 4. What really doesn't help is that despite 4's improved voice acting, 4 Special took a dip in voice acting quality as noted above.

The films

  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Captain Kirk seems to be the one character people like from this thing. Being played by Jurgen Prochnow helps too.
  • Special Effect Failure: Some shots of the protagonists shooting at zombies in the film were from the original game, with an "Insert Coin" message blinking on the screen!
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: The film has the dishonor of being the first game series Uwe Boll got to butcher.
    • With a plot involving teenagers going to a rave, in-game footage used as part of the movie, and only a brief cameo of the games' characters at the end, let's just say that movie never existed. Though, it's just bad enough to be great riff material.