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XBLIG Review – Zombie Estate

xboxboxart God this is so cool. It’s not perfect, and it has it’s problems … but it’s just so damn cool. You’ve played Left 4 Dead right? Sure you have. This is along the same lines at that … though it’s a bit closer to the game Killing Floor to me since the zombies come in waves and you have the chance to buy weapons and whatnot in between the waves.

In it’s most basic sense, it’s another dual stick shooter. And it’s one of those irritating ones that make you hold down a trigger to shoot. I never saw the point with that … yes I’m aware it makes sense to hold a trigger down to shoot. But come on. This is a video game.

But it’s still damned well worth snagging, and I’ll let you read on to find out why … in my humble opinion anyway.

screen1_Web As far as the presentation, the graphics and sound are top notch. I absolutely love the graphical style of this game, and the sound is just as basic and reminds me of something off of the original Nintendo … though that system wouldn’t have a chance of handling this game. Everything is done in a wonderful flat pixel art style which works perfectly. Everything from the many, many characters you can choose from (think 3D Dot Game Heroes … just without the character creation option) to the zombies that blow apart in little pixelated chunks all over the screen look great. The environment, though there only seems to be one, looks awesome and is pretty big. The sound has the little 8 bit pops and whatnot that harken back to the NES and Commodore 64. The music is this terrible classical music that doesn’t fit the game AT ALL … but thankfully it can be turned off. Even the weapon effects look good, like at one point I got some sort of flame thrower type of weapon … but instead of flames it’s just a squirt gun that shoots holy water. Definitely cool.

screen2_Web The gameplay is pretty standard fare … we’ve all done this before. You use the two sticks to move and aim and hold down the right trigger to shoot. Blah blah blah … but you also have a wide array of different weapons to GET … though you can only hold 4 at a time and one of them HAS to be the pistol. Downed zombies drop things like health, money and ammo and in between each wave you have a chance to buy ammo and more powerful weapons. There is local 4 player support that I honestly haven’t tried since I’m not the “sit on the couch and play a game with people” kind of guy. And there’s no Xbox Live support unfortunately.

screen3_Web There are only a few problems with the game … it takes quite a while to get enough money for the bigger, cooler weapons and there’s no save support in the game at all. There are 25 waves, but by the time you get to the midway point … at least in the single player … it takes a hell of a long time to FINISH a wave. Now, that unfortunate fact is lessened by the game introducing new types of zombies at occasional points, like you start seeing doctor zombies that can heal themselves … and they might be able to heal other zombies as well but I never let them live that long.Skeletons that, when they see you do a mad rush ripping up the ground at you. And there may be even more … but without a save option I doubt I’ll ever see them. Come to think of it … it doesn’t save ANYTHING. So every time you start the game, you’re starting completely fresh. The ONLY game mode is just starting off from Wave 1 and working your way up. No survival mode, no extra levels. What you see is what you get. And there aren’t any leaderboards. At all. Local or otherwise.

screen4_Web 7.5 – Despite it’s problems that only have to do with a lack of options that there should be NO excuse for not having … it’s still a GREAT little game and well worth the 80 point price tag. But seriously, no save support? ANYWHERE? It’s quite annoying seeing the same help screens every time I start the game, it’s irritating to have to turn the damned music off every time. And having to start over from scratch without the option to just go back to where I left off … there’s just no excuse in 2010. But dammit is it ever fun to play.

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