Neil Patrick Harris fighting Zombies... with a guitar. If that isn't the greatest concept for a game in the history of man, I don't know what is... maybe a button-mashing game where Chuck Norris kicks Adolf Hitler in the groin with each button press.
But anyway, this is Rock of the Dead: A game that can only be described as the bastard child of Guitar Hero and House of the Dead. It's a 20+ level rail-shooter where instead of using a lightgun, you use a guitar controller. AWESOME.
(Or you can use a drum controller/xbox 360 controller if you wish. Wouldn't recommend it)
There actually IS a plot to this, which involves zombies, aliens, meteors, Rob Zombie, and burgers. It's dumb, but far from normal. From a graveyard to an alien mothership, you cover a decent amount of ground throughout the game.
When the enemies appear, a brief note chart appears as well. Hit the notes, kill the enemies. It's simple, and works well enough. Simple, stupid, fun.
The presentation is simply awful. Visually it's bland, boring, and uninspired. At times, it's too hard to view the notes on screen.
(The game uses the "Vicious Engine," which we also saw in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. Interestingly enough, NPH was also in that game, as the antagonist, where as in RotD, he was the protagonist. Coinsidence?)
The soundtrack isn't bad, but it could have been much better. Within seconds of starting the first level, "More Human than Human" starts blasting from my TV. It's like they took a Rob Zombie CD and slapped it in the game, along with some "metalized" versions of... opera music? The quality is decent, maybe iTunes quality, but you'll BEG for more tracks and artists. I don't know how many times I said to myself "man, this could really use some Slayer or something." Oh, and the tracks loop and repeat through the game. UGH.
If I had one BIG thing to complain about RotD, it's the difficulty. Much like Guitar Hero, each difficulty adds new notes. "Easy" difficulty gets you nothing in terms of rewards, but you only have to worry about the first three buttons on the Guitar. "Thrasher" difficulty however has an unholy amount of notes, and throws in 3-note chords to boot. When enemies are swarming you, it gets frustrating, particularly since the game tends to lock on to the enemy you WEREN'T AIMING AT.
There's little in terms of rewards and collectables. There's some power-ups for your TWO (just two) abilities (one of which is completely useless once the other is maxed out), concept art, and a secret boss who is frustratingly hard... if you can unlock him by finding the specific collectables in the levels. There's NO guide for these collectables (yet), so that's a challenge by itself.
Oh, and you'll NEVER 1k this game. It's that tough. You'll probably get 500G or so after a playthrough, but to finish it, you have to master the unholy "Thrasher" difficulty. Embarassingly high scores, absurdly tight time challenges, and godly accuracy are required. As of now, ONE GUY has finished it... probably in the world. But hey, i'm about 1/2 way there, that means something... right?
In conclusion, Rock of the Dead is like a shitty horror movie, along the lines of something like Troll 2. The production values are laughable, you know it's horrible, but you can't help but love it. If you have a Guitar controller, and find this game for cheap (it'll be 10 bucks in a month or two), it's worth a look.