Do you remember Splatterhouse? I remember playing the original but when I asked people recently about it they would say “The game with Jason?” to which I would annoyingly reply with” no!”. Splatterhouse was one of those games that was unbelievably gory, even for a 16-bit game. It wasn’t the greatest game but it was fun, simple side scrolling with lots of gore added. Now Splatterhouse has made the jump to 3D. After about 21 years since the original release, does Splatterhouse have the guts or is it better off as an idea.
Splatterhouse starts off with Rick the protagonist lying on the floor with his guts hanging out of his stomach, we’re not sure what has happened but all we know is that his girlfriend Jenny has been kidnapped by Dr.West and this is where the star of the show appears. The Terror Mask (voiced by Jim Cummings) joins Rick, transforming him into a hulk like man.Splatterhouse is a beat-em-up. A very gory beat-em-up. There are lots of monsters to kill and there are many ways to do it, this isn’t just a button masher but rather a game that requires you to do combos in order to kill the monsters faster. This is important because the monsters (like the original) are hard. There are a lot of them on the screen and their hits are really powerful. About 3 swipes from one baddy can result in the loss of health. This is countered with the fact that you can regenerate your health with help from the Terror Mask. The Terror Mask requires blood in order to recharge it and let me tell you, there is a lot of blood.
Splatterhouse does not fail in the blood department; it is by far one of the bloodiest games I have ever played. You may chop enemies with a machete or splat them against a wall using a 2X4 and blood will just rain onto the screen, onto Rick and into your points. Blood acts as your currency in which the more pints of blood you have the more special moves, masks, combos, and weapons you can purchase. There are even very gruesome, fatality-esqu moves called Splatterkills. These are little animation that happens when your enemy is flashing red; it’s basically just a one hit kill but a very satisfying one. The screen goes black and Rick will either squeeze the enemies head in or rip their mouth open and take out their lungs. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of variety of these sequences maybe about 10, but then again the game doesn’t require you to use it and its there mostly for the gore factor. The Camera is also one of the biggest enemies, sometimes it is fixed and other times it is free. It’s not the worse camera system but when it gets bad, it’s bad. Not being able to see a certain enemy because of the camera angle can get really frustrating but I’ve only encountered this problem about 2 times.
Splatterhouse looks good, the background texture is not as detailed as some would like, but it is passable. The character models and movements are great. Rick’s transformation and attacks are gruesome and satisfying and Splatterhouse looks better when the contrast of the colours appear. The screen goes a bright white and the red blood makes for a bigger impact. The enemy models look disturbing with bones exposed and with their faces deformed. There is a lot of blood and things happening on the screen at one time, and unfortunately this is where Splatterhouse starts to hiccup. When there are numbers of things happening on the screen Splatterhouse lags and slow down. This happened a lot more often than with the camera issues. It will slow down and then ruin a good combo you had going. I’ve even had a weird situation where I couldn’t move on because a certain enemy wouldn’t die, (in order to continue the game you must clear enemies out of a room) so in result i had to reload my game.
Another issue with Splatterhouse is the unholy loading times. Like I mentioned earlier the monsters hit hard and when you die especially before a boss, you must sit through a loading screen (a very nice loading screen mind you) for about a minute, and I’m not over exaggerating. You load for about a minute, then watch the cut scene and try again. This is one huge flaw in Splatterhouse. It wouldn’t be so bad, but because the enemies are challenging and because the game throws so much at you, the loading screen really breaks any kind of mood that you’re in. It has gone to point that I’ve said “if I die again I’m shutting this game off”. And I did.
Besides all these flaws Splatterhouse is still a very fun game. It is challenging and offers a lot of reference to previous Splatterhouse titles. Including a bizarre 2D view in which you have to play Splatterhouse like the 1988 Splatterhouse. This is unique in which I mean “I see what you did there” but it also makes me want to say “don’t do it again”. The platform sections are pretty awful but then again it was awful in the original. Splatterhouse retells the story from the original perfectly and it probably one of the best remakes made. The voice acting is well done especially the banter between the Terror Mask and Rick. Jim Cummings (thankfully) makes the Terror Mask a lovable character, no matter how horrible it is. Hell you’ll find yourself chuckling at a few of the things the Terror Masks says for example “see it’s things like that that gave us an M-rating”
All in all Splatterhouse is still a great beat-em-up. With lots of blood and gore and very challenging. It offers a surprising good story, surprising good graphics and of course a surprising amount of blood. The disk includes the original 3 Splatterhouse (which in itself is worth because they are all uncensored) titles after completing the game and DLC includes extra masks. Splatterhouse also offers 3 mode including Brutal which is no lie which gives more replay value, along with Survival arena in which you battle wave and wave of monsters and find and collect (for some reason)nude photos of Jenny…yes the game has nudity. To diehard fans of Splatterhouse, this game will be great; to those who aren’t really into the series will most likely see this as another God of War rip off. At the end it’s your call but I give it
7 ½ / 10
- Gore, lots of gore
- Graphics and storyline
- Original Splatterhouse games included on the disk
- Great Voice acting and an awesome soundtrack
- Bad Camera at times
- Freezes and slow downs
- Loading times, oh god the loading times!