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Splatterhouse

Review; Mar. 30, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman

A trend over the last few years in the world of video games has been the revival of many forgotten classic series. A recent example is Namco resurrecting a horror classic that many fans have been long clamoring for: Splatterhouse. After a more than year-long development, the new Splatterhouse is ready for fans of the original and new gamers alike. Unfortunately, this is one remake that should have probably stayed in its grave.

Splatterhouse Screenshots
Click the image to view game screenshots

The premise of the original Splatterhouse game is simple: You’re Rick, trying to rescue his girlfriend, Jennifer, from a mansion that contains some of the most unimaginable, grotesque evil that you have ever seen. To get Jennifer back, Rick dons an evil mask that grants him super strength, and you kill your way through the mansion by any means necessary. The revival takes this general premise, and adds a bit more to it. This time, Jennifer is kidnapped by a mad scientist, and it’s up to Rick and the mask to get her back. Along with the mansion, you also have to battle through other worlds and even an amusement park. The added areas make the game less repetitive but don’t add too much to the experience.

The game play is very similar to other modern action games, such as God of War and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. You run around in a 3-D environment and use combos, weapons and such to kill pretty much everything in sight. Splatterhouse does add another gruesome element to this by allowing you to brutally finish off your enemies with a finishing move, called a splatterkill. This involves grabbing your enemy when it's flashing red and pressing the right button/analog stick combination to finish it off. While this is a nice and devilishly fun game play addition at first, it does get repetitive very quickly. Boss fights and other parts of the game also draw heavily from current action games with action button sequences to move things forward. One thing that Namco did that’s a bit refreshing, and nostalgic as well, is add some 2-D parts to different stages. These sections play very similarly to the original Splatterhouse, and are a nice addition to longtime fans of the franchise.

Graphically, Splatterhouse holds its own with current games, but does not offer anything that hasn’t been seen before. The game does, however, present some major problems. Frequently, there will be some slow down issues in the middle of fights, especially if there are multiple enemies at once. This can get problematic, especially in the heat of battle. Another major issue with this game is the loading times; they can be fairly long. It gets tiresome to die over and over and then have to wait up to 45 seconds for that last checkpoint to reload each time.

Along with the main objective of rescuing Jen, the game does offer some nifty options to add to the replay value. The biggest draw is being able to unlock the original three Splatterhouse games, as you progress through the new game. There’s also a survival arena, where you battle wave after wave of enemies. For those of you who like to do some scavenger hunting, each level has photos of Jen you can collect, as well as phonographs, which give you more of a background to how the mansion became the evil place it now is. There is also downloadable content available, such as additional survival arenas, and different masks you can wear.

Overall, Splatterhouse is not a game to rush out to your local store to pick up immediately. You’ll definitely want to play it first, before you buy. While parts of the game can be amusing, and there is some replay value to it, its technical issues get in the way too often. If you want to quench your thirst for blood, look elsewhere.

Comments

Review Score
5.2

Mature

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

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