Splatterhouse

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Splatterhouse review
Chris Priestman

Review

A splat from the past

One Thing At A Time (cntd)


There are also a number of sections that pay tribute to the original trilogy of games by adopting a side-scrolling format. These sections however, are not as smooth as the others and feel a little stiff. Often you have to jump across gaps but as the game is not a platformer the mechanics do not transfer so well and it feels awkward. These platforming sections also feature in the full 3D sections and have the exact same problems note to developers, stick to one genre at a time.

Seeing Red


A big feature of the game is blood. Now this may sound obvious but it is actually the source of the masks power, so generating as much as blood as possible makes Rick stronger. There are also sections in which a certain amount of blood must be spilled to advance. It is gloriously over-the-top when it comes to gore, and this is equally matched with dismemberment, decapitations and gut extraction. Furthermore, when entering a fight the soundtrack accompanying the slaughter features the grunts and manic tempo of death metal from some of the genres most lauded bands. The game is certainly only for a hardcore audience who revel in the sight of ripping colons out of demons anuses and pulling bodies in half, with no details left to the imagination.

As well as using his fists, Rick can pick up weapons that range from pipes and machetes, to chainsaws and double-barrelled shotguns. Although the game can be difficult at times as there is a bit of technique outside of simple button mashing (you will have to dodge and block), upon acquiring a weapon you can suddenly turn the screen red rather quickly. There are also the appropriately named Splatter Kills that can be activated when an enemy is weakened enough. Upon triggering a Splatter Kill, you enter a quicktime event in which a series of pulls on the analogue sticks and designated button smashing will be transferred into the goriest deaths you will ever see in a video game. No joke.

As if that was not enough, collecting blood as I said gives the Terror Mask its power you may remember this from Splatterhouse 3. This builds up and can be used to make Rick even tougher, with external bones extruding to make him tougher and acting as extensions of his fists. When you are in this form you are pretty much invulnerable, but of course it does not last forever. Blood also acts as currency that can be used to buy new moves and increase your health. Altogether the main story mode of the game is quite well executed and much to my surprise the game does not change the format from its original premise twenty years ago, and it still holds up very well.

King Of The Ring


As you are progressing through the 12 chapters that make up the story, you will unlock a number of things. These include new arenas for the survival mode, extra moves and the original trilogy of games. The latter will of course please the fans and also allow newcomers to see where the game has come from. I certainly had fun playing the classics all over again.

As I just mentioned there is a survival mode that contains 6 different arenas (once unlocked) to pound your way through. This may seem like the most obvious addition to a brawler that the developers could have added, and due to this I had some apprehensions about it. I was pleasantly surprised. Even though it is probably what you imagine it to be 20 waves of enemies that you fight through, it is great fun. During the waves there will be weapons dropped in the arena to spice it up, and the differing demons the game contains means that each arena has a unique set of enemies to deal with. Upon completing each arena you are given a rank which is based on the amount of blood spilled, time taken, mini challenges completed and a couple of other variables. The truth is, due to the simplicity of this mode the developers have nailed it and made it great fun.

7.8

fun score

Pros

Lots of gore, lots of fun, hardcore attitude, unlock the retro games!

Cons

A few technical errors, initially frustrating, slow load times, bad platforming sections.