Mini Review – Splatterhouse (Xbox 360)

Mini Review – Splatterhouse

Roaming beat em up

Doctor, there’s a horse in the hospital.




As far as old IPs go, Namco reinventing Splatterhouse was an unexpected move.  They’ve milked all their other franchises to death but Splatterhouse, a side-scrolling horror beat ’em up featuring a rip-off Jason Vorhees, has never really had a look in beyond a couple of 16-bit sequels.  This current-gen remake shifts the series from fixed side-scrolling to the usual third-person roaming affair but apart from that it stays faithful to much of the gameplay and the original plot as well (they even throw in some side-scrolling bits for the purists as well as including all three previous games as unlockable extras).

Splatterhouse Xbox 360

I get the feeling of coming when I work out, when I pose, when I compete.This current-gen remake follows the original

You play as Rick, a nerdy student transformed into a hulking beast by the mysterious ‘Terror Mask’ that saves his life after he and his girlfriend, Jen, are attacked by mad scientist/obsessed widow Dr. West.  West is on a mission to use Jen’s body to resurrect his dead wife Leonora and so it’s up to you, and the wise-ass demonic mask, to save her.

After a little bit of early handholding the game settles down into twelve levels of demon punching action.  As with dozens of other games on the 360/PS3, this involves hitting X for light attacks, Y for heavy ones and B to grab.  Special moves are unlocked as you go along, as well as new combos, but there are no real surprises to be found in the gameplay.  That’s not to say it isn’t fun, it is, but repetition, some horrendous checkpointing, long loading times and some cheap instant deaths do tend to spoil the party.

Where Splatterhouse succeeds is in how enthusiastically Namco have referenced the source material.  Aside from the nods to the original game, the whole thing is absolutely caked in blood and extreme violence.  Add to that a hectic camera and a decent metal soundtrack (Mastodon’s Blood and Thunder being the highlight) and you’ve certainly got a game that won’t bore you in a hurry.  This isn’t the most cerebral game you’ll ever play, it’s dumbed down and aimed at teenage boys, but it’s accessible, amusing and probably one of the better games of its type on the current consoles.


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