- Posted December 1st, 2010 at 14:15 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 5 Comments
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Splatterhouse falls short of classic brawler status, but there's still fun to be had out of dishing out handjobs and experimenting with the range of grisly moves on offer.
- Dishing out handjobs -- and we never thought we'd say that!
- Getting creative with the varied move-set
- The compelling boss battles
- The frequency of checkpoints. If you die, you sometimes have to go back a long way
- Unrefined combat system and unbalanced A.I.
- The repetitive takedown animations
Handjob dungeon: now that sounds like a great place to visit, doesn’t it? Sadly, it isn’t. It turns out that Handjob Dungeon isn’t a sex den where full-blooded males’ dreams come true, but it’s actually just a play on words and an indication of the type of playground wit and tongue-in-cheek humour that you’ll encounter throughout Splatterhouse, a re-imagining of the 1988 blood-soaked, button-mashing arcade hit.
Handjob Dungeon is actually a dingy, blood-splattered location in the heart of West Mansion, where sharp-clawed monsters with a penchant for blood amble freely down dimly-lit corridors awaiting to unleash their wrath. Thankfully, you have superhuman strength all of your own and think nothing of picking up your own dismembered arm off the floor and beating the living daylights out of any hellish freak that stands in your way. In Splatterhouse, you're the one who dishes out the handjobs.
At its core, Splatterhouse is an old-school brawler where you move from room to room killing monsters, racking up combos and attempting to upgrade your character into an awesome killing machine. The game’s protagonist is Rick, a huge hunk of a guy whose bulging biceps make the Incredible Hulk look rather puny, and who is so hard and immune to pain that he’ll quite nonchalantly batter his way, with limbs or without, through hundreds of ghoulish creatures who try and hamper the search for his kidnapped girlfriend.
Splatterhouse isn’t the type of game that needs a storyline, but the theme of passion and revenge runs through its veins and at least provides some reason for the blood shed. And despite the storyline’s lack of depth, it stays true to the original and beefs things up with some impressive cut-scenes and bags of crude humour to tickle your funny bone and soften the blow of some of the gut-wrenching moves. Splatterhouse succeeds mostly with its humor and there are a few laugh-out-loud moments that come from the mask that Rick wears. The voice of the mask constantly tries to demotivate you by saying such delightful phrases as “For a dick, you’re such as pussy,” and they get cruder and more ridiculous as you progress. You may find yourself shaking your head and even feeling slightly embarrassed at some of the one-liners, but generally it's all tongue-in-cheek.
The storyline follows Rick and his girlfriend Jennifer as they take shelter in a mansion from a storm. It turns out that parapsychologist Dr. West has been conducting bizarre experiments at the mansion and while you’re shacked up a couple of monsters turn up, take Jennifer away and leave Rick nearly dead. Rick gets hold of a "Terror Mask,” that speaks to him through his thoughts. Rick places the mask on his face and then morphs into a killing machine with superhuman strength. On the search for Jennifer, you roam the corridors and rooms of the mansion using anything that you can pick up to lay waste to the vile creatures that stand in your way.
Content-wise, there’s a decent amount to get through, even away from the eight-hour campaign mode. With inspiration gained from the original arcade hit, Splatterhouse not only features a main campaign and a survival arena (where you have to fend off waves of monsters) but when you complete it you also unlock ports of the three original arcade games. Needless to say, the gameplay in these retro outings feels quite dated compared to modern day brawlers, but it’s a good chance to relive some of those memories, or discover why Splatterhouse became one of the first console games to come with a parent advisory warning. In a throwback to those days, Namco has also included some 2D side scrolling, platform sections in the main campaign that break up the constant brawling and tough boss battles rather nicely.
While it’s clear that there’s a lot more Namco could and should have done during these platform sections to make them more current and exciting, jumping over spiked pits, rolling past swinging axes, or jumping over huge chasms, still has a place on modern day consoles. The platform sections in Splatterhouse are rather shallow, but do they require a degree of skill and timing to complete and provide some decent entertainment, albeit not much of a challenge.
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- 1:41pm EST - December 1st, 2010
The frequency of checkpoints. If you die, you sometimes have to go back a long way
First part sounds like a lot of them, second sounds like too few and far between. o.O
- 2:53pm EST - December 1st, 2010
dishing out handjobs...
- 9:55pm EST - December 1st, 2010
@3 lol This game looks fun. Will get it when I get time to play it.
- 10:34pm EST - December 5th, 2010
This review is already 20x better than the B.S. review that some biased loser at IGN did.
- 4:11pm EDT - June 16th, 2011
great game couldn't stop laughing with some of the stuff the mask comes out with