Namco Bandai Games / BottleRocket
Namco Bandai Games
Action, Survival Horror
Review copy provided by the publisher
Remakes seem to be popping up all over the place nowadays, and as far as this one goes… justice has followed through with Splatterhouse as purchase for your collection should be imminent with this title. I didn’t quite know what to expect before I jumped in, but this house of horror was everything that I could have hoped for. A real treat for fans of the original series. Read more for my full review.
Written by comic book writer, Gordan Rennie (Judge Dredd and 2000 A.D.), Splatterhouse takes the world of survival horror and kicks it up a notch, or two, but the story is rather simple. It revolves around love. A young dorky-looking boy (Rick Taylor) loves a young hot-looking girl (Jenny). Jenny wants to interview a professor (Dr. West) but is instead kidnapped because she looks like West’s dead wife (Lenora). Rick practically dies during the kidnapping and as he lays there is a pool of his own blood, bleeding out, a voice from within the Terror Mask calls out to him; transforming Rick into a killing machine who won’t stop at anything until his love is safe in his arms and a score has been settled.
Technically, this game marks the fourth in the series but ultimately is its own standalone title. As an added bonus, players will be able to unlock all of the original Splatterhouse games by progressing through the story of this bloody as H-E-double hockeystick of a game. Featuring iconic locations, characters, story elements and weapons from the original titles, Splatterhouse mixes a unique combination of classic 2D side-scrolling and top-down view into a 3D world. A definite treat for those who followed the original series.
You will really need to use every amount of muscle that you have in order to succeed in Dr. West’s mansion. Hordes of evil blood-hungry baddies will be pummeling you with everything they have to stop you from saving Jenny, but don’t let that get you down; you have the Terror Mask to help you along the way.
“What makes the grass grow?” you ask. “Blood, blood, blood!” Splatterhouse is definitely not one of those games for the squeamish. If you’re not a fan of blood or dismemberment, then I suggest playing a different game because this title is not going to replace its red crimson with red roses and daffodils. Blood is a major part of the plot for Splatterhouse, as you need it to survive. You’ll use it to unlock special abilities and skills, go into Berkserker mode and for putting your health back to 100 percent. Without blood in Rick’s life, let’s just say that you won’t make it past the front doors of this little house of horrors.
Throughout the game, you’ll need to combat against enemies with a variety of different combo moves, since this is a “hack ‘n slash,” expect a lot of button mashing. One of the best types of attacks are “Splatterkills,” which are basically just like executions that take you to a gruesome cut-scene where you’ll obliterate your foe with a dismemberment or some form of fisting action (you’ll know what I’m talking when you see it).
Berkserker Mode can be used once your Necro Meter reaches full capacity by pressing “R2” and transforming Rick into a full-on killing machine. Watch out though, because Berkserker Mode does run out once your Necro Meter is empty. By collecting blood, either from killing or stepping on Boreworms, you’ll be able to fill your Necro meter once again.
You’ll also be able to battle in Survival Arenas. Complete 20 rounds of enemy waves and see how long you’ll be able to last. As you progress through each wave, you’ll unlock weapons and items such as sexy pictures of Jenny to collect to go towards 100% of completion. You’ll also need to collect these sexy photos (and I really do mean “sexy photos”) of Jenny throughout story mode as well. Each stage you’ll need to search boxes or breakables to find these pictures. Some of them are kind of hard to find, and others are in the open, but all you need to do is look around and you will see them laying on the ground.
The cast of Splatterhouse did an amazing job. My favorite character by far has to be the Terror Mask, voiced by none other than Mr. Jim “Darkwing Duck” Cummings. Nothing better than having actors from some of my favorite cartoons while growing up be a part of a gruesome and downright action-packed survival horror game. At times, I felt chills going down my spine as Jim Cummings spoke some of his lines. Also, amongst the cast is Richard Doyle who plays Dr. West and is most notable as voicing many of the characters from the Metal Gear Solid series. Josh Keaton, who recently voiced the Ultimate Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions lends his voice as Rick Taylor, the geeky-looking Mastodon-loving metal head.
One of the coolest features about Splatterhouse was the real-time physical damage and regeneration of Rick, as it shows the rebuilding of his bone, limbs, muscle and skin when he becomes damaged. The above image shows Rick’s regeneration, if you hadn’t already noticed.
There are so many different types of weapons to use throughout the game. Some of my favorites include the heads and limbs of enemies. The weapon that seems to do the most damage without having to go into Berkserker Mode is the cleaver, giving you the ability to decapitate an enemy instantly with one swing of the blade. Other weapons include 2×4’s, chainsaw, a metal pipe, a baseball bat, boom stick, as well as your own severed limbs.
At any time during the game, you’ll be able to upgrade your skills, health, special moves, grabs, fast attacks, rolls, Berserker Mode abilities and much more. All that you’ll need to do is access the upgrade menu by pressing “select.” Sounds simple… that’s because it is. Just remember to collect all the blood that you can because your upgrades depend on it.
I was literally blown away by the soundtrack for this title. I’m a metal-head and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the guitar shreds and blast beats from the soundtrack, which features some of the best metal acts in the industry such as Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Terrorizer, Goatwhore and many more. The soundtrack alone is brutal and definitely gives this title that extra kick it deserves.
I was completely shocked and blown away with Splatterhouse and I had a lot of fun playing through this title. The story was intriguing and really had a lot of great qualities about it. There was so much detail put into Splatterhouse and I really feel like this title deserves a play-through by everyone who enjoyed the original series as well as those who enjoy the “hack ‘n slash” genre. Just the fact that you’ll receive all of the original Splatterhouse games with this purchase should be a selling point for the original fans. Pick this game up now! You won’t be disappointed.
- Title: Splatterhouse
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Developer: Namco Bandai Games / BottleRocket
- Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
- Release Date: November 23, 2010
- MSRP: $59.99
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers, Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review.