Graphics:
6.6
Gameplay:
6.4
Sound:
5.7
Control:
5.9
Replay Value:
6.0
Overall Rating:
6.2
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Namco Bandai
Developer:
Namco Bandai/BottleRocket
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action


Splatterhouse is the bloodiest game ever. I’m willing to make that bold, sweeping statement because in all honesty, I can’t remember a game that tried to drown itself in blood, where the blood was so copious and so prominent, it could almost be classified as a living, breathing entity. This may be enough for the gore-fiends. And really, there are various “holy sh**” moments during your blood-soaked adventure, along with a few occurrences that are so downright outlandish, you just have to laugh. However, it’s all mired in a mediocre production that suffers from iffy and often unresponsive control, a camera that frequently blinds you, frustrating enemy habits, and a host of smaller technical problems. It’s really a rollercoaster ride of emotion; one minute, you’re wishing someone had seen what you just did on the screen and the next, you’re going, “okay, this is awful.” Even the rollercoaster was ultimately disappointing.

Okay, so there’s blood everywhere. Everywhere . It’s gushing from bodies, slopped all over the floor, and dripping from Rick. It’s clear the developers put a ton of effort into the blood and guts but while some of the design is fittingly nasty, and the effects are downright gut-wrenching, not much else is worth noting. The backdrops are bland and uninteresting, you often can’t even see what sort of attack you’re executing due to the deluge of blood, the bad camera frequently limits your view scope, and when up close and personal, the environmental textures suffer terribly. It’s as if they put all their time and resources into making every ounce of blood vivid and horrible, but forgot there were other parts to the game. Oh, and I’m not sure that softer, borderline cel-shaded presentation works for this type of game; it somehow mutes even the worst brutality.

The sound is plagued by technical hiccups and will force you to continually reach for the remote. I hate that. Sometimes, the voices will be directly in your face (usually during cut-scenes) and then, you’ll barely hear them speak (usually during gameplay). Furthermore, that vaunted soundtrack featuring all sorts of bad-ass heavy metal, which I had been looking forward to, falls into the background and is barely audible above the effects, which always dominate. On the good side, the voice performances aren’t bad and the guy who voices the mask (I know I’ve heard him before) is pretty damn good. Rick isn’t too bad, either, and Jennifer and Dr. West are decent. It’s not so much the quality of the voices, effects, or soundtrack that falls shy of expectations; it’s the implementation of the overall audio. The balance is way off, they don’t bring that great metal music to the forefront, and the voices would be soft enough during gameplay to almost disappear entirely.

I could’ve lived with the lackluster technical aspects had the gameplay been fun, entertaining, and in short, a very guilty pleasure. I often break down games into two categories: in one category, the game turned out well; it just didn’t do what I wanted it to do (see Final Fantasy XIII ). Splatterhouse falls into the second category, in which we have games that do exactly what I want, but stumble and fall due to poor development and design decisions and a lack of polish. Yeah, I get to beat the hell out of endless hordes of horrid creatures, and I don’t care much about a boring story or puzzle-solving or anything like that. I just want to kill stuff. That’s what I believe the point of the game should be and in this way, BottleRocket and Namco don’t disappoint. I get exactly what I desired…too bad it’s a seriously gimped version of what I wanted.

The minute I started playing, I knew something was off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, and that’s because later on, I realized it was a combination of about four or five little detractors that are always there, in one form or another and always manage to hamper my butt-kicking. Here, it’s a collision detection issue that seems to affect reeling enemies. There, it’s an unresponsive and awkward control issue during an annoying platforming sequence. Then we have the camera that tends to make my grip on the controller tighten to the point of breaking, and certain little enemy habits that make the controller start to crack. I had to put down the controller for a minute after I had to return to another poorly chosen checkpoint after dying for another stupid reason. I also came to the conclusion that Savage mode (which I assume to be Normal) is far too frustrating and you might have fun with the Cowardly setting.

The story isn’t quite a throwaway plot because something mysterious does lurk beneath the surface but at the start, all you know is that Dr. West has kidnapped your hot girlfriend, Jennifer, and left you, Rick, for dead. The mask with a hellish attitude brings you back, gives you crazy power, and asks you to kill everything in sight, all the while promising the return of your beloved. Fast attack is Square, strong attack is Triangle (and you can hold it down to charge and direct the attack), X is jump, Circle grabs the enemy, R2 blocks (press the left analog to dodge roll while holding R2), L1 engages a special blood-gathering mode that lets you restore health, and L2 allows Rick to transform into a Berserk form, where he deals more damage, is almost immune to normal attacks, and he basically goes ballistic for a short time. So the correct foundation is there. It’s just shaky as all hell.

Jumping can be erratic and unreliable and what’s the deal with Rick’s terrible recovery time? He’ll get hit by an enemy and if that foe is in the midst of a combination, Rick will just stand there and take it, regardless of the speed of the combination. I found that you can roll away from the problem, but it’s still an issue and speaking of the roll: I didn’t like that block and dodge were attached to the same button in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and I don’t like it here. The block also seems difficult to use effectively because the control is loose, and you’re rarely facing in the right direction, which means enemies can smack you from behind. Lastly, I have to mention the Splatterkills: when you’ve beaten on one of The Corrupted enough, his body will glow, which is when you press the Circle button to grab him and perform a crowd-pleasing finishing move with a separate, gut-wrenching animation. It’s totally sick and twisted.

The problem here is that the action happens so fast and an enemy needs to be very near death for the body to glow, that you usually kill him before you even see him glowing. So I started to press Circle about the time I thought he might start glowing, just so I wouldn’t have to stop. Stopping and waiting is a no-no; all you do is button-mash and if you don’t, you’ll probably die. On top of which, the context sensitive command involves the analog sticks (genius move, there; you know, we do still have face buttons), and the amount of time you’re given to process what’s shown is inconsistent. With some enemies, the command came up during a Splatterkill to pull the right analog stick right and the left analog stick left, and it stayed there for a few seconds. I saw it, did it, and Rick did something disgusting. Then, during a boss fight, I could’ve sworn a command came up for exactly one-half second. I saw it flash on screen and never even had a shot of doing it; I was tossed and died immediately.

And that’s the theme for Splatterhouse : inconsistent, erratic, unreliable and sometimes too unforgiving. The combos and skills you earn are pretty sick and some of those foes will give you nightmares, but the overall control and gameplay just isn’t refined and indeed, it feels like an incomplete production. It just needed more time behind closed doors. The issues plaguing the game could’ve been worked out with time, but maybe Namco just didn’t want to delay it again. As is, the concept is just about right – simplify, simplify! – but the execution leaves a ton to be desired. I’ve tried to force my way through area after area and while I always pine for those “good goddamn, that was ridiculous ” moments, I always fear the annoying issues, which, sadly, are inevitable.

The Good: The blood is just…everywhere. Some solid enemy design and decent effects. Splatterkills are insane. Voices can be a plus, especially the mask.

The Bad: Mediocre backgrounds and environments. Poorly balanced sound. Soundtrack buried beneath effects. Camera is always an issue. Control is erratic and awkward, especially when platforming. Story is meh. General gameplay is often just plain annoying.

The Ugly: “Can’t see what I’m doing…oh I see, I’m getting nailed.”

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I think I'm still gonna get it for a guilty pleasure. Sounds like the price will probably drop quickly and a few people on here are enjoying it for what it is. Honestly you don't see much blood in games anymore. Not sure what that's about.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

If you REALLY like the idea, it's maybe worth $20 or $30.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Trust me, when the drought comes around you'll be glad Splatterhouse is ten bucks.

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

I was a big advocate for this game, but I'm gonna hold out for a big drop in price now. I was waiting for the reviews and it doesn't support paying the full price! This was the review I was holding out for… Eurogamer gave it 6/10 which supports the score here. I think World has the right idea, won't be long before the price drop, which suits me fine!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

For some reason I enjoy crummy games once in awhile 🙂

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
10 years ago

I said it before, that games like this one are excellent stress relievers.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Did anyone actually expected this game to be good?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I didn't think it would.

PorkChopGamer
PorkChopGamer
10 years ago

I did. And I was right. But my gaming friends and I still pull out the NES for some Bad Dudes action, so I can enjoy the simple things. The controls in Splatterhouse are good and I liked that time slows when you hold heavy attack so you can aim your hard punches. Same with throwing enemies. If I get cornered, I clear space with Pimp Hand or tackle an enemy to give me a few feet of breathing room, or just ram my way through. The controls are responsive enough to do any of those things at will. I mean the whole accidentally killing before doing a finisher thing can be applied to most games of this type. I'm just curious to what a remake of a cult hit arcade series was 'supposed' to be. Heck, they even have alot of cool 2-D throwback areas in the game. I really enjoyed it.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

PorkChop: The side-scrolling parts of this game are terrible, first of all. Secondly, I can't count how many times a wall completely blocked my view, or how many times the loose control caused problems.

There are also a host of glitches and frame rate issues, which I didn't even bother to mention in the review because the gameplay was frustrating enough.

PorkChopGamer
PorkChopGamer
10 years ago

Well, I can't count how many times a wall did that either, since most of the combat takes place in wide open areas. lol. I had more camera trouble with Enslaved than Splatterhouse. But I guess since it didn't have that aura of Hollywood to validate gaming, all wasn't forgiven…

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

There were camera issues in Enslaved. I also made mention of them in the review.

But by all means, find a critic who will give Splatterhouse a higher score.

I'm not saying one can't have fun. I'm saying that any critic anywhere will spot the significant problems in the first five minutes, and they never go away. If you like it, fine. I'm glad you like it. But don't try to imply I have no idea what I'm looking at…what I'm looking at is mediocre, and I – and just about everyone else – knows it.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/25/2010 12:48:34 AM

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
10 years ago

@PorkChopGamer Why try to compare this with Enslaved, yes enslaved had it's technical issues as well but it was a good game compared to Splatterhouse, there is No comparison!


Last edited by GuyverLT on 11/25/2010 9:31:26 AM

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
10 years ago

It looked cool but I figured it would end up bad.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Ben,
The voice of the mask is voice actor, Jim Cummings

He's been heard in numerous films & TV shows, along with all these voices in Video games he's also done…..

Splatterhouse – The Terror Mask.

Alpha Protocol – Conrad Marburg

Animaniacs – Himself, Radio News

Army Men Series – All voices, except females.

Baldur's Gate Series – Minsc, Firkraag, Gorion, Tazok, Abazigal, Gromnir Il-Khan, Demogorgon

ClayFighter 63â…“ – Bad Mr. Frosty, Houngan, Sumo Santa

Clive Barker's Jericho – Arnold Leach

Dragon Age: Origins

Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse- Title Narrator, Mysterious Ghost, "Spooky Voice", Handy Hand

Fallout – The Master, Set, Gizmo

Icewind Dale – Arundel, Hrothgar,

Kingdom Hearts series – Pete, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Ed

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – Totec, Lara's Partner, Xolotl

The Lost Vikings 2 – Olaf the Stout, Tomator.

Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal – Taz

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Thor

Mass Effect 2 – Urdnot Wreave, Patriarch, Normandy crew member

Mickey's Speedway USA – Pete

Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness – Boris, Hans

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions – Kraven the Hunter, Goblin,Tinkerer

Toonstruck – Feedback, B.B. Wolf, Dough, Snout, Seedy, Warp

Ys: Book I&II – Dalles

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

LOL @ Army Men series – all voices =)

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Well, thanks. Thought I had heard him in a movie, though. 🙂

dkmrules
dkmrules
10 years ago

lol definately good for drought season. Wait, nm I just remembered GT5 and Black ops will be my 2 big games for the year!

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Ben,
No doubt, I'll make bet that you did hear him in a movie.

Here the whole list of Movies & all the TV shows Jim's done too…..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Cummings

(I just realized he's 2 days older than I am too, LOL)

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Kinda saw this coming.

Oxvial
Oxvial
10 years ago

I'm just gonna watch and enjoy a youtube walkthrough of this game with some popcorn.

___________
___________
10 years ago

gameplay annoying!?
how is ripping a dude in half, having the whole screen soaked in blood annoying?
i freaking love this game!
nothing, and i mean NOTHING will put a bigger smile on your face its so sadistic!
i honestly cant believe this did not get banned, i mean the gore is one thing but some of the sh*t the mask says you would only hear from a homicidal maniac!
i love this game, never have i played a game that puts such a massive smile on my face, and makes me laugh so much!
actually, no not only a game, make that anything!
no comedy movie, not even revenge of the pink panther makes me laugh and put a larger smile on my face than splatterhouse!

this is so like just cause 2 im almost sure it was made by the same developers.
yes its technologically a mess, the graphics are poor, the camera is F*CKED! its constantly freezing, its seriously repetitive.
but you know what?
i dont care!
why?
because ripping dudes in half with your bare hands while saying hey want to see your spine?
never gets old!!!!!!!!

another thing i love about this game is its unforgiving brutality!
it brings me back to the good old days were games were seriously hard, not only hard as in one hit and your dead, but hard as in lots and lots of death traps.
this game is constantly mocking you, setting up death traps and if you die you dont go back to where you died, you dont go back to 2 minutes before you died most of the time you get set back a good 10 or so minutes.
especially in boss battles, last one i fought i had to deplete all his health twice, than the third time got about 80% of the way down and died.
most games would take you back to the 3rd level of health so you only need to repeat that, but splatterhouse takes you back to the begining so that 20 minutes you spend carefully dodging all the enemies attacks is now down the drain!
its been so long since i played a game that makes you feel like a little baby, ITS BRILLIANT!
i love it when things egg you on, constantly taunting you because thats what brings out your best.
tis why i love sims, and tis why i really miss old arcade games which were tough as nails!
this is how games are suppose to be, not that oh i died so i go back to right where i died BS!

only things i would like to see changed are the health generation system, all the technological hitches obviously, & the splatterkills.
the health system is really annoying, only way you can regenerate your health is if you have enough rage built up.
everything costs rage, you want to do powerfull moves you need rage, you want to regenerate your health you need rage, you want to execute the rage mode of course you need rage but that soaks up everything where the others only use 1.
everything needs rage, but it takes ages to build it up!
just like MNR, its like being given 500 bucks to pay the weekly bills, fill up the car and do the grossery shopping!
as if thats going to be enough!!!!!!

than theres the splatterkills.
yea there epic, but they get kinda not old or boring, but they loose their effect.
play splatterhouse for the first time and your jaw hits the ground, you laugh like a evil sadistic henchmen.
than do the same crap you did when you first played the game and it looses its impact, not boring or not fun at all quite the opposite, but just not the OMFG thats so cool you first felt.
if the game had constant new graphic kills throughout the game than that and the technological fixes would make this game near perfect!

biggest difference between this and NFS HP is one is seriously fun, and one is seriously frustrating.
yes both have F*CKED controls, but it does not matter in splatterhouse because that does not destroy your enjoyment.
it does however destroy your enjoyment in NFS HP because you crash into walls, crashing into walls = lost time, = possible destruction of car, = possible penalties depending what mode your playing.
neither of those are fun, that is why i love splatterhouse when it has F*CKED controls and why i hate NFS HP when it has F*CKED controls.

shame too, this could of made a really good horror game it they actually made it scary!
pop in a good story, make it scary, fix up all the technological issues, put in a slow regenerating health system, add some new splatterkills, and that would make it a near perfect, if not perfect game!

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
10 years ago

Blah, blah, blah…

___________
___________
10 years ago

do me a favor, if you dont have anything constructive to the conversation keep your fat trap shut!
thank you.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

You screaming at the top of your lungs about how you're always right about everything – when in fact, I can't remember a time when you were right about ANYTHING – just annoys people. For instance, nobody will agree with you that NFS's controls are bad……you just suck at the game.

Seeing as how you can't help yourself when it comes to wild ranting, you're going to have to accept some backlash. Either that, or just STOP. Try to make a comment that doesn't sound like you've been hopped up on caffeine for a month.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/25/2010 10:30:36 AM

CH1N00K
CH1N00K
10 years ago

And for some odd reason, I'm not at all shocked that you love this game… Of course I was surprised you actually had something half decently nice to say about anything on this site…until you started slamming NFS again because of your own in-ability to control anything that requires opposable thumbs. Which leads me to wonder, if you are actually the ape you act like on this site..when did your banana tree get internet?

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

He complained about not being able to do anything in Modnation Racers too… lol. Just like NSF, he sucked at Modnation too. I remember still, everything he complained about was due to his inability to use abilities in moderation.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Lol! What Fluffer said. I would also like to add Yada, Yada, Yada!

Dude, get on some Ritalin.

Oxvial
Oxvial
10 years ago

LOL I'm actually starting to like ''___________'' , hes sooooo random.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

If you're going to allow people to insult the comments of others then I think blank boy is in his right to defend himself.

All he's written there is his own point of view. So what if he's wildly inaccurate at times? He didn't write the article, he's writing about his experience.

Why not take a closer look at the insulter instead? I'm sure you'll see a trend.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
10 years ago

It figures you would like this game.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Alienange, if "blah, blah, blah" constitutes some terrible insult, we need to ban everyone right now.

Telling someone to shut the hell up, on the other hand, is something I'll respond to.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

______________,

<<<<<and do the "gross"ery shopping!>>>>

And there lies the whole problem….

…."you're simply just not getting enough irregular poop in your fiber"


Last edited by BikerSaint on 11/25/2010 10:19:33 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

LOL! Biker. Hahaha!

nojustice37
nojustice37
10 years ago

Not true, you can regenerate health through splatter kills. Splatter kills also earn you more blood and necro.

nojustice37
nojustice37
10 years ago

Oh yeah, you can also heal to FULL HEALTH just by activating berserker mode, then deactivating it immediately.

A2K78
A2K78
10 years ago

"Did anyone actually expected this game to be good?"

I didn't. In fact I knew it was going to be crap the from the time it was announced.

EightThirty
EightThirty
10 years ago

Still playing it ^_^

Clenchmask
Clenchmask
10 years ago

Dutka is a cunt. Registered just to say that. Game's fun as hell if you're a fan of the originals. Nuff said. The 2D parts are SPOT FUCKING ON. Seriously the absolute only problem I have is the load times after a death. Takes a little bit of forever to get back into it. Learning curve is surprising… had to play on easy for bit to get the timing down, but it's good stupid bloody fun.

nojustice37
nojustice37
10 years ago

Wow. This review is terrible. Guess what kids? The music, sound and voice overs can be turned up or lowered in the options screen. The control configuration can ALSO be changed in the options screen. You can also CONTROL THE CAMERA! As far as the control of the character goes in game I didn't have one problem. Maybe you need a new controller seeing as you make your "Controller crack"? Everything you bring up as a complaint, you can fix.

When you pummel a monster, it cannot attack you, but if a monster attacks you and YOU get stunned… Well that's just unfair? … Riiiiiiiight. I see you are used to games that are a walk in the park. I beat it on Savage (Normal) difficulty with no real trouble, and I'll be beating it on Brutal this week. The only real complaint I had with this game was the load times after dying.

Plain and simple, like Clenchmask said, if you like the original games, or hell, if you like beat em' ups or 1980's horror movies which Splatter House is an homage to, give this game a try. You won't be disappointed.

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