Review – Splatterhouse (360)

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Very rarely do I feel I missed the boat on playing a game when it is initially released. Unfortunately, like most I am drawn to the over hyped and over marketed triple A titles, which leads to gems like Splatterhouse flying well under my radar. I have plugged countless quarters into the arcade originals and even worked a few summers to save up for that Turbo Graphics 16 which led to my love for the series. So, lets go ass to couch and eyes to screen for the long overdue review of Splatterhouse for the Xbox 360. We are back in the game as Rick, the nerdy anti hero we all grew up loving in the series. Rick’s smoking hot damsel in distress Jen is on her way to interview a Dr. West about his current work as a scientist. The story is told mostly in flash backs throughout the game but we get the gist at the start. Jen has been captured by West at their arrival and Rick was attacked. Almost dead, Rick picks up a talking Mayan mask from a sarcophagus he broke moments before. The mask convinced him that by wearing it he can avoid death and save his little hottie in the process. On goes the mask and off we are into a world of gore, profanity and metal music.If you have played more than 2 minutes of this game you will first notice the adult nature of things in Rick’s personal hell. You will be blasted with profanity pretty much the entire time and that is on top if the gore, nudity and perversion that runs clear through this title. **Parents be warned if you blind buy this for your kids and they come to dinner calling you a tit mouse and threating their siblings with anal spikes, it’s your own damn fault.** For me all of the above was perfectly paced and made me laugh out loud more than a few times. If you don’t laugh the first time you slam an enemy into an “anal impalement chair and they are carted into a blazing inferno, this game may not be for you. Hell, the game itself makes fun of getting an M rating. I believe all of these things led to the lack of media push and buzz that most titles of this caliber get. I could quickly name five or more 2010 titles that received way more press and praise then they ever deserved but we all know how the business goes when it comes to titles like this. Had it been another title with rap music and 50 cent glorifying the gangsta way of life, MTV would have ran a clip every 29 minutes. This crap always irks me a little bit but I digress.The characters were all top notch. They really put a lot into the characters visually and it shows each time you face a new boss. The Voltron like doll stands out for me from the end of chapter 3 as a really creative and creepy character. I loved how Rick visually showed physical damage with bones showing and flesh torn. Consume a little blood and BAM Rick was like brand new. The weaker enemies were repetitive and pretty predictable as are most in these God of War type games. The levels all felt pretty linear with little area for exploration when it came to finding these elusive torn up pictures of Jen, some even nude. GASP! All too often soundtracks are either overlooked or just plain don’t work. The music over all was paced almost perfectly to the action as you ripped apart the enemies and consumed their blood. The inclusion of actual bands songs was also a plus here, and being metal fit the story and action perfectly. Hearing Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch kick in as I am about to rip a demon apart only jacked me up more for the task at hand. If metal is not your thing get this title on Xbox 360 and play a custom soundtrack so all you Yanni fans can kill to the beat. Sound effects also seemed to work well and happen as planned without drowning or overpowering other sounds. The voice acting for the main characters was good and helped deliver believable performances when needed. The mask itself is almost comedy gold at times and makes you laugh when things get serious. Between the controls and camera I could have busted about 11 controllers and rewrote the dictionary of profanity. The platforming elements in this game, namely the jumping, were a bust. Why the hell would you expect this hulking, slow walking monster to spring through 7 or so jumps when the mechanic itself barely works? I must have fell to my death a 100 times only leading to more frustration and that damn 30 second load screen each time. Also, if you are going to have a load screen that long and possibly that often, please have something more than a 5 second clip of a beast/enemy snarling over and over. I turned it off more than once for the pure fact I was sick of dying and having to see that damn loading sequence. The other game controls worked pretty smoothly. I especially liked the combat which also reminded me of the God of War series. You will earn blood for killing, and the more gruesome the more blood you bank to purchase new moves and upgrades. The blood also heals Rick and is used for special moves when he goes into a type of rage mode via the mask. You must learn how to use this rage because without it, getting out of the first act could be impossible. There are also a decent amount of bugs and glitches throughout the campaign. I noticed plenty of disappearing items that would reappear, which can really screw you in battle when you need a weapon. The camera also left me “high and dry” plenty of times. I don’t know what games they took the camera cue from but it plain just did not work and led to more broken controllers and profanity when enemies come up behind you and killed you in a hit or two (I am looking directly at you neon blue skeleton jerk). There is no multi-player to be seen on this title and I am perfectly fine with that. Too many developers tack on shoddy multi-player elements or spend too much time on multi-player and the single player campaign suffers. If there was a multi-player option personally I would have played Co-op Ala Dead Island style. Do not fret though we have replayability in the form of arenas. In these levels you have to survive 20 waves per arena to consider it passed. Passing these also unlocks secret objectives and other pictures of Jen for all you pervs…. me included. This is where I saw the most glitches ever. On the second arena I must have had an enemy glitch on me and stick on screen unable to be killed 3 different times. This is an issue because the next wave of enemies could not attack and the match would go on forever. Overall this kicks some serious ass and was easily one of the best horror titles, if not the best of 2010. Even with the camera, glitches and sometimes shoddy mechanics I would recommend this to any horror fan. If you can find a copy now it should not run you more than a cool 20 bucks. At that cost this ride is well worth seeking out and taking for a spin. Pros Slick visuals Awesome combat/moves Great soundtrack Includes all three original titles in the series Cons Damn camera Constant loading screens Glitches

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I am a writer/reviewer for the lovely and I love Horror, video games and coffee. Currently I spend my days hunting sparkly vampires.

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