Year Of Release: 1988
Released by Namco in 1988, Splatterhouse is something of a cult favourite with gamers even to this day. The game is clearly inspired by some the most popular horror movies of the 80’s such as Poltergeist, Halloween, Evil Dead and of course Friday The 13th. There really was nothing like this game at the time it was released and it certainly captured the attention of both horror fans and gamers looking for something that was a little different.
Splatterhouse has a pretty interesting story running through it. You play the role of a young man called Rick. Rick is a student who finds himself trapped inside the creepy West Mansion. Rick is injured and is awoken by an entity called the Terror Mask. Rick puts on the Terror Mask and is granted increased strength which he needs to save the love of his life, Jennifer from the horrors of the West Mansion. The story was fantastic and it certainly did a great job in getting you pumped up to play the game. As the Splatterhouse series would progress it would actually turn into a really well written series of games.
Splatterhouse from a presentational point of view just looks fantastic. The game is truly horrific with half dead corpses and rotting corpses all over the place. The gore was pretty off the chart with Rick being able to wield weapons like a sword and latterly slash an enemy in half. Or you could smash them against the wall with a baseball bat. Gameplay wise its more than fair to say that despite being a fun game, Splatterhouse has not aged as well as other side scrolling beat em up games. Rick controls well enough, but he does not have a good variety of attacks and if you do not have a weapon you have to make due with just punching enemies over and over again. Splatterhouse though is a game that is all about its style. And it’s cool horror style more than makes up for the somewhat limited game play.
Current High Score: 493,700, 100 percent completion by Caitlin Oliver
Splatterhouse was a very popular game, but it’s what at the time was classed as mature theme resulted din not to many home conversions being made. In Japan the PC Engine (TurboGrafx) would get a fantastic port of the game that was very well received. As well as this the FM Towns Marty and PC would also get the game.
Splatterhouse would be released in the West on the TurboGrafx 16, but many changes were made such as the removal of religious things in the game, toning down some of the gore and most notable of all, Ricks Terror Mask was no longer white to avoid any potential law suits with the people behind the Friday The 13th movies.
There would be a game called Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti that would only be released in Japan for the Famicom. This was a light hearted take on the Splatterhouse franchise and is now actually a really hard game to track down.
Splatterhouse 2 and 3 wold appear on the Sega Mega Drive and would be far more cinematic than the first arcade game. They would flesh out the story with some text and some very creepy cut-scenes which at the time were very impressive. Splatterhouse 2 would be more of the same, but for Splatterhouse 3 things were changed and there was exploration involved and now Rick could walk up and down as well as just left and right.
2010 would see the Splatterhouse series rebooted for the Sony Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. This is actually a fantastic game that was unfairly panned by critics. It has a truly fantastic story and in all does a great job of bringing Splatterhouse into the world of 3D gaming. Sadly the negative scores and poor sales mean it is very unlikely we will get another game in the series. The 2010 Splatterhouse game also included the three original Splatterhouse games as a bonus.