Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Horror Review: Splatterhouse 2







Splatterhouse 2
Platform: Genesis / Virtual Console

It's been three months since Rick's escape from West Mansion...

Rick has been tormented by nightmares of Jennifer's screams and the infernal temptations of the Terror Mask, the Very mask he used to gain the power he needed to fight his way out of the monsterous residence. Despite his escape he wasn't able to save Jennifer and now he finds himself reliving the events of the original Splatterhouse in his dreams. But something else is calling out to him and telling him to return to where it all started, and that he can save Jennifer if he only comes back.. that something is of course the Terror mask itself!!!





Splatterhouse 2 is the obligatory continuation of the original Turbo Grafx and arcade game, which is a side scrolling brawler that takes you through eight stages and from here to the hearafter to save your beloved girlfriend from the clutches of the dead and deader. The game has obvious influences from movies like Friday the 13th, but it also takes a lot from movies like Evil dead (lol vomiting deer heads) and Alien (the screaming Mimis ) and even Chud (Basicaly, they're zombies, but you fight them in the sewer in one stage and they look closer to chuds than anything) to create an interesting styled experience all it's own.




Now you're playing with Power!!

Rick can basically punch, kick, jumpkick, and slide his way through the game, while using other helpful items like lead pipes, Shotguns, wooden Oars, Chainsaws, and Chud heads to beat the deadites to a (bloodier) pulp. The controls are fairly responsive, but Rick has all the speed and grace of a molasses covered rinoceros, then again you tend to forget that you're basically controlling a hero version of Jason Voorhees, so I guess it's par for the corpse (ha). To be fair, Rick controls about the same as he did in the TG16 and Arcade versions of Splatterhouse, so at least the game gets an A for consistency.






is that enough gore for ya?

The graphics are well... splattery. The game plays heavily on Gore, so watching the monsters go splat all over the walls and floor can be pretty entertaining. The game is well designed for it's time, right down to the heavily detailed monsters in some stages. One boss' eyes literally explode out of their sockets upon defeat, while another falls over into a splashy puddle of fleshy goodness. If you're used to watching movies like Saw or Hostel you're probably not going to flinch at all, but that's ok. Back in the 90s we loved Splatterhouse for this kind of stuff.

The sound of fear...

I might sound a little biased, but I think the music is fantastic! Out of the things I admire the Genny for, one is definitely it's sound chip, which didn't do as well for voices as it did for aiding in the atmospheric nature of many of it's games. Splat 2 was no exception here, as it provides some very creepy music to keep you going through all eight stages. The most chilling use of this is on the 'ritual' stage where you have a combination of eerie music and some sort of strange chanting. Back in the day, I kept having to turn down the sound for fear of something being summoned within my bedroom to get me as I slept. Other tracks that get special mention are the intro which you'll probably find yourself replaying again and again on each playthrough just to set the tone of the adventure. Additional favorites are stage 3's rotten river and all of the boss music.






Tough, but not impossible..

The game has adjustable difficulty, and each time you complete a stage the game gives you back two hearts as a reward (a throwback to the original). There are times where you find yourself having to memorize patterns to continue on (which was a staple of games back then, and a test of skill and timing). As you progress things get a little more difficult and If you lose all your lives you have to go back to the beginning of the stage. This may put off some of the new-schoolers, but a lot of the older gamers know the drill.

Splatterhouse 2 is old school gaming all the way, and could be called 'dated' by most, but it's a really good entry in the series. It brings a lot more to the table to further improve a rather solid formula established by the first game. If you liked the first game, or are looking for a good VC game to play on a dark and stormy night, then you should definitely give this one a run-through.

Next Time:  You will come to understand fear as i have....

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