I downloaded the Virtual Console port of Splatterhouse the day it was available, played it for a bit and didn’t get too far before starting up something else and more or less forgetting about it completely. I came back to it for this month’s Educate Yourself
, more determined to actually get somewhere with it. I didn’t think I was doing too bad, making my way through to the chainsaw boss before running out of lives. From there on out I pretty much started a process of beating a boss, getting a bit further, getting a game over and then starting it all over again, this time besting one more boss than the last time. It got to be challenging but never really unfair, y’know?
The levels themselves aren’t too terribly memorable, to me anyways, but a few of the boss fights tend to stand out… The chainsaw boss looked cool, fighting your demon possessed girlfriend was way easier than I thought it’d be, but my favorite boss was the haunted room. An entire room possessed by evil, you get attacked by various objects and pretty much just fight ‘em off ‘til they’re all gone. It took me a couple of tries to figure out a good pattern for my attacks (i.e.: where to stand
}, but once I did figure something out it was all pretty easy. So I finished off the evil room and put down the controller to take a drink of my beverage of choice, only to have the damned chandelier fall on my head. It’s my own fault, I should’ve known better after that extra, final “fuck you
” slug-thing leapt at me at the end of the first boss fight. Oh well, I was ready for it the next time and I hoofed it for the wall after I offed that possessed portrait. A random cool thing I noticed was after I killed one of those basic monsters in Stage III the first zombie wolf rushed out, but it stopped and starting eating the dead thing’s remains. I took a moment to chuckle, then walked up and kicked the wolf to death…
On one of my many last lives I got my ass kicked during my first try at Stage VI, the one with all of those bubbles floating around turning into little critters. Between GTA, Penny Arcade, and Memorial Day weekend I stopped playing for a week and a half or so before picking the WiiMote back up and giving Splatterhouse a go again. I got to stage VI’s boss, who was a bit of a disappointment by the way, having to just punch the shit out of it for a while, stopping only to avoid the same bubble-beasties from the rest of the level. Of course my lives/continues were low by then and I ended up getting offed by VII‘s boss‘s hands. So far I’m 0 for 2 with these Educate Yourself
games, having used cheats last month and failing to actually complete this game this
month. I do plan on finishing Splatterhouse however, but it’s the 31st so I figured I ought to through up a post for the “club”. I was also into the idea behind the Friday Night Fights session revolving around this, but my youngest bro had a tournament this weekend and I was at his game/out with relatives most of last night. Maybe next month, eh?
I’ve always seen images from the arcade version throughout the years, so I was kinda disappointed when I first downloaded Splatterhouse a while back to see that Rick had a (crappy
) red mask instead of the Jason Voorhees style hockey mask. Curse you TurboGrafx-16, curse you. Even bigger disappointments were the rest of the graphical changes. Reduced gore, altered enemies, etc. I’ve seen videos of the original version and stuff like the inverted cross villain being switched to a random head, while it’s chapel/cathedral lair is stripped of anything that would let you know where it is you’re supposed to be fighting is all pretty lame. From what I’ve seen they left in the music and delay from after that particular fight, but cut out the little altar you stand before, which just leaves you standing there for no apparent reason. ‘Tis a shame… One actual gameplay
nitpick I have is that whenever you go up/down a ladder, or walk into a new room you drop whatever weapon you’re carrying. I just wanna keep my plank of wood with me whenever possible, is that so wrong? I’ve also heard Cowzilla talk about the difficulty in pulling off the slide kick, and I’ve got to agree. I never really used it because it was pretty unreliable.
So to wrap this up, I had fun with this one but the total lack of any nostalgic connection on my end left me not feeling too strongly one way or the other about Splatterhouse. I do
appreciate that a game like this came out way back in the ‘80s and was successful enough to spawn two sequels and a soon to come reboot. As far as I can remember there was nothing like this, violence-wise, out there at that particular time. Of course if there was I guarantee my mother kept it away from me… So yeah, I dug it, but I also kinda feel like if you strip away it‘s theme/schtick it‘d probably be a pretty forgettable beat ‘em up. I mean, nothing gameplay-wise actually sticks out, it‘s mainly the presentation/thematic elements/violence that seem to make this stand out. It’s, to me, kind of like Mortal Kombat in that way, except that while those games do
hold some nostalgic value to me, having played ‘em at arcades/friends’ houses, I actually think Splatterhouse is the better game. It’s just that playing it for the first time only relatively recently it doesn’t feel like anything special to me. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on the new version of Splatterhouse though,. Let’s see where it goes, eh?
Oh, and Jason would totally kick Rick’s ass, he doesn‘t have to worry about running out of continues…