Splatterhouse (Sega/1989)

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Story: 

In a house called West Mansion aka Splatterhouse, parapsychologist Dr. West has been conducting some strangeexperiments and has recently disappeared. Parapsychologystudents, Rick Taylor and his girlfriend Jennifer Willis, pay the house a visit to research a schoolproject, however, they encounter a  pack of mysterious unseen enemies that leave Rick unconscious and Jennifer kidnapped. 

Rick awakens in a dungeon, finding himself wearing what’s referred to as the ‘terror mask’, an ancient Mayan artifact from Dr. West’s studies. Rick finds that the mask grants him great strength and power, therefore he uses it to find and rescue Jennifer.

Graphics: 

While the sprites aren’t all that impressive, the disturbing images in this game are enough to widen your eyes like no other. Bare in mind, this was made around 1989 and the graphics, compared to today’s standards, pretty much suck for the most part but man, this is “Hellraiser” and “Resident Evil” style gore, guts, and blood all rolled into one.

Controls: 

They function just like any other 2D beat ’em up arcade game. Kick, punch, jump, and move on. Although I would advise care and caution when making certain jumps over spikes and other hazards.

Gameplay: 

You control Rick in a sidescrolling-esque action/adventure/beat ’em up version of “The Evil Dead”. You journey throughout the mansion while fending off an army of various grotesque creatures and monsters in order to find and save Jennifer. You’ve got your punch, kick, and special attacks as well as low kicks, low punches, and jumping methods. In every level, you will either walk left or right. The game also has its moments of branched gameplay during some of the middle levels as they involve falling down holes or climbing ladders all as alternate pathways in the house. Each level will also climax with a boss battle.

Overall: 

“Streets of Rage” meets the “Evil Dead” movies is probably one of the most accurate ways of describing “Splatterhouse”. It’s got a creepy atmosphere with tons of monsters that look as if they’re fresh out of “The Evil Dead” and “Hellraiser” combined. The game allows for multiple paths, allowing for further replay value upon winning. There’s enough blood, violence, and dark/scary visuals to keep the faint of heart away from the game itself. While the gameplay may be of somewhat standard beat ’em up fair, you will be enticed and amazed by the game’s horrific and surreal images to continue playing, the terrifying imagery is what makes this game really stand out. 

Rating: ***

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