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Holiday Revisit: Splatterhouse

The holiday season is here and in full swing. Red is a very common color during Christmas and I’m here to tell you why this Christmas will be the reddest ever!

Splatterhouse gameplay

Rick has anger issues.

Splatterhouse is the kind of game that will ask you, “What would you do to save the one you love?” The game’s protagonist Rick, is faced with that very question as soon as the game begins. As he lies bleeding to death on the floor a crazed mad scientist drags his girlfriend Jenny, kicking and screaming into the dark depths of the mansion they both had entered just minutes ago. As he fades in and out of consciousness he can hear a solitary voice beckoning him, calling to him to do something! “Get up!” “Save her!” Rick searches desperately to find who the voice belongs to but only sees an ancient mask lying on the floor beside him. Answering the call, he grabs the mask and lifts it to his face.
One third Jason Vorhees and two thirds the Incredible Hulk, The Terror Mask lends it’s strength to Rick so that he may save Jenny and so that The Mask may get a little play time. Play time of course meaning the disembowelment of any enemy that happens to get in the way! Splatterhouse will have players doing just that! From the very start, players will use Rick’s new found strength to to rip limbs off of his enemies and use them to beat into submission anything else unfortunate enough to try and stop him. Splatterhouse has been around for quite awhile now and the older games in the series were very similar to side scrolling beat ’em ups like Streets of Rage or Double Dragon. For the developers to bring Splatterhouse into the future, a hack and slash approach was right on the money. There are also some levels that are direct homages to the previous games as they play exactly like a side scroller.

Now ripping organs from the anuses of demons (I’m not kidding! You’ll do this a lot!) is not only for the satisfaction of doing so. The blood your foes spill will be collected by The Mask and used for upgrades to increase your health, defense, and of course, your brutality! Long blades that protrude from Rick’s fists, shock waves caused by his massive form, and a nice tackle move that lets you beat your opponent senseless are just a few of the available upgrades. Did I mention this game was violent? After some fights, not only will the area be covered in blood, but Rick will find himself with a nice new paint job… With blood you see? It is easily the most violent game I’ve played! There are few puzzle elements in the game but they really aren’t the type that make you think, they’re more the type of how many enemies can I impale or which eye should I poke out.

It's safe, he's arm less!

You'll often have your arm ripped off. This only hinders the brutality a little bit though.

The soundtrack for the game was superbly chosen and the score amazingly composed! No music genre except heavy metal could’ve done this game any justice. From the songs of Mastodon and Lamb of God to the music composed by Howard Drossin, the soundtrack will fuel the players need to “Splatter” their enemies all over this “House”! Accompanying the well done soundtrack, the sound effects will put players right into Rick’s shoes as bones crack and blood pours onto the floors with excellent audio quality. The characters themselves come alive through the beautiful performances of the actors and actresses. Jim Cummings is a veteran voice actor so it comes to no surprise that his performance as the Terror Mask breathes life into this demonic entity like no one else could! Just wish The Mask had a few more one liners. They’re good, don’t get me wrong, but you’ll hear them quite often!

Splatterhouse is one of the best games I’ve ever played! From the brutal combat to the nods of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and the mythos, it’s earned a special place in my heart. It’s not a perfect game though. A few glitches like entire areas loosing textures and allowing me to see through everything made the game a tad difficult sometimes. I was often left wanting at times too. There’s a lot of combat in the game but it seemed like I could never have enough of it. The game offers survival arenas to challenge after the story is finished but for someone who has maxed out their character, they will be of little challenge. Splatterhouse is an awesome game that was overlooked my many when it hit shelves last year. Those who love heavy metal, classic horror themes, nostalgia, and adventures that make you question just who the real antagonist may be then Splatterhouse is for you! Available for both PS3 and Xbox 360 and easily a budget title by now, make this the perfect stocking stuffer the gamer on your list!