Friday, November 3, 2017
Friday's Choice Cuts: The Splatterhouse Video Game Series (Namco/Namco Bandai)
That magazine ad started it all. I was on the cusp of turning 10 and flipping through a Gamepro magazine when I saw it: Splatterhouse. The lower left screen shot had the main protagonist (Rick) shooting a shotgun at a guy with chainsaws for arms and a bag on his head. I thought that was the coolest looking thing ever.
Unfortunately, my local arcade never got a cabinet of Splatterhouse, and the only person in my town with a Turbografx 16 had the game but they were older than me and the few times I asked if I could try Splatterhouse he always said he didn't want anyone playing his Turbografx. It didn't help that the system was fucking insanely expensive.
Luckily I had a Genesis and they eventually made Splatterhouse 2 and 3 for that system. When I became an adult and learned of emulators I was able to play the arcade and the Turbografx port. Then I even tracked down a Famicom rom with its chibi art style. In 2010 (20 years after the original port) a reboot was put released and as you completed the game it unlocked the arcade game as well as 2 and 3. If nothing else it's worth the money for that.
Now that I've dragged you on my nostalgia journey, what is Splatterhouse? It's a horror game where your girlfriend Jennifer is kidnapped (a lot) and Rick dons something known as the Terror Mask which grants him intense strength to fight everything from poltergeists to severed heads controlled by an inverted cross (or tombstone if it's the TG port). You get all the typical weapons such as a 2x4, a shotgun, a giant meat cleaver, etc. I think the only thing that's missing is getting your own chainsaw. All of these, with the exception of the reboot, are side-scrollers. You do have moments where you interact with some background elements depending on the level.
If you're into horror and video games then I definitely recommend seeking these out. I know the Namco collection on the Nintendo e-store has the original port but if you e-Bay a copy of the 2010 game for PS3 then I recommend that. I paid something like $5 for mine but in truth, it'll be priceless to me because I finally get to play all of the Splatterhouse (no thanks to you, Billy! Fuck your Turbografx!)