March 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Articles, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Its not often that titles that fall under the AAA radar of most gamers is something worth talking about. And whilst missing Halloween, possibly the best suited launch dates for this game in the UK, Splatterhouse still has a chance to get the attention it deserves.

Our story follows that of Rick, barely conscious, face down in his blood. His last memories that of his girlfriend Jen, being taken away by a strange old man deeper into his mansion walls. With his final breaths, Rick is spoken to by something known as the Terror Mask, and by wearing the mask, Rick will be able to act revenge on the creatures that are taking his love away, but to what price will he have to pay down the line?

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The combat in this beastly beat-em up is simple, with X being quick attacks, Y being heavy, B being grab attacks and the LT to bust a move out and let the Terror Mask take over to increase the bloodshed. More advanced tactics include blocking, dodging and using your upper body as a sprinting battering ram. All being upgradeable to maximize the bodily harm you can do to all the enemies that will be coming after you throughout the game.

The only real issue with the combat is the over the top special kills get tiring and repetitive way too soon in the game. Whilst the squeezing of heads, ripping of limbs and the rather tasteless ‘anus’ punch finish move are all specific to the certain enemies and they do have a habit of slowing the flow of the game down. Sometimes you’ll find yourself avoiding the special moves to just to help things move on a little faster.

The game opts for a cartoon like, yet serious tone, perhaps being better described as a ‘step up from cell shading’ to give it a bit more of a grittier pop, yet still keeping things mellow but eerie. Since we’re not looking for the next Resident Evil experience, this art direction suits the games general tone, even with the comedic outbursts from the Terror Mask.

The game also has an interesting feature in which Rick, whilst getting all up in the grills of monsters alike, will actually physically take damage from them. Going beyond the traditional fading bloodstain, Rick’s arms and torso will actually be aesthetically damaged, so you can see muscle, organs and in some case’s bone. Take too many hits in succession and Rick will lose an arm, severely weakening your attacks. From here, you have two options; take refuge from the onslaught until the powers of the Terror Mask will regenerate your missing limb. Or get your rage on. Pick up said limb with your still attached arm, and start swinging. Soggy end first, of course.

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To add a little more length to the game, there are extra difficulties, audio files from the antagonist of the game and pieces of pictures. Each level has a set amount of pieces the pictures to collect and put together yet it’s the content of them that’s a little bit unnecessary. Perhaps it took from the idea of Mafia II’s Playboy collectables, but Splatterhouse includes images, often naked, of Rick’s girlfriend Jen. But as a gamer, this addition could appeal to the pre-pubescent of us gamers, but for those who are a little more grown up for computerized boobies, it just adds a little more to Splatterhouses occasional ‘a little bit too much’.

As well as more difficulties, there are combat arenas for you to hone your skills, each arena with its own kill challenges for you to complete, and if that’s not enough, also unlock able are the original three Splatterhouse arcade titles. Kickin’ it back old school.

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Splatterhouse, whilst being a fun and a bit of a different game, also has a strong sense of immaturity which can often ruin it, if it took itself a little more seriously, Splatterhouse could have been a little bit more of an experience.

With all the titles out at the moment, Splatterhouse makes it in the pack as a nice game. Nice, being not too great, but not at all too shabby. With a good, albeit slightly predictable story-line, and a good varied amount of locations and reasons to just go a little nuts and start tearing enemies limb from limb. Splatterhouse does suffer a little with its slight repetitiveness, sometimes unnecessary over the top features and sometimes a little inconsistent upkeep of graphics. With issues aside, Splatterhouse is FUN. Splatterhouse does deserve your time and attention if you’re a fighting story based/horror fan or even if you just fancy something a little different to what’s out on the #1 spots right now. But the game doesn’t push itself enough to be a bestseller, and in some cases, you just wish it did.



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