Aside from the adventure to save Rick's girlfriend, Splatterhouse also has a survival mode. Featuring some of the more prominent arena settings from the main story and waves of progressively challenging combinations of enemies, I found survival mode to be a fun experience. There's no puzzle solving, platforming, or story nonsense here. Just a challenge that puts your strategical thinking and skills to the test as you conserve necro energy and weapons for the times you really need them. The only complaint I have is that the timer will continue to record your total time as the game loads the next wave. It made me feel a little cheated. Survival mode is also an easy way to collect new photos of Jen, which is the only collectible in the game and serves as fan-service. Then again I've never been more motivated to explore every nook and cranny to find little scrapes of paper before, so bravo.
The sound effects border from cartoony to gross with the different effects. The only one that seemed out of place was the sound of walking on metal services. The constant “clang-boing” was distracting during the slaughterhouse level. Voice acting was phenomenal and fit well with the script, elevating the story from pulpy to something closer to a main stream horror movie. There are some exceptions though. The comments made by the Terror Mask every time a splatterkill is initiated or Rick picks up a weapon could have used a bit more variety and a bit less profanity. Achievements were handed out like candy as I played. Most are straight forward and not that difficult to complete, so my gamerscore saw a nice healthy boost by the time I finished the main story. The only thing left to do after the story and arena modes was play the originals. Splatterhouse for the arcade, Splatterhouse II and III (for the Genesis) are included. I played them for only a few minutes, but didn't feel inclined to play them through. No offense to fans of the series, but side scrolling beat 'em ups were never my favorite games.
Gallons of blood were spilled in my trek across different times and places. I killed every type of creature imaginable (except for humans). There were points where I had fun, but I'm not going to put the disk back in my Xbox 360 anytime soon. Obviously Splatterhouse is not something I would pick up from the shelf for myself. I was surprised by the story and the game play was solid for the most part. I recommend it for anyone who loves grindhouse flicks, Lovecraft, or action games. It might not be the jewel of your game collection, but it is definitely worth a purchase if it lines up with your tastes. If you really want the opinion of a real fan, check out this review at the West Mansion.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
If Splatterhouse has caught your interest you should give it a rent. It's a solid action game with an interesting story and a lot of blood. There's enough content to justify a purchase, if you like the series. If you've never heard of Splatterhouse until now, give it a try before you buy and please DO NOT purchase this game for a child.
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