"Once upon a time, all this blood and nudity would have been daring. I remember gasping in awe when playing the originals . . . of course, those were marketed towards pre-teens who couldn't even get into R-rated flicks. In today's world, hacking up misshapen beasts and grabbing softcore pics just isn't enough."
Way back in 1988, Rick Taylor entered a haunted house with his girlfriend Jennifer, he got the snot kicked out of him, he put on a freaky mask and waxed poetic with a two-by-four, and there was much blood and rejuicing. Coming right on the heels of the Friday the 13th movie montage, it's no wonder the original was such a hit -- and wherever there's a breakout hit, there's got to be a sequel to squeeze a bit more life from the concept.
In this case, there were two sequels. And then, for seventeen years, nothing.
Some people say the latest Splatterhouse isn't a sequel -- they call it a "reboot". The game takes a series that had reached the logical end of its premise, repackages the concept, starts from the beginning, and takes everything in a new direction. It's modern gaming's version of "do it all over again with a different hero" or, in the case of Valis 4, with a different heroine.
I'm not one of those people. Worrying about whether the game's a "reboot" or a "sequel" is dumb. It's Splatterhouse, so I expect it to be true to the series, and I expect it to be better than its predecessors -- "new" and "different" aren't enough. And if Namco wants my trust and future cash, this latest episode had better hold up well compared to other manly brawlers on the market. Money drives development, and I don't enjoy encouraging companies to make bad games.
Staff review by Zigfried (December 09, 2010)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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