For some reason, throughout the short lifespan of the TurboGrafx-16, “Splatterhouse” was often considered one of the best games on the system. However, while it’s arguably one of the bloodiest games released during it’s time and definitely paved the way for games that wanted to push the envelope of goriness, it’s boring level design, mediocre graphics, shoddy control and relative ease make it a game anyone with money in their pocket should run far away from.
While everyone will enjoy shooting demons with a shotgun or smacking them with a two by four, a-la “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, the fun doesn’t last for very long. On top of that, the game’s graphics are simple and lack any real polish. Sure, the enemies and the game’s main character are huge compared to other titles released during that time, but the plain backgrounds and shoddy animations make the game an eyesore. Enemies plod around the screen and your character moves like he’s dancing to the Styx classic “Mr. Roboto,” lacking any character or personality that would make you want to continue playing.
Sure, asking for mind-blowing animations from an almost 20-year old 2D beat-em up is a little too much to ask, but there were plenty of other mediocre games released during the same time that did a much better job of making the character move around the screen with precision and poise. On top of the ever present graphical problems, the game’s level layout is repetitive and boring. While the game can be challenging at times, it becomes a synch once the patterns of the enemies are figured out, making the game extremely easy overall.
However, the biggest problem with the game is its decrepit control. Jumping around in the game and striking enemies with weapons is much harder than it should be. Standing close enough to strike an enemy, gamers will often find that their attacks are missing and will find it equally as difficult to make what should be routine jumps. Even for a game as old as “Splatterhouse” things like this can’t be tolerated.
Because of this, playing through the game becomes more of a chore and even anyone that was a fan of it when it was originally released will find that it has aged worse than Gary Busey.
Considering all of the game’s problems, what was never a great game in the first place has been reduced even further to point where it’s barely playable. Anyone itching to play this “classic” should be warned. The fun doesn’t last very long.