The title sounds incredibly dirty and that’s logical as the game itself is a lineup of bloody combat scenes and guts flying all around. And that’s good as all the gore in this game is what makes it so much fun. Namco Banday has created a fine successor for modern consoles to the arcade game with the same title from the 80s, even if there’s still room for improvement.
When Rick’s girlfriend Jennifer falls in the hands of the deranged Dr. West, Rick is left for dead. About to die in a puddle of blood, he gets called by a mysterious mask that lays on the floor a bit further. It claims it’s his only chance for saving himself as well as his girlfriend and with his last power he places the possessed terror mask on his head and changes into a murdering fighter machine. A cliché start that can compete with most average horror movies and just the way I like it!
The mask, which constantly spills funny oneliners, leads you on your search for Jennifer and the criminal Dr. West through different environments in which you encounter countless monsters. Most of the time you’re running around in 3D, but now and then there are 2D sequences that refer to the old Splatterhouse games from the arcades in which you have to scroll sideways over the screen to beat up enemies, evade razor sharp knives or jump from platform to platform. Surprisingly enough, it’s not the camera in 2D but 3D that bothered me. The movement at times is so limited that you can hardly see whether or not an enemy is near and although that may add to the surprise factor, it’s not really how we like it.
Talking about downpoints, there are two others that caught our eye. The mediocre graphics are not up to standard anno 2010 while the sound does do a good job, including the metal soundtracks that perfectly accompany the game. Secondly the loading times after having died are extremely long. Getting killed isn’t fun, but if you have to wait this long to start again it truly annoys you.
For the rest, however, this game is pure fun. The concept is to spill blood and the more you collect, the more moves you can unlock and the faster you heal. With your Splatter Siphon you can collect blood from the dead around you to restore your health but also from live (or half-dead?) creatures around you to weaken them. This makes you an even more powerful being that can take on any opponent during a short period. Do make sure to use it at the right time as bad timing can result in imminent death. Don’t worry if you lose an arm while fighting, just collect enough blood and it will grow back on. Handy, no?
Some opponents require different combat styles and with certain combos you’ll be able to spill more blood than with others. You can use finishing moves that rip off the arms, head or upper body of an enemy, or you can choose to break his jaw to afterwards pull out his guts through his throat. Afterwards you can even use an opponent’s limbs to slash his friends with. In other words: just button bashing is all but the best way to achieve your goal and that’s a positive!
Namco Bandai also had some other goodies for the oldskool fans of the original. As you progress you can unlock the three first arcade games. And if that’s not enough then there’s the survival arena mode in which you get wave after wave of enemies coming at you.
In short: plenty of fun bloodspilling to keep you occupied