So resounding success? Sure, why not? Totally awesome? Yes, of course. More coming your way? You better believe it and it'll be bigger and better than ever, trust you me. But first what did I think about this month's Educate Yourself game, Splatterhouse
. Well I gotta say, and sorry to all the fans out there, but my overall feeling is summed up by a pretty definitive "meh." Firstly I realize I was playing the heavily "mehized" version of the game on the VC since it was toned down from the arcade release but even so...
Let's start with what let me down. I can appreciate that the game was pretty revolutionary for the time it was released and that at that time it also looked fantastic but stripping that away I couldn't shake the feeling that I was otherwise playing a pretty standard brawler. Walking, punch, kick, weapon pick up, splatter, splatter, splooge. Except the levels seemed kind of tacked together without much rhyme or reason and very little design value to them other than being good places for blood to splatter. Each level I got to sort of let me down a bit more by just being a bunch of walking and killing with minimal variance except how hard it was to kill the enemy and what the new creepy background looked like.
It also probably didn't help that the controls never felt spot on for me. I don't know if it was the VC or the fact that it was a an arcade port or if those were the original feeling to the controls but they were sluggish and many times felt unresponsive. Especially, the slide kick which I mentioned on Failcast. The thing would have been awesome if you could actually pull it off without getting clobbered first. Maybe it was just me sucking at the game but when jumping feels like you've got a lead weight tied to your feet I personally feel that is just bad game design. Plus not being able to hit multiple targets with one swing is just stupid. A 2x4 isn't going to pass through a monster because it just hit the monster in front of it. From a strictly formulaic standpoint, without taking style into account I gotta say that Splatterhouse
was a bit of a letdown.
But let's add in that style. Bam, you got something that is a whole heck of a lot more worth playing. It isn't just the blood and guts it's the attention to detail. Bad guy animations are really well done from attacks, to movements to their bodies falling apart into piles of guts. The fact that enemies get splattered into the walls when hit by a 2x4 is just awesome and I much like ZombiePlatypus loved that the zombie dogs stopped and ate the remains of monsters I had killed. Little touches always make the biggest difference.
Actually what made the biggest difference was a 2x4. That thing was awesome and the most useful weapon. Not my favorite however. I have to give to the harpoon which was just gruesome when it hit guys. Very well done Namco. Yea, so weapons rock my world like none other even if they aren't used to their fullest extent because of the disappointing level design. I mean you pick up a single shot item and basically have to use it imediatly, which is fine if it hadn't been placed at what seems like a random location the designers thought might need an extra item.
Maybe though the crappy level design was because so much attention went into the levels bosses. Not only are almost all of them cleverly designed and challenging (damn near impossible without multiple tries) but they're all different from each other and quirky. The worms in the first level are simple enough but if you don't know what you're doing you can get destroyed. The chandelier falling in the poltergeist room is a stroke of genius that I'd feel robbed of if I hadn't been killed by it the first time I played the boss and the girlfriend turned monster is just a fucking bitch. While the last two bosses were on par with the rest I felt that once I made it past my mutated lady love the game really wasn't throwing to much more great stuff at me. Still Splatterhouse
should be played for it's bosses alone and when I get the time I will at least be plugging in three since it seems to be everyone's favorite of the series. Who knows maybe it'll be an Educate Yourself game, but that will be further down the road, we've got a great new game next month for all to play.
Here's the hint: *CRACK*