You know it is true: the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the late ‘80s, Japanese video game publishers Namco released an arcade game called Splatterhouse. Its premise was simple: trapped inside of West Mansion, a young college student named Rick gets resurrected by the “Terror Mask” — a centuries-old artifact. The mask endows our otherwise-dead hero with unlimited superhuman strength and limited supernatural powers. From then on, you (the player) would run around beating the 8-bit tar out of every single critter that happens to wander into the two-dimensional frame the game was housed in.
Splatterhouse became something of a hit, especially for horror movie lovers that had began to yearn for something a bit “stronger” than Duck Hunt. The game even spawned a few “sequels” over the next couple of years, concluding with the 16-bit Splatterhouse 3 in 1993. Overall, the story stayed the same: you wore the Terror Mask and killed everything with your bare hands. Despite the fact all of us long-haired kids that dressed in black and listened to Iron Maiden loved the game, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t a very well-planned game. Basically, it was an homage to several American horror films such as The Evil Dead and Re-Animator, only without any major (or even minor) “plot” to speak of.
In 2007, Namco Bandai (they got married) decided to produce and release a new and improved Splatterhouse — only to put the project on the backburner for several years. In late 2010, the all-new remake of Splatterhouse arrived for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. While there is little doubt that the creators of the updated game had hoped it would either bond two generations of gorehounds together or become a big huge mega-super ultra hit in the process (I’m shootin’ for the latter), I have to say that the game hasn’t changed very much altogether.
Sure, as anyone that recalls the original 8 and 16-bit titles will most assuredly notice: things have changed. Most assuredly, they have. For starters, Splatterhouse finally has a third dimension. The graphics actually look good for a change; realistic almost. You can even move in a direction other than left or right (several directions, actually). The gore level has been upped to meet with our modern times and audiences because, let’s face it: even a modernized version of Duck Hunt would contain more blood and gore than the original Splatterhouse!