Splatterhouse Xbox 360 Review
Checkpoints are consistently and absolutely horrible throughout Splatterhouse too. For a title featuring such repetitive action, you'd think that the development team would be eager to make sure you at least don’t repeat sections multiple times, yet one missed jump or one irritating death can send you back a good 15 minutes of gaming time.
Death is made all the more painful by the addition of eon-long loading times too. If your dream has been to witness some admittedly quite attractive CGI monsters have a bit of a tiff then you'll be in an absolute dream world. Unfortunately, the majority will be sick of these lengthy loading times that constantly come close to a good 30 seconds in length after just a single appearance.
If that wasn’t bad enough, loading times even effect things as you play through the ten levels on offer. You can, at times, annihilate a group of identikit opponents, only to discover that you’ve literally no way to progress. The doors are locked and you've nowhere to go. That’s when you spot a tiny little loading icon slowly ticking along in the bottom corner of the screen whose disappearance causes a door to suddenly fly open, allowing you a chance to continue. It's absolutely maddening, and far too frequent to be written off as a random anomaly.
A lot has been made of Rick's ability to regenerate his body and grow back limbs that have previously been removed from their rightful place. This is something that does actually look vaguely interesting the first time it occurs, but since the action moves at such a constantly hectic pace, there's barely a moment to sit back and enjoy this one example of visual beauty. Someone has obviously spent a lengthy amount of time creating this unique example of regeneration, but the chances are you'll never see it in its full glory.
Splatterhouse's last feature of note is the inclusion of retro 2D sequences. These appear irregularly, presumably to cause a burst of nostalgia for those old enough to remember the first game. They're just as horribly poor as the rest of the game. Instant deaths are plentiful, fighting is repetitive and simplistic, and the platforming sections are ruined by poor, clumsy animations.
Is that scary? Hmm
For fans of nudity, Splatterhouse has decided to place within each level slices of a naked picture of Rick's girlfriend Jen. Quite why these cheeky snapshots are populating this huge mansion is never explained, but collecting the whole batch on each level allows you the chance to witness a scene Rick might have thought was solely for his eyes. Unfortunately, Splatterhouse has leaves the vast majority of collectables in plain sight, so there's not even a sense of challenge.
Basically, Splatterhouse is something that should have been put to bed long before it started development. Taking a solid yet incredibly unspectacular 80's title and bringing it up to date within an poor game engine simply isn’t something that the modern gamer needs nor wants. It's technically poor, lacking in any real intelligent design, and causes so much frustration that it'll destroy your rose tinted view of the series past.