|Genre||Beat ’em up, horror|
|Purchase (Sega Genesis)||Click here to purchase from eBay.|
So last year, I talked about the arcade gem known as Splatterhouse. It is undeniably a tough game to beat, but it is fair and challenging. It is one of the earliest horror-themed games that ever came out for the arcades, and it definitely started off as one hell of a bloodbath.
The TurboGrfx-16 port of the game is quite faithful to the arcade game, albeit with some varying levels of censorship and design changes to avoid copyright infringement. It’s by far the most accessible version of the game, which you can get on the Wii’s Virtual Console service—though in Japan, they released the arcade version. Really, what the hell, Nintendo of America? It’s a game clearly for older audiences and you still give us the censored, inferior version. Why is this such an issue?
Anyways, we’re here to talk about the sequel. Which, oddly enough, was only released for the Sega Genesis.
………..Why? Really, why? Why on a different console by a different company altogether? Why isn’t the original game on Sega Genesis too? Why is there no arcade version? Why is there no TurboGrfx-16 port of Splatterhouse 2 or Splatterhouse 3? The console was still produced at the time, so this inconsistency just bugs me.
Strange publishing choices aside, let’s examine Splatterhouse 2.
Back to West Mansion
Once again, you’re Rick Taylor, a college student forced to kill his girlfriend, Jennifer Willis, during the events of the first game. The guilt of it all haunted him for three months, until a mysterious voice guides him back to West Mansion. It was the Terror Mask, a sinister supernatural mask that grants its wearer immense power. It convinces Rick that there is a chance to save his girlfriend from death. So once again, Rick must fight the powerful undead forces of West Mansion, this time to resurrect the one he loves.
Just like its predecessor, Splatterhouse 2 is a simple sidecrolling beat ’em up game where you must beat the living shit out of monsters with your fists, feet and weapons. Then you reach the end of the level and defeat the hideous boss. And as I mentioned in my Splatterhouse review…
You can also perform this tricky sliding kick move by jumping and then using the attack button right before you land on the ground.
This move is great against certain enemies and bosses, but not all of them. So it’s very situational.
Unfortunately, there are no new gameplay elements here. While this is indeed a sequel, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Sadly, weapons are horribly underutilized in this game. You rarely find them to begin with, some of which are situational—like a certain boss that requires you to throw spikes at its eye. So you might say Splatterhouse 2 is pretty much more of the first game, which isn’t a bad thing. Oh, if only…
It pains me to say this, but Splatterhouse 2’s hit detection is awful. I do not make this statement lightly. I once died from standing next to one of those mud man enemies, while it was moving AWAY from me. There are also many times where my punches and kicks seem to miss because I don’t hit enemies at the dead center. Apparently, you can’t punch an enemy’s legs while they’re airborne or else YOU’RE going to be the one taking damage.
It doesn’t help that there are quite a few small enemies with tiny hitboxes and you have to aim perfectly to kill them off. This is NOT the type of game where you want to add in enemies that will always aim for your blind spots. This problem actually makes the game much more difficult than it needs to be, usually in unfair and cheap ways. Fortunately, you get unlimited continues.
Is this flaw a dealbreaker, though? I’m going to have to say no. Splatterhouse 2 pretty much continues what we loved about the predecessor. The cheesy, over-the-top gore effects to the hideously grotesque monster designs, à la The Evil Dead movies.
The visuals are quite fantastic, just as with the first game. The monster designs are absolutely grotesque (both in idea and execution) and there’s more than enough gore to satisfy your horror-action movie urges.
Oddly enough, the boss battles are more straightforward this time around. While they are still quite difficult, they’re still not as unpredictable as some of the bosses in the original Splatterhouse. Unfortunately, the crappy hit detection will still work against you, especially during battles that require hitting multiple targets. The final boss is probably the biggest offender in this case, who has three phases during the battle that involves a lot of fast-moving attacks.
The music of Splatterhouse 2 is not as memorable as the first game’s, but it’s still serviceable with plenty of cool tracks. It actually fits quite nicely with the Sega Genesis instrumentation.
Unlike the first Splatterhouse, Splatterhouse 2 ends on a more positive note. It actually makes the journey feel more satisfying, putting you through a difficult set of trials and ending the game with you saving your girlfriend’s soul. It’s a complete reversal of the ending of the first game, while still setting up the possibility for a sequel.
In the end, Splatterhouse 2 feels more like an expansion of its predecessor. It doesn’t try anything new and the gameplay is essentially the same. And of course, there are a lot more jumping enemies this time around. There is also a lot more trial and error with these stages and boss fights, and it really feels like you can only clear these stages by relying on very specific tactics.
In spite of its flaws, Splatterhouse 2 is still a solid beat ’em up with some epic boss fights and some gory action sequences. If that is up your alley, then I suggest getting into the Splatterhouse trilogy.
Splatterhouse 2Price Varies
- Just like the first game, straightforward gameplay.
- Even more grotesque and vile imagery than the first game's.
- Soundtrack is pretty decent.
- The ending is quite satisfying if you had completed the first game.
- Awful hit detection, leading to cheap deaths.
- Lack of innovation in the gameplay.
- Published on the Sega Genesis instead of the TurboGrfx-16 likes its predecessor.