Splatterhouse (TurboGrafx-16) (Genesis) Series Review!

Splatterhouse (TurboGrafx-16) (Genesis) Cover
Jason Voorhees or Rick Taylor?

If you’re into western horror movies like Friday the 13th, Evil Dead or Poltergeist, you’re going to love The Splatterhouse Sega Genesis or TurboGrafx 16 games. There were three games released in the trilogy. There’s also a Famicom game Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti that’s only in Japan. It’s a bit of a spinoff of the main series but let me know if you want me to cover it in an upcoming review.

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Splatterhouse (TurboGrafx-16)

We’ll start off with Splatterhouse on the PC Engine or Turbografx 16. It’s a side scrolling beat em up that you can only move left to right. Along the way you get to pick up all kinds of really neat weapons like a 2x4 and smash an enemy into the wall splattering their guts all over. There’s also spears you can throw. Oh and check out this bad ass shotgun that you can fire away at enemies, cleavers the list goes on. The weapons make convincing sounds when you connect and the music fits the bill quite well. Everything screams horror here.

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The story sets out Rick and his girlfriend Jennifer into a mansion to investigate some paranormal activity. Rick is found unconscious transformed by a cursed mask and Jennifer is missing. Rick heads out into the Splatterhouse with his new found strength.

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The controls are extremely simple, one button punches or uses your weapon, the other is to jump. You can also do this slide by jumping and pressing the diagonal and punch which does more damage to enemies than the standard punch.

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The enemy designs are fantastic. You got all kinds of horror type enemies like possessed chairs or zombies, there’s even a part where you’re fighting off clones of rick in a house of glass.

I liked that most of the enemies have set patterns which makes Splatterhouse a good choice if you’re looking to complete it in one credit.

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There are certain branching paths like here where you can fall into a hole or climb down a ladder. This gives you a bit more replay value to figure out which is the easier path forward.

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The bosses were extremely unique. My favorite was this one where you’re taking out a chainsaw freak with a shotgun. The second stage boss you can clearly see the reference to Poltergeist and that was nice to see.

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Splatterhouse isn’t a very long game, there’s seven short stages that can be finished in and about 20 minutes or so. Overall I really enjoy playing through Splatterhouse on the PC Engine from time to time. It’s a solid beat em up that really fits the horror theme.

Splatterhouse 2 (Sega Genesis)

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Next on the list is Splatterhouse 2 and well it’s more or less the same as the PC Engine game moving from left to right and splatting enemies against the screen with a 2 by 4. There aren’t any new moves that Rick can perform either which was a shame since it was released on a more powerful console, The Sega Genesis.

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Splatterhouse 2 is far more gruesome than the original game. Namco took the original and amplified the disgusting enemies you’ll be facing off against.

The game is slightly longer than the first one once you get good at it. It comes in and around an hour or so. Keep in mind, the gameplay is much harder than the first one. Man this game is tough. There is a password system, thankfully. The stages and bosses are just really tough in Splatterhouse 2 especially later on. It feels often unfair and you really need to learn the patterns of all of the enemies.

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The Story takes place 3 months after the first game. Rick is still guilty of not being able to save Jennifer and has nightmare of her and the mask. The mask then reappears to rick and tells him to go to the house that Jennifer can be saved and the mask will give him the power to do so. Yeah this was a bit odd having the mask speak to Rick but hey it’s a horror game and tons of this type of stuff happens in the movies.

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The graphics are unquestionably superior compared to the first release. Everything from the colors, to the parallax scrolling to the more detail in rick as well as the enemies and bosses. Splatterhouse 2 is more of the same as the first release and is a good entry on the Genesis.

Splatterhouse 3 (Sega Genesis)

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Splatterhouse 3 went in a bit of a different direction. You can now move up and down like in a traditional beat em up similar to streets of rage or golden axe. It would have been nice to see Splaterhouse finally be a two player coop game but sadly it’s still only Rick you can play as. The mask that used to resemble Jason Vorhees has now evolved into a skull.

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Rick now has more moves, he can throw enemies or grab and headbutt them to death. Something never seen before in a Splatterhouse game is Rick’s Power meter that he can use to mutate himself into a hulk like beast.

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When you finish off a room full of enemies, the door will open up. You can pull up the map at this point by pressing start. I found that I would count the least amount of rooms to make it to the boss room marked by the X.

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Splatterhouse is not much of a scary game but is extremely bloody and gruesome. The graphics are great and the music is definitely a step up from the previous games. You can really feel the power of rick when smashing up guys or throwing them across the screen.

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There are weapons still in Splatterhouse 3 depending on which path you choose but any time I got hit by an enemy they would get taken away. I thought that was really slanted from a gameplay standpoint.

The bosses are really difficult and you’ll have to finish off the stages in a certain amount of time in order to get the good ending which there are four endings in total including the bad ending.

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Rick now has a son David who’s abducted while rick the now successful wolf of wall street is trying to put the mask and everything behind him. Only to be sucked back in by the mask.

Some of the later enemies were just too difficult. I mean come on, taking away half health in one hit is a bit too much. I would say that Splatterhouse 3 is the most polished and the designers really hit it out of the park with Splatterhouse 3.

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If I had to rank the Splatterhouse games on the Sega Genesis from best to worst I would say that Splatterhouse 3 takes the cake for best horror game in the series then the original Splatterhouse on the TurboGrafx and finally Splatterhouse 2.

All three are worth playing today, I just wouldn’t put them over other better beat em ups like Streets of Rage or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. If you’re a fan of horror movies or are looking for a good game to play on Halloween, you can’t go wrong with any of the Splatterhouse games.