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Splatterhouse 3

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Released: 1993

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Submitted by: Scott Reed

Splatterhouse was the controversial blockbuster (with the very limited video release). Splatterhouse II was the commercially successful on home video sequel. Making Splatterhouse 3 the cheap DVD only release cashing in on the good name it’s predecessors and leaving fans wondering ‘how the hell did they get the budget for this?’.

Rick and Jennifer return but they’re being played by totally different actors. Advancements in make-up have allowed Namco to make Rick and the enemies look ‘bad-ass’ and in doing so giving the impression you’re watching a totally difference series. Up to the minute effects have been put in just ‘cos, adding nothing. And attempts at replicating the horror of the previous films just leads to melodrama and over acting.

OK. That metaphor’s done to death.

Normally I praise making something less linear. But mixing moving though a maze of rooms with a maths teacher strict timer –counting down – should not win praise. It becomes even more tedious when you have to defeat the same enemies again to open the doors in a room you’ve just been in. And as the clock ticks away you keep getting flashes of digitized graphics of Jennifer and how much peril she’s in. Leading to you wishing she’s just hurry up and die and let you smash your monsters. Taking something good and adding tedium is not a good idea when making a sequel. Take note.

The whole gameplay has been switched so it plays just like Streets of Rage. They’ve added a totally pointless ‘Power’ bar, filled by collecting randomly scattered power ups of course. The Power bar let’s Rick ‘Hulk Out’ and presumably deal more damage. Though I’ve not noticed the difference.

It’s still got Splatterhouse’s tight controls and it’s cool how the enemies look ‘smashed in’ after you wail on them once. But… well I’ll tell you what: There’s a fourth Splatterhouse came called Splatterhouse; Wanpaku Graffiti (which childish me likes to call Wankpaku Graffiti). It’s colourful, super-deformed, for the NES and aimed at about seven year old and it’s better than Splatterhouse 3. Hmm?