Splatterhouse 3 (Genesis) - Ramblin' Review

Splatterhouse 3 is the culmination of a trippy of horror beat 'em ups that epanned the arcade, TurboGrafx, and Sega Genesis consoles. If you've never played any of the games, I'll give you a quick rundown with some minor spoilers.
In the first game, college couple Rick and Jennifer wander into the purportedly haunted Mansion of Dr. West, a para-psychologist that has gone crazy and conducts unethical experiments. Jennifer is killed, and Rick is possessed by a Mayan artifact called the "terror mask" that grants it's wearer superhuman strength and has an insatiable bloodlust. Rick proceeds to kill everything to avenge Jennifer's death.
Enter the second game, where the mask returns and convinces Rick that Jennifer doesn't have to die this time, as long as he puts on the mask. Punch everything to death, Jennifer lives.
That's where we are for the third entry. Fast forward five years and Rick and Jennifer have a child together named David.
Jennifer and David are kidnapped and taken to the mansion, and Rick uses the terror mask to enter the house and reclaim his family.

Where the third one makes a departure from the first two, is that instead of being a linear beat 'em up with one plane of movement, Rick can now traverse the mansion and backtrack in any order that you choose. He is also now capable of walking up and down on the screen like many other beat 'em ups, which adds a little more strategy to the game, and makes it a little harder when more enemies are on screen at once due to them being able to be at different points in orientation to Rick, so your attacks have to be properly lined up.
Oddly enough, this game seems easier to me now than when I was a kid, which is very uncommon for games of the era.

The game has excellent hit detection, and Rick controls well. The B button is used to attack, C jumps, and A activates a power mode set to a time limit. That time limit can be extended by picking up power orbs scattered randomly throughout the level, and is occasionally dropped by defeated enemies. Pressing the start button pulls up the map, and it shows your location and where the exit is located
 By default, you have a punch attack, and a kick attack that can be used after a jump. You punch your way through the rooms, and enemies are grotesque monstrosities with intestines hanging out, and punching some will make their heads come off as you bring their health down.

As is usually the case, you want to try to save your power mode for when you get to boss fights, or when you're absolutely overwhelmed by enemies. The graphics are beautiful in their absurd goriness, and the music is fitting. Sound effects are very percussive and squishy, which just makes the entire game gross.

It's a mostly mindless affair, as most beat 'em ups are, but it is oh so satisfying to pinch demons in the face while they gurgle blood and their organs squish against your fist.

It might not be for the squeamish, but it's a hellishly good time if you have the stomach for it.


Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of my "play as a monster" week. 

Splatterhouse 3 on Amazon

Day 19 - Elliot Quest < 31 Days of Halloween


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