I can't believe how much hate this game received when it is bad. Despite it's flaws, it's a very enjoyable experience.
RyugGomba wrote this review on .
.Solid looking visuals espicially artistically
.Satisfying, responsive control and combat
.Cool 2-D segments, harking back to the old SplatterHouses
.Great soundtrack, both original and licensed
.Very interesting story
.Jim Cummings as the Mask and other great voice talent
.The three originals are unlockable, including the uncensored, original arcade game
.A lot of glitches
.Frame rate can slow to a crawl
.Can get repetitive and a bit button mashy
One of the definite best things about this game was its story and pacing. It's beautifully writing and adds a hell of a lot more to it. It starts out the same as the original. The mad scientist, Dr. West, stole your girlfriend, Jennifer and Rick is left for dead. Rick finds the Terror Mask and turns into a hulking beast, purely made out of muscle and blood (especially blood). While being very cliched, it does take interesting turns and adds from the original and explains just about everything and much more. It's especially well-paced out with the voices talents of Rick and the Mask talking to each other during the down time of the fights, either explaining who West is, who or what the Corrupted are, the mask manipulating Rick to become truly what he "supposedly" is and much more. They develop a symbolical relationship, basically saying that Rick needs the Mask in order to save Jenny, while the Mask needs Rick to stop West and the Corrupted. You'll learn a lot more from Dr.West's journal entries and the pictures of Jen (which make me happy :3)
As far as the control and gameplay goes, it a a true 3-D beat-em'-up, fighting wave after wave of enemies until the all die or you complete a puzzle in a certain way, like impaling enemies on spikes, or killing enough enemies to active blood ciphers. There's a lot of creativity put into these parts and I can give Namco credit for doing so. As far as combat goes, it's very brutal, grotesque and satisfying as all hell. The critics saying that it's shallow is not true, it's basically just as deep as God of War and if you do want to play an awesome game that's shallow, play Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii. Early on, the game is button-mashy, but as you upgrade your moves and the enemies and levels get tougher (which do) you'll find a very good fighting engine. Another thing I found really enjoyable and fun that the critics DESPISE were the platforming and 2-D segments. I thought they were fun, enjoyable and kinda easy. There was only one time where the controls were kinda locked and I died was the one part of Phase 3, where you run away from the saw blades, but after that one death, it didn't happen again. As you play the game, you can earn blood points, which is the currency for the game and the best way to do this is to do a SPLATTERKILL. A Splatterkill is when an enemy starts to glow red and you grab them, to initiate short quick time event to, again, earn blood to upgrade and fill the Necro meter, which is for special moves. The critics complain about this as poorly implemented as you kill enemies too quickly to perform them, which is not true at all! I've killed a number of enemies with Splatterkills, within the same area. They do get a little repetitive, it never bothered me too much, as there are fun to pull off.
As far as the graphics go, they definitely are very solid looking and give a great atmospheric vibe to all this. Though there is some goofiness at play (and I can't believe I took a quote from them), that the game can be light-hearted, mostly at phases 7 and parts of 8 at Dandy Land. The visuals give a Sly Cooper or Borderlands feel, which is appropriate, since the game is cel-shaded and gives off nice comic book feel. There is a lot of detail given into the backgrounds and Rick himself. Right off the bat when Rick gets hit, you'll notice that chunks of his body fall off and will stay there until you heal. In the backgrounds, you'll notice monsters moving about and the sweet tentacle horrors of H.P Lovecraft moving about which is really cool. The thing that can kill it the drop of frame rate that can happen, mostly when destroying boxes filled with Boreworms. It's weird but, it happens. From what, I've seen, the 360 version looks like it runs much smoother and has bigger text boxes, so you might want to get that version instead. And sure, there are some texture pop-ups, here and there, but they are far in-between and mostly occur during the final levels and it's no where as bad as Halo 2. The character models look great and intense, especially the monster and their variety is acceptation, though there could be a tinny bit more, but the enemies are still great.
For the sound, it was very well fitting and awesome to listen to. Jim Cummings does a fantastic job of giving the Mask a very edgy and humorous personality and Josh Keaton play a rainbow of emotions for Rick. The voice acting is top-notch and it's crazy to realize that Cummings does a lot of Disney characters and hearing him curse his ass off in this game. And the music also kills major ass. Most of the original compositions are done by Howard Drossin, who did Comix Zone for the Genesis and some of the Sonic games, which are pretty popular, if you ask me. The licensed soundtrack is perfectly complementary, featuring Mastodon, Lamb of God, Cavalera Conspiracy, Five Finger Death Punch and much more, playing mostly during the main boss fights and Survival Arena (which are fun!) Although, the majority of the sound effects are very generic, although are appropriate for the game, don't stand out too much and sometimes, a sound effect doesn't play or the Mask becomes so quiet, you can barely hear him. Most of these are minor gripes but it could have been better.
Another thing people seem to complain about is the load times. They take up from 8 to 15 seconds to load up and apparently take a long time to load, but they show cool animations of monsters you fight along the way, making them bearable. Never bothered me. Try waiting for women to get changed in the bathroom. I know this is on a different scale and my seem sexist, but they just didn't bothered me. People just expect stuff to happen so fast, that probably no one knows what the word "patience" means anymore.
It's a very underrated game, and despite its flaws, it's a good game. Never had the critics pissed me off so much. But don't say that I'm a fanboy, because before this game, I never played SplatterHouse. When I first heard of it, it looked really cool, because it looked like Mortal Kombat, but a side-scroller (and the fact MK came in 1992, SplatterHouse in 1988) and when I saw the reviews for this by Main Stream critics (IGN, GameSpot, Game Trailers) and I shocked and and then saw indy game reviews by RetroGamer3, HVGN and others, it encouraged me to buy this game. The game was about 65$ was I was first going to get it but it was too expensive and the GameStop clerk told me the game sucked. My heart sank but I never lost hope. It wasn't until 6 months after, when the price dropped to 40$ did I get it. Not to mention, the three originals are included, so that's like, 10$ bucks per game! While my exceptions were a little low, It was all thrown out the window because this game is awesome. Sure, it had some development issues, with it being worked on for about 4 years, getting canceled because of BottleRocket's team not up to "performance" and Namco working on the game in house and being delayed numerous times, it was still really fun. Sadly the story left us on a cliffhanger (which sucked. And the final boss sucked, too.) I do hope for a sequel, but I doubt it, because the response of the critics and the fact that most of the team that worked on SplatterHouse was fired. But maybe who knows. I do hear that Namco would like to make 2 other SplatterHouse games, pretty much re-booting and remaking the series, so who knows?