Monday, March 7, 2011

A mutilated stump by any other name...

Someone had the great idea to include the original three Splatterhouse games as unlockable content in the remake. This of course sounds like am excellent idea, and it can be touted as a selling point right up until you actually try to play one of them. They are terrible, each a worse than the last. The series started on a high point, with each successor getting uglier and less fun as it came and went. The third game abandoned the 2D plane in favor of the pseudo 3D freedom of Final Fight, which is another thing that sounded good in a board meeting but no one bother to figure out how to implement intelligently. I played each game once, just long enough to lose all of my lives (which was about two levels) and never touched them again.

The remake proper never really changed, recycling the same enemies in the second half of the game as were used in the first half, just with more hitpoints. Most were easy to deal with on their own, but there were these little blue glowing bastards that liked to sneak up from behind me and tear off my arms. Beating a creature to death with my own severed limbs took much longer to get stale than I am willing to admit. Bosses were also recycled, to the point that by the end of things previous bosses were being used as general fodder to fill levels. The final boss actually showed a little creative thinking, looking a lot like a walking Legion from Castlevania, but you never actually fight him. Individual monsters fall off of him in increasing numbers and you just fight them off, wave after wave, until the cliche cliff hanger ending. This is pretty disappointing for a game that has you kill one boss by pulling its lower intestine out of its baboon red anus.

You heard me. And it is just as awful as you imagine, especially when Darkwing Duck/The Terror Mask if yelling 'I love it when they scream!' Splatterhouse was tasteless and offensive, and I was expecting nothing less.

I remember being very surprised at how good the first Saw game was. A movie licensed game based on glorified and beaten to death torture porn has no right to be anything past coaster material, and yet it was actually not that bad. Its weakest aspect was its combat, a failing it shares with every single Silent Hill have and most of the early Resident Evil. Saw II starts right off by removing the combat and replacing it with simple quick time events. They are still dumb, but they take up much less time. What is left is a puzzle game with an extremely graphic setting which actually makes sense when you look at the movies (or read about them, as I am far to squeemish to actually watch one). It was pretty much savaged by professional reviewers, and while I don't necessarily disagree with them, I do wonder what they were expecting going into it. If you expect Saw II, the game based on a serious of movies designed to make you date vomit into you lap, to be some sort of second coming of the licensed game then you are a dumb ass. This is a cheap cash in with a decent hook or two, nothing more.

Uh oh, I have been playing bad games for so long I have started making excuses for them. If I saw a single nice thing about Tron someone will need to slap the shit out of me.

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