Written by Chris Price
21 Tuesday 21st September 2010
I have been having some creepy dreams recently. So I though about the first game that shook me up – that genuinely shook by foundations, so much so I’d wake up in cold sweat. At least, I genuinely hoped it was sweat. I mean, if you piss yourself asleep, it’s not a grand arcing fountain, right? Anyways, that dubious honour goes to a game released back in 1993, called Splatterhouse 2. Conveniently enough, it’s about to get a spitshine and a new haircut for the fourth generation. Nestled away inside this re-release, will be the original Splatterhouse trilogy, all ready to scare a whole new generation infertile.

Splatterhouse 2 gave me nightmares. No other game had managed to infect my psyche. Games were harmless. I was a timid child, not watching any horror films, any films above my age range. Christ, I was worried about the effect The Life of Brian might have on my fragile nerves when I was 14. But games, that was different. I’d gloriously rip spines out in Mortal Kombat and blast punks into quivering piles of gristly in Technocop. No nightmares – at least not about them. I did have a horrendous recurring nightmare about Frank Sidebottom performing a strange ‘Whack-a-Mole’-esque dance, edging his way closer and closer to me across what always looked like the no-mans land of an army rifle range (and perhaps impale me on a terrifying oversized papier-mache penis).
No. On the eve on purchase, I had read the reviews in Mean Machines and Sega Power – they loved it, proper OTT Evil Dead infused ultra-violence. You could take shears to zombies. Chainsaw up hanging mutant babies. You kick an old mans eyes out (no joke). Rick, the hockey mask sporting, boiler suited anti-hero was a video nasty avenger brought to life. Everything got killed in an inventive way. It was a fighting game, where you actually got to bust some heads.

Everything about Splatterhouse 2 is larger than life – save for a hokey final episode where it all goes a bit crap(mad doctors slinging test tubes are a poor choice of assailant). Rick’s girlfriend was stolen – BY FUCKING GHOSTS, NO LESS – egged on by your haunted hockey mask, you have to venture through a swamp, along a dungeon and through a haunted house to get her back. He looks like a behemoth, moves with all the grace and charm of a pissed up paraplegic. The graphics are poor, the sound effects are jarring and shrill, and the music is suicide-inducingly mundane. Proper Giallo-horror. A low budget, badly produced thriller about the undead, with a simple story and a couple of shocks along the way. This is the gaming equivalent of The House by the Cemetery.
Splatterhouse 2 is lumbering oaf of a game, but embrace it whole heartedly, acknowledge and exploit its faults, and its 35 minutes of mindless horizontal comic horror. It’s Kung-Fu via Sam Raimi.
The new Splatterhouse is out in November 23. Splatterhouse 2 is about £10 on the Megadrive off eBay.

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