Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VGR Splatterhouse Part 3


Sorry for the delay :P
This one took me a little more time.

Here's Part 3, and the end of the original trilogy (but not the "series" yet).
Is it any good?
Did the series need another sequel?
How does the Splatterhouse plot continue?
That and more, in this new review...
Custom cartmodd done by Kogami. Once again, thanks buddy!

VGR: Splatterhouse Part 3
From Namco
Played on Megadrive
Also available on /

Type Beat 'em all
Year 1993

"As long as that mask remains...it can happen again...,, -Rick in Splatterhouse 2

Who knew terror masks could be so complicated to get rid off...

Less than a year after Splatterhouse 2, Namco did it again.
This time around, the game was made specifically for the Sega Megadrive. No arcade release of Part 3.
Would the sequel propose even less innovations than Part 2 offered after the original game?
Did the series really need another entry?
Let's dig in this sequel from the start!

 This time Rick didn't went to the mansion...the Mansion went to Rick!!

The game probably came out pretty fast after the last one's release...but plotwise, it couldn't be further from it.

Five years have passed since the events from Splatterhouse 2.
Rick now leaves happily with Jennifer, in a new house with a new job and they even have a baby son named David.
Everything was going perfectly fine, the perfect happy ending for our main character after the traumatic events of the past games.

But things were going awfully fine... The mask was calling to Rick once again. He could now hear clearly its voice, the Terror Mask was alive and trying to prevent Rick from...something...

As soon as Rick had his hands on the mask again..it was too late.... Hell itself and monsters were crawling all over his house... His family trapped in a house that was distorting into the mansion of the past.

Now Rick must enter his house, finds his wife and son and destroy the source of all evil once and for all.

This time Rick will have to kick monsters' ass all over the place to find his family.

The bigger changes in Splatterhouse 3 are in the presentation and gameplay.
Few months had passed since Splatterhouse 2, but Namco's team was already working on this one since part two.

Splatterhouse 3 isn't your old school sidescrolling 2D beat 'em all.
Now the gameplay is a tiny bit more complex. The game offers a "3D plane" in a 2D presentation, like Final Fight and Streets of Rage.
It helps make the game a bit more polished, modern (well, for the 16bits era!) and offers a new direction to the series.

You'll have to use your map carefully!

Also, now the series offers exploration!
Rather than throwing the player in a sidescrolling classical level to advance from "left-to-right", you have Rick's whole house to cross.

The game offers 6 stages (and a 7th secret one that appears everynow and then under special circumstance) that needs to be explored using doors.
You don't go from one point to another. You can explore, backtrack, find special rooms in the house.
The stages are in fact floors of the house.
Splatterhouse 3 offers a non-linear experience!

Rick starts from the 1st floor, then go upstairs, down to the basement...and slowly the house/mansion evolves into an hellish place...

Once a room is cleared from its monsters, press start to show your location.
You can race down to the boss/final room, always indicated on the map, or explore a bit to find more health/powerups/lives and even special secret rooms...

Let the tentacles from hell clear your way~

This time the mask offers Rick some new tricks gameplay wise.

You can still play as before, punching and kicking your way through the game and grab some weapons (less choices on this side this time however...). You can also perform a "trick" (done like Guile's Sonic Boom in Street Fighter 2), a powerful spinning kick that will clear you from monsters around you, very useful in later levels with stronger foes.

But now Rick/The Mask will collect energy, so you can turn into Monster Rick.
Basically, an hulked-out version of Rick, when the Terror Mask takes control of Rick's body and make him stronger, slower and more deadly.
Monster Rick loses health slower, walks slower but hits stronger.
Very useful against bosses.
He can also perform a special attack like normal Rick (back, front, back+punch) which I picturer above. Perfect to clean a room from group of monsters!


The Bosses look a bit less interesting this time around...
apart from the awesome Teddy Bear from Hell!!

Splatterhouse 3 has also some nice twists on the classic beat'em all formula.

The story is about Rick trying to find his family and protect them from the Evil One who's trying to take over his son's body to enter our realm using a mysterious Dark Stone.

But the end won't necessary have Rick leaving this madness with his wife & kid, ridding away on the sunset.
Because you see, Splatterhouse isn't linear in its plot either.

Every new floor, you get a certain time and have to find Jennifer, David or the floor's boss in time...or else the plot will change!
On the first floor, you'll decide if either Jennifer dies or lives... Arriving too late to Jennifer, the monsters will kill her!
Then, onto the next stage, she will be infected! Arriving to late to clear her from the worm growing inside her body, she will be turned into a mindless zombie or not!
After that it will be David's turn....

It's a great way to create some replay value.
It's the kind of game you'll want to go back to, to check the other scenarios and endings.
Will Rick save his wife? His son? Both?

Talking about the story, it is told through still pictures taken live. "FMV" sequences running on a Megadrive! Well, without sound and animation..but you get the idea.
I find it quite effective, the live Terror Mask created for those scenes looks amazing.
It's perfectly creepy and done well enough.

The end of a trilogy.

Splatterhouse 3 is the sequel this series needed.
It offers new directions, new ideas.
It improves on sounds and music from Splatterhouse 2 (though less catchy than in Part 1). It is visually the best of the series.
There's even returning monsters on the enemies' side...

The game feels a bit shorter this time.
6 levels comes a bit short for a 1993 beat 'em all.
Specially if you're running against the clock, trying to get the best ending and not exploring all the areas.

Will you run the fastest you can through the house, trying to save your family..
or
Will you explore a tiny bit the house, trying to have enough health and lives on your side and risk their lives?

Once you'll defeat the Evil One, get the Dark Stone and save your family, you'll still have one more revelation...
Was the Terror Mask really on your side all this time around? Or was it the one using you?
Now that it reached its full potential, more demonic than ever, will it show its true colors?


Overall, it's a great sequel and a perfect entry for the series. A great way to close this trilogy.

Splatterhouse 3 was more of a sequel than Part 2 ever was. Specially under such a short development time.

The game looks a lot improved over the original ones. The free roaming on each floor, the multiple endings and its difficulty... Simply put my favorite in the series. They did "keep the best for the end" this time around. (a catchphrase horror movies love to use)

It may come off a bit shorter than Splatterhouse 2...but it sure is a helluva harder, even on easy you'll have problems! Part 3 took me more time than the others to come to the end (I was trying to get the perfect ending).

The game uses a password feature to let you continue your playthroughs.

Splatterhouse 3 wasn't censored this time around! Almost no differences between US and Jap versions. It wasn't released on Pal systems back then, but the game was region free anyway.

It's the only game of the original Splatterhouse trilogy that hasn't been released on Virtual Console (as the date of this review). It was announced it would be included in the upcoming new Splatterhouse game alongside the other ones, on Xbox360 and PS3. And I'm guessing the new game will take a lot from this episode, be it in the design as in its experience.

Great, fun and hardcore beat 'em all Highly Recommended for horror fans and people who like retrogaming~

I give it:

 2.5 / 3 Invaders!

5 comments:

  1. Snap, the story dynamics does sound very engaging and twistful on every corner!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's my favorite Splatterhouse :)
    Really hardcore, sure, but the plot's pretty good for a 16bits beat 'em all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. is it possible to get that pal artwork for SH3? sonicthehedgehog1992@yahoo.co.uk

      would be greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  3. splatter house 3...the best!

    ReplyDelete
  4. did you made that box art? could you made a copy to me please? how much money you want?
    email me at carnicero692000@yahoo.es


    thank you

    ReplyDelete