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Splatterhouse 2
TM 1988 & 1992 Namco Ltd.
Review by Kitsune Sniper

Three months have passed since you escaped from the house, barely alive and sane. And during all that time, you've been haunted by the guilt... by nightmares... nightmares of... Jennifer's screams... and the infernal temptations of the mask...

"She doesn't have to die, Rick." -you hear the mask say, laughing maniacally, to prove his point. "We can save her. Go back to the house, I'll find you there... Only I can give you the power... you need me." The mask laughs again... yet you realize it is right. For Jennifer...

The controversial TurboGraphx16 game gets a sequel in the Genesis, and all the gore, blood, guts, and horror from the first game has remained intact. Oh, that text at the beginning is the entire storyline of the game. The graphics are well done, but they don't look like a major improvement from the TG-16 version. The athmosphere of the game is of course, scary. Everything is dark, so dark in fact, that you can't make out the background most of the time. There are some nice touches in the game backgrounds, for example, you'll see ghost faces come towards the screen in one level (the scaling effect is brilliant!), and in part of the final level, you'll get the impression of being held back by ghosts, trying to stop your escape from the house.

The characters are very well detailed; you don't fight against werewolves or classic monsters, but against hideously deformed mutants that seem inspired by the 'gore' horror movies (some of them resemble the monsters seen in the movies "In The Mouth Of Madness"). The game designers must have been fans of 70's and 80's horror movies, because the entire game feeling makes you feel like in one of those. The bosses are tough, and they have more than enough tricks up their sleeves (er... skinless arms -_^) but they follow a pattern that is easy to follow. There's blood all over the game; you'd expect the monsters to bleed red blood, but instead they bleed... green blood...? Strange, yes, they must have censored it.

When you play, the game is not very original. Don't let the screenshots fool you, the game is a 2-d side scroller (though some of these screenshots may suggest otherwise). The control is very decent, you move fast, and when you jump, you retain some control over the character. Unfortunately, your methods of attacking are quite limited. You punch, jump kick, and slide; and that's it. You can get weapons during the game, such as a wood plank, or a chainsaw! These kill most monsters (except the bosses) with one blow.

Soundwise, the tunes are fairly good. The music also resembles the horror movies from the early 80's (especially those drum snares) , but they get repeated very often. Also, they use the same organ through the game for some reason. Most of the voices are not too crisp, but for the Genesis, they're very good. Jennifer's scream is especially... realistic. (I got pretty scared the first time I heard it - I sure didn't expect it). Near the end, you'll hear some chanting you won't understand, but that adds to the terror you're supposed to feel.

To tell you the truth, I expected more of this game. I saw some of the ads for it, and it looked very cool, but after playing it I was dissapointed. Try it for a quick scare! Just be sure you have the lights on...