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Splatterhouse 3

TM & © 1993 Namco, Ltd.
Review by Kitsune Sniper

After Rick escaped with Jennifer from... the house... they got married. They have a son, David. Many years passed. But now, an entity called "The Evil One" has kidnapped Jennifer and David, and has taken them back to the house. Rick once again has no choice but to go back... and to wear the dreaded mask that has caused him so much suffering. But this time, the mask is more than willing to help Rick. Is it helping out of the good of its heart? Or does it have other intentions?

The final chapter in the Splatterhouse trilogy comes to the Genesis, bringing more of the elements that made the previous games so successful: Blood, gore, intestines, hideous monsters, and what appears to be Michael Myers' and Jason Voorhees' love child, Rick.

The side-scrolling way of gameplay is gone. Now, Splatterhouse 3 plays like yet another Final Fight clone. Not that it's bad; the new way of play is better than the old game engine. Now, you can move and evade the enemies a bit easier. Because of the new game engine, you can attack more than one enemy at the same time with a four-punch combination. Also, Rick got a special move that hit every one of the monsters around him; and the Mask has given him the ability to morph into a bigger, stronger Rick for a limited time! But there is a problm with this new game engine: Sometimes, you'll be hitting various enemies at the same time, and Rick will hold the closest one to him for no reason at all, leaving him open to a long range enemy attack.

Now, instead of going only to the left or the right, you can take many different paths to the stage goal; after you've cleared a room of enemies, you can see a map and decide which route you will take.

In the previous games, you could only attack with a steel pipe or a wood plank; now you can use an ax, a cracked bat, or a cement block! When you kill an enemy with the first two weapons mentioned, the enemies either split in two, or their heads (or whatever is supposed to be their head) explodes! The only problem is that when you lose your weapon (when you are knocked down), a ghost will appear and try to snatch away the weapon to a set room in the mansion.

Also, you now have a time limit. If you don't clear the stage before the time runs out, someone may die, and you'll get a different ending. There are 4 different endings to get, ranging from Rick being the only survivor, to succesfully escaping with his wife and son. In the higher difficulty levels, you'll have a very hard time getting to the boss on time; since you'll be fighting more monsters, you'll lose a lot of time clearing them out.

The game sounds are very good, As usual, the Genesis hardware really limits the sound quality, but they're really easy to understand. The music is decent enough.

Now comes my opinion of the game's best feature: The graphics. Never, in my life, in any 16-bit cart-based console, had I seen such great cut-scenes. The programmers used real people to act out the parts of Rick, Jennifer and David. The game intro is excellent, truly a work of art for the Genesis, given the limited hardware. The in-game backgrounds are also excellently drawn; the monsters have undergone a makeover (since some are back from the previous games). The details given to them is excellent; now you can actually see the damage you perform.

Decent gameplay and music, excellent graphics and story, multiple endings, and great difficulty makes this game the absolute best in the series, apt for the series' finale. If you're a fan of old 80's gore horror, or just can't get enough of Final Fight clones (like myself ^_-), pick this game up. You won't regret it!