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Title: Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti
Rom Player: rockNESx
Reviewer: ItalianStereotype

Synopsis: Okay, so first you had Splatterhouse in the arcade. Then, in 1990, we were given Splatterhouse on the Turbo (which I have also reviewed). Later on we were given Splatterhouse 2 and 3. Everything is good in the Splatterhouse universe, right? Wrong. In between the original arcade version of Splatterhouse and the one released on the Turbo, the Japanese were given a slightly different Splatterhouse. Its title, Wanpaku Graffiti, translates roughly into "Naughty Graffiti" and should betray some of the sheer WACKINESS of the Japanese people.

As the game begins, Rick is dead and Jennifer is mourning over his grave. Suddenly, lightning flashes, thunder claps, spooky effects occur, and Rick pops up wearing the Death Mask. Jennifer is kidnapped by a giant pumpkin who was in the grave next to Rick (I buried G.I. Joes, it's sort of similar...I guess) and the game is off.

You play through seven stages in your search for the Pumpkin King (Nightmare before Christmas is a badass movie) and each is excellently done. In some stages, the background actually acts independently. A feat almost unheard of on the NES/Famicom system. Rick, while a little orange for my tastes, looks good as well albeit in a Count Duckula sort of way. Also, S:WG is obviously meant to pay homage to some of the all time horror greats. While playing you will probably find some obvious references to The Excorcist, Friday the 13th, Jaws, and others. Hell, one of the levels you play is called "Diamond Lake," does that ring any bells? I'm sure that I have yet to find all of the movie parodies and secrets and I've played through twice already.

Game Play- Like Splatterhouse, only cutesy. One of the most obvious differences is the "Experience" system in S:WG. Instead of the POW and Life meters or the Hearts that were in the other Splatterhouse games, you are given a bar on the left side of the screen and a number at the top. As you kill more enemies, you gain more XP and eventually more life points. This is definitely a good thing because you start out with a ridiculously low amount of life.

Graphics- Once again, like a cutesy Splatterhouse. The graphics might make it seem like the game is meant for children, but it's still distinctly Splatterhouse (not really any gore involved though). Both Rick and the monsters are completely disfigured and deformed. I especially liked the way the monsters came across. It makes you want to just pinch their widdle cheekies and shove a cleaver up their ass at the same time.

Music- Really a mixed bag. There is a lot of repetition in the music, but most of it is good enough to make you not care. I personally didn't care for some of the level themes, but overall the music isn't too bad. I do, however, like the satisfying "splat" that accompanies most of your kills.

Originality- Some people might accuse the other Splatterhouse games of being stale or simply standard horror fare, but not this game. It's as original as they come without losing touch with what made the arcade version such an exquisite smashfest. "Thriller" Vampire bosses people, that's all I'm going to say.

If anyone is actually fortunate enough to own a Famicom, they probably already own this game. For the rest of us, we have to rely on emulation. Download this game. If you don't, don't ever say anything about Splatterhouse ever again.

Happy Halloween I-Mockery

Best Cheats: Stage Cheats

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 7
Originality: 9
Overall Rating: 9

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