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Title: Splatterhouse 2
Rom Player: KGEN 98
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie

Synopsis: And you thought the violence in video games debate was centered only on Mortal Kombat and Carmageddon. Splatterhouse 2 places you in the shoes of Rick, some poor schmuck who was killed by monsters and resurrected by the Terror Mask, an ancient Aztec sacrificial mask with magic (read: evil) powers. According to the intro, it’s been three months since you escaped from the mansion where all the nastiness took place. Unable to cope with the guilt of having escaped without your girlfriend, you head back there with the Terror Mask to brutally murder anything that stands between you and you gal. In addition to feeling guilty, the Mask eggs you on, saying that she “doesn’t have to die” and that it is the only thing that can give Rick the strength to defeat the monsters, all while laughing in a most evil manner. The first thing that you’ll notice is the striking resemblance of the mask-enhanced Rick to one Jason Voorhees, of Friday the 13th fame. Believe it or not, the resemblance has been lessened since the first one, with the mask looking more like a skull, and less like a goalie mask. The second thing you’ll notice is the somewhat tricky control system. Sure, the mask gave you power, but now you’re only able to punch left and right. Not being able to cover at least four directions makes the game quite difficult, as all manner of mutants and such are flying at you from the left and the right, as well as the up, and a little of the down. The third thing that you’ll notice is the criterion that got the game its name. The first enemy you see is a horribly mutated zombie that you rip in half with a single punch. As you walk, you’ll be treated to several zombies writhing around in the background and foreground, some of which get up for immediate smiting, but others writhe for a moment and then shoot a giant leech out of their chests. Sound fun? Anyway, the scenery is the real clincher for the game. Among the more noticeable scenes are a river with bits and pieces of monsters floating in it, and a room with piles of some kind of fleshy substance all over it. Did I mention that this isn’t really the best game for the wee children? And what’s in all these crazy, disturbing environments? Why, nothing short of the most bizarre collection of freaks this side of White Castle. The one type that really irritated me is called the “screaming mimi.” Whenever they jump, and they do certainly jump, they let out this weird yipping noise. The noise I can deal with, but they have a tendency to jump directly onto you, and straight up is the one direction that you can’t attack. Their other methods of attacking include bouncing around while whipping you with their gangly arms, and leaping back and forth over various areas. The river scene, as described earlier, poses a threat to them because they have problems avoiding the pools filled with deadly, flesh-eating worms. It’s an interesting sight because after falling into one, they let out a death cry, and wave goodbye as they sink into the pool. The in-game bosses really top off the disgusting factor. Sure, they look like big nasty freaks, but their death animations are particularly icky. One boss, a giant blue head that comes out of the wall, actually has his eyes explode upon defeat. Another boss, after a good beating, explodes in such a manner that it appears that blood has sprayed onto the glass of your TV, with a layer of blood sliding down from the top to end that level. Along the way, you’ll pick up various weapons like lead pipes, oars, chainsaws, and other household tools that are more powerful than your punches and provide interesting new death animations, but often take too long to swing or have a very short reach. After completing a stage with a weapon in hand, you just drop the weapon and walk off the scene, apparently exhausted from having to lug a giant femur for a few steps. The music is very well done, as it is never short of being creepy. The sound effects are a little off, though, especially with your grunting after being hit, and the yipping... Overall, this game is one to look at, but it is very difficult. I say check it out, if not to play it, then to smite purple things with dinosaur bones.

Best Cheats: Slide - This maneuver will do twice as much damage as your other attacks. To execute a slide, walk forward, jump while holding down forward, and hit down/forward and attack as soon as you hit the ground.

Game Play: 7
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 8

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