Hey everyone! Has there ever been a point when you’re looking through your gaming library and wondered, “Huh, I wonder whatever happened to this series?” Well, I’ll be taking a look at videogame franchises and the lead up to their eventual absence. With that being said, today I’ll be asking the question: “Whatever Happened to Splatterhouse?”
A series that spans almost 30 years in gaming, Splatterhouse is a beat em’ up slasher that cashed in on the controversy of that late 80’s to early 90’s period of gaming, where anything with even a small amount of violence was considered uphauling. Titles such as Mortal Kombat, Splatterhouse, Wolfenstein and Doom dominated this time frame and allowed gamers to experience a more hectic, fast-paced style that they had never seen before.
So what happened? Mortal Kombat, Wolfenstein and Doom are all flourishing, all with popular recent releases and all with dedicated fanbases. Somewhere, however, Splatterhouse got lost in the mix. Maybe a lack of fanfare, perhaps too little promotion or not enough market value, something has kept Splatterhouse off the minds of Namco Bandai.
To revisit some history, the first Splatterhouse was released in 1988, much to the disheartenment of parents everywhere. The game, upon release, was already deep in the conversation of having graphic and disturbing content that was unsuitable for children. That said content would largely be the game's saving grace as gameplay wise it was considered disappointing and all-around lacking.
Some time would pass before the eventual release of Splatterhouse 2 in 1992. Unfortunately, Splatterhouse 2 would fare even worse than the original. Praised for it’s gore but, again, was hindered by a lack of technical innovation which would led it to achieving mixed reviews at best.
A year later, fans of the gory, side-scroller would be introduced to Splatterhouse 3. An interesting entry to the franchise, it would feature a multiple ending scenario that resonated fairly well with fans. Also, being more technically sound than its predecessors, it is considered a highlight in the series, having a decent balance between gore and gameplay.
After 1993, 17 years would come and go before the reboot of Splatterhouse would be announced. Splatterhouse (2010) came out to fairly average reviews, making it, quite possibly, the best reviewed title out of them all. The reboot featured a well layered heavy metal soundtrack, overall decent gameplay mechanics and a fun, over-the-top combat system that was easy to get into. Most criticisms were directed to story, length and rushed development cycle.
So, all in all, with no news or rumours of a follow-up six years later, it seems that time is the enemy of Splatterhouse. A game that prides itself on gore, but had no real emergence of technical capability until the third title in the series, it looks as if Splatterhouse is all flash with no substance. Thus, resulting in no sequel.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what happened to Splatterhouse.