Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Splatterhouse 3", Genesis, 1993.

I don't know what happened to the intermediary sequel, but next up we have an ad for a horrific game, courtesy of Benj from Vintage Computing. With a touch of Friday the 13th's masked-face motif, we bring you: Splatterhouse 3 - Splatter with a Vengeance.
HE'S BACK!

Splatterhouse 3 for the Sega Genesis is the kind of game rating systems were invented for. Check out the screen shots and see for yourself. [screenshot]
So fun you could lose your head over it!

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Don't get all choked up!

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Get your kicks!

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Wear a mask and pack a powerful punch.

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Pow! Right in the kisser!

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Walk on the wild side!

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You've gotta have guts!

  • 16 megs of gruesome graphics!
  • Deadly New Weapons!
  • 6 levels of monster bashing mayhem!
  • Killer special moves!
  • Non-linear game play!
  • Multiple endings!
  • Password support!
Warning: This game contains scenes of graphic violence that may not be suitable for younger players.
The first point is absolutely correct: game rating systems were a new state of affairs at this time, though probably not implemented with the intent this ad suggests -- to spur sales of outrageously adult content. Where "adult" means, I suppose, gratuitous.

This is another lazy ad; Namco designed the game and could no doubt find many relevant remarks to make about the game and what differentiates it from its predecessors, but it looks like the US office just decided to make some weak jokes and fling things that look like punchlines but have no humour. Is "wear a mask and pack a powerful punch" a paraphrase of "speak softly and carry a big stick"? "Walk on the wild side": this blog's obligatory Lou Reed memorial tribute. We should hope that the new weapons are deadly and that the special moves are killer, otherwise they're kind of missing the point. Where does the phrase "monster bash" originate? The next two items redundantly reinforce each other: non-linear and with multiple ending. Then it wraps up by kind of apologetically asserting what it boldly proclaimed in the opening: indeed, this house is filled with splatter.

And for a bonus, here's another version (from World 1-1 at extralives) of an ad for Splatterhouse 1 we saw last year, this time in two-page form:

SPLATTERHOUSE

JUST KEEP TELLING YOURSELF
IT'S ONLY A VIDEO GAME...
ONLY A VIDEO GAME...
ONLY A VIDEO GAME...

It started as a college field trip to an old and somehow evil mansion. You just wanted to study the gruesome experiments of the world's most renowned, yet twisted parapsychologist.

Then, things started going wrong. Terribly wrong.

The last things you remember were a blood curdling scream and a dull thwack to the back of your skull.

You awaken to find someone or something has taken your girlfriend, and to save her you'll have to slaughter seven levels of monstrous ghouls.

You're about to find out exactly why this horrible place is called Splatterhouse.

And why no one has ever entered, and lived long enough to talk about it.

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To get a ghoul's attention, try a two-by-four to the head. (The slime stains should come out in the wash.)

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He's got a chainsaw. You've got a 12-gauge shotgun. Who will cut who in half?

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Punch and kick the bloody guts before they suck the life out of you. That surgical get-up you're wearing is quite attractive.

[screenshot]
Killing the head is tough. To have a ghost of a chance, try the two-by-four again.

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How tough is this maggot-eaten boss? You've got to give him a hand, he uses his head.

Manufacturer's suggested retail price for the TurboGrafx-16 system is $159.99.

No, it's not then that things started going terribly wrong; the premise is terribly wrong from the start. And if no one ever lived long enough to talk about it, how would the horrible place have achieved its name? Did it begin as a utensils-free buffet?

I imagine the problem in this game isn't attracting the ghouls' attention. How will guts suck the life out of you, do they have little mouths or stomas? Repeated mention of the 2x4 isn't selling me on the imaginative variety of player weapons available. A boss who manifests as a head and a hand is described in terms of a head and a hand. That isn't figurative language, you're just saying what you see!

And finally: will this bloody game convince you all on its own to purchase a TurboGrafx-16? (History suggests that the answer is: no.)