The Splatterhouse Retrospective: Splatterhouse 2 Second Opinion

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One of the unwritten rules I apply to all successful slashers is there needs to be more than one of them. It is nice to see Splatterhouse carrying on this tradition. Although I wasn’t warm to Splatterhouse, I was intrigued to see how it iterated with the sequels. To my immediate surprise, I actually enjoyed Splatterhouse 2 much more than the first. Yes, it is still incredibly difficult and mindless in its mechanics, but I love how it doubled down on everything I liked about the original; namely, the brutal imagery and gore. At first, I thought it may have been toned down. There was more green than red on the first stage; however, I encountered the first boss; a quartet of mutated fetuses hanging from nooses. Yes! This is what Splatterhouse is all about.

Splatterhouse 2 is twice as gory and twice as trippy as the original. One of my favorite parts is when Rick jumps down a hole and the next stage is you falling down a psychedelic neon pit, fighting enemies from both sides. I thought that was just the coolest, and really recaptured the original intrigue I had for Splatterhouse as a kid, staring at the cover in the video store. I think Splatterhouse works best when it goes full on bug-nuts weird and abstract. I know the first game was really gory and strange, but the sequel feels more refined and with a bigger sandbox to play in. Definitely play Splatterhouse 2 if you have the chance, and you should not feel like it’s necessary to play the original to get the full experience.

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