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Splatterhouse: What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 20, 2014   |   Episode 110 (Show Archive)  


Splatterhouse (TurboGrafx-16)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

It's the start of Splatterhouse week here at Defunct Games, and what better place to start than with the original TurboGrafx-16 game. Originally an arcade game, this Splatterhouse port featured almost all of the gruesome bosses and enemies. Were critics impressed with this TurboGrafx port, or were the graphics too much to stomach? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer + Video Games and Video Games & Computer Entertainment for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the reviews. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. For more details and answers to common questions, we encourage you to read the Review Crew FAQ. There you'll find information on review guidelines, how we convert scores, magazine covers and more.)

[ Company: Namco | Console: TurboGrafx ]

92% out of 100%

"Crikey! This is a real 'gore-may' beat 'em up! What really makes it a cut above other Engine beat 'em ups is the truly revolting visuals - even more disgusting than some of the public lavs in Birmingham (yes, that bad!). What we're dealing with here is a roaringly good conversion, which stands up as a terrific Engine game in its own right. Make sure it's on the top of your shopping list." -Richard Leadbetter

8 out of 10

"Splatterhouse, while tamed down from the little-seen arcade, is another fantastic example of how good Turbo games can be. The game, albeit short, is challenging and graphically outstanding, with vivid blood-reds and puke-greens! I love it!I [sic]" -Steve

8 out of 10

"Missing are those superb sound effects made when you 'splat one' into a wall as in the coin-op. But, that's all that's missing! Looks, plays, and feels like the unreal thing! It's gore-y but good!!" -Sushi X

ENTERTAINMENT (October 1990)
6 out of 10

"Get out the barf bags! Splatterhouse is the grossest video game I've seen yet. It most definitely lives up to its name. In general, Splatterhouse is an entertainment haunted-house saga aimed at Ghostbusters-in-training everywhere. I doubt, however, the weak of heart will care much for this blood feast. It's violent, gross, grotesque, depraved and completely lacking in class. Guess that's why I like it." -C.W.
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 79% - For the most part, Splatterhouse was a big hit with the critics. While Video Games & Computer Entertainment didn't appreciate the game's bloody brilliance, every other critic scored the game either an 80% or higher. Many seemed surprised that the TurboGrafx-16 was capable of a game like this, and they all wanted more. EGM's Steve Harris concludes that Splatterhouse is a "fantastic example of how good Turbo games can be."

Some complained that this home console port wasn't nearly as gruesome as the arcade original. That's fine, since almost nobody played the coin-op. The game was still full of blood and gore, so very few customers echoed the complaints. Another gripe was the game's length, another product of being an arcade port. Even with these minor complaints, Splatterhouse managed to average an solid 79%.

SPLATTERHOUSE ARCHIVE: Want to see how this Splatterhouse game stacks up against the rest? Below you will find every Splatterhouse game currently in the Review Crew archive. Read the original reviews and see if you agree with the old school critics.

What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Namco TurboGrafx 79%
Splatterhouse 2
What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Namco Genesis 74%
Splatterhouse 3
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Namco Genesis 81%

ON THE NEXT REVIEW CREW: Splatterhouse takes the leap from TurboGrafx to Sega Genesis with the 16-bit sequel. On Wednesday we'll see if critics liked Splatterhouse II more than the original. See you then for another gruesome episode of Review Crew. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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