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Splatterhouse 2: Did Critics Love this Gory Sequel in 1992?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 22, 2014   |   Episode 111 (Show Archive)  

   

Splatterhouse 2 (Sega Genesis)
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!

After the success of Splatterhouse on TurboGrafx, Namco decided to bring the sequel to the Sega Genesis. Splatterhouse 2 offered more blood, more guts, more weapons and more gruesome boss battles. Sadly, it didn't do much else with the formula. Were critics turned off by the non-stop gore, or did they fall in love with this violent sequel? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Game Informer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Sega Visions, Mean Machines and Sega Mega Drive Advanced 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.)

Splatterhouse 2
[ Company: Namco | Console: Genesis ]

GAMEPRO (May 1992)
5 out of 5

"If you missed out on the fun of the original Splatterhouse, don't miss out on Splatterhouse 2. It's a bit on the gooey side, but don't let that bother you. If you can't appreciate Splatterhouse's gross-out factor, you can surely appreciate its other redeeming qualities. If you've ever wanted to seek revenge on all those early childhood closet monsters, now's your chance to do it vicariously through Splatterhouse 2. Good to the last splat." -Abby Normal

GAME INFORMER (September 1992)
9 out of 10

"This is a cart you can sit down with and have fun destroying the bad guys. Watch them disintegrate into piles of green slime as you battle your way through the mansion to save Jennifer. With neat graphics, sound effects, and music, mixed together with a super challenge, this is definitely one not to pass up." -Ed, The Video Wizard

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #35
8 out of 10

"A fantastic sequel to a great game. It is good that Namco decided to keep the gore in as otherwise it would have lost a lot. Definitely not an easy game as it is set on the hard side. The music is exceptional as it fits in with the theme of the game. Overall an excellent game and the best Genesis game so far this year." -Ed

SEGA VISIONS (Aug/Sep 1992)
80% out of 100%

"The hack and slash title from Namco rates high on the grossness factor. You can pick up objects, and use those to slam your opponents and splatter them all over the walls. This game is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like this sort of thing (and millions of Hallween and Friday the Thirteenth fans can't be wrong), you'll have a lot of fun with it."

MEAN MACHINES SEGA #1
73% out of 100%

"A reasonable enough adaptation of the gruesome (?) Namco coin-op, this horizontally scrolling beat 'em up fails because the controls are sluggish, making the gameplay very frustrating."

SEGA MEGA DRIVE ADVANCED GAMING #1
72% out of 100%

"Splatterhouse 2 is a good laugh which will appeal to beat 'em-up fans and sickos alike. Definitely the sort of game that will offend your parents no end [sic]. It's not too often that you get to say that about a video game! It has its idiosyncrasies I'll admit, and in places it is shoddy in the presentation department but it does play very well." -John

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #35
7 out of 10

"Splatterhouse 2 is one of the better action games available for the Genesis. The game play could use a little work, especially concerned how the main character jumps. The graphics are as gross as possible on a 16-bit system and the sounds are eerie. The voices are kind of cheesy but overall an above average cart." -Martin

MEAN MACHINES SEGA
(The Essential Sega Guide)
64% out of 100%

"Splatterhouse II? You might well ask what happened to Splatterhouse I! The fact is, it was never released on Megadrive -- only in the arcades. If Splatterhouse II was much faster and much more responsive, the poor animation and similarity between the levels could have been forgotten in the slapfest of gory proportions. As it stands, most beat 'em up fans will be disappointed." -Rich

SEGA FORCE #8
63% out of 100%

"Yuk! This has got to be the grossest game ever! Slimeworld has its fair share of muck and mucus but this is the granddaddy of them all! For sheer vileness, it gets full marks. The slime's always in full flow and there are loads of dripping creatures to tackle. The only complaint is that it's all too slow. The controls are sluggish and lets the whole game down. A bit more speed and this could've been a contender, Charlie." -Mat

VIDEO GAMES & COMPUTER
ENTERTAINMENT (June 1992)
6 out of 10

"Nightmares can be terrible things, especially when they're accompanied by a good dose of guilt. All in all, though, Splatterhouse 2 comes off as little more than a repeat performance, more of the same hack-and-slash that was featured in its predecessor. While this game may please those who liked the previous effort, Splatterhouse 2 does nothing to advance the genre." -Clayton Walnum
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 74% - If you were a teenage boy with a fetish or blood and gore, then the early 1990s were for you. But even with all the gruesome enemies on tap, critics were mixed when it came to Splatterhouse 2. Both GamePro and Game Informer loved this Genesis sequel, saying that Splatterhouse 2 was "definitely one not to pass up." Abby Normal sums it up well: "If you've ever wanted to seek revenge on all those early childhood closet monsters, now's your chance to do it vicariously through Splatterhouse 2."

Many were quick to point out that a great premise wasn't enough to carry a game. Sega Force called the controls "sluggish" and suggests the game gameplay "lets the whole game down." Video Games & Computer Entertainment agreed, arguing that "Splatterhouse 2 does nothing to advance the genre." Mean Machines Sega also noted the poor graphics and short single-player campaign.

To be fair, these were some of the same complaints lodged against the original Splatterhouse. That game scored a slightly better average of 79%, but it also had the benefit of being the first of its kind and on a fledgling system. By 1992, the Genesis was already on a roll and some of their best games had already been released. Had this sequel been released on the TurboGrafx-16 instead, I suspect you would have seen the average creep up by a few points. As it is, Splatterhouse 2 on the Genesis could only scare up an average of 74%.

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.

Splatterhouse
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: We are going to wrap up a week of Splatterhouse with a look at the third and final 16-bit chapter. After being disappointed with the middle chapter, would critics rebound and end up loving Splatterhouse 3? Find out on Friday when Review Crew tackles the final game in the Splatterhouse trilogy. 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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