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New Splatterhouse trailer plays on Splatterhouse nostalgia, but does such a thing actually exist?

With this new trailer for its update to the aged schlock horror kill-'em-up, it seems that Namco is wholeheartedly trying to play the Street Fighter card. Capcom did itself a whole boatload of favours by marketing Street Fighters IV and Super Turbo HD towards the series' original '90s players, but to be honest, I'm not so sure that a similar tactic is going to work for Splatterhouse.

All the ingredients are there. Opening footage of the original game. Gratuitous use of its soundtrack. Edits that draw clear parallels between the 1988 original and the new one. But does anyone really care enough about Splatterhouse as a franchise for any of this to matter? Is this trailer massaging your memory cortex with sweet, warm nostalgia lotion, or, like me, are you just seeing a game pointlessly trying to prove that it's a bit like an old game that you'd happily forgotten about because it wasn't actually very good? Take a look and let me know.

And personally, I think it's a shame that Namco is taking this angle. Because while Splatterhouse has had a slightly troubled development (original dev BottleRocket was dropped in 2009) and while I haven't yet seen anything in its marketing to make me genuinely excited about it, it is a fresh take on a franchise that never realised its potential, and as such it certainly deserves a fair crack of the whip. Seeing the nostalgia card played so hard when we've still seen relatively little of the new game, and in the direction of such nostalgia-infertile ground, just doesn't create a great impression.

But I could be wrong. There could be a huge raving Splatterhouse fanbase out there just waiting to bite my head off over this. And if there is, they should definitely let me know.

14 comments

  • dire51 - September 4, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    There's a Splatterhouse fanbase out there, a big one. I've been their voice for several years now. And thanks to me, their voices have been heard by Namco Bandai. If you compare the screens of the BottleRocket version with the new screens, a lot of the improvements were based upon our suggestions. I've been told this by Dan Tovar himnself. For the record: - the trailer doesn't use any music from the original game. What you hear is all new. - the Genesis sequels Splatterhouse 2 and 3 are represented in the trailer as well. It's not just the original game shown. Personally, I think the marketing NB has done for the game so far has been brilliant. Instead of only going after "gamers" (who can be an elitist and pretty ignorant crowd as a whole, judging by a lot of comments I've seen over the years on sites like this one), they're also targeting metal fans and horror fans, which makes perfect sense given the content of the game. Also, I think crumbdunky is right about this trailer. Yeah, it caters to the existing fanbase (by showing us some new versions of our old favorites along with some of the sidescrolling areas), but it does show that yes, this game isn't some brand new IP trying to beat God of War, but rather that it has a past and they're using it as the base for the new game.
  • epicdominican91 - August 25, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    if there's anything i learned from my time of living (and being on the internets) is that there's always fan base of everything
  • TKTOWA - August 24, 2010 6:37 a.m.

    F-ing loved it.
  • Genericpenisjoketista - August 24, 2010 5:01 a.m.

    This game looks pretty uninspired. Just another over-hyped and redundant beat-em-up.
  • xenon - August 24, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    Well, the reason why this game is getting any attention at all is that it carries the Splatterhouse name, so obviously they play on it. I just hoped they kept it closer to the original (especially the main character's looks).
  • ShaneCedt - August 23, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    Meh. If I wanted to slice and dice cretins, I'll pick up Prototype. Looks like that game does a better job of mindless violence.
  • sixboxes - August 23, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    Really, why wouldn't they want to give a nod to their roots? If they didn't want to be tied to the originals, they wouldn't have called the game Splatterhouse, and probably would've rolled with some significantly different character models and such. I always think that the difference between "good" schlocky and "bad" schlocky is the level of self-awareness. And by recognizing its basis in middling (at best) 16-bit side-scrollers, Splatterhouse is showing that it's quite self-aware. I agree with other sentiments, though. The game can't hang its hat on nostalgia. Especially since the game was so average to begin with. It needs to have some creative combat, big gameplay twists, and/or be balls-hard like the upper tier action games today, or it might as well be a PSN/XBLA/Steam title. I do hope the final product shows us something different like that. I liked Splatterhouse as an IP too, and do feel it was woefully underused. I'm feeling optimistic about the atmosphere at least, and the way everything animates gives the impression that the controls are smooth and responsive. Now if it shows that little extra, I'll tip over from optimistic to stoked.
  • adrenaguy - August 23, 2010 1:55 p.m.

    djfwewo - failspam. at last be subtle this game looks... eh. i think it's gonna be all talk imo, i mean the idea is good, but it sounds like it will be incredibly shallow, think about it, it sounds an awful lot like madworld, does it not? kill stuff in inventive ways to earn more points, a couple bosses thrown in here and there and a loose storyline taped on. change a couple bits around and it's madworld in HD, i'm not particularly excited, this will be borrowd before bought methinks...
  • Fusionmix - August 23, 2010 11:50 a.m.

    Not a bad trailer, actually, even though I never enjoyed Splatterhouse.
  • Gorillaman23 - August 23, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    Looks pretty good, actually. But I agree with you; not enough players remember the original for the nostalgia to work. Hopefully the new game will introduce the younger gamers of this generation to the game with the most gratuitous, mindless violence before it was even popular.
  • Biopiate - August 23, 2010 11:35 a.m.

    Also, I'm expecting a SuperReview from GR when it's finally released, anticipating anything from a so-so 5 to a great 8. My expectations aren't too high.
  • crumbdunky - August 23, 2010 11:31 a.m.

    IDK, Dave, it's hardly been a game high in the memory of the gaming populous so far anyway and being fair it's actually a decent trailer without any waffle that might just be playing to newer gamers more than old ones. I say this as it's kind of pushing that it has a history, a legacy, so new gamers can sense it's game with a past and selling it to newcomers as much as oldies in the hope they were caught up in the SF nostalgia fest, no? It's a slick ad that sows the games progression well and seeingf as SF4 did so well maybe it will get some young gamers top check it out-given the over use of gore in the games it's a sensible attitude to take with young male gamers(and girls too but you see my point)appealing with modern graphical claret AND with it's history card. kind of saying it's ALWAYS been the game to go for for OTT gore, no? I just doubt very much that they imagine it can survive on fans of the original buying it or even seeing the ad to be honest and the marketing makes sense to me either way, tbh. Game looks way better than I feared and I hope it's OK as it's unlike most stuff ariound right now.
  • Biopiate - August 23, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    This is one of my most anticipated games of 2010, and the only thing I don't like about it so far is some of the worst heavy/death metal bands in the world are on the soundtrack. You should make an article about how some music can ruin certain video games for players. For this new Splatterhouse game, I was thinking more of a dark ambient score with keyboards similar to those from the Phantasm movies. A soundtrack provided by Goblin would have been sick, too...
  • kazimierz3000 - August 23, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    Cool

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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