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.
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