Title: Hope Springs Eternal...
metal_mike_81 - October 20, 2011 09:05 AM (GMT)
WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD
So I picked up Splatterhouse 2010 four days ago. I remember checking out the game case about 4 or 5 months ago while at Gamestop. I asked one of the clerks there what he thought about it. His response: "It's terrible. Just mindless blood and gore set to a metal soundtrack."
About a week later, I mentioned it to a friend of mine--an avid gamer who has good tastes despite their being similar to my own--and asked his opinion. His reponse: "It's great, phenomenal. Mindless blood and gore set to a metal soundtrack."
I just had to laugh. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. I kept this in mind when I went to Gamestop to not only buy it and Castelvania: Lords Of Shadow (which I have yet to play) but also to cancel my pre-order of Arkham City so that I could get that game from Best Buy instead (better bonus content). The clerk at Gamestop looked at me funny and asked, "You're not getting Arkham City, but you're getting Splatterhouse?" So I reiterated to him the gist of the first two paragraphs of this post: I've heard two different opinions based on the same reasoning; one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Well, this game turned out to be my treasure indeed. I mean, fucking WOW. Not only was I a fan of the original TurboGrafx and Genesis games (I was 7-8 years old when the first one was released, and I was 11 when I discovered them), but I was also on the horror game bandwagon from day 1 when the original Resident Evil was released--and have ridden that very same bandwagon all the way through to The Suffering, Dead Space, and a few games in between and since. I have a dark aesthetical sense when it comes to visuals and storylines, which SH2010 satisfies with flying colors. I've listened to metal music since adolescence. And in addition to all of this, when I heard the in-game dialogue between Rick and The Terror Mask regarding Goatwhore--a band of whom I've been a fan since their first album way back in 2000 (who also hails from my hometown of New Orleans)--I couldn't help but arrive at one simple conclusion: Splatterhouse 2010 Is Exactly The Game I Had Been Waiting For.
I'll admit that it's not a perfect game (what game is?) and that it has its fair share of flaws (what game doesn't?), but for me it hit home in a big way and was immensely enjoyable. Consider me a member of the development team's target demographic. And after reading the entire history behind SH2010's development, I've found that I appreciate the end product even more.
And that's exactly why I'm posting this. A game this good and this brutal DESERVES a sequel. I remember playing through the God Of War games (I know, I know: a trite comparison, but an accurate one nonetheless) and thinking, "This is great, but it feels like something's missing." I also remember thinking the same thing about Dead Space 1 & 2, which up until now had been my favorite games hands-down. SH2010 is now at the top of my (admittedly limited) PS3 stack, and I'm certain it will remain there for years to come. And just like with Dead Space--a game that is also backed up by a potential treasure trove of storyline mythos--my head swarms with ideas that could be incorporated into the sequel. Unlike DS1&2 however, Cthulhu is already on the scene with SH2010.
I've read the Necronomicon. Trust me, the potential for depth here is ENORMOUS. Namco-Bandai would be fools to pass up a chance to do it right the second time around. In the absence of BottleRocket's egregious fuck-ups and given a proper marketing effort, Splatterhouse 2012/2013 could easily be Game Of The Year material by anyone's standards--greased palms or not. The best part is that the basic skeletal progression of the game is already there, and has been since the sequels to the original 1988 game. Sure, certain elements were dropped in between SH1 and SH2010, but how necessary were those elements in the first place? The basic idea--Rick wades through hell to save his girl, then is forced to destroy her following her Corrupted turn, then manages to resurrect her at the Terror Mask's suggestion, then discovers after many years of normal life (following the birth of their first child) that the horror is far from over--could be easily adapted.
Maybe I'm beating a dead horse here (yes, I see that there's an emoticon for it--I refuse to use it :-), but there's just too much potential there to let it all go to waste. For example, I refer once again to the Necronomicon: Rick = Marduk, Jennifer/Leonora = Tiamat, The Overlord = Cthulhu, and Dr. West = Azagh-Thoth's most devoted disciple. But unlike Marduk, Rick must somehow reconcile his love for Jennifer with his role as the hero that is supposed to destroy her and prevent her from fulfilling the role forced upon her by the events of SH2010 (i.e. her being possessed by Leonora) . And perhaps somewhere in there, the Terror Mask could be cast as the blind god of destruction, Azagh-Thoth himself. JUST THESE CONCEPTS ALONE--regardless of whether or not the names and/or roles of the deities in question remain the same--would provide enough story to drive another TWO sequels, regardless of any creative liberties taken by the development team in piecing it all together.
That said, I plan on calling Namco-Bandai whenever the hell the urge so strikes me, and asking them when (not if) they plan on making a sequel. I actually called them yesterday, and was amazed at how quickly I was connected to a live person. That in and of itself tells me that the lines of communication are there. It all starts with an idea, and it's all about supply and demand; and as someone who loves SH2010 and its precursors to absolute death (and beyond), the least I can do is my small part in supplying the demand.
I welcome any and all replies. In fact, I demand them.
Dire, thank you for running such a wonderful site.
5thman - October 20, 2011 01:58 PM (GMT)
Namco deliberately killed the franchise. There will be no sequels. So having read your post, I'm confident you'll find yourself right at home here with the rest of the unhappy Splatter-fans. Welcome!
Side-note: your copy of the Necronomicon is a fraud, or else it would spell the demon sultan's name "Azathoth" and make no references to Babylonian deities such as Tiamat and Marduk. Nyarlathotep is probably laughing his ass off right now.
Dire 51 - October 21, 2011 01:45 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (metal_mike_81 @ Oct 20 2011, 04:05 AM)|
| It all starts with an idea, and it's all about supply and demand; and as someone who loves SH2010 and its precursors to absolute death (and beyond), the least I can do is my small part in supplying the demand. |
I'm afraid that isn't going to be enough. It's been almost a year since release and Splatterhouse '10 hasn't even broken the 200,000 mark in sales worldwide. Add that to Namco Bandai Japan's current attitude toward Western developers, the twisted history of the game (don't forget the bad taste BottleRocket left in NBJ's mouth concerning Splatterhouse '10, which really pissed them off), and the fact that because of all that, Namco Bandai wanted the game (and most likely the franchise, which they never really cared about) buried. The negative reviews it got were not a help. So 5th is correct:
|Namco deliberately killed the franchise. There will be no sequels.|
Dan Tovar may have been (and may still be) optimistic about the possibility of a sequel, but even he could see the writing on the wall. Besides, much like a lot of other traditional Japanese game companies, Namco's floundering right now, trying to find their way in this rapidly-changing modern videogame market. The last thing they're going to be considering right now is greenlighting the sequel to a game that, in their eyes, flopped and beyond that, was an embarrassment to the company.
|Dire, thank you for running such a wonderful site.|
You're welcome. Glad you've enjoyed it.
Robocop2 - December 2, 2011 10:27 PM (GMT)
Great Idea: Let's all get our pocket change together and buy Namco or at least the rights to Splatterhouse mwahhhahahaha
Dire 51 - December 2, 2011 11:16 PM (GMT)
I'd considered actually attempting to buy Splatterhouse from Namco. Seriously. However, if what I've read is correct, Japanese companies do not sell their IPs, regardless of how much they may want them buried.
SparktehFox - December 7, 2011 07:15 PM (GMT)
Dear Lord, if I could purchase the franchise I'd GIVE it to SEGA. They know how to keep a game going, plus with their solid dev teams, great comedic work and beautiful choice in music they'd be doing proper justice.
Heretic9 - December 8, 2011 12:42 AM (GMT)
Japanese developers in general have a hard time with the western market right now. The western market is FPS-Happy and typically won't play anything that doesn't isn't a shooter, sports game, or overhyped beyond belief. About the only Japanese company I'd say is still doing well in the west is Nintendo (and maybe Capcom but that's debatable). Reviewers don't help the situation when they give rave reviews to the highest bidder and dump on everything else.
The Japanese response to this isn't helping things either. More and more Japanese developers are saying "fuck it". Adding to the FPS crazed gamers we have these days, we also have a bunch of 1$ app games cropping up all over the place. The western market is so drastically different from the japanese, they're starting to flop. Things won't get better until either the western market changes or the Japanese market learns to adapt.
Basically, if it isn't Halo or Call of Duty it won't sell. If you don't believe me, boot up your 360's and go on Xbox Live and see how many Call of Duty: Black Ops tabs you'll find.
Far as Splatterhouse itself goes, the general consensus among fans is that it's a pretty good game, but to everyone else the game is shit because Gamespot/Joystiq/G4 said so. I wouldn't be surprised if the general gaming community views Splatterhouse fans as a bunch of head-banging neanderthals.