Famicom Friday #8 Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti

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Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (which translates to “Naughty Graffiti”) is the second Splatterhouse game and it was the first game in the series to be released on a home console. The Famicom was however the only console to get this release which means it was Japan exclusive. The game was released in 1989 by Namco.

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Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti is a platforming beat ’em up but it’s much cuter than the other Splatterhouse games in the series. All the characters are cartoony with oversized heads.

There’s a password system in this game. You only have one life, but 4 continues, the game also features an experience point system, where you increase the character’s life bar with more health after having killed a certain amount of enemies.

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In the beginning sequence you get to see a girl grieving over the main character Rick’s grave, after some lightning struck his grave he emerges from it but his girlfriend gets kidnapped by a pumpkin.

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Rick wears his signature mask and is equipped with an axe. You can find candy which regains one health by killing enemies. There’s a lot of variation in the enemies on each stage and the gameplay is fluent and fun. It also comes off a bit as a parody of violent games and other pop-culture references that appear in the game. Like the first boss which clearly resembles Michael Jackson’s thriller ^^
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There’s also usually more than one boss per stage. Here’s a little montage of some of the bosses:
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Flying Books
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Possessed doll head with crazy chairs
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Flying daggers and chickens…?
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Giant rats in the sewers
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Flying chainsaws
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Giant spiders emerging from a sleeping girl’s stomach o_O
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Mutated man-fly
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Dark-mage-goat-satanist.. ?
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And Lightning-Knife-And-Fork-Guy…

The levels and the bosses are always surprising and different. It gets hard but it’s still manageable, on some of the boss stages or right after them you can usually find a hamburger which restores a lot of your health. Still, dying happens quite frequently, but thanks to the continues you get to start from the boss you were at.
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As long as you can make it to the next stage you will be granted a password so that you can continue from there whenever you run out of continues. It’s very forgiving.
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On stage IV you will also encounter a shotgun which can be used for a limited time. The shotgun is a lot of fun! It kills everything in sight ^_^
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On stage V you will find enemies hanging from trees, where their bodies will detach and start chasing you O_o while their heads continue shooting stuff at you. That was gross.. and kinda scary
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I didn’t get to play much longer tonight since my 5 year old niece came to visit, and even if the graphics are 8bit I still don’t think it’s an appropriate game for her to watch, so we started playing some Puyo Puyo instead ^_^ I will hopefully be able to finish it tomorrow though, and I’m excited about it!

Conclusion:

Graphics 8/10

[box_dark]It’s a detailed game with cute sprites that are quite funny, not only because of their giant heads but since they’re portraying such violence! The animations are fluent and there’s loads of various enemies and areas to discover ^_^[/box_dark]

Music: 7/10

[box_dark]The music is good, there are also some variation depending on stages and boss fights. It kind of reminds me of the Addams Family, it gives the same feeling which I find is appropriate since it’s a fun but dark game.[/box_dark]

Gameplay 8/10

[box_dark]The controls are smooth and it’s easy, you just have to walk jump and smack stuff with your axe. It’s still challenging thought since it requires some precision at time, both with dodging, jumping and managing to strike some flying enemies at the correct time. The introduction of the shotgun is a very welcome, gives the game some change to avoid being repetitive.[/box_dark]

Japanese 10/10

[box_dark]No Japanese is needed to understand the gameplay or play the game, all the text is in English, even the story.[/box_dark]

Total: 33/40

[box_dark]It’s a really fun game, simple yet challenging. The fact that it’s so brutal, running around slashing things with your axe, is very entertaining since it’s an 8bit game. It’s a different game and deserves credit for its contrast of mixing violence with the cuteness of deformed manga-style animation. It should definitely be played! [/box_dark]