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25 Features

Retro Vault: Pit-Fighter, Splatterhouse, Q*bert

Plus: SNES price protests and the Colecovision

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August 1992 - Splatterhouse 2 artwork

Gory games are ten-a-penny these days but in the early '90s, pre-Mortal Kombat, they were still considered fairly taboo - especially on home consoles. Step forward Namco, giving approximately zero damns, with its Splatterhouse series of side-scrolling schlock 'em ups.

While the original Splatterhouse was an arcade and TurboGrafx title, the sequel was exclusive to the Mega Drive and once again starred Rick, the hero of the first game. Rick's girlfriend Jennifer is trapped in an evil house. He's contacted by the 'Terror Mask', a mask with more than a slight Friday The 13th vibe to it, which tells Rick that it can give him the power he needs to rescue Jennifer.

Sure enough, putting on the mask gives Rick the power to punch, kick and main his way through countless monsters and mutants, smashing them all into pulpy messes along the way.

Most notable were the graphic boss fights, which saw Rick (among other things) punching an obese monster's stomach until it explodes, spilling acidic bile everywhere, and attacking a hanging baby which dropped through random holes in the ceiling, noose tied round its neck, vomiting leeches.

Not quite Ecco The Dolphin, then. If you reckon you've got a strong enough stomach for it, it can be found on the Wii Virtual Console.

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