Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (translates to "Naughty Graffiti") is definitely the odd man out in the Splatterhouse series, and it's partly for that reason that I chose it as my game to play on Halloween. It's the second game that was made in the series, and unlike the others, was only released in Japan. Rather than the more serious, dark tone of the other games in the series, Wanpaku Graffiti uses rather cutesy super deformed characters and parodies tropes in the horror movie genre.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, the game plays as a fairly standard side scrolling beat 'em up like the rest of the early Splatterhouse games, and overall, it controls very well. My only real complaint with the controls is that the landings from jumps can feel a little slippery. The bigger problem with the jumps wasn't the controls, however, but the rather hit-or-miss fall points on the platforms; you can be right on the edge of the platforms and sometimes fall through. It's not a HUGE deal, but it can get a little annoying in the game's few platforming sections.
The visuals are quite nice for the Famicom with bright and colorful sprites. The music is well done, as well, though they take a backseat to the sprite artwork in my opinion. The game's strongest aspect is definitely its parody jokes, though; the first boss, for example, is a Michael Jackson inspired vampire, and one of the bosses in the middle of the game is an Alien reference. For fans of horror movies, there's a LOT to love here, and unlike some parody games, the references in Wanpaku Graffiti are clever and well implemented rather than sloppy and hastily thrown together. It makes for an entertaining game with solid presentation that's a blast to play. There's also some fantastic Engrish in the game.
Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti is the kind of game that modern gaming is sorely lacking - clever, well planned parody. Personally, I found the game to be a bit tougher than the TurboGrafx-16 port of the first Splatterhouse game, but the (mostly) tight controls, bright visuals, and hilarious parodies make it absolutely worth playing. It's a criminally overlooked Famicom game that really deserves a worldwide Virtual Console release. It's gone up in value over the past couple years, but it's totally worth adding to a Famicom collection.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.