6/6/2011 - 6:30 A.M. EST (latest update today): I've posted the first piece of fan fiction based on Splatterhouse '10: Koen Phoenix's Splatterhouse 2. Check it out over in the Fan Fiction section.
6/2/2011 - 10:45 P.M. EST (latest update today): I've been busy, hoping to have a new story - most likely my final piece of Splatterhouse fanfiction - ready before the 25th. I'm also working on one last feature article for Splatterhouse '10. So while you're waiting for those, why not check out the Mike Wasion double feature Biggy/The Obscene over in the Fan Fiction section? WARNING: much like the rest of his work, these stories are seriously twisted - and Mike has also included appropriate images and optional secondary audio tracks to enhance the experience. Enjoy...
5/22/2011 - 10:50 P.M. EST (latest update today): The countdown to the tenth anniversary of West Mansion continues. In lieu of news, I'd like to announce that three pieces of fanfiction are available in the Fan Fiction section: my short story Hunger, Mike "corpsemonger" Wasion's incredibly twisted holiday tale Christmas at West Mansion and the epic collaboration between myself and Mike, Splatterhouse: The Value of Flesh. Enjoy!
4/13/2011 - 12:30 A.M. EST (latest update today): Sorry for the lack of updates, but aside from the fact that there's been no news, I haven't felt like updating the site at all. Besides the fact that I've been going through a major personal crisis over the past couple months, I'm still disgusted over the reception Splatterhouse '10 received, especially by Namco Bandai. As a result, I've been distancing myself from the series for a bit, aside from playing my blood-red Wanpaku Graffiti repro that I got a little while back. Sadly, the original Famicom game is too long to fit inside an NES while attached to a Fami-to-NES converter, so if I wanted Wanpaku Graffiti action on my new NES (long story), I had to go the repro route.
Anyway, I'm kicking around a couple of final article ideas to post before I retire in June. We'll see how that goes though.
1/27/2011 - 8:08 A.M. EST (latest update today): Hey, Namco Bandai Japan, Splatterhouse fans all over the world want to know if you guys are going to make a sequel to Splatterhouse '10. So level with us! Are you?
Two seconds later:
Anyway, I wanted to bring up Dan "Shoe" Hsu's recent EGM editorial regarding Splatterhouse. He brings up many excellent points, both good and bad, but the thing is, unlike some other reviewers out there, he treats the game fairly. In fact, his is probably the fairest professional review I've seen. He lays it out for you, what he didn't like about it, and what he did. And you know, I respect Dan for actually having the guts to come forward and defend his position. None of those reviewers on Joystiq or Kotaku or IGN (etc.) would do the same, and as we've seen, at least some of those reviewers are being dicks toward the fans because they don't like the game. Those people we don't need.
That Dan actually brought up something that most reviewers would never do is somewhat surprising in this day and age. Did he have fun with the game, despite it's flaws? And does that reflect in his rating? Yes. Isn't that what it all boils down to in the end anyway? The question: is it entertaining? I certainly think so. So do a lot of other people. Yes, it has flaws. It has glitches. It, much like every other game out there, has its issues. Nothing is perfect. But if you're entertained by it, none of the issues matter. It won't appeal to everybody, but really - what does?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I enjoyed Splatterhouse '10. Out of all of the games I played last year, it remains the one I've had the most fun with. And it's a game I'm going to keep playing as the years go on, much like the originals. I'll be playing it long after it's been forgotten by the reviewers that maligned it and the gaming public that ignored it. And why? Because I enjoy it. It entertains me.
1/14/2011 - 8:36 P.M. EST (latest update today): Happy New Year, all. I had some stuff planned for the first major update of the year, but due to a few legal snags, I'm unable to do what I wanted to do. But rather than dwell on that, let's move on.
Just checking real quick: you all know about the Lost Islands survival arena DLC? No? Well, hit up your marketplace of choice and check it out.
One thing I want to do is address the whole Splatterhouse debacle. Quite frankly, I'm pretty disgusted by the whole thing. It's been almost two months since the game was released and it's already been nearly forgotten - not that anyone really knew about it in the first place, aside from the fans. We can thank Namco Bandai Japan for that. Apparently sometime in the last six months or so, there was a shakeup at the highest level of management, and when the dust settled, the new guy - who by all accounts is Namco Bandai President Shukuo Ishikawa - decided that the future was iPhone games and porting stuff from Japan. Not only that, but then there was a major layoff at Namco Bandai Games America - layoffs which included nearly the entire team that worked on Splatterhouse, up to and including the faces of Splatterhouse '10, Dan Tovar and Dave Wilkins. All gone. That's a damned shame, as they're a bunch of very talented people and with the recession, now is not the best time to be out of work. I wish them all nothing but the best for the future.
And then, since apparently Splatterhouse was expected to underperform, all support for the game was pulled. Didn't see much in the way of advertising after the Playboy centerfold, did you? That's why. Splatterhouse was dumped on the market with no fanfare. All the hype and buildup toward release, the music festival sponsorships, the articles in major magazines, the high-profile E3 and PAX gigs - all of that ultimately meant nothing once support was pulled at the most crucial time for the game. Thanks, Namco Bandai Japan, you strangled this thing in the cradle.
This loss of support led to another thing. It's an open secret that game review sites give better scores when they get a payoff, usually in the form of advertising dollars. But when Namco Bandai Japan pulled their support, the Splatterhouse advertising budget got slashed to almost nothing. No advertising budget = no extra cash to send to these review sites. In retaliation, they gave Splatterhouse - a game that deserved at least average to above average scores - a sound thrashing and horribly low scores.
Yes. I just accused IGN, Joystiq, Kotaku, Gamespot (etc) of being greedy and vindictive against game companies that don't grease the wheels with a fat payoff, and I stand by it. They wouldn't know journalistic integrity if it came up and bit them in the face.
To this day, I have still not seen the bugs and glitches and framerate drops and everything else the big review sites say are wrong with the game, nor have any of the fans I've talked to. And consider this: other, smaller review sites and player reviews have consistently been in the average to above average range. How is this possible if Splatterhouse sucks as badly as the big review sites say it does? It's not. But because they didn't get paid, they felt it was their duty to trash the game instead of treating it fairly. And the problem with this is that a lot of the mindless sheep out there consider those sites "the authority." Hey, IGN trashed it, it must suck. No need to even rent it or borrow a copy from a friend and try it for myself and form my own opinion, right? I'll just go back to playing whatever IGN says is great, because they know what they're talking about. No question about that.
On a side note, the fuckers at Joystiq can blow me. It's one thing to trash the game in their review, but to be absolute dicks about it? Way to kick someone when they're down, you fucks. And let's not forget this giveaway, where they wanted readers to post a "more deserving" game than Splatterhouse to get revived. As forum regular Brick McBurly put it, "Their 'coverage' of the game so far smacks of 'Namco's only sent promo items but no check, and my panties are in a bunch over it'."
Ultimately, as a result of all of this, the fans are the ones who've been affected the worst. We're the losers in this whole situation. We finally got a next-gen Splatterhouse - one that lived up to most fans' expectations - after all these years of waiting, but it's a Pyrrhic victory. There's no way in hell that Namco Bandai Japan will sanction a sequel now. It's going to take another fifteen years, if not longer (or ever) before we see another game. And to put it bluntly, we've truly gotten shafted here. We're the people who waited patiently for years for a new Splatterhouse game. We've supported the franchise. We've kept it alive. We hoped and dreamed and believed that no matter what, someday it would happen. And when it finally did, we got our chances of seeing a sequel, any sequel, completely destroyed. To make matters worse, the franchise may have been killed permanently. Whether that's truly the case, or it's just gone back into a very deep hibernation, remains to be seen.
So in conclusion, fuck Namco Bandai Japan, fuck Joystiq, fuck IGN, fuck Kotaku, fuck Gamespot, fuck the mindless sheep that have to depend on someone else to tell them what to like and fuck anyone else that contributed in any way to Splatterhouse 2010's demise. To everyone except NB Japan, I hope your favorite game series die horribly without a chance of resurrection. To NB Japan, I hope you continue to post major losses and eventually have to declare bankruptcy (but may your employees, the ones that had nothing to do with this whole fiasco, get jobs immediately with much better companies).
Many thanks to those that believed in the game and supported it. I'm especially indebted to Dave Wilkins, Dan Tovar and Tim Ng (PR at Namco Bandai Games America) for everything they've done, be it keeping me in the loop the whole time, listening to the fans, giving myself and the fans credit & shoutouts in both the game itself and the official promotional materials or doing their damndest to create a game that lived up to the classics - all of which they did. They restored gamers' faith in an industry that otherwise pays more attention to marketing reports than the players themselves.
Yeah, it's been a major wall of text to wade through so far, but I'm not done yet, so stick with me here.
June 25th, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of West Mansion. As of that date, I will be stepping down as webmaster of the site. Permanently. I won't go into all the details just yet as to why I've made this decision, but I will say that all things must come to an end - and eventually one knows when the time has come to pass the torch. Expect updates this year to be rather infrequent, unless some major news pops up. I'll be spending much of that time coaching the new landlord of West Mansion, getting him ready for his debut in June. Things may change when he takes over, but don't expect West Mansion as you know it to cease existing. Things may very well get a bit more exciting around here, provided that the new landlord lives up to his end of the deal.
That's all for now. But stay tuned in the coming months for more...