It's easy to understand from a publisher's point of view, sitting at their highly waxed tables at the top of their plush office skyrises why porting a supposed 16-bit classic to current mobiles would seem to be a good idea.

The capabilities of both technologies are similar and, assuming the game in question was decent in the first place, you're sure to have a hit on your hands.

Yet the thing that comes to mind after a few minutes play on Splatterhouse, is not how Namco's 2D blood fest has found a new home, but rather the measure by which games have changed in the 22 years since it made its debut.

Masking mediocrity

Splatterhouse is, quite simply, a relic.

Taking on the role of Rick – a chap who, as well as visiting the gym 24/7, presumably has something of a cold sore problem, wearing a mask at all times – you guide him through a series of 2D levels where punching and kicking is your sole action.

Indeed, anyone who had a Mega Drive or SNES in their collection in the early 90s will, seconds in, know exactly what is required here; constant button presses until the ghouls that approach from both sides are sliced and diced into oblivion.

It's the very destruction of Splatterhouse's collection of oddballs that garnered much attention for the franchise in days gone by – it was, in many people's view, too violent.

It remains possible to slice people's heads off or beat them into submission with the weapons available (Rick able to pick up knives and bats, for instance, as he trawls through each stage), but Splatterhouse feels like a somewhat tamer beast in 2010.

All (out of) action

Worse than that, however, is the monotony that is uncovered as a result.

Not only does Splatterhouse pull the same trick over and over – each monster you come across a touch harder to dispose of than the last, with heads that act independent of their bodies simply resulting in nothing more than forcing you to hammer the '5' key one more time – but it does so ineffectually.

The game can only cope with one action at a time, meaning if you change direction to face foes approaching you from behind, there's a crucial second when any punches or kicks you attempt to make simply don't register. This leaves you especially vulnerable to being floored.

When all such problems are pieced together, Splatterhouse simply becomes a pain to play, and proves without doubt that games are not what they once were.

In the main, they're a whole lot better.