A review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Bloody Vampire
Version – 3DS eShop download
ESRB Rating: ‘E 10+’ – Everyone 10+
Release Date: 1/31/2013
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Agetec
Just by seeing the title, I was unsure of how this game would be. I was thinking that it’s just another “bloody” vampire game following the recent films starring vampires. What I did not expect was a very fun platforming, adventure game. Is this simply another ‘bloody’ vampire game, or will it suck you in? Read on to find out!
This game is about a half-vampire, half-human character Latis and her vampire friend Cerenza. You take control of Latis who has the power to yield vampire artifacts that have magical properties. You will find some or be able to purchase them from the shop where you can also purchase other items or upgrades. There is a castle called Verulia that is home to vampires and Latis travels there to discover her heritage and put a stop to a vampire lord that has threatened to kill humans. With her mother being a hundred percent human, Latis feels that the vampire lord must be stopped.
This is an action, adventure and platforming game that is simply a “Metroidvania” type of game, that is a type of game like Metriod or Castlevania. This game also has that old school feel to it like it could have been an NES or SNES game since it is a 2D game. You will be jumping, attacking, transforming and most importantly traversing the land in search of the vampire lord. You will encounter magical creatures as they attempt to stop your progress. Defeating enemies will give you a rupee like currency called Sol which you can use at the shop to purchase items or upgrades. Eventually you will be able to transform into a bat and soar new heights or transform into a wolf and become invincible.
Each screen has enemies to defeat, or platforms to jump on or obstacles to dodge. Enemies can be defeated with a magical attack or by jumping on their head (oftentimes several times). Each enemy has an HP meter and each attack does a particular amount of damage based on your attack upgrades. As you get stronger weaker enemies can be defeated very easily. When jumping on enemies, if it is not exact the player will also take some damage. The player has a heart and magic meters which can only be refilled at the store or by using an herb. The player can equip up to six items at a time, and there are fourteen items that can be selected. There are three types of magic including fire, ice, thunder and dark each having different ranges of attacks and uses. For example, fire magic can light torches, dark magic can destroy particular walls and thunder can attack multiple enemies with it’s wavy pattern.
One of the issues I have with this game is reused boss fights. There are a few different bosses, then a second harder version of that boss. Since you get a good feel for their attack patterns the first time around, you already have an idea to how they will move and already know a few of those attacks. While the second version adds in some new abilities, the game could have had some variations in bosses instead of repeating the small selection.
The controls are simple and very effective. Y or X will use the equipped item and B or A will jump. Touching the screen will allow the player to access their inventory and equip/remove items or use herbs. R and L cycled between the six items that can be equipped I felt that this had a nice classic feel to the game and the controls fit perfectly for this title. The player can also use start to access their inventory to equip new rings or abilities along with accessing herbs or keys.
The graphics on this game are pretty good. The design is similar to that retro feel from the SNES days. While everything is not completely sharp or breathtaking, the style is very enjoyable to look at. I love when games are designed to look and feel like retro games and this one will not disappoint (unless you dislike that look). The 3D effects do not add that much to the game, but it certainly adds to the feel of the game. I played the game mostly in 2D since it did not add that much effect to the experience.
Along with the retro style graphics, comes retro music and sound effects. These were well made and fit the levels and the action perfectly. Music and sound are important elements in a game that help distinguish it, and I had enjoyed listening to the tracks while playing through the game.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
Bloody Vampire is a very solid game and definitely feels like it should have been on the SNES and plays as good as it looks. While it can be tough to get adjusted to the gameplay, it will definitely make you want to continue the adventure and retry those difficult parts of the game. While the game is also somewhat short, there is still plenty of secret areas to uncover for those that like to find and acquire every item within a game. Bloody Vampire should be on your must have list as it will not disappoint fans of retro styled games. I would recommend this anyone that enjoys adventure games and also those that enjoy retro styled games.