|Editor Rating:||4.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Get ready to party like it's 1999, cuz it is. The problem, however, is that things aren't going to end up in a beer-keg, fall-over-yourself kind of way. Instead, it'll end up a blood-sucking vampire-fest, the likes of which you haven't seen since, well, your last blood-sucking vampire-fest. It's all good! In Countdown Vampires, brought to you courtesy of Bandai (makers of all things Dragonball), you assume the role of Keith Snyder, tatooed bodyguard-turned-vampire-hunter extraordinaire. Don't mind that Keith has a bit of a sissy way of running, it keeps the vampires confused.
The setting is the Desert Moon Hotel (which may or may not be related to the Dennis DeYoung song) on the evening of the millennium. As is bound to happen during a public gathering of this nature, a fire begins to torch the joint, causing the sprinkler system to leap into action. Sadly, it is not water that rains down upon the assembled masses, but rather, a nasty black ichor which not only ruins many a party dress, but starts turning the crowd into vampires as well. The trick here is to get to the bottom of this mystery, since you luckily avoided the transformation yourself, and find the antidote to return things to normal. If you get bitten by one of these creeps, you may have problems yourself very soon. Over the course of the game, you will travel through eight different locations, ranging from vampiric woodlands to seedy vampire-filled bars.
You even begin the game in a gothic casino of a particularly suspicious nature. Currently the game is practically unplayable due to the buggy state of completion. Enemies don't really attack at the moment, they just stand there and swoon in a hypnotic trance. The backgrounds are prerendered (a la Resident Evil), but despite its similarities to Capcom's awesome titles, Bandai has overlooked the obvious improvements made to the genre, such as not having to press the action buttons to walk up a flight of stairs. However, there is still some time for K2C to implement these changes. So if you're looking for an RE-style game with a twist, this might be your best move.
Download Countdown Vampires
Survival horror games have come along way over the last few years and looking back at the original Resident Evil you can see that developers have learned their lesson since then. What a pity the Countdown Vampires team wasn't paying attention in class. The game is full of classic no-nos and problems that make it infuriating to play. Why do you have to press the Action button to move up and down stairs? Why is it so difficult to pick up items? Why is the Japanese to English translation so bad that sometimes things don't make any sense? Why does the camera angle shift so that I have no idea which way I'm facing any more? Why are the graphics so dark that I can't see what the frick is going on? How come I have to collect all items in the game except the mysterious 'white liquid' (which is never adequately explained) which I appear to have an infinite supply of? Is it some kind of perverse body fluid? The whole thing is overflowing with problems that detract from the experience. The story line is pathetic and derivative and the execution is appalling. Imagine a cross between Resident Evil and From Dusk Til Dawn--and you know what the developers were thinking. Even the puzzles are pathet-ic...they're even repeated in multiple places. Terrible, godawful, nasty.
It's hard to make a good survival horror game when the bar is constantly being raised by those darn Resident Evil titles ("damn them!" I say, shaking my fist). Countdown Vampires isn't the worst of the RE clones I've seen (hmmm...Carrier), but there's not much that hasn't been done before here. Since when do vampires limp casually along like zombies? I like the whole idea of "saving" the infected vampires, but this is still only average.
For a few minutes there, I thought I had gone insane. How else could I explain the nonsensical intro this game has? Whatever the case, this From Dusk Til Dawn-esque experience takes all of the things that make the games in the Resident Evil series so good and...well, it never had them to begin with. The game has its share of problems. Easy puzzles, chunky graphics and a silly story line are just a few of them. It's really not worth looking into.
Ever since I beat Code: Veronica this month, I can't seem to get enough of that stilted-but-fun style of gameplay started by Alone In The Dark. Still, there are games in the genre that cause me much grief to play. CV is about as generic as possible, minus the good looks of say...RE2. Come on! A "black water" that turns people into vampires? This game is an insult to vampires everywhere. The graphics are also grainy and dithered. Rental at best.