VAMPIRE HUNTER D / Jaleco / Playstation

This Vampire Hunter D game is based entirely on the 2002 "Bloodlust" movie. It uses the same basic story and characters, such as the Marcus Brothers and Meier Link, but it rejiggers everything so that the whole game consists of D storming Meier Link's eeeevil castle, with the stuff that led up to that from the movie pretty much excised or re-arranged.

The game also unfortunately adopts the good ol' stiff and clunky Resident Evil controls and level layout style. Unlike Res Evil, you don't face the problem of conserving ammo, as your main weapon is a sword. So really, the main challenge in the game becomes battling the stiff controls, as monsters respawn on each screen every time you exit and re-enter.

Jumping has also been implemented, but rather than making you more flexible than the usual survival horror hero, it soon becomes a source of dread as the camera angles and layout frequently do absolutely nothing to indicate to you how far you actually have to jump. Jumping also means enemies like bats that frequently force you to jump to hit them, and when you are off in the background of a screen getting the positioning right is a nightmare.

The graphics are a mixed bag. Good and original CGI sequences will please D fans, and the in-game renderings of key characters like D and Meier Link are pretty well detailed. All the other characters seemed to get short shrift, and while the castle can look pretty impressive at times, it is also just as often generic and uninspiring.

Perhaps the strangest thing is the soundtrack, I don't really know what they were going for with it, but it's like a smooth jazz sound that just seemed totally inappropriate for the game. It actually reminded me of some of the music in Manos: Hands of Fate.

I don't know why fans of the movie would want to sit through some stiff, frustrating clunky game to watch random watered-down polygonal recreations of a movie they likely already own. As for everyone else, there's really nothing here to capture your interest.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video