STAFF REVIEW of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Xbox)

Saturday, August 24, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Box art The appeal of this game is that it captures the quirkyness and dry humor of the TV series. If your a fan of the show and action games you will enjoy Buffy. Personally i'm not a huge fan, but watch it occasionally, and yet i found the game to be alot of fun, cast in the mold of most action games, you have hand to hand, weapons, and of course the Buffy stuff...Hellfire, Holly Water, Stakes, etc...I would like to make a comment in regards to games like this in general, people who say games of this nature are button mashers are not taking the time to learn how to play the game. That being said, the controls are easy enough to learn, you earn new moves as you progress, the "Slaying" is wonderfully done with a turn to skelital dust and disapear, then capturing the health points from each enemy a-la Genma Onimushu souls. Seemless load times, very evident in between cut sceens and game play, crisp graphics, and dialogue Buffy fans have grown to love make this game a fun and exciting action game.

Outside of playing in the easy mode this game does offer up a challenge. The fighing is very elaborate with flying kicks, spinning falls and explosive power moves, all without a graphical hitch. The story is straight from Buffy so it may not appeal to all, but it is fast paced and being able to break chairs and such to use them as a weapon was a nice touch. This is a fine action game with new ways of vanquishing the children of the night. Holly Water, Hellfire, and a good old fashioned !&%$@#* kicking give the game a good balance. Controls are tight, the weapons menu is easy enough to work with. The levels are very detailed and you do need to do a little exploring for those little bonuses. Note: Take the time to master some moves at the cost of dieing, you'll love flipping over a vampire and impaling his heart with a broom handle through the back, quick and easy. Another nice touch is that you can through your enemy on to sharp object either killing them if it pierces their heart or at bare minimum they aint goin' anywhere. The game is just fun, just like the TV show was intedned to be.The only draw back i can see is the replay value, basically the only thing that chages from easy to hard is the amount of enemies in each level. No multi-player available, so that pretty much gives the game a definate end eventually.

Visually the game is pretty slick, charecters for the most part resemble their TV counterparts, the anbient effects such as explosions, the way the vampires turn to dust, etc... are awsome. As i said before no load times at all, the game just moves along with out a single frame rate hick-up. Charecter movement and actions are also spot on. A nice flying scissor kick into a vampires face sending him into a flying spinning fall all without any lag is pretty sweet. As much as EA is on my Sh*t list latelly i have to give them credit on a job well done.

Dolby Digital is in full force as you manouver through Sunnydale. Ambient sounds are nicelly placed without being over bearing. Again the dialogue is Buffy camp at it's best, unfortunatlly it does get a little repetative. All in all the sounds of the game suit it well, nothing extrodinary.

I think they stuck close to the TV series on this version, which isn;t a bad thing. But a few level tweeks and varied enemies could make a sequel noteworthy. Working multi-player into this a-la Hunter would have been fantastic, not to mention add some needed replay value.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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