STAFF REVIEW of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Xbox)

Wednesday, April 16, 2003.
by Kraft

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Box art So when I was told there was a game coming out that let me delve into a primetime Blockbuster full of lust, betrayl and action I said "No way!? They are making a Friends video game?!" Well, not quite... Fortunately, even though I still have yet to see my Friends game, Electronic Arts has Buffy: The Vampire Slayer to keep me company. While I must admit I am not the most adament of Buffy fans out there, this game definately brings the television experience to your XBox.
Luckily Buffy has finally killed a trend. For some reason it seems whenever a game is created from a form of media it has a lot of things going against it. Blade 2 was less than satisfying, Shrek was a strikeout and Bruce Lee, a game that had incredible amounts of potential, was a total disappointment. With this long streak of commercial ventures gone askew I was a little weary when I popped the game into my box. I was greeted by Giles (Buffy's trainer) who so kindly filled me in on the story behind the game, which I am pretty sure is just the opening dialogue to the actual show. Either way, even if you have never watched the show you won't be totally lost going into this game.

Here it is. The place where the game has the most chances of faultering. 100 people were surveyed with the question "How is the gameplay in Buffy" and the 3 most common answers are on the board. So what do most people, including myself, think? Survey says... Awesome! As far as the fighting system, take the combo system from spiderman, throw in some slow motion supermoves and add the ability to impale people with sharp objects. This is the kind of system that should have appeared in Bruce Lee. The fluidity of it is great, and stabbing people in the hearts never grows old. Like all hack and slash games go, though, this game brinks on the edge of tediousness at times. Luckily newer harder enemies show up as you go along and a decent storyline help spice up the game to make you want to keep playing.

Of course the first wow I got was from the visuals. Just think, Sarah Michelle Gellar at your disposal whenever you want to see her... kick vampire butt (lets not get too carried away). Texture details are awesome, after hours of playing I didn't see any pixelation at all. Speaking of things I didn't see, add slowdown and crappy draw distance to the list. This game is an all around beauty that makes me proud to own the XBox. And if you are a Buffy fan, it will make you proud to... well... be a fan I guess. Trust me though, you won't be disappointed

The dialogue from this game is also incredibly well executed uncluding recorded comments from all of the show's actual actors and actresses. The dialogue for the most part is witty, funny and keeps you interested in the game. I do need to note that I am just talking about the cutscenes right now. The actual ingame voices become very quickly repetetive to the point of annoyance. On the other end of the sound spectrum the sound does a good job keeping the atmosphere. The original Buffy theme is, of course, intact along with other gothy sounding music that does a good job of complementing gameplay, but isn't really that memorable. You most likely won't be caught humming any of the tunes during the day.

A decent game based off a TV show? Get out of here... but somehow you managed to pull it off. Way to go!

Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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