" This would be Sunnydale if Sunnydale were an 8-bit town "
Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer by THQ
Format: Gameboy Color Action
Reviewing Monkey: Monkeymus
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: This game rocked graphically. The characters were amazingly un-blocky, and moved fluidly across the screen. Not once did I get confused or have a bad experience because of bad graphics. The drawings of the cast between levels were very good, but obviously focused on a good likeness of Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) since she looked good; the others were mostly distinguished from each other by gender and hair color. This game pushed the Gameboy to a new level. 5 of 5.
Sound: Very average music. Nothing catchy and itís fitting but cheesy for the mood. Props go out to the crew, though, for the attempt to simulate the "vampire exploding into dust" sound effect from the show. Itís enough alike that you can identify it, and on the Gameboy, thatís what counts. 3 of 5.
Game Play: Sadly, for all the graphical effort, the game falls short in this respect. Play is repetitive and dull, once you get the hang of it. There is absolutely no variety. The level consists of moving from one fight sequence to another, where your goal is to "stake" the enemy. Whether vampire or demon, you knock it off itís feet, stake it in the heart and youíre done. After doing this for several levels, you become an excellent Slayer. As Giles the Watcher said in an episode of the show, "It should simply be plunge and move on, plunge and move on." I killed the end boss in less than ten seconds. And it was a demon from Hell. 2 of 5.
Level and Environment Designs: On the other hand, at least the levels are well designed. From a basic viewpoint, the levels get more complex as the game goes on, throwing in new challenges each level, whether it be new jumps, or a multi-level battlefield where vamps can accidentally be knocked down/thrown out of staking reach, so you have to wait for them to get back up and try to take them out again. Also the game is rife with nods to watchers of the show. One that comes to mind is when walking through the zoo, thereís a sign that points out where the Hyena exhibit is. That brings a smile to fans. These levels are what Sunnydale would look like if Sunnydale were an 8-bit town. 5 of 5.
Replayability: I crushed this game in an hour. Without dying. With gameplay as repetitive as it is, I saw no need to do it over again. Plus I have found no evidence of hidden anything. Crap. 1 of 5.
Story/Dramatics: The story was exactly like an episode of Buffy, right down to the quips. It was sadly crushed down to only five levels, but was a good vehicle to keep the action moving. Given more length and therefore more time to develop twists, it wouldíve scored a 5. 4 of 5.
Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions tell you everything that you need to know to play this game. Admittedly, you could probably write whatís really needed on the back of the box, as long as you didnít have any pictures. The game gets steadily more challenging as it goes on as I said before, sadly once the basic staking technique is mastered, these just become complications. 5 of 5.
Installation and Real System Requirements: N/A
As a seasoned gamer, I canít recommend this to you based on the play, youíll finish it during lunch in the mall food court. The graphics and story warrant a higher score than it would seemingly deserve. However, if youíre a parent buying this for a kid, add two to my rating. Kids who like the show will love this game, I think the easy access of this game was really aimed at the younger set.
The Good: A faithful translation of the TV show, excellent graphics and a decent combat system. Good for kids, difficulty-wise.
The Bad: Less challenging than trying to sit through any movie with Hulk Hogan in a starring role. No hidden features to promote replay value. No Faith (MmmmÖ Eliza DushkuÖ)
The Overall Ugly: This game was easier than Kelly Bundy and lasted about as long. Parents without qualms about violence against the undead should look into this as a gift. Me, Iíll wait for the (hopefully) more adult oriented PC game.
What it's Worth: MSRP if buying for a child, $10 if youíre buying it for yourself, you Buffy-holic you.