Buffy The Vampire Slayer – a uncommon TV tie-in that’s really good (pic: EA)
It’s loopy to assume Buffy ended 17 years in the past and began 23 years in the past! The present nonetheless holds up right now, regardless of some questionable particular results and vogue decisions. The explanation it holds up even now could be the witty and clever writing, plausible characters, and multi-layered protagonist whose superpowers and future gave her an attention-grabbing dynamic.
In contrast to a present like Charmed which featured an identical premise of highly effective ladies combating the forces of evil, Buffy’s gray morality and metaphorical demons made it a much more attention-grabbing watch and has maintained an enormous viewers 20 years after it first aired.
Buffy had many media tie-ins, from comedian books to a failed cartoon collection, however many neglect that Buffy had six video video games based mostly on the present, two of which had been main console video games. At this time I’m trying again on the recreation that made me swap from PlayStation to Xbox. I used to be such a such an enormous Buffy fan that this authentic Xbox unique was the explanation I purchased the console. Not Halo: Fight Advanced, however Buffy The Vampire Slayer – right here’s my evaluation of the sport.
Buffy begins someday throughout season 3 and works as an extra-long-lost episode from of the present. The story begins with Buffy retraining to be a cheerleader to assist out her pal Cordelia, their rehearsals are interrupted when a gaggle of vampires reduce the facility to the varsity and begin attacking the scholars inside. Buffy then comes face-to-face with a superpowered vampire known as Malik whose sole intention is to steal a e-book on spirit channelling.
Malik seems to be working for collection favorite Spike and the stolen e-book summons a demon named Lybach who possesses Drusilla in an effort to manipulate Spike into doing his bidding. Lybach plans to resurrect previous Buffy foe The Grasp utilizing human sacrifices. It’s Buffy’s job to cease something and the whole lot The Grasp throws at her, together with massive shrimp demons, shape-shifting vampires, possession of Angel, and loopy dream-like realms.
The sport does a superb job of slotting straight into the collection, although with its 10 to 12 hour size it could doubtless be extra of a 3 episode arc than a standalone episode. Joss Whedon supplied assist for the sport’s writing course of and it reveals, the witty dialogue from the present is current which makes it actually really feel like a correct a part of the Buffyverse.
In actual fact, the writing is so sturdy, particularly character interactions, it places numerous different trendy AAA video games to disgrace. Buffy deftly manages to supply a tense teen horror recreation with the comedic punches of the TV present and it actually makes the sport really feel distinctive.
It’s an entertaining journey that even in its slower moments doesn’t ever get boring. Had this been a narrative arc on the present I imagine it could have been effectively appreciated by followers.
Gameplay and Graphics
For its time Buffy was an excellent trying recreation, popping out inside a 12 months of the unique Xbox’s life cycle the sport actually pushed the console’s graphical capabilities, that includes glorious character fashions that seemed very very like their TV present counterparts and spectacular lip-synching. Buffy herself seems nice, however sadly Sarah Michelle Gellar determined to not present the voice or likeness so the in-game mannequin doesn’t look precisely like her. However it’s shut sufficient and fortunately the voice actress does a superb Buffy impression and her efficiency is spot on – she manages to nail the characters quippy type whereas nonetheless possessing the vulnerability that makes Buffy so compelling.
One minor annoyance with the sport is Buffy’s repetitive quips to enemies or her incapacity to unlock doorways, she appears to roll off the identical spiel time and again – fortunately there’s selection in some cases and her interactions with the Scooby gang are comically pleasant.
Environments are additionally fantastically detailed and actually deliver the world to life, with fallen particles littering caves and tombs and destructible furnishings you may sling enemies via. I used to be extremely impressed by the sport’s potential to recreate the TV present’s locales with nice accuracy. The highschool is a selected standout, with the inside virtually equivalent to the TV present. Throughout my authentic playthrough I keep in mind wishing the entire college had been accessible, as I needed to totally discover this iconic place.
Different components additionally impress, particle results are very good, with vampires exploding into mud when staked and magical powers glowing with brilliant neon colors towards the dirty brown and gray environments – it seems nice. Lighting is hit or miss although, usually being slightly on the darkish aspect, however well-lit areas look good with god rays of daylight peeking via boarded up home windows in Angel’s mansion, as an example. A HD remaster with improved lighting could be wonderful!
Buffy’s a 3rd particular person motion journey beat ‘em-up with mild puzzle fixing and platforming. It combines its components very effectively, conserving encounters with enemies various and attention-grabbing. On the toughest problem Buffy can present an inexpensive difficult. It’s not going to drive you to fringe of madness like Sekiro, however some fights require good timing of blocks and data of the setting.
Enemy synthetic intelligence is first rate, vampires will throw projectiles at you when they’re far-off, however then choose up weapons mendacity across the setting to make use of towards you in shut quarters. On tougher difficulties enemies will block your assaults, so simply button mashing gained’t at all times result in victory and the participant has to vary ways to achieve the higher hand. The fight in Buffy is great. With a button designated for punches, kicks, jumps, blocking, and staking, they are often mixed in many alternative methods to unleash satisfying, but easy combos.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer – the graphics nonetheless maintain up (pic: EA)
Buffy additionally has a number of particular strikes which when deployed make Buffy glow purple, with time slowing down momentarily; these devastating assaults preserve the fight recent and when neatly used can prevent in among the trickier fights. These can be utilized when your slayer gauge (a gauge above the well being bar) is satisfactorily full, that is refilled when enemies are killed – it feels nice to ship an enemy flying with a super-charged punch and actually shows Buffy’s superhuman power.
Buffy additionally has entry to plenty of weapons, beginning the sport with simply her fists and toes and a trusty stake. Later within the recreation Buffy will receive (a fairly pointless) crossbow, bottles of hellfire and holy water, a holy water/hellfire tremendous soaker, mops, brooms, shovels, and a reaper blade full with throwing wing. I beloved the eye to element in all these weapons, mops will be obtained within the janitors closet and permits Buffy to assault a number of enemies at larger vary, but it surely slower actions go away her open to assaults. These weapons may also degrade over time, finally breaking to grow to be a stake – it’s critically cool.
There are even environmental hazards you need to use to your benefit, the depth right here is slightly shocking as you’re capable of launch a vampire right into a boarded up window to let the solar destroy him or throwing others into picket spikes to mud them hands-free. Different particulars, equivalent to hellfire/holy water vials that can be utilized as projectiles or mixed with crossbow bolts to create superpowered arrows, or simply use them to refill your tremendous soaker, give the sport’s programs way more depth than different comparable video games from the period. There’s even an improve system whereby discovering hidden crystals in every stage will enable Willow to improve your well being and slayer energy utilizing her witchy magic.
Buffy herself is mild on her toes and responsive, however her assaults really feel weighty and highly effective; the sound results within the recreation are glorious with every punch and kick touchdown with a gratifying thud. The reaper blade particularly slices via enemies with metallic shredding noise that sound nice and actually provides to the satisfaction of utilizing the weapon. Music can also be effectively accomplished, the sport is aware of when to be quiet and permit Buffy to have an ominous and tense environment, however peppered all through the sport are moments the place the early 2000s techno kicks in to construct pleasure, and boy does it work. Tearing via three vampires and a hellhound to the upbeat soundtrack is among the finest elements of the sport and isn’t used too usually, so it by no means loses its influence.
A few the sport’s much less impressed moments come from both the far too straightforward puzzling or the marginally uneven platforming. Buffy jumps actually far and sometimes will stagger forwards if she goes off stability, this will result in her staggering off platforms or simply leaping additional than you count on. Fortunately Buffy’s auto-grab onto edges works very effectively so it’s uncommon you’ll even miss the ledges. It’s very a lot a minor annoyance and was solely a problem for me throughout a stage mid-game on the Sunnydale Docks, which concerned exact leaping on crates floating in water (Buffy can’t swim for some cause).
I’ve no qualms about calling Buffy The Vampire Slayer among the finest video games of the unique Xbox technology, it mixed very good visuals, a compelling and well-written story, enjoyable and various fight, and top-notch voice performing. Not solely that however the recreation holds up remarkably effectively for an 18-year-old title, extra so than different classics from the console like Halo: Fight Advanced, for my part. Right here’s hoping it’s going to get the backwards compatibility patch it so rightly deserves.
• Wonderful and satisfying fight
• Nice soundscape and music
• Voice forged give stellar performances and Buffy sound-a-like is uncanny
• Excellent graphics for an 18-year-old recreation
• Difficult however by no means irritating
• Respectable story
• Leaping will be inaccurate
• Puzzles are far too straightforward
Buffy The Vampire Slayer was launched in 2002 as an unique on the unique Xbox and will be performed on the Xbox 360 through backwards compatibility. There are presently no choices to play the sport on PC and on the time of writing it isn’t but out there on Xbox One, Xbox Sequence S or Xbox Sequence X through backwards compatibility.
By reader Jay Johnson
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