Who woulda thought that a game based on the teenie bopper series Buffy The Vampire Slayer would be this good? Imagine if you will a game that takes what action/fighting games are about and re-defines the genres while keeping it true to the show! Fans of Buffy and the rest of the gang are in for a treat as are gamers in general. The minds at The Collective have really done an amazing job at creating one of the best 3D beat ’em up engines since Dynamite Deka on the Dreamcast. Enough with the small talk let’s get down to business!
I want to start off by saying that I am not a fan of the show, in fact I have never watched an entire episode before changing the channel. The series never really did anything for me, sure Buffy was a looker but beyond that the teen driven story and dialogue really turned me off. With that said I didn’t expect much from the game when I booted it up, thankfully I was surprised. Apparently the game takes place later in the series’ lifespan and has Buffy doing the normal bit of slaying she is known for, her nemesis Spike has returned and a certain “other” enemy haunts her dreams. The game puts you in control of the vampire slayer for some ass kicking action, and needless to say it does not let up!
The engine is so finely tuned that executing moves is like clockwork, no delayed button presses, no button mashing glory, this game is about skill and thankfully the game slowly gets harder as you get better. The combat system is simple in design yet intricate in style, you are given one punch and one kick which together equal a grab move, no this isn’t Tekken freaks! B is designated as your jump button and Y is for activating switches and picking up goodies. Simple eh? not really, the battle system allows for so much diversity it is amazing you don’t get confused, Buffy has an “adrenaline” meter that allows her to do special attacks. She can also do various moves with each weapon she picks up such as a push broom or a cross bow.
You can also combine items to make stronger items such as blessing arrows with holy water to make them..well blessed arrows LOL. You can also combine healing items to make them stronger, the inventory system is very easy to learn and simple to use. The one complaint I had about the way the game works is that it autosaves, me being a man never read the instruction booklet so on my first time through the game I kept wondering, “where is the save point??” The game never lets you know it has saved, this needs to be remedied for idiots like me.
The graphics are plain astounding, each character from the Buffy universe has been beautifully rendered into 3D. Yes this includes Buffy, she is truly hot and I could not ask for a better person to spend staring at their ass for 10-12 hours of my life, except for perhaps Lei Fang…*drooool*. Ahem anyways, the characters have also been dubbed by their real life counterpart sans Buffy, for some reason Sarah Michelle Gellar decided she was too good to put her voice in a game. The person playing her role succeeds in portraying her just fine so it’s all good, and did I mention the dialogue is very grown up? Hearing words such as “damn”, “shit”, and “ass” are not uncommon. Sure it isn’t as crazy as hearing your troops in “The Thing” saying “Goddamn this shit is cold out here!” but it lends to the adult feel.
Overall this game is a definite buy for fans of the show as well as action gamers in general. A beautiful engine recreating a great series (so I am told) not to mention it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play. If you are in need of staring at Buffy’s ass for 10-12 hours…errr I mean getting a good gaming experience for your buck then by all means pick this one up, and happy slaying!