|System: DSi (DSiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: MoreGames Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Chillingo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 8, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Once you've killed enough enemies to earn a power-up you can activate the power-up menu by either tapping an on-screen icon, or by simply pressing the select button. This will temporarily pause the action and allow you to choose one of four randomly displayed power-ups. You never know which four will come up, so this does add a bit of a luck factor to whether you get a good lot to choose from, but most of the time there is at least one really helpful option.
There are seriously a ton of possible power-ups in this mode, and they can range from easy choices such as increasing the amount of damage your weapons deal to tougher ones like killing every on-screen enemy at the cost of some of your health. If you're playing well, you'll have the ability to unlock several of these power-ups during a play session and, thankfully, once chosen, they will stay active until your game ends no matter how many you activate.
Super Survival mode plays incredibly similarly to the previous mode, with the only real changes coming from having more difficult enemies and a few new random drops that will do things such as temporarily freezing all on-screen enemies or simply just making them all explode. Rush mode is perhaps the most challenging of the bunch because here you won't be able to rely on power-ups or drops from enemies because there are none. Instead, at the beginning of a level, you'll just be given your choice of one of three weapons, given infinite ammo for it, and then you're on your own against whatever comes. Staying alive for even a few minutes in this mode can be a miraculous feat.
Lastly, there's Wave Attack mode, which is probably where you'll spend most of your time with Undead Awakening. Here you'll once again start with a pistol and a ton of bullets, only the string of enemies that come at you will be somewhat finite. Killing enemies in this mode won't get you extra weapons or health pickups but will instead earn you money. After you kill a wave of undead, a shop will appear and allow you to spend the cash you've earned to buy health items, ammunition, and new weapons to ready yourself for the next, more difficult wave. The ability to choose what items to purchase and take into the next wave adds a level of strategy to this mode that simply isn't as defined in the others, leaving them to feel more like just improvised, reactionary slaughter.
While Dracula: Undead Awakening is likely not the best right-stick shooter (with or without a right stick) you'll ever play, it is still quite decent and can be rather enjoyable. The selection of weapons ranging from crossbows to flamethrowers, the plethora of power-ups that can dramatically change the gameplay, and the increasingly more difficult adversaries keep the game feeling fresh even after a few hours of play. This classically modeled arcade shooter's longevity is further aided by the four different play modes, offering up more of the same enjoyable shooting action while also adding some twists that help to keep the player interested. At five dollars, this shooter is easy to recommend and should provide you with at least a few hours of vampire, werewolf, and ghoul-killing joy.
CCC Staff Contributor