|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Autumn Moon Entertainment / Crimson Cow||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: The Adventure Company||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Aside from the more involved puzzles, youll spend a lot of time collecting items, combining them, and using them throughout the game. The inventory system is a little different in A Vampyre Story. Small items you pick up will appear in your inventory immediately, but grabbing larger objects will produce a blue, ethereal idea of the item or the associated action its used for that can be dragged and dropped wherever needed. Doing so will then prompt Mona to switch to bat form, warp her to wherever you found the object, and return with it for use at the proper location. Its an interesting way to change things up. It doesnt really hurt or improve the gameplay. Thankfully, the warp scenes can quickly be skipped, for those without the patience for them.
The games cartoonish visuals are strikingly well-designed, and the colorful-yet-gothic motif adds a ton of atmosphere to the adventure. Mona, Froderick, and the other strange characters youll encounter have a lot of visual detail, expression, and animated personalities. Also, the development team doesnt skimp on animations when Mona interacts with objects. Instead of standing there and making robotic gestures like many other adventure games, Mona actually goes through all of the motions of the task shes doing. While this may not sound like a big deal, youd be surprised how many games dont even bother with it.
Theres a huge volume of voice-over dialogue and accompanying text to go through in the game. The voices are all well done, but much of the actual dialogue tends to land on the cheesier side of things. Mona and Froderick often go back and forth with humorous puns and innuendos. Monas naively playful, and somewhat ditsy, personality balances Frodericks often sarcastic, annoying tone. There are plenty of funny moments to be found in the game alongside other jokes that will make you cringe. In the end, the games humor adds more to the mostly enjoyable experience than it subtracts.
As far as adventure games go, A Vampyre Story is interesting and quirky enough to standout in a genre thats inundated with more mediocrity than mega-hits. The game is carried by its darkly charming presentation, a refreshing story, and entertaining characters. While its not quite the cream of the crop, it should easily find its way to the top of the wish-list for many adventure game addicts.
CCC Staff Contributor