|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Artoon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 3, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Whether it is about an immortal angelic bloodsucker or a raving madman that can never escape his thirst for blood, everyone loves a good vampire story. In fact, the numbers of novels, short stories, comic books, movies, and video games that center on these creatures of the night seem to surmount every other genre in creation. If you have never been a fan of the undead fang bearers, you cannot deny that you at least have had a basic brushing of "night breeders."
More than likely, you have experienced the films with the vampires as the leads and, unfortunately, have been subjected to a level of acting that is only permitable on an episode of Mystery Science Theatre. The reason I bring this up is that Vampire Rain is treated and delivered like a horrible movie that should have never been made.
This is an unfortunate instance unless you are a huge fans of things that cost you sixty bucks to make fun of them. When it is a film, you watch it looking for the hilarity that you know is going to happen. With a novel, you can just put the book down and never pick it up again. However, a game is more of a marriage commitment for gamers. You buy it, and then you are locked into the deal for the rest of the game's playability life or you take the huge loss in trading the game back in. It is a commitment that gamers have become increasingly avoidant of. The concept of the game is sound; you play as a character by the name of Lloyd, a member of a special tactical team that takes out the undead. Lloyd is also the only member of his team that has had the misfortune of running into the Nightwalkers previously. The team's mission is to take out the vampires. Like I said, a pretty solid plot.
This brings me to another point about the game. Before I say this, I need to stress that I love a game that has a challenge. Unfortunately, Vampire Rain doesn't have a challenge when it comes to the Nightwalkers; it is really quite simple. They see you and in two hits, your life has ended. This wouldn't be a bad thing if you had an opportunity to escape from them after the first hit. Instead, the first hit stuns you until the second hit is delivered. Why not kill them before they get too close? This would be a great tactical method except these guys aren't called the immortal undead for nothing. It is insanely difficult to bring down your enemies, resulting in the two hit kill a lot. Couple the insane amount of bullets they can take with the faulty controls, and it spells disaster every time.