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A Vampyre Story

Score: 94%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Autumn Moon Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

I have said it once, and I will say it again, I love this resurgence of quality point and click action adventure games. I had the fun and pleasure of playing A Vampyre Story, which can be downloaded from Gamers Gate or purchased in stores. There were some issues that affected the flow of the game that were a little hard to let go of, but overall, I had a great time playing. These issues were not enough to take away from enjoying the game as a whole, but we can get into this later.

This has to be one of the best looking, style-wise, point and click games I have played since Myst back in the day. The animations are very smooth for what looks to be hand-done. The environments are impressive and relevant. You do get that disconnect that you can get that looks like all of the usable objects in the game were done by a different art team in a different area and never look like they belong. There are 30 hand-drawn areas from the same people who did The Curse of Monkey Island.

The music feels impressive and appropriate. It plays into the cartoon feeling of the game perfectly. I half expected Scooby and the gang to come out from around the corner at any second. There are several actors, and a lot of voiceovers here. I think the actors are well paired to the characters they are playing.


Gameplay:

In A Vampyre Story you play Mona De Lafitte, a reluctant vampire who has been converted and imprisoned by the vampire Baron Shrowdy Von Kiefer. You are being held in Shrowdy's castle in Draxsylvania, a dark and dismal place. Her goal is to escape her prison and return to Paris as a singer. Mona is not alone on her quest for freedom. She is accompanied by Froderick, a bat with a small body and large mouth. In true point and click fashion, you will explore your castle for the tools you will need to escape.

You will have many puzzles to solve along the way. They have created several puzzles that play off Mona's strengths and weaknesses of being a vampire. There are many of the usual puzzles such as find the combination, or the crank that fits the knob, and even combine these items to get what you need.

You will have interactions with 25 characters along the way. Most will have some very in-depth conversation trees. You will need to make sure that you exhaust all of your options when speaking to characters. It only takes one dialogue path not taken to cause you time and headaches trying to figure out where to go next. Nice thing is that after you ask a question or go have a conversation with a character, it will grey out so you know exactly what you have asked and what is remaining to be asked. This also keeps you from spending a ton of time backtracking.


Difficulty:

A Vampyre Story claims to have about fifteen hours of gameplay. I guess I am slipping in my old age, because it took me longer than that to get it all figured out. I won't say how much longer because I do not want to embarrass myself, but longer. It is a very well done game. I spoke before in the graphics section how they do not have these alien-looking items laying around the environment. This also makes you really have to search with the mouse. Not just from one static location in a room, either. You will need to move around the room to really get all of the parts and pieces found. Sure, they light up when the mouse goes over them, but there are some really busy areas, so be careful and take your time to find them all.

Game Mechanics:

The point of an point and click adventure after the exploration has become the puzzles, and A Vampyre Story does not disappoint. I think that some of the puzzles may have leaned a little too strongly towards individuals who have played a lot of these types of games. I really try to ask myself why I am doing something in a game like this, and usually that answer is, "Because I have seen this before." This is where I get a good gauge on the level of the game for new or experienced players. I would have to say that this is well placed in the middle of the road. I do have some thoughts that it may drive away a player too early by not holding their hand. But, I think nowadays, you know exactly what you are getting into when you pick a game like this.

To control Mona, you point and then you click. You can play the entire game with just the mouse. However, you will want to familiarize yourself quickly with the "Space Bar." The "Space Bar" on your keyboard will allow you to skip animations, conversations, and cut-scenes quickly. This can save you on long animation sequences.

I really liked this game and can only hope that this company hangs around long enough to give us some more great titles. The game can either be downloaded from Gamers Gate (which can take a little while, depending on your system) or can be bought as a boxed copy. Use your own level of patience and system specs to determine which works best for you.


-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows XP, 2.0 GHz processor, 256 RAM, 128 MB 3D Video Card
 

Test System:



Dell XPS DXP061, XP Pro, Intel Core Quad, 2GB Ram, Gforce 8800GTX

Microsoft Xbox 360 SCORE International Baja 1000 Nintendo DS Metal Slug 7

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated