|Reviewer: William Jackson||Date: Jul 16, 2015|
|This is the first of the five Buffy games, and it may tell you all you need to know if I say these games get successively better. Still, there are some fairly impressive things about this otherwise unremarkable 2000 GameBoy Color game.
Sure, some of the outline-less sprites look a bit like they were lifted from Kung-Fu or some other very early NES title, but the attention to detail is surprisingly good, especially in the still-shot cutscenes. Where this game gets a high score from me in this category though is in the movement. The animations are surprisingly good both for Buffy and her incredibly repetitive adversaries, and the environmental settings aren't bad either.
You would think they would have made some attempt to license and recreate Nerf Herder's Buffy Theme Song, a la Beavis and Butthead on Genesis, but instead the game suffers from a painfully generic soundtrack that could have been on literally any game. Character SFX get the job done I suppose, but with Buffy's attacks as limited as they are, her voice sample and the couple of voice samples for enemies get old very very quickly.
And here's where this game takes a nice dump. We're subjected to level after formulaic level of 2-D beat-em up in which enemies leap out in the same format over and over, and the player dispatches them in the same format over and over. Each level contains exactly one enemy sprite palette-swapped about five times. The color of each enemy is irrelevant to their behavior or difficulty. Every single enemy is a vampire, and killing them is as simple as knocking them down and staking them - if you can master the mushy controls.
There are impressive things such as the effort spent on graphics and animations, and the fact that the cutscenes are actually VERY well written to sound like the characters on the show perfectly, but overall the experience is a fairly boring, dragging game that is more comparable to a sticky, brainless zombie than a vampire. Not recommended other than for historical scientific research for the Buffy fan to learn to appreciate later entries in the series like Chaos Bleeds.
In other words, you may play this for curiosity, but if you have the patience to finish this fairly dull adaptation, it might be kind of an accomplishment. I personally found it similar to Giles' wardrobe: extremely dry and better on someone else than on me.