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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by THQ

Ups: Buffy fans might get a kick out of the campy plot; ninja vampires. 

Downs:  Way too easy; gets boring; not enough variety.

System Reqs:
Game Boy Color

bfscreen1.jpg (4027 bytes)Life is probably too short for you to waste your time reading this review; it is definitely too short for me to spend my time writing. But my editor has a hard time accepting one star reviews without some sort of justification, so here it goes.

Punch the vampire, kick the vampire, stab the vampire. Punch the vampire, kick the vampire, stab the vampire. One more time. If you’re looking for excitement, variety and suspense, look somewhere else.

bfscreen2.jpg (4062 bytes)How long has it been that Buffy has been fighting off the undead? Five, six years? I imagine that when you’ve been hunting vampires that long putting a stake through the heart of a vampire is about as exciting as flipping burgers at Dairy Queen. Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the Game Boy Color is a new kind of game. Rather than recreating a sense of adventure, it recreates Buffy’s sense of tedium. She’s has got to be so bored by now, and after playing this game I don’t blame her.

bfscreen3.jpg (5706 bytes)I kept playing it with the hopes that something would happen. I thought that by at least the last level I might experience a little bit of a challenge. I was wrong. Playing this game is like watching taped olympics. There is no suspense, no drama, and no question about who is going to come out on top. Buffy is virtually impossible to kill unlike her immortal foes.

People rarely develop games for the Game Boy. Most GBC games are an afterthought. It is one more platform to capitalize on the cost of advertising. When you’re taking out a full page add for a Playstation or Dreamcast came, it doesn’t cost you any more to put "Also available for the Game Boy Color." And it obviously doesn’t cost a whole lot more to produce the actual game if this is any indication of the quality control in the handheld department.

bfscreen5.jpg (5209 bytes)The controls work fine, if a little monotonous. Buffy kicks, jumps, punches, and stakes (Is that a verb?) with the best of them. You just need to get a vampire into a corner and it’s all over for him or her. The graphics are also serviceable. The only option you have to customize the game is to turn the sound on or off. There is only one difficulty setting—absurdly easy.

bfscreen6.jpg (5395 bytes)I should probably mention the story. Yet another group of vampires have descended on the town of Sunnydale and Buffy must kick butt without asking any questions whatsoever. The questions are for her sidekicks to ask. The vampires have an international flavor to them. In a failed attempt to be innovative you deal with decomposing vampires, gentlemen vampires, yeti-like vampires, and ninja vampires (trust me, the ninjas have no kung-fu). Just listing out the vampires makes the game sound much more interesting than it is. The comic book-like cutscenes flesh out what little plot there is. The game tries to convey the campy humor of the show but you’re too bored to even care. I don’t follow the show on a regular basis, but a lot of the plot seemed geared towards a pretty loyal fan base. I can’t imagine anyone but a loyal fan laying out hard earned money for this title.

bfscreen7.jpg (5790 bytes)This game should be called The Ennui of Vampire Slaying. I commend THQ if their goal was to make us feel just like Buffy. I just don’t know how many people would like to know that vampire combat is not as exciting as the commercials make it out to be. Sometimes it is easier to just live with our illusions.

--Jason Frank