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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Victor / Capcom

Ups: Great shooter; nice graphics; epileptic gameplay.

Downs: The wait for the US version.

System Reqs:
Sony PlayStation

New to importing? Check out the GF! Guide to Importing

ss1.jpg (3388 bytes)For an anime that already has a kick-ass movie, multiple books and toys, they had to go and release Vampire Hunter D the video game, almost killing the enjoyment of this cult classic for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy action/puzzle games like everyone else—and some of the puzzles in this game are actually clever, but not so hard as to make it impossible for you to move past them. The problem with this game is that I think Victor/Capcom was relying upon the popularity of the cartoon franchise to sell it and didn’t invest a significant amount of time into development or overall game play.

ss2.jpg (3448 bytes)The story of the game is not set around the movie, as you would imagine, but the third book in the Hunter D trilogy as well as the subsequent anime movie released in Japan. Essentially, a noble, John Elbern, hires D and Marcus 5 to rescue his daughter Charlotte who was supposedly trapped in the Castle Cheite during Mayerlink’s destruction. It turns out that instead of being kidnapped or trapped, Charlotte has escaped from an arranged marriage. You can imagine the fun that ensues from her dilemma.

On the graphics end: They’re what you expect from an action game and run along the lines of Resident Evil (yes, the first one) never really impressing me in any way. Granted, you do have your few FMVs that try to make up for what’s lacking through the course of play.

ss3.jpg (2122 bytes)Unlike RE the game play was awkward and, at times, frustrating. There is no dual shock, rather, you’re left to control D with the game pad. The menus come easy, but that’s about it. One problem I kept encountering in the game is jumping. In certain scenarios I found it difficult to figure out how far I should really jump, since the perspective of my viewpoint was off and that I, at times, had the strange ability to fall through platforms and what have you. Pisses me off. I liken it to some of the problems in the old Castlevania games where you have to get your jumping down just right or you’re screwed.

ss5.jpg (2561 bytes)Like other games, you’re able to acquire items, in this game crystals, that’ll do various things such as heal or cure you. You can also equip yourself with special weapons a la Castlevania again. One cool feature is that you have a parasite on your hand who gives you hints as well as grants you the ability to suck the life out of your enemies. This comes in handy when you’re low on life when you’re out of those damn red crystals.

Although the game is playable in Japanese, it really isn’t enjoyable. It’s your run of the mill action game that has you solving a few puzzles here and there. Even the enemies and bosses are not too difficult. Let’s hope they don’t port this game to our shores. We don’t really need another bad PSX title for some unlucky kid to rent at the neighborhood Hollywood Video.

--Matt Baldwin