by Marko Susimetsä
reviewed on PC
Am I really a vampire? Be sure before you bite!
A Vampire Story is an old-fashioned adventure title, harking back to the days of the old Monkey Island and Indiana Jones titles. Published by Crimson Cow and developed by Autumn Moon, the title professes an endless stream of bad, not-that-funny puns, but manages to hold the gamer’s attention with the light atmosphere and interesting puzzles. But let’s not rush ahead of ourselves with the verdict before we give the game a closer look.
Mona’s sad story
The starlet of the game, Mona De Lafitte, is a well-developed opera singer who is kidnapped by the big baddie of the game, Baron Shrowdy Von Kiefer. Shrowdy, who may not really be a true vampire himself, has nevertheless been able to turn Mona into one. He keeps her locked up in his castle, feeding her with curiously salty red wine and insisting that she sleep in a coffin. In short, Mona doesn’t quite realise her own condition and refuses to think of herself as a vampire. Apparently, even the ability to turn into a bat hasn’t made her doubt her judgement.
Mona’s chance for freedom comes when Shrowdy is hunted down and apparently destroyed by two vampire hunters – who also know about Mona and are coming after her next. It is Mona’s task to find a way to escape Shrowdy’s castle-come-prison and stay one step ahead of the vampire hunters.
Cartoon looks and bad puns
A Vampyre Story bears the looks of your stereotypic Gothic cartoon. The graphics are very well made and complemented with a very nice soundtrack. The only downside is that the graphics are in 1024x768 resolution and there’s no way to change this in the game settings. Therefore, if you happen to play the game on a 26” widescreen LCD monitor, you will suffer from less than stellar experience with the tiny image stretched and distorted to fit your big screen. This is especially torturous during the in-game movies.
The animations are great quality and leave little to be desired for. There are only a few occasions when you notice clipping issues, such as Mona’s feet going through the lid of her coffin when she is rowing it across a lake.
The voice acting is pretty nice and you really don’t hear a bad performance in the bunch. Mona has something to say about pretty much anything you can click on, while the annoying little flying-rat-sidekick called Froderick is the master of very bad puns that are guaranteed to make you groan and eventually even hate the voice of the wee flying critter. Still, the puns quickly become a part of the general atmosphere and you take them as part of the deal.
The control method in A Vampyre Story is familiar to anyone who has ever played point-and-click adventures. Simply said, you seek for hotspots with your mouse and click on anything that can be clicked on, in order to examine, look at, talk to or pick up various items or persons. When Mona picks up an item it is put into her ‘coffin’ where she can examine it and use it later.
No Pros and Cons at this time