Guest review by: Becca Clipper
So it’s Christmas morning. You and your siblings are gathered around the tree, and your parents are smiling and sipping their coffee as they watch you. You reach for that wonderful video game shaped package and quickly rip off the wrapping. It’s!…. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds?
Even as a long-time BTVS fan, I had my doubts about this game. It’s hard enough to find a live-action movie turned into a successful video game, let alone a successful WB hit TV show video game (who would ever want to play “The Adventures of Dawson?). Yet this game quickly shot me down and had me gaping in awe. In a nut shell, the game is fun, challenging, accurate to the show, and just overall kick-ass.
The basic storyline of Chaos Bleeds is your long time foe Ethan Ryne, takes you and your five friends as “Champions” to fight The First, in order for Ethan to gain some sort of absolute power. These five friends (actually you, being one of the people means you actually have four friends with you, but believe me it will all make sense in due time) are the playable characters of the game. The majority of time spent playing the game has you playing as Buffy, but at times you will be switched to dark slayer Faith, neutered vamp Spike, good witch Willow, and absolutely useless Xander. As an added bonus, at times you will play as Sid, the living ventriloquist dummy; and despite the freak out factor, this is a fun character to play with (being knee-high and all). The look of these characters does give justice to the real-life actors (at least when compared to the shame that’s shown in the first Harry Potter game). The voice actors they have also sound just like the real thing. These small details go unrecognized if you only happened to watch the show once or twice.
The game, despite its cheesy teen show origin, is a very challenging game. At times I would find myself running around a room for hours trying to get through a locked door… only to find out that I had to run outside, into the backyard, and fall through a glass ceiling in order to get into a room. If a very helpful gaming magazine didn’t have a walkthrough of the first three levels, I most likely wouldn’t have been able to get into the Chaos Bleeds state of mind. This really isn’t a game to pop in just to brutally slaughter vampires; you can’t get through a level without thinking real hard. It’s still good for the actual slaying; you beat up vampires with a slew of cool moves before taking your weapon of choice and “staking” them. You even get to see them poof into dust! This game is a real noodle-scratcher with a nice coat of beat ’em up fun.
The game is set up in levels where you have to complete a certain objective. The objectives all tie into the main storyline and you have to finish the level to get anywhere else in the story. The frustrating part of Chaos Bleeds is that you also have to finish a level in order to save; if you quit the level you have to start from the beginning again. Since most of these levels are fairly difficult you must have to have a minimum of an hour to commit to the game per level, unless you want to lose the progress you made. Then again, once you’ve figured your way that far though the level, you know what to do, and can make your way through it again easily. Luckily, each level has check points throughout it so you don’t have to start right from the beginning of the level if you happen to have your blood sucked dry.
If you really don’t have the time to commit to story mode, then there’s also a multiplayer mode, where you and your various buddies can select an unlocked character of choice and kick the poo out of assorted demons. You can also fly solo through these multiplayer modes in order to strengthen your skill with a character or just pass a few quick minutes.
All in all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds is an underrated game that is disregarded because of the TV show linked with its title. Trust me, it’s worth your time to pick it up and check it out. Just call it The Beat Up Vampires Game instead if it makes you feel better. Go, do it now!