Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Game Boy Color – 2000
Developed by: GameBrains
Published by: THQ Inc.
Written by: Andrew Brown, Scott Krager, Brett Bibby
Where to even fucking start. Let’s do it this way: IGN gave this game a 2/10. And… that’s about it. I can’t even find other reviews. Not from “reliable” sites. Unlike the XBox game, this game doesn’t even have any people applauding it like its the second coming Christ… and Christ is bringing hot dogs. No, this is literally as if Satan pooped into a GBC cartridge, sold it to you for full price, and then, before you could put the cart in your Game Boy Color, he smashed it with a hammer. That is how bad IGN claims the game is and, you know, while I disagree 100% with their review of the XBox game, when it comes to this game we see eye-to-eye.
When I put down the money to buy this thing, I was dreading playing it for a completely different reason than the ones I had to deal with. Old Game Boy games sometimes replaced actual challenge with brain-numbing impossibility. I remember playing this game, Mystical Ninja game and having a bitch of a time because it was unforgiving, rather than actually a game that required you to learn tactics. So I figured this game was going to take forever to beat because I was going to die a ton due to ass-fuckery. And then, to top it off, when I borrowed by younger brother’s Game Boy Advance SP to play it with backlighting, he forgot to give me the power cord, so I had one full battery to beat the game on. I was doomed.
Nope! Instead, not only is this game the easiest thing I’ve ever played, it is embarrassingly so. See, sometimes you play an old game and you are so good at games, now, that you breeze through it because, let’s face it, after 20 years of playing video games, you’ve gotten pretty good. Again, NOPE! Here, the game is just so… damned… easy.
In “BtVS” for Game Boy Color, you go left-to-right like a Mario game and punch things the game tells you time and again are vampires until they fall down. You whittle down their health bar until they can’t get up again and then you have a limited amount of time to stake them. Now, without an instruction manual I will admit that there was a moment of challenge where I had to figure out how to stake a dude after knocking him down seven times. But after that I was like “OK. This is ok”… but then you start to see the flaw, the one major flaw with the game… All you have to do is have a vampire on the ground long enough to stake him, which takes just as long as you take to crouch and press the button. Now, sometimes it takes a good number of punches to knock a guy on his ass, so, you know, it requires some blocking. Unless you sweep kick him in a corner and happen to already be crouching, thus making it the same button press for sweeping and staking, turning every fight into a one second brawl.
Yes, this is not a joke. You honestly can knock ANY vampire down, no matter if they have armor, weapons, are a different color than the last one, or a different kind of vampire altogether, even the ancient robed guys that make up the end of the game… you knock any of them down in a corner and you have enough time to stake them before they get back up. So even in the last level, a burning wasteland of fire and death, giant skulls and temples, and torches lighting your way, even the guys that can seemingly channel pure energy into their punches are knocked down with one sweep of the legs and then staked unceremoniously through the heart in one smooth motion. Granted, this makes me feel like an accomplished Slayer, that I don’t have any issues murdering the shit out of vampires. But at some point I started to feel bad for these guys… they had a giant, grand plan to end the world and then they show up and Buffy and me are there. It wasn’t fair. It’s like a gang of 5-year-olds being lead by a really smart adult into battle with a bunch of war-hardened vikings. I don’t care how many kindergarteners you have, they are all getting beheaded. And you only fight one at a time, the whole game. There is no threat here.
The worst offense – the worst offense – is that the bosses are the same, though. And they even look unique… you have a mummy looking fucker, some kind of swamp monster, a samurai I think…? Witch doctors? It doesn’t matter, they all plant ass squarely upon ground and see wood separate heart (I think I had a “Spartacus” stroke…?!). And, get this…! Remember when I said it was like Satan literally showed up at the start of this review? Guess who the final boss is. I’ll wait. It’s Satan. A giant, traditional looking Satan. The game doesn’t come right out and say it, but its a giant red, winged demon with horns living in a lair of flame and despair. Its Satan. Or, at the very least, it is the only demon in the game. I actually started sweating bullets because I hadn’t developed any actual skills in this game, just sweeping the legs. Here I was, fighting something that I couldn’t just stake in the hear… Oh, no, you can. Sweep and stake. End boss, final boss of the game, dead in under 10 seconds. Hm.
This flaw would have been forgivable, though, if the other two major flaws were present and accounted for: Bad writing and ugly as shit art. I mean, regarding the latter, look at that garbage. I mean, look at this garbage:
That is Xander and Willow listening intently as Buffy talks. Or vice versa, I can’t really be bothered to remember this shit. It is so ugly that I can’t stand it. And look at those action screens. The world is so under-detailed that it makes me want to cry. Most of the time its either a black background for night scenes or a solid color background for indoors scenes. Even when you traverse the Initiative you don’t really see much but the same lab equipment being Flinstoned in the background. And while there is enough distinction in the bad guy models, it isn’t really like they are interesting to look at. I’ll admit, I was like “….dafuq?” when I saw the final boss, but that was maybe it?
The story takes place during S4 but fuck if I know where, exactly. Buffy has access to the Initiative, so it takes place after “The I in Team”, but there is absolutely no mention of Riley, the dude she is boning by that point. No talk of Adam, either. Hell, Cordelia gets some lines and she isn’t even on this show, anymore. Angel shows his fat head in town, but nothing about the plot of the season other than to confirm that it takes place after “Pangs” because they directly reference that episode. But, then, the mastermind of the vampire plot to end the world is Ethan Rayne, who was arrested by the Initiative back in “A New Man” so, fuck if I know. It is just a major fucking mess and I don’t like it.
Bottom line, this is the worst game I have ever played. That is a title I don’t give out lightly. Other titles to hold that have include “A Bug’s Life” on Nintendo 64. It was an embarrassment to play. I hated having to keep track of level codes (that’s right, random letter combination letter codes). I hated that there were pick ups that I didn’t understand nor did I seemingly use. I hated that I never died. I never died. Came close once, but it was because the game wouldn’t let me get out of “block mode” and left me to crouch with my back wide open to an opportunistic dick vampire I named Ralph. I hated that even if you get knocked on your ass by a vampire, you just button mash and you get back up, with mostly full life. I hated that this was a “BtVS” game. I hate that 2/4 “BtVS” games have been pure garbage.
I hate that I am reviewing anything other than the shows…
Should You Have Even Read This?: Are you kidding me?! No. Jesus, no.