Gaming news is a little thin today so I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about a game I love. A game that I feel does not get the attention it deserves and a game I would go as far to say is one of the best exclusives on the original Xbox. That game is Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Let me start by saying that I was and am a huge Buffy fan. I am old enough to remember the movie from the early 90’s with Luke Perry and Kristy Swanson. But it was the TV show that I really fell in love with. It is one of my all-time favorite TV shows and despite first airing in 1997, it would not be until 2002 that we would see a Buffy The Vampire Slayer game.
Originally Buffy The Vampire Slayer was going to be released earlier than this and was scheduled to be a PlayStation and Dreamcast game. This idea was scrapped and EA….. yes that EA put the game out for the original Xbox instead. It was an early Xbox exclusive and in all honesty, this was one of the main reasons that I wanted to get an Xbox. I am not sure what the deal was to make such a popular property an Xbox exclusive, but in all honesty, I think that back in 2002, the PS2 and GameCube (unless it was on two discs?) may have struggled.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is like an unaired episode. It is very well written and the voice acting is first class. Even though Sarah Michelle Geller is not doing the voice for Buffy, her sound-alike does a fantastic job. The rest of the cast are here and they are just as they were on the TV show.
The story is very good and for Buffy fans, you get hooked right away. However, it is the gameplay that really makes this so much fun. It is a 3rd person action, adventure, puzzle, and platform game all rolled into one. The combat is very satisfying and Buffy has a ton of different moves at her disposal. Taking out a vampire with a steak is a very satisfying feeling and so is killing the other, tougher enemies that the game throws your way.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer also looks fantastic. I remember the first time I played this with the Xbox Advanced Scart Cable, I was amazed at how smooth and clear everything looked. It really was a great looking game and a good game to showcase the Xbox in that first year.
While this was an Xbox exclusive the next Buffy game, Buffy The Vampire Chaos Bleeds was a multi-platform title. It was made by a different developer and it was nowhere near as good. It let you play as multiple characters, but the combat was not as good, the story was not as well written and even though it was released a few years later, the graphics were not as good either.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer for the original Xbox is a fantastic game and one that is well worth tracking down. Another Buffy game that I had fun with was Buffy The Vampire Sacrifice for the Nintendo DS which plays like the original Resident Evil.