Developer: Chillingo, Ltd.
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

IMG_0082Vampire Origins is a serious addition to the shooting game genre, and packs some serious unique and fresh designs to keep game play fun throughout. Well designed graphics, comic illustration type storytelling and a dynamic lead character create a memorable experience. Packed with crisp controls and unique game play elements, it kicks this title to the next level.

Vampire Origins storyline is rather cliché at the beginning. Vincent, the main character, has been the victim of an attack. Vincent was supposed to be the target, but his wife was killed instead. Now driven by vengeance, Vincent takes his fight to the cursed vampires, running into familiar individuals who he thought were dead along the way.

I was skeptical as I looked at the control scheme of this game. There are two options for non-boss combat, depending on what the player feels more comfortable with. The first is the classic dual thumb design. The character moves with the left stick, and fires with the right button. I played around with this a bit and found that I really didn’t like this play style. The alternate method is extremely fun and precise. Instead of using the right button to fire, you can click on the actual vampire itself and the gun will fire. This mode is extremely beneficial in larger encounters as well. A quick slide of the finger along a path will allow Vincent to roll away from danger and get a more advantageous position against enemies.

Boss combat is a whole different animal completely. Instead of gun combat, bosses are engaged using a sword. In order to attack the opponent, red lines appear across the screen that must be traced with a finger to do the proper attack and dodge abilities. It adds a level of intrigue to the overall experience and certainly provides a lot of enjoyment.

Developer IceHill did a really good job of keeping the game fresh, by ensuring that the entire game wasn’t a continuous shoot’em up title. Complex puzzles, “event” style game play, and various additions to normal combat make getting to the next chapter a fun experience. To highlight one of these “events”, a specific item needs protected from an onslaught of enemies at one point. The camera pans back a bit and gives an almost top down feel to the game, and waves of enemies come that are enjoyably destroyed one shot at a time. This is only one example of many intense game additions.

The soundtrack is spot on with this type of vampire shooting game, and the graphics are respectable. I really don’t have a lot of serious criticism for this game. At a couple places, puzzles required running from a certain enemy or object, and I found environmental issues getting in my way. Certain extensions on a walkway or protrusions around a corner caused me to get stuck more than once on any given puzzle. At one point it frustrated me enough to put the game down for a bit, but I picked the game back up a few hours later and got it the first try.

Vampire Origins provides solid shoot’em up action while avoiding the stale boring game play that so many titles in this genre reach. An achievement system through Crystal With good graphics, a respectable sound track, and complex puzzles, it’s an easy recommendation for casual and hardcore gamer alike. Give this title a try and let us know what you think.

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