Vampire Rage Xbox 360 Review

August 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox 360

Publisher – Tricktale – Developer – Tricktale – Genre – Action – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – Violence 3/3, Sex 0/3, Mature Content 1/3 – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

You can’t do a whole lot when you’ve only got 10 or 15 minutes to spare, although Xbox Live indie game Vampire Rage can be completed within this short period of time. The question is, is this time well spent?

Initially, Vampire Rage was overly difficult for us mere humans that are without the super powers of some players, although developer Tricktale have since released a patch which better balances the two difficulty levels. The patch increases the number of lives that you begin with on normal difficulty and also decreases the difficulty of the first level and the big, bad boss at the end of it. A mere human such as myself can now actually get off the first level and beyond that.

Vampire Rage is a vertical shooter for up to two players that has you moving up the screen as you attempt to gain vengeance for your murdered loved one. First impressions were very favourable as I discovered that not only could I fire at my enemies but I could also swing my sword in a circular motion, as well.

There can be a lot of pink bullets heading towards you at once, and on the hardest rage difficulty they come at you faster.

The sword is one of Vampire Rage’s most satisfying features, allowing you to not only slice and dice your way through nearby enemies (this action can’t be spammed as there’s a cool down period following each swing), but it also gives you the potential of knocking pink downward bullets aimed at yourself back at your deserving enemies, which is all the more fulfilling when it earns you more points, and hearing the laughter of your vampire character is definitely the icing on the cake, and, for those who prefer angry vampires, he sometimes even snarls out words such as “vengeance” as well. Back to the pink bullets, if you deflect enough of these at once a bomb is created, in which can be moved around before it explodes in order to blow up targets of your choice.

Of course, being a vertical shooter Vampire Rage also has plenty of shooting. Holding the fire button will turn your bullets into a huge destructive beam that looks like it has been built to cause a lot of pain. The enemies that you’ll be making scream have their different behaviours, thus you’ll soon learn what to expect and how to react to each variety over repeated plays.

Speaking of repeat plays, Vampire Rage is an addictive game and a certain player will be looking to post a score to be proud of on the online leaderboards. Indeed, the game is short but, when I have 10 or 15 minutes to spare, it’s one that will certainly keep me coming back for more.

Visually, Vampire Rage is attractive, bloody and fairly colourful, with decent character and enemy animations. Aurally, I’ve already mentioned the angry character voicing his thoughts, although the music is also fittingly excellent.

Vampire Rage is a superb example of an indie game done well. If you like this sort of vertical shooting thing, I would recommend you to skip the trial altogether and purchase the game, it’s only 80 Microsoft Points (around 70p!) after all. There’s a lot to like here and little money required to experience its retro-like goodness. With that said, this characters despair is going to be a vertical shooting delight for many.

9/10

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