by: Eric Stallsworth
; edited by: J. F. Amprimoz
; updated: 4/17/2012
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A Vampyre Story is not your usual vampire game, but it is a lot of fun. If you enjoy Saturday morning cartoons or the occasional Tim Burton movie, you'll find plenty to like in this game as well. Come check out what makes this a unique experience.
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The Story Of Her Life
You need to know going in that A Vampyre Story is not for those lacking a sense of humor. This game is very reminiscent of cartoons on television, particularly with its simplistic (and yet enjoyable) storyline. The game centers around Mona De Lafitte, who is a woman in search of a career as an Opera singer. Unfortunately, a creature of the night known as Baron Shrowdy Von Kiefer has taken it upon himself to bring her into the world of vampires. Mona really isn't cut out to be a vampire however, so she tries to escape from his castle in Draxsylvania (no I'm not making this up) in order to get back to her singing career in Paris.
The story continues from there, jumping from one pun to the next with increasing hilarity. You have to maintain the attitude though that this game wasn't made for the serious minded. It's supposed to be fun, and as long as you keep that in mind, you'll thoroughly enjoy it. The puns do begin to wear on you by the end, but it's not really that bad. The characters are singularly funny, both in their mannerisms and their speech. Just put on your little kid hat, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
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This Vampyre's Lookin' Good
The visuals in this game rate a high rating, not because they are spectacular, but because of how well they fit into the whole theme of the game. The backgrounds are redundant perhaps, but given the nature of this game and it's similarities to cartoons, this is to be expected. The colors are vibrant enough, and there is detail to the characters that brings them to life. Much like the theme, everything is fairly dark. Mona is the only 3D character in an otherwise 2D background, but it works well - kind of like a pop-up book put out by Disney. There is also no noticeable lag, even during the animation sequences.
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It's How This Game Is Played
Whether you like the gameplay elements or not depends on your personal taste. One noteworthy addition A Vampyre Story brings to the genre is a unique inventory system. Unlike a lot of games, you don't necessarily have to worry about what you should pick up and what you shouldn't. Mona is quite ready to tell you when something's going to be important - even if you don't get to use it until much later. When she needs an item, she'll zip to the inventory and pull it out. The rest of the gameplay is fairly standard, consisting of puzzles to solve and quests to do for people. It's nothing new, but it's not poorly done either. You'll find yourself caught up in the story so much, you don't really mind going here and there to get things done.
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A Vampyre Ballad
The vocals and music are wonderful, and they go along with everything this game has to offer nicely. Much like a big budget animated movie, A Vampyre Story has a resplendent soundtrack. The audio cues are right on time, and the theme is maintained throughout. You don't have to have surround sound for this game, but you'll appreciate decent speakers.
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What You Need
In spite of its beautiful graphics and wonderful sound, it doesn't take much power to run this game:
1.6 Ghz CPU
256MB video card
Directx9.0 compatible sound card
3GB of hard drive space
I ran this game on a laptop with these specs, and it ran just fine. The game really shined however, when I moved up to my powerhouse desktop. The higher amount of RAM and better quality video card let the game showcase itself. Its highly unlikely that you'll have anything less than this, and if you have more, you'll get to see the game at its best.
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A Vampyre Story is a game made for kids - or those who are young at heart. The humorous puns are present throughout the entire game, and the characters draw you in quickly. As long as you have a good sense of humor (along the lines of cartoons), you'll enjoy this game immensely. The inventory system is something you may like or dislike, but its not necessarily a detraction. The visuals are stunning, and the sounds are right in line with every other aspect of this game. A Vampyre Story holds to its central theme of animated fun, and you'll find yourself immersed in its world immediately.