Sunday, 23 October 2011

Vampire Hunter D (PSX)

I don't know much about Vampire Hunter D, except that it's possibly based on an anime. Also, it probably involves some degree of vampire hunting.

The intro starts in ultra-fuzzyvision, with this guy hiring vampire hunter D to save his favourite daughter from the local vampire. He also mentions that other vampire hunters have been hired for the job, so it's possible I'll run into them along the way.

The video thankfully drops the fuzzy effect as D approaches the vampire's spider-castle fortress. I'm starting to think this game might not be set in the past.

Meanwhile (or earlier, I'm not sure which), the other vampire hunters are having a bit of a confrontation with the castle's guard demons.

Things are looking bleak but with the aid of their Batmobile-like tank...

...a handy rocket launcher...

...and a missile launching unicycle, the hunters start to turn the tide in their favour.

But D isn't involved in any of that. So he continues his slow walk up to the castle gates.

I'm guessing Left Hand is either D's friend on the radio, one of the hunters in the next room, or maybe an even castle resident tracking the hunters down.

Oh don't tell me he has a talking left hand...

Holy shit, that thing is terrifying! Poor D has a human face for a palm.

It seems that this, uh, guy is going to be my sidekick for the game, throwing out advice when needed.

Oh damn, D controls like a PSX Resident Evil character. He's steered with one analogue stick, and pulling left and right makes him turn. So even doing something simple like getting to this box is taking a bit of effort.

I've been circling it for a while, and I kinda got stuck against a wall for a bit there, but  think I'm lined up correctly now. If I can just continue on this course for a couple more steps I'll reach my destination, and I'll be able to collect my free gift.

It was a map of this floor!

The game has camera angles like Resident Evil too. Every few steps it changes to another dramatic perspective and I need to figure out where I am and where I'm going again.

I'm pretty sure right now I'm supposed to be going through this huge door.

Also it's got Resident Evil style cutscenes whenever I open a door. I can't really blame the game for that though, it's a limitation of the hardware... probably.

Huh, where did they put my vampire hunter now? Oh there he is, in the center.

Nice place to put a box, right there on the edge of the screen. I bet that's going to be a lot of fun to get to with the camera angles changing whenever I get close.

Well the doors down there were locked, and a few messages have flashed up strongly suggesting that I check upstairs, so I guess I'll go do that then.

Another great camera angle there. It really helps disorientate me so I have to spend 5 seconds figuring out which direction I've been travelling from. Are these stairs at the bottom of the screen? Am I supposed to be heading directly towards the camera now?

I think it would be safer if I took this with me. Who the hell leaves a hand grenade lying around on the floor anyway? What if some kid had found it?

I found a key too, which is cool. Time to try out every door until I see what it unlocks.

This is apparently a motion sensitive security system, or so a message said. Immediately after reading that message I stood perfectly skill and started to figure out the best way to get across the room. And then I got shot with a laser anyway.

In fact I'm finding it very hard not to get shot with a laser, because D is a bitch to control. It's like driving a little RC car around using security monitors.

I'm definitely running low on HP right now, and VP too... whatever that is. I though it might be 'mana' or whatever, but there's another bar at the bottom of the screen which looks like a more likely candidate. And it seems that one's been ticking down since the start of the game.

I find my first monster! And D takes it down in a cutscene for me. He even catches it in a blue ball and feeds it to his hand somehow.

Okay that's just gross.

Feeding on the enemy seems to have given me a tiny tiny fraction of my magic back! Shame I can't figure out how to do it to enemies myself.

Also I can't even see the enemies I'm fighting because the game hasn't bothered to switch camera angles yet. At least I'm not in any serious danger of dying  now that I've taken some potions. Or maybe I am, seeing as the VP bar has dropped right down. Who knows?

Finally, an enemy I can see!

I immediately rush him and swing my blade... which completely falls short of actually hitting him. This is not a great angle to judge depth from. Then I got in a couple more swipes which would have totally hit him if I wasn't facing the wall.

Huh. It seems like there's a lone vampire hunter confronting an evil vampire behind this door. I should probably burst in and help her out.

Stop listening at the door you asshole and help the poor hunter!

I finally got D to go through the door, but by that time the other vampire hunter had been killed or knocked out.

So it seems I'm going to be fighting this guy on my own.

It's not going well, and I can't say that I'm shocked. Maybe I've got a potion or something in my pocket though.

Okay what have I picked up so far... hmm, hand grenade! That aught to make this guy's day a little more miserable.

So I guess I wait for it to explode now then?

Son of a bitch. I probably should have chosen 'potion' from the list.

And then the game throws me right back to the logos before the intro cinematic. I guess I was expecting checkpoints, autosaves or something. A nice 'continue yes/no' message would have been a start.


Well I replayed everything up to the boss, then decided to skip his door and go somewhere else instead. I've also been saving the game every room or so, and the process goes a bit like this:
  • Start to open menu.
  • Triangle button to open save menu.
  • Select 'Save'.
  • "Checking the MEMORY CARD. Do not remove the MEMORY CARD."
  • Wait...
  • Select save slot.
  • "Do you wish to overwrite the saved file? Yes/No"
  • "Saving the file. Do not remove the MEMORY CARD."
  • Wait...
  • "Save completed."
  • Exit menu.
Every single time. Yeah yeah, I know I should save less often. I just don't feel the need to ever replay any of this. I mean I'm already doing enough backtracking, and the monsters seem to reappear all the time anyway.

That's pretty nice of the game, to tell me what door this key opens. I've found so many locked doors that it'd be a real pain to have to try them all.

Oh I see my magic's finally all run out. Well it's fine, I wasn't exactly using it anyway.

Hey, I figured out how to catch enemies in the blue ball and take their magic! I just have to wave my hand at them mid-fight. And then I get a tiny microscopic fraction of magic back! Yay.


I made my way back to the boss room, but it seems he got bored and left. So no boss fight this time! For some reason I feel like I just put myself on track for a bad ending.


Oh hang on, it's an enemy with a sword! This might be a more interesting fight, just as long as I can get D facing in the right direction.

Maybe I'll even get to use some of that magic I've been collecting.

Is this a lightsaber duel or something? It's a shame the camera angle is so awkward so I can't really see what I'm doing.

Huh, what just happened? I lost so fast I didn't even realise I was in trouble. But this means I can turn the damn game off now! Forever!

In case it wasn't obvious, I hated this game. The camera angles and the controls just kill it. Whenever I got into combat my main struggle was to get D to face the enemy. Or to draw my sword before the enemy could hit me. I'd keep walking into battles unarmed, thinking that he'd draw his blade when I pressed attack. Next game.

1 comment:

  1. Lol I enjoyed reading this in my spare time. xD The comments between the pictures were pretty funny Maybe some time later you can play it again and go further?


Semi-Random Game Box