Countdown Vampires

Bandai jumps on the bandwagon with their own survival horror adventure, with, as the name implies, a lot of vampires. Does it have what it takes to rise above the crowd?

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The gameplay conventions of "survival horror" are perhaps the most tightly constrained of any genre - anybody who's played a Resident Evil has effectively played every other game like it. Bandai is either unaware of this concept or embraces it - either way, the result is Countdown Vampires. The game is so similar, in fact, that only those who feel the need to play every survival horror game released will really have a reason to pick it up.

Since Capcom has a lock on the zombie survival horror market, Bandai has turned to another staple of classic horror - vampires (which is hopefully obvious from the title). The story goes that Keith, the main character, is a Las Vegas security guard faced with a sudden inexplicable army of vampires. His quest is a simple one - save the remaining human populace from being added to the undead menagerie, find a way to change the existing vampires back to human form, and try not to die in the process. Countdown Vampires uses a control and inventory scheme that is essentially lifted straight from Resident Evil, thus a fan of that series would theoretically find plenty to like about Countdown Vampires. Whether or not it can also duplicate Resident Evil's suspense and atmosphere remains to be seen. Countdown Vampires is marked with a Spring 2000 release date, so it should be available soon.

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