Countdown Vampires Preview

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Get ready to party like it's 1999, cuz it is. The problem, however, is that things aren't going to end up in a beer-keg, fall-over-yourself kind of way. Instead, they'll end up in a bloodsucking vampire-fest, the likes of which you will not have seen since, well, your last bloodsucking vampire-fest.

In Countdown Vampires, brought to you courtesy of Bandai (maker of all things Dragonball), you assume the role of Keith Snyder, tattooed bodyguard-turned-vampire-hunter extraordinaire. The setting is the Desert Moon Hotel (which may or may not be related to the Dennis DeYoung song) on the evening of the millennium. As is wont to happen during a public gathering of this nature, a fire begins to spread through the joint, causing the sprinkler system to leap into action. Sadly, it is not water that rains down on the assembled masses, but rather a nasty black ichor. It not only ruins many a party dress, but it starts turning the crowd into vampires as well. The trick here is to get to the bottom of this mystery - since you have luckily avoided the transformation - and find the antidote to return things to normal. If you get bitten by one of these creeps, you may have problems yourself very soon. Over the course of the game, you will travel through eight locations, ranging from vampiric woodlands to seedy vampire-filled bars. You even begin the game in a gothic casino of a particularly suspicious nature.

Currently, the game is practically unplayable, due to the buggy stage of development. At the moment, enemies don't really attack, they just stand there and swoon in a hypnotic trance. The backgrounds are prerendered (a la Resident Evil), but despite its similarities to Capcom's awesome titles, Bandai has overlooked the obvious improvements that have been made to the genre - such as a character's ability to walk up a flight of stairs without the help of the action button. However, there is still some time for K2C to implement these changes. So if you're looking for an RE-style game with a twist, this might be your best move.

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