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Vampyre Story has good potential, even with its flaws. It is
straight-forward (Mona will [make Froderick] do anything to make progress), it
has some very enjoyable puzzles (for example, the key to horse-owner lady's
house was good because the blanket was also needed and the same goes to
tailoring shop snowball), chemistry between Mona and Froderick (they are having
FUN together, a really unique aspect in any game. Mona's gestures and giggling
also deserve to be mentioned) and beautiful art (colorful and somehow
mystical). Humor is a double-edged sword. There are good jokes and there are
But the idea itself is the best of all. It's fascinating and
intriguing, combining opera, vampires, distant countries and the idea of not
having a clue how to get out. Plus, Mona's determination to leave and willinglessness to
admit she's a vampire is simply cute.
However, there are some things that drop A Vampyre Story
from elite class of adventure games.
Villain - Was it Hitchcock who said that a story is as
mighty as its villain? If I could change one thing in the game, it would be
making Shrowdy a real villain. Now he's not exactly even a nuisance. I was
certain Mona was going to get out of the castle, rather than squeezing the
microchips out of my mouse because of the excitement of whether or not Mona and
Froderick are going to get out and if they do, where are they going to land and
in which condition. Madame Strigoi is more scary than Shrowdy and to tell the
truth, I thought at first that she was the real nemesis.
Agnes Repplier, an American essayist has said:
"A villain must be a thing of power, handled with
delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong
enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of
sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with
contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous
Shrowdy is not. Darth Vader is. LeChuck is.
Vito Corleone is. Jack Nicholson has made being a villain an art. Shrowdy seems a
lost cause and the sequel is probably too complete to change it now, but maybe
there will be better one in episode 3?
Puzzles - Graveyard caretaker's house was too hard and way
too hard to figure out. Potionmaking was not easy either even with a recipe and
although puzzles should be challenging, they need to be simple and elegant. The
problem with fiction stories is that they need to be fairytales but still use
the basic principles or physics of this world so that the readers can imagine
Monkey Island's 'thrown into water tied to a rock' is a
classic example of ingenious puzzle.
Shortness - Even though understandable because of production
and budget reasons of a new company, it's still inexcusably short game.
Storytelling - Mona is a charming protagonist, Froderick is
innovative and funny sidekick and vampiric perks make playing interesting, but
without a powerful antagonist it feels as if Mona could just buy a ticket and
jump to a train to Paris without anyone interfering. It just feels somehow wrong.
Voice acting + Mona's voice is very fitting to her, and it
is said in a good way here. They are in Draxsylvania, so they should speak something like Eaxtern European accent. Except of course Mona, being from France.
Overall, the game was enjoyable. The vampire
myth is an excellent source to tell a story from even though some of the
potential excitement is yet missing.
Mar 1 10 9:08 PM
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