Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds", 2003, Xbox.

So many different takes on the same basic subject! This one adapts Joss Whedon's TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, re-interpreting his earlier film of the same name with a similar but different premise.
Decisions, decisions...
Which demon-killer will you be?
Buffy the vampire slayer
Battle as Buffy & 5 other favorite characters
Story based on a lost episode of the television series
Multi-player chaos - with support for up to 4 players on the same screen.
Bonus features: interviews, cast photos, outtakes, and more! ~ In collaboration with series creator Joss Whedon.
I own this one, though I haven't yet had a chance to try it out. Though it swept my circle of friends like a wildfire, I have only seen a single episode of the series -- "Once More, With Feeling", which was presented as the series' high point but which required a few seasons' worth of context to make much sense. So I can't vouch for to what extent the games (this is the fourth of five licensed titles I could find, plus some sleazy fangames) retain the TV show's renowned dynamic interplay between its punchy cast of characters.

Offline multiplayer is a feature I'd like to see in more games -- a good round of Jump 'n Bump can be hard to beat. This is apparently the first Buffy game allowing players to control anyone but Buffy herself. As to the value of the game's script being a lost TV episode, I can't vouch for it -- beyond noting that a game and a TV episode are very different things with very different dramatic and narrative requirements. (Unless you're making a Metal Gear game, amIright?) I know that the game is set within the TV series' continuity, circa season 5, which might be what is meant by the claim.

Just what does "Chaos Bleeds" mean, anyhow? I gather that a "weakening walls between parallel realities" plot device is in effect here so as to permit drawing upon some distinctly defunct characters for gamely fanservice purposes -- perhaps it then alludes to a chaotic "bleeding through" of one reality to the next?