Monthly Archives: April 2010

Vampire Origins Review: Midnight Fight Until Twilight

Around a year ago, Chillingo released extremely eye-catching screens of their upcoming game “Vampire Origins.” At the time, these images were revolutionary images for an iPhone and iPod Touch game and almost too good to believe that it would be for this platform. Now, after multiple delays and around a year later, Chillingo has finally released this game to the public. The visuals certainly are beautiful, and they probably will entice many potential buyers to purchase the game. However, if a game doesn’t have enough content it really doesn’t matter how pretty it is. Is this the case with Vampire Origins?

You play as Vincent, a vampire hunter that’s been resurrected by the lord of the underworld to stop vampires from taking over the world. This cannot be allowed, since vampires are immortal and will never have to go into the realm of death. The story is told through beautifully illustrated comic strips in between the gun-slinging action as Vincent shoots his way through hordes of otherworldly monsters.

As I previously mentioned, you’ll notice that the graphics are superb. A lot of effort went into the art assets, and everything in this area is commendable. The animations, backgrounds, and boss fights all sport amazing eye candy that gets the player immersed into the action.

The controls also work quite well. You can either tap anywhere to move and tap on enemies to shoot, or use a virtual joystick to move and an auto-targeting button to shoot. Both are easy to adjust to and suffice for their purpose.

The problem with Vampire Origins is that it offers barely three hours of gameplay. Once you defeat the third boss the game ends, and a “to be continued” screen shows up. It seems that the year’s worth of development time all went into the visuals, and much less time was spent on adding actual content to the game.

That wouldn’t have really mattered if they had implemented an additional game mode, but unfortunately “Survival” isn’t really a survival mode. You have a set objective and you can actually finish it in ten minutes or so, which defeats the purpose of having an actual survival mode in the game. Granted, there are three maps, but that only adds up to around half an hour of extra game time, which will put you at a grand total of around three and a half hours of content for Vampire Origins.

At its current $6.99 price point, Vampire Origins is not exactly the best value you can get for your money and it’s far from what people expected it to be. However, if you don’t mind the short gameplay time and want it solely based on visuals, then it might be a good purchase. Currently, Vampire Origins is worth a look, but I’d recommend purchasing something else unless an update brings more content or a price drop.


Twilight Golf Review: Enjoying a Couple Rounds of Golf In An Ancient Temple

Physics games have always been both mind-boggling and fun and the same time, and Twilight Golf (by Howling Moon Software) is a great addition to the genre. The game is centered around a vague background story of how the sun forgot to rise, so you have to connect the ancient powerful orbs together to save the world. It has a nice amount of depth and provided me with quite a few hours of enjoyment. I’ve played a lot of both physics games and casual ones, and I have to say that Twilight Golf certainly stands at the top of the list.  The beautiful backgrounds, art, nice lighting effects, easy controls, and fun levels are what makes Twilight Golf great.

The controls aren’t difficult at all; you tap the orb, drag to determine how far you want it to go, and a faint trajectory line appears. Release your finger and your orb will go flying. The line approximates the direction the orb will go in, and your objective is to get the shining orb to match with its darkened counterpart, which is usually all the way on the other side of the screen.

The game is played on a 2D plane and the lighting effects are very impressive. The dark atmosphere and flickering torches match well with the vague background story, and help the game have an eerie, ancient look.

The gameplay is where Twilight Golf soars above other casual games. There are thirty two levels, each with their own unique elements and obstacles. Among the numerous challenges you’ll find many things that influence the direction, gravity, and movement of your orb. There are orbs that generate a gravity field and force your orb to stick to it, other orbs that send your orb in a different direction, and assorted items that will hinder your movement such as falling rocks, pillars, and more. The goal of the game is to get your orb to its counterpart in as little an amount of strokes as possible, and needless to say, difficulty ramps up as you advance in the game. Surprisingly, the game was never so difficult that I got frustrated and decided to quit the game.

I didn’t have many problems with Twilight Golf, but I would like to see more content in the future; more obstacles and levels would be nice to have.  I think it could benefit from an extra boost in longevity.

Overall, I have to say that Twilight Golf is something that you should buy.  If you’re looking for something that will last you a good amount of time and isn’t too challenging or linear, then Twilight Golf is the game for you. I enjoyed the time I spent with it and it’s a worthy addition to my collection of casual games.