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Van Helsing videogame


EnemaEms
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I rented this last night for the X-box and played for about 4 hours. So here are some early impressions.

 

Van Helsing is nothing but a Devil May Cry clone. The only difference is that I actually like Van Helsing, where as I hate Devil May Cry. I can't explain why this is, but to me Van Helsing is just more "fun". Maybe it is the types of enemies, or maybe it is because of the Transylvania environment, who knows?

 

Anyway, Van Helsing actually controls quite well. I have no problem pulling off combos and the hordes of monsters you will face. The camera is fixed like DMC, and I have yet to come across a section where I couldn't see the action. You start off with two basic weapons, dual revolvers, and dual saw blade looking thingies. These weapons can also be boosted up to their alternate mode by tapping the left shoulder trigger. You have a limited amount of ammo for the alternate mode, but it rebuilds quickly using the normal version of the weapons. Other weapons I have picked up are the shotgun and the gas powered crossbow. With these weapons, you have to find their alternate modes. So far I have found the alternate mode for the shotgun, which works quite well. :tu:

 

Van Helsing also has some other abilities, he can double jump on walls, and he jumps quite high I may add (like Dante in DMC). He also has a grappling hook which can be used to swing across large gaps and also grab enemies with an upgrade purchase (think of the Scorpion spear from Mortal Kombat). The grapple enemy grab is a great move to start off some good combos. Also, while swinging, you can fire your weapons. It is quite cool looking.

 

Van Helsing also has a nice move where if an enemy grabs you, you can rapidly shoot the monster while he has you...If you do it fast enough, you can cause a good deal of damage. Also, Van Helsing can loose his hat, ala Indiana Jones. I am not sure, but it seems like you loose health faster without the hat on.

 

Van Helsing collects green glyphs during the levels, and at the end of each level, you can use these glyphs to purchase upgrades. Upgrades include new abilities to your weapons, such as the grapple grab I mentioned earlier, and the ability to throw your saw blade thingies. You can also purchase life meter upgrades as well as health replenishers.

 

There are a few other things you collect in the game such as cheat orbs, which are used for big head mode and other shit like that. Another item you collect are Easter Eggs. These Easter Eggs are then placed in pedestals in the levels. Once you do this you are transported to another world and are presented with a challenge. I have only found one egg so far and was unable to complete the challenge as of yet, so I am unsure of what you are rewarded with after completion.

 

Graphically, the game looks nice. The backgrounds are rendered well and Van Helsing and the monsters move and look good. I didn't notice any slowdown at all, even with a large amount of action happening on screen. I wasn't playing at home, so I can't comment on 16x9 support or the 5.1 sound. But the game sounded great in stereo. :)

 

So far I am happy with the game. I am not sure how much I have left, but I know it was easily worth the price of a rental. Not many games are worth $50 to me and Van Helsing isn't either, but I think I would pick it up if it were $30 or cheaper.

 

-Dean-

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Cool, Dean, thanks for the impressions.

 

That sounds like a really neat way to get Easter Eggs, and I love grappling hooks almost as much as I do swords ;).

 

I'll have to give this a rent if it ever comes out for a system I actually own :tu:

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I've played the Xbox version a bit as well. It actually makes really damn good use of the 5.1 on the first level/mission, with some amazingly nice sound and activity on the surrounds. I got somewhat bored wading through the skeleton-zombies on the second level (auto-target, shootshootshootshootshootshootshootshootshootshoot, repeat...gets a little old) and stopped playing after I beat that level. I'll probably pick it up again and play it in 1-level-at-a-time increments, now that I realize it autosaves (I was slogging through wondering when the hell I'd get to a save point at first). :oops: The story is pretty laughable so far though, although I suspect that's really an aspect mostly out of the developer's hands. I haven't seen the movie yet, but based off the trailers and what I've seen of the game I'm going to make an educated guess that the game follows the major plot points pretty closely.

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I finished this over the weekend.....twice. ;)

 

1st time it took me 6 hours and 55 minutes....2nd time it took just over 3 hours. The game is short....but very fun. I actually completed the thing at nearly 100%, the only thing I could not complete was the Ring challenge in the netherworld. By completing all challenges you receive the rifle, so that was the only thing I did not obtain. Oh, the gattling gun could be one of the best weapons ever in a game. :)

 

Game was lots of fun and worth a rental....now that I know it is short...I say wait for it to hit the $20 bin if you want to purchase....which I just may.

 

-Dean-

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