I wanted to like Vampire Rain, really. I’m a sucker for vampires, I’ve grown to love the rain since moving to Oregon, and I’m a gamer – three things I love, all in one! Unfortunately, the game is so bad it almost made me hate all three of those passions.
Vampire Rain’s story unveils like something you would read in a 9th grade creative writing class. "What’s the story, Billy?" "Well, it’s the future, and, and, there are people disappearing, but then vampires come, and they attack people, and people can’t fight them because they’re too strong so they come up with ways to fight them!" Right. Oh yeah, there’s also the cliché vanishing little girl, so watch for her!
The game doesn’t play much better. Attempting to combine survival horror with stealth-action gameplay straight from the bargain bin, Vampire Rain frustrates constantly, and often times you’ll be glad you die, because it affords you a chance to turn your console off.
Since they’re vampires, you obviously can’t fight them mano a mano (mano a vampo?), so you’ll need to distract them and make them look in another direction, so that you can sneak by, or sneak up and kill them without them noticing. For masters of the dark (and being derived from the vampire bat), these guys sure don’t do a good job at picking up on what’s going around them most of the time.
Unfortunately, the times when you do everything JUST right are when the game decides it wants to screw you over and have the baddy notice your stinky human blood. I had times where I literally went straight at the vampire with no stealth-like intentions (which is hard to do, given the fact you walk as slow as a crippled zombie) and had him never notice me, and I had times where Solid Snake himself would have been shocked, only to have those damned blurry eyes appear at the last second. It’s really frustrating, and it happens so haphazardly I really don’t know what criteria there are to determine if you’re spotted or not.
Once you’re spotted, you may as well just restart before you die. It takes almost a full clip of ammunition to take down a vampire, while it takes two (technically one, since once you’re hit the first time it’s Game Over) hits from the enemies to kill you. Stealth action is nice, but they didn’t have to make it virtually impossible to kill an enemy if he sees you face to face.
Vampire Rain is basically a game you should never play, unless you get it for free and are a sucker for 360 achievements. Should you get this game as a gift, take it back to Wal Mart, sell it used to EB/Blockbuster, give it to someone you hate as a birthday present – do ANYTHING but play it. Trust me, playing this game will only lead to frustration, and may lessen your liking of anything vampire or stealth-action related. Metal Gear Solid 4 can’t come out soon enough after playing this atrocity…