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If everything sounds a little familiar, it’s because Bandai did a great job taking a form that they’re not exactly known for covering like a blanket, and competing well against Big Dogs like CAPCOM, Square and Activision. The tough gameplay lessons learned in the beginning serve you well if you stick things out and keep going, but Countdown: Vampires may lose a portion of the less hard-core audience. And that’s cool; I think with so many platforms, genres, and publishers fighting for our gaming dollar, it will be surprising if companies don’t start making games to do one thing well, not trying to be everything to everybody. If you like Survival Horror and own a PlayStation, you must not miss this game!
Countdown Vampires falls squarely in the middle. It offers gamers two discs of entertainment that's not original not half bad. If you really love the Survival Horror genre then it's worth a check. All others will want to rent first.
Countdown Vampires est un jeu qui peut sembler médiocre à première vue, mais devient très satisfaisant vers la fin du premier CD et ce, jusqu'à la fin! Ce n'est certes pas un chef d'oeuvre ni le jeu le plus inspiré du monde, mais il fait le travail si vous cherchez un Survival Horror relativement solide et que vous ne le connaissiez pas. Il a de belles qualités qui sont trop souvent dans l'ombre des défauts si souvent mentionnés. Personnellement, il est rapidement devenu un de mes classiques dans le genre, un jeu que je n'ai vraiment pas de mal à refaire une fois de temps en temps quand j'ai envie d'un peu d'action dans le genre.
Game Informer Magazine
Bandai's attempt to entrance fans of the Resident Evil series is a monumental catastrophe. Not only is it void of unique gameplay, its premise is completely asinine.
All Game Guide
Aside from the sound and control, Countdown Vampires is not a particularly bad game. But everything that it tries to do has been done somewhere else, and usually with better results. The game has no redeeming values, and no real innovations except the liberal definition of what a vampire is. If you've played every other survival horror game out there, beaten them all twice, and need more, then Countdown will help you pass the time. Otherwise you're better off looking elsewhere.
Despite an impressive opening sequence, the world depicted in this game is shattered the moment you take control of your sex-doll lookalike character. He struts around exceptionally badly and is pursued by vampires that Peter Cushing would be able to out-run (even now!) Borrowing without shame from the Resident Evil series, Bandai has managed to balls-up the formula despite Capcom having supplied the blueprints for the past four years. The perspective often favoured is totally impractical and you’ll find yourself traipsing backwards and forwards through the vast locations without any great incentive for doing so – especially as all the monsters you meet are rubbish.
As such, I see no reason to actually recommend it, although I feel no desire to actually speak ill of it with any particular fervor. Just toss it on the pile with all the many, many other average games on the PlayStation, and hope that Bandai will do better next time (which, to be fair, it probably will).
On the whole, Countdown Vampires tried hard to bring innovation to the survival-horror genre. In execution, the game ends up playing like many of its brethren. But without a compelling story to keep your interest, most of you will not want to play through to find out what happens at the end of the game. A fan of this style of game may want to wade through the scattered gameplay and monotone voice acting, but those unfamiliar with the genre would be better off with something else.
In all, the 2-CD game may keep or capture attention for a while, but it won’t get your heart pumping. I was unimpressed with so much of the game I wandered off to play Sword of the Berserk on the Dreamcast.