Bram Stoker's Draculaa game by Psygnosis, and Sony Imagesoft
- Sega Master System
Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie of Bram Stoker's classic novel didn't become the new standard for Dracula films, and the recent 16-bit games weren't huge hits, either. Now that the CD version has finally arrived with little impact, perhaps we can finally lay this bloodsucker to rest.
ProTip: Pay attention to Van Helsing's commentary between levels. He'll point out some of the dangers ahead.
Less Bite for Your Buck
The film and Sony Imagesoft's SNES and Genesis versions all shared two things: the plot and the lush visuals. On the Sega CD, you again play Jonathan Harker, a young English solicitor who fights his way to a deadly rendezvous with that pain in the neck, Count Dracula. While the story line is familiar (and illustrated here with scenes from the flick), the Sega CD for some reason has the weakest Harker of the bunch (including the fine Game Boy version). Harker no longer picks up daggers, swords, and muskets along the way. He's your standard punchin', kickin' fool in a supernatural world that demands extraordinary powers. With only three continues, this slow, feeble hero drains all the life from the game's veins.
- Walk halfway into the traps buried in the Level One snow, then jump safely across them.
- Kick field goals with these nasty beasties as you move through the Castle.
- Rely on your Jump Kick against this batty version of Drac near the end of Level Two.
Even worse, the graphics have somehow been diminished. The full-motion video scenes from the movie, which you get at the beginning of the game and between levels, are pixilated and unimpressive. The colorful backgrounds from the SNES have gone gray, and the varied enemies of the other games now seem small and monotonous. The Count showed up in several huge forms on the 16-bit systems, but here he seems much less intimidating and much more beatable. You'll want more from the game's graphics than you'll get.
- Don't walk to the edge of this last plank to get across the Level One bridge. Step back to the center of the plank, and then make your jump.
- Get your kicks (and punches) in the Castle's library. Stand in front of the pillars and you won't be struck by the books that fly from the background.
Music of the Night
The chilling sounds help keep you on your quest, however, and are the best part of the game. The suitably creepy music underscores the action in the horrific settings, and atmospheric sound effects create a malevolent mood. Screeching ravens, tolling bells, and whistling winds add life...er, death...well, you get the idea.
Fangs, But No Fangs
Despite the potential for a gruesomely good time, you're really sticking your neck out with this monotonous game. Bram Stoker's timeless novel deserves a great treatment, but, unfortunately, this isn't it. The CD game only makes you hungry for a nice stake.
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Bram Stoker's Dracula
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