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Daemon Vector

version: asian - year: 2004 - developer: xpec - publisher: xpec - format: xbox - condition: mint - rarity: uncommon

 

Combos other than the standard one seem hard to pull off while in battle

 

Try to finish off your enemies while they are still on the floor

 

The female character is overall better than the male counterpart

 

The ending features some beautiful hand-drawn graphics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review - If games such as Raging Bless, Drag-on Dragoon or Chaos Legion ring a bell, then chances are you probably enjoy 3rd person hack'n'slash action/rpgs.

Me, I picked up Daemon Vector (DV) mainly because of its ugly name :) hehe

Well maybe this isn't the real reason...I picked this one up because I like this kind of games and I don't mind their repetitive nature.

Also the fact that DV was developed in Taiwan (and it is not supposed to come out in Japan) stimulated my curiosity. While in development, DV won the "2003 Digital Content Prototype Design - Game Session" and got eventually published.

The intro, which is entirely written and spoken in Chinese, is set back in the XIVth Century when the Venetian merchant and explorer Marco Polo came back from his journey from the Far East. Having broken a Chinese Seal, the deadly Black Plague started spreading across Europe (and that takes care of the awkward medieval zombie infestation deal).

And that's when the player kicks in. You start by choosing your digital ego, a male or a female warrior with peculiar weapons and fighting styles.

In DV, you have one button for the main combo attack (which can be combined with other buttons to get different attacks), one uppercut button and then you have a magic attack. The Uppercut works well with the female warrior but it's kind of useless for the male character since it almost has no range. Magic is unspectacular and not varied (you only have 1 kind) but luckily it works well, especially to throw your enemies off-guard to the floor. This way, it becomes easier to finish them off while they still lie on the floor. Guarding also plays an important part as you will often be required to defend yourself from enemies counter-attacks.

Graphically, DV is really nothing to write home about. The only thing I found interesting were the shadows that were actually very well done but generally, the graphics are just above average and have some annoying problems. In particular, the frame rate gets really jerky when you move next to corners, while the camera gets sometimes stuck behind walls and this can become both confusing and frustrating. Also, it occasionally happens that the camera is set too low (almost facing the floor) and this really doesn't help when enemies are closing on you. Luckily, most of the camera problems can be sorted out by controlling it manually.

Moving on to the characters, the animation of the male character is not great since it seems to be lacking several frames of animations while strangely enough, the female warrior is animated with more frames (or so it seems). Enemies could definitely be more varied and their A.I. could also be improved but the challenge in nevertheless present so I wouldn't consider that part of the game to be a problem.

The music and sound effects don't bring anything new so I won't spend much time on that.

Gameplay is alright although if you are not a fan of the genre, you will get quickly bored. Sure you have 24 stages plus 2 final bosses to uncover but the action isn't very varied and the only element that brings a twist is the upgrade of your stats (Health and Magic bar etc) and the choice of the weapons and magic items to use in battle. One particularly useful item replenishes your health gradually so make sure to use it. You'll be needing to experiment a bit with that stuff though because everything is written in Chinese!

One thing that I found really puzzling is the fact that most of the destructible stuff in the background often doesn't hide anything at all. Only on rare occasions you will be rewarded with potions. Did the coders forget to put collectable items in there because they were short on time or what?

All in all, DV is an average game that certainly could have used some additional time in development as it seems to have been rushed to the market. It is the 1st game developed by XPEC and unfortunately the overall experience feels a bit empty and generic. If you really like this kind of games and own an XBOX, you might want give it a shot but don't expect to find happiness in here...

The XBOX live component should allow players to download additional content such as stages, weapons etc but I didn't have the chance to try it since I don't have a LIVE account. The game actually comes with a 2 months free XBOX LIVE trial subscription. Also released on PC, in English.

Bottom line: barely average hack'n slash with too many issues to be recommended...5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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