In every console generation, there is a chosen one. Well, there should be, but Sunnydales resident slayer of all things dead and deadly has had a disappointingly brief run in the world of video games.
Just two home console titles and four handheld over the first decade of the 21st Century remain Buffys digital legacy some 12 years later. Given the almost brutally obvious match between a vampire-slaying teenager and her wisecracking entourage with the world of video games, its genuinely surprising we didnt get more adaptations. Still, as the show was effectively done and dusted by the time the more prominent examples released, perhaps it was a case of too soon or not soon enough.
The first shot at bringing Buffy to gaming was a rather understated (putting it kindly) effort on GameBoy Color and was simply dubbed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This side-scrolling beat em up saw Buffy Summers plodding through eight levels of hell, fighting off all manner of vamps. Well, six kinds of vamps, and only one at a time. It was a typically bare-bones beat em up with very little to distinguish itself as a Buffy game. THQ could have slapped Mad About You on the box and been as connected to the contents (A Paul Reiser beat em up when?). It was also just a bit rubbish.
In 2002, Fox Interactive took up the publishing duty, and forged a deal with real-life malevolent demon Bill Gates to produce a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer game for the hulking monolith known as Xbox. The game (once again imaginatively titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was developed by The Collective, who had already tried its hand at adaptations with games for Men in Black and Deep Space Nine. Theyd go on to do a Star Wars game, get renamed Double Helix Games, make a Silent Hill game, and eventually led to the developer being snapped up by a real-life malevolent demon.
Using the talents of Buffy novel writer Christopher Golden and his Buffyverse comic book collaborator Thomas E. Sniegoski to pen a script, The Collective brought the spooky goings-on of Sunnydale and the Hellmouth life. This tale sees Buffy up against a powerful vampire and a necromancer (plus Spike) who are out to resurrect The Master. This leads to third-person action-adventure fighting against vampires, zombies, hellhounds, and more in a surprisingly typical Buffy storyline.
While it was far from essential as a game, the Xbox Buffy did a lot right in recreating what made the show so memorable for so many. When TV show adaptations were notoriously poor, this felt like a genuine effort to change that perception. Its a shame it was restricted to a single console that, relatively speaking, didnt have that much of an audience. Id imagine licensing issues prevented it from getting a backward-compatible release on Xbone One.
2003 was a record year for Buffy games, with a whopping two whole vampire-slaying epics to get your grubby mitts on. First up was Natsumes GameBoy Advance platformer Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wrath of the Darkhul King. It was undeniably better than the previous GameBoy outing, with the Advances superior power and color palette making this game look a lot more like it might actually be about Buffy. Alas, it was about as enjoyable as being stuck in an elevator with Riley Finn, and added just as much to the series legacy as that slab of blandness.
The second was Chaos Bleeds, the last Buffy console game to date, releasing on Gamecube and PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It centers on Season 5 Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang tackling the source of all evil and alternate realities bleeding into theirs, which allows for the return of a few vanquished friends and foes (Sid the Dummy, for example). It was similar to the previous console-only game in gameplay terms, but also featured a selection of multiplayer modes (all of which let you play as characters other than Buffy). If you ever wanted to batter the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Willow Rosenberg, then this is very much the Buffy game for you.
Chaos Bleeds managed to be a good Buffy fan experience and an okay game as with its predecessor. Swapping between Spike, Sid, Xander, Faith, Willow, and Buffy over the course of the games story added some much-needed variety with each character having their own traits and abilities, even if the utilization of them was rather unimaginative. The aforementioned multiplayer modes werent much of a bonus, but the behind-the-scenes features and comic book tie-ins added more to the package.
Still, this was the peak of Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games. The following year saw a first (and last) mobile entry, with The Quest for Oz. This non-canonical platformer sees Buffy searching for Willows wolfy squeeze Oz, who has seemingly been kidnapped by the dippy but dangerous vampire Drusilla. By punching vampires, bats, and other baddies, Buffy collects several magical keys, which will lead her to a final encounter with Drusilla and SPOILERS rescue Oz. Given how the whole Oz and Willow thing ends up going, it might have been better to let Drusilla alone this once. The game (which you can seek out on the internet if you so wish) is slightly better than the previous two platformers, but thats not an especially high bar.
After five Buffy games in just four years, the gaming franchise was temporarily laid to rest until 2009 where it made its comeback. Unfortunately, that comeback was Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Sacrifice.
Back on a Nintendo handheld once more, Buffy hit the 2DS with a 3D adventure that sat somewhere between the console outings and the handheld ones. The problem was that it didnt work as either. Aside from some interesting magic casting with the stylus and decent first-person crossbow action, Sacrifice was arguably the worst Buffy game to play when it came to the act of vampire-slaying. A fiddly, unenjoyable mess that, to this day, acts as a rather sad epitaph for video games based on the Slayer.
Its been over a decade since that demoralizing final outing, and were coming up to 25 years since Buffy first staked our hearts through our TV screens. For a variety of reasons, it seems unlikely wed get a new Buffy game, but a part of me hopes we get one more trip to Sunnydale to kick the face off some undead creepazoids.
- Disease, Demons, and DiscordHow the Vampire Myth Was Born - Atlas Obscura - October 20th, 2021
- Night Teeth Review: A Vampire Thriller Thats Too Cut-and-Paste to Have Any Bite - Variety - October 20th, 2021
- More 'disease' than 'Dracula' how the vampire myth was born - The Conversation US - October 20th, 2021
- Nail Artist Savannah Walker Put Real Braces on Her Vampire-Teeth Manicure - Allure - October 20th, 2021
- Slay Vampire Appliances Lurking in Your Home this Halloween - Business Wire - October 20th, 2021
- Nerds Gets Spooky: Revisiting 'The Little Vampire' - Nerds and Beyond - October 20th, 2021
- Review: Night Teeth Is A Fun Vampire Movie Thats All Teeth And No Bite - Comic Years - October 20th, 2021
- 'Legacies' Season 4: Will Hope Finally Embrace Her Vampire Side This Season? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - October 20th, 2021
- Interview With The Vampire Series Casts Bailey Bass As Claudia For Upcoming AMC Adaptation - Comic Years - October 9th, 2021
- Interview with the Vampire TV Series Starts Filming in December - MovieWeb - October 9th, 2021
- Sora In Super Smash Bros., Interview With A Vampire Cast & Source Material Modifications, And James Gunn Has ANOTHER DC Project In The Works |... - October 9th, 2021
- The Fall 2021 Preview Guide - The Vampire Dies in No Time - Anime News Network - October 9th, 2021
- "What We Do in the Shadows" revels in the fecklessness of vampires who fail upward - Salon - September 5th, 2021
- Tony Lindsay Returns to Speculative Fiction With 'Melody Knight a Vampire's Tale' - PRNewswire - September 5th, 2021
- When Will Vampire Diaries Co-Creator Julie Plec Acknowledge the Horrible Treatment of Bonnie Bennett? - The Mary Sue - September 5th, 2021
- LA By Night, the best damn vampire show around, is returning for its final season - The Next Web - September 5th, 2021
- Psychology of friendship: the rise of the social vampire - Stylist Magazine - September 5th, 2021
- Sharkmob Explains Where 'Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt' Fits in the Series Canon - Newsweek - September 5th, 2021
- 'The Revenant', 'Interview With a Vampire', 'The Patriot', and More Get Many of Their Props From the Same Place - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - September 5th, 2021
- Blade Reboot Director Explains How The Vampire Hunter Is Being Handled For The MCU - CinemaBlend - September 5th, 2021
- Meet The Ferat Vampire, A Modern Interpretation Of A Classic By Skoda - CarScoops - September 5th, 2021
- Bonnie Tyler hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is about vampires - Boing Boing - September 5th, 2021
- Fantasia 2021: Fear Is a Blessing in Spanish Vampire Fantasy 'All the Moons' - PopMatters - September 5th, 2021
- 'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 3: What Joining the Vampire Council Means for the Roommates - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - September 5th, 2021
- From 'Interviews With Some Vampires' to 'Wellington Paranormal' - The Evolution of 'What We Do in the Shadows' - Bloody Disgusting - September 5th, 2021
- [Review] Glenn Danzig's 'Death Rider in the House of Vampires' Has All the Charm...and Flaws of 'Verotika' - Bloody Disgusting - September 5th, 2021
- Dracula fans furious after being told they cant see the vampires grave at North Yorks church... - The US Sun - August 24th, 2021
- Interview With the Vampires: Inside the Making of What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 - Rolling Stone - August 24th, 2021
- What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 Prepares For Colin Robinson's 100th Birthday - Den of Geek - August 24th, 2021
- Edge Evokes the Shadow of The Blood and the Vampire on SmackDown - Last Word on Baseball - August 24th, 2021
- Film Review: ALL THE MOONS: The Best Vampire Film in Years [Fantasia 2021] - FilmBook - August 24th, 2021
- New "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" YA books will focus on Willow's kid being Chosen - Boing Boing - August 24th, 2021
- Why Stephanie Meyers Specifically Wrote That All Vampires In 'Twilight' Must Be White - YourTango - August 24th, 2021
- 'Interview With the Vampire' Is Coming to a Small Screen Near You - Esquire - July 26th, 2021
- Blood Red Sky Pits a Vampire Against Hijackers and Almost Lives Up to That Killer Concept - Gizmodo - July 26th, 2021
- Interview With the Vampire AMC Series Taps Mad Men, Game of Thrones Alum Alan Taylor to Direct (EXCLUSIVE) - Variety - July 26th, 2021
- 'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 3 Teaser Peddles a Nice Bone, an Evil Bucket, and More - /FILM - July 26th, 2021
- 6 Vampire Movies Are Dominating Netflix This Weekend - We Got This Covered - July 26th, 2021
- Alan Taylor to direct Interview with the Vampire - Flickering Myth - July 26th, 2021
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer quiz: Get full marks and you're the chosen one - The Tab - July 26th, 2021
- Rules Vampires Have To Follow In Every Twilight Movie - Looper - July 26th, 2021
- Vampire Slayers Unite: Kate Beckinsale Wanted to Mash Together the Worlds of 'Blade' and 'Underworld' - Bloody Disgusting - July 26th, 2021
- The Most Brutal Deaths In Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Looper - July 26th, 2021
- No money to bury child victims of 'Vampire Killer' - The Star, Kenya - July 26th, 2021
- Nicki Swift The Real Reason David Boreanaz Left Buffy The Vampire Slayer 19 hours ago - Nicki Swift - July 26th, 2021
- The Untold Truth Of Interview With The Vampire - Looper - July 11th, 2021
- Is Cofidis a team of vampires? - CyclingTips - July 11th, 2021
- For female vampire bats, an equal chance to rule the roost - The Ohio State University News - July 11th, 2021
- Fairer sex: Colonies of female-only vampire bats live in equal societies - The Independent - July 11th, 2021
- What Happened To The Cast Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer? - Looper - July 11th, 2021
- New track by Vampire Weekends Ezra Koenig features in I Think You Should Leave - NME - July 11th, 2021
- 10 Best Im Dead And I Know It Moments In Vampire Horror Movies - WhatCulture - July 11th, 2021
- Dave Bautista is Allegedly Looking to Do a Vampire Movie - TVOvermind - July 11th, 2021
- 'Near Dark' Is A Uniquely American Masterpiece Of An Unheralded Cinematic Subgenre: The Vampire Neo-Western - Decider - July 11th, 2021
- Let the Right One In TV Series Will Include Multiple Vampires - ComicBook.com - July 11th, 2021
- The skeleton of a 'vampire' discovered has revealed its secrets - Gentside - July 11th, 2021
- Microsoft announces Redfall, a vampire shooter from the team behind Dishonored - The Verge - June 14th, 2021
- Vampire: The Masquerade coming to Roll20 with new 5th edition module - Polygon - June 14th, 2021
- Some Thoughts On Vampire The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth #6 - Bleeding Cool News - June 14th, 2021
- Ex-Vampire Weekend Rostam talks oppression, mushrooms, Bruce - Los Angeles Times - June 14th, 2021
- AMC's Interview with the Vampire Series Is Making Some Big Changes from the Book - TVweb - June 14th, 2021
- Interview with the Vampire: Louis will be played by a black actor in the new adaptation of the novel Explica .co - Explica - June 14th, 2021
- Interview with the Vampire TV Series Reveals a Big Twist to Anne Rice's Novel - MovieWeb - June 14th, 2021
- Scarlett Moffatt insists vampires walk among us and is convinced Richard Madeley could be one of them... - The Sun - June 14th, 2021
- Arkanes New Fantasy IP is Reportedly Called Omen; Vampire-Related and Coming Next Year Rumour - GamingBolt - May 21st, 2021
- Jakobs Wife is an amazing vampire marriage therapy mash-up you can stream at home right now - San Antonio Current - May 8th, 2021
- Van Helsing's final season wants vampires to 'pay the price' in deadly teaser for Episode 5 - SYFY WIRE - May 8th, 2021
- V Rising is a vampire action-adventure game where you get your own castle - Destructoid - May 8th, 2021
- Resident Evil Village is more schlocky B-movie than Tall Vampire Lady thirst trap - British GQ - May 8th, 2021
- Candice King Wants to Reprise The Vampire Diaries Role on Legacies - TV Fanatic - May 8th, 2021
- 'The Vampire Diaries': Fans Love to Visit the Real-Life Mystic Grill Inspired By the Hit Show - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - May 8th, 2021
- So, I Just Watched "Twilight" For The First Time, And I Have 21 Very Important Questions - BuzzFeed - May 8th, 2021
- Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley Say They Fought At the End of "The Vampire Diaries" - Seventeen.com - May 8th, 2021
- Everything to know about PRP therapy, the Vampire Facial for your eyes - image.ie - May 8th, 2021
- This Week in Anime - Is Mars Red Too High Brow? - Anime News Network - May 8th, 2021
- Vampire facials spa owner linked to HIV cases faces 24 charges - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland - April 23rd, 2021
- The Boys From County Hell Puts Its Own Bite on the Vampire Genre - Gizmodo - April 23rd, 2021
- Boys from County Hell Review: Irish Vampires and a Plucky Horror Comedy - IndieWire - April 23rd, 2021
- Boys From County Hell Review: Irish Vampire-Comedy Tries to Reinvent the Myth - ComicBook.com - April 23rd, 2021
- How Vampire Weekend guided me into fatherhood - The Guardian - April 23rd, 2021
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero