Back in the day I never owned an Xbox. I was a PS2 owner and quite happy with that as there was loads of great exclusives on Sony's machine. Every now and then though, a game would come out on the Xbox that would make me really jealous, and being a huge Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan, this game was one such title..
Of course now I have the luxury of owning both systems and I'm finally able to see just what I was missing! And it turns out it's a pretty good game that does a great job of being a "lost" episode of the show, the story taking place at an early point in Series 3. You fill Buffy's shoes as she tries to defeat Spike, who tries to nab her friends to sacrifice to a demon called Lybach. Lybach has possessed Spike's girlfriend Drusilla to force him to help. As the story progresses you'll notice another few familiar faces, including one of Buffy's toughest ever adversaries, The Master!
You'll visit a lot of familiar locations from the show too, like the Bronze, Sunnydale High and the Cemetery. Vampires are stalking all of these areas, and as the Slayer you have a massive array of groovy vamp-killing moves to unleash on the waves of sun-dodgers! Of course, to properly finish them off you'll need a stake or similar point-edged weapons like rakes or broom handles, and you'll find lots of these lying around too.
There's also health pick-ups and elixirs that refill your slayer energy so you can pull off some particularly killer moves. There's also a few more weapons like double-edged blades and super-soakers filled with holy water! And it's not just blood suckers that Buffy will be facing either. Skeletons, Zombies, Demons & Hell-hounds are all out for some slayer-steak!
And the combat brings a lot of joy! Pummeling the enemies and finishing them off by flinging a stake through their heart is hugely satisfying, as is being lucky and landing them on a spiky piece of scenery or in front of a speeding train! Only some unbalanced tricky enemies and occasional camera quirks put a dampener on things, but these are mostly ignorable when you compare them to the rest of the game.
The sound work needs special mention too, with all of the original voice cast present bar Sarah Michelle Gellar, but her stand-in does a commendable job with only a few lines sounding a bit..odd! The theme tune is also thankfully present, and the other music does a fine job of setting the mood.
If you're a fan of the show, this game won't see you disappointed...and if you're not a fan, you'll still find an enjoyable beat-em-up with spooky settings well suited for the time of year! Definitely a recommended pick-up!