Game Review

Dracula: Undead Awakening Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Pretty much exactly the same, but cheaper

Seeing the same game released on both WiiWare and DSiWare is pretty strange. Both being released in the same week is even more strange. But the fact that both games are also nigh-on identical just tops the weirdness scale.

Again, you play as a Van Helsing look-a-like running around a large arena of sorts, blowing up enemies that come at you from all directions using a large arsenal of weapons. It's an endless game, and as such, it will keep going until you mess up (or it just gets too hard) and your character dies.

About 99% of the WiiWare version is intact here — the only thing that has been removed, for some odd reason, is the game's WiFi leaderboards, meaning you can no longer compare your scores to those of others around the globe. The graphics and music have made the jump nicely and are fairly decent for a DSiWare release.

As on WiiWare and the App Store original, you've got four game modes. Survival and Super Survival are simply endless killing fests. After every fifty or so kills, you'll level up and get to pick a new "perk," which can range from increasing your firing speed or making you temporary invincible to one quick health refill. The game is paused while you pick, so make a wise choice! The only difference in Super Survival is that ammo pickups are more sparse — instead, you'll be able to occassionally find powerups, which temporarily stop time or make you shoot faster, for example.

Rush mode is practically the same, but you only get to pick one of three weapons. It'll have unlimited ammo, but you won't get any other help! As we mentioned in our WiiWare review said, Wave Attack is by far the most interesting game mode - The monsters are split up into waves, each one being harder than the last. After each cleared wave, a shopkeeper appears on the battlefield with a wide selection of items. You can use gold collected from enemies (which only appears in this mode) to carefully make a selection of what to buy, be it ammo, health, or new weapons. No pickups appear in this mode other than gold, so you'll have to buy everything.

If the gameplay doesn't immediately make you think of Robotron and Smash TV, the controls certainly will. The D-Pad moves your character around while the face buttons change the direction he aims. Holding one of the face buttons for longer than a split second will make your character begin to endlessly fire in that direction. There are also touch-screen controls, if you feel like making use of the DSi's special abilities, although they're not really a necessity. They work very smoothly, and actually seem like a slightly better pick than button controls.

Obviously, being exactly the same as the WiiWare version, the same problems are still here. While it's a nice throwback to the old days, the game just isn't that interesting because you'll constantly be playing on the same exact stage you picked at the start - it doesn't periodically change or toss in boss fights like in Smash TV. Only one mode, Wave Attack, is likely to hold your attention for more than one session as it at least has you make some strategic choices as far as your loadout goes, rather than just mindlessly running around until you die.


Aside from the lack of WiFi leaderboards, Dracula: Undead Awakening on DSiWare is exactly the same as the WiiWare version. For some reason it's half the price at 500 points, plus, of course, it has the advantage of being portable — it's a no-brainer that this version of the game has the upper hand. Still, the core gameplay just isn't really that interesting, with only one mode truly worth bothering with. If you've got both a Wii and a DSi and are interested in the game, get this version, but otherwise, don't bother, as it'll get boring rather fast.

From the web

User Comments (21)



Chrono_Cross said:

This is one of my reasons why I sold my DSi, there's nothing worth to buy on the service and such great games that could of been, are just not what they could of been.




Bankai said:

I personally thought the game was better than that, simply because it's a good quality pick-up-and-play style action game - much better suited for the DSi than the Wii for that reason.

Then again, that review is fair warning - the game will be too limited for quite a few people. Good read

Also, just a little tip for the future - though much of this review, you say "This game is exactly the same as the WiiWare game," or "If you've played game XX, it's just like that" - You should never assume that a reader has played those games. If you've never played a version of this game, Geometry Wars, Smash TV or Robotron, you're not really left with much of an impression of what this game is like.

One of the first rules of journalism (and by extension, criticism), is that you can't assume the reader knows anything.

A small criticism on an otherwise pretty good review to read, but just something to think of in the future



Sean_Aaron said:

To be fair there's not much to this game and I think Drake did a pretty good job of covering off what it is: run around and shoot things until you die using d-pad to move and buttons to fire -- what else should he have said?



silverdrake said:

There's one thing I don't get in the review: "It's a bit weird that there's no touchscreen controls like in Geometry Wars Galaxies"
As far as I understand (I don't have GWG) the use is surely different, but Dracula actually features touchscreen controls, only they are used for shooting rather than moving, which is quite effective with weapons such as the crossbow, that can hit enemies in a row.



Kriedler said:

Yeah, there are touchscreen controls. The D-pad moves you, and you can use the stylus to aim... it pretty much just does the face buttons' job
I find it more comfortable, most of the time



Drake said:

Yeah, I guess I must've missed the touch-screen controls, because the game seems to get "locked" on whatever you use first - If you start a game with button controls you can't switch to the touch screen mid-game, and vice versa. Duly noted and amended.



KrazyKain said:

am I the only one who absolutely loves this game? surely as a DSi game it deserves a higher score then as a Wiiware game...



Bankai said:

@11, no I love it too, I think it's perfect for handheld consoles, and far better suited for on-the-go playing than TV consoles.



KrazyKain said:

agreed, i felt the DSi needed some sort of arena twinstick shooter, so i am VERY happy with this game... just wish the omens had a real purpose beyond making some text form a cooler sounding word... thats about my only complaint



SherlockHolmes said:

Got this yesterday. Amazing game! It deserves a 9/10 in my opinion. Surely it deserves a better score than the Wii version as it's alot cheaper?



Tri4ceHolder said:

Hey people should I get it or not cause I have 1000 points but I'm not sure if I should get it.



hulklol123456789 said:

Yes you should geth it, its one of my favourite games, its really additctives there is no history mode but the other modes of ply are really fun, I love the waves one because you need to use a startegy (I recomend to use the crossbow vs the dracula)

These is a MUST buy, so you can have much fun in 3 minutes and much fun in 1 hours of these gameplay.

So but it !!!



Undead_terror said:

this is my most fav or one of my fav dsi wares yet,it comes from one of my most fav type of gaming and thats survival,the dsi or 3ds needs more ios survivals like minigore,sas zombies assault 3,alive4ever,etc etc,and if the makers of call of duty ds had spare time they should make nazi zombies on 3ds for that black ops zombies on ds was a fail but was alright to play with someone...so you can tell im a fan of survival



noxusprime06 said:

i thought this was alot better then a 6. its a fun zombie shooter. in my opinion its a 7 or 8

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