4cr Plays – Van Helsing Sniper Zx100
Van Helsing Sniper Zx100 is the latest game from Enjoy Up, and as was the case with Bubble Pop World, this release uses a feature from the 3DS that not many games apply to their design. This game is controlled by moving the 3DS around in real-time, using the system’s gyroscopes and accelerometers to shift the view on screen to make the player feel as if they are actually in the action. Unlike many other games that use these features, Van Helsing is still displayed in 3D.
The first level works as a long tutorial so that you can learn the basic rules for the game. In fact, the first two stages of level 1 are very dull even for tutorial levels. In one you’re tasked with rescuing humans that have been locked in cages and the other is only about defeating vampires. It isn’t until stage 3 of level 1 that things click and you need to do both things at the same time while saving other humans that are in danger due to a sudden vampire attack in their vicinity.
Once you’re juggling several objectives, your special skills come into play. Hitting R triggers a slow-motion mode with special vision that helps to spot all vampires and humans on the screen. Another special skill is activated by hitting the L button, to fire a huge energy cloud full of light that kills all vampires in one hit. Use of these skills is limited and you must unlock more uses by hitting the floating crystals that appear throughout the game.
Time is also of the essence since you have a set amount of time in which to complete every stage in each level. You will probably fail during your first try since you don’t know what you’re going to face, but the second run will surely reward you with success.
The game also features boss fights. If you don’t pay attention to the movement and attack patterns of each boss and exploit its weaknesses, you’ll end up dead. I died a few times during the boss on level 3 because it was moving too fast and I didn’t know her attack pattern, but a couple of tries later she was down for the count.
I only had one technical problem with the game, and it was that while moving around my 3DS gyroscopes and accelerometers ended up placing my view at awkward angles. Luckily this was easily fixed by pressing the X or Y button to reset the view, and it only got me killed once during all the hours I played the game.
A survival mode unlocks after getting a score of 666 points (or more), and this mode will test everything you’ve learned during your journey, offering a little extra for players who can’t get enough.
Van Helsing sniper Zx100 makes great use of the 3DS technical capabilities, and does so at $6.66 (clever dev!). The cell-shaded style and frantic action are great, and the motion controls work for most of the time (and can be reset for the handful of times when they act up). It didn’t grab me at first due to the slow start, but once all elements were present in a single game, hunting down vampires, releasing humans, surviving surprise attacks and using the special skills made for a nice flow that helped make it a better experience.
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