Due to overwhelming demand, (har, har) here is a review of Dracula Resurrection that I originally posted on the Adventure Game Discussion Forum (on April 3rd). A few people there suggested that it should be in the Review forum, so I've posted a copy here. I also copied my thoughts on The Crystal Key and The Riddle of Master Lu since I referenced those games:
After being mildly disappointed with The Crystal Key and very disappointed with The Riddle of Master Lu, my joy in adventure games has been resurrected with Dracula Resurrection! What a marvelous game!
It has probably the most incredible animation I’ve seen in a game. The level of detail is absolutely astounding – the developers clearly took a lot of pride in what they were doing. (About the only thing they missed concerned the witch character in the cellar– when she tilted her head, the strung beads on her exquisite head covering did not move.)
The game has an easy-to-use interface. Inventory is accessed without any problems and most items disappear when they are no longer needed. There is no danger of using an item in the incorrect place, because you can’t bring it out of inventory unless it’s needed! The game fits on two discs, and if you have two CD-ROM decks, you can avoid the very minimal disc swapping.
It wasn’t a perfect game, though. . . For some reason, it really slowed down when I started the second disc. I posted this on the glitch forum, and it seemed to be a problem that a lot of people had. Very strange! I also developed a sound problem towards the end of the game – an intermittent, REALLY loud buzzing or feedback sound; I believe it was one of the background noises that for some reason was being played at about 6 times the volume of the other noises. (The background noises were a nice touch and well done, but there were too few of them inside the castle and they repeated far too often.)
The game is very linear and a bit on the short side, and most of the puzzles were fairly easy. Still, it was nice to actually finish a game without any help! The developers were apparently very proud of their cut scenes of Jonathan walking up and down those circular staircases – I think we get to see those about 26 times. A little pixel hunting in the game could have been avoided by making the hotspots bigger; I wandered over by that chest in the castle’s bedroom 3 or 4 times before I found that it could be opened.
A few plot problems, most notably: Where was Dracula??? He gets his name in the title, but only shows up in the opening sequence and one other cut scene! He seems to be destroyed pretty thoroughly in that opening sequence, but then he is resurrected without any sort of explanation. This important development, which gives the game its title, is not given any air time!
I think the game could have avoided its Mature Rating if those vamps guarding the amulet did their shopping at some place other than Frederick’s of Hollywood. Not that it bothered me, but it did seem out of place. And all those cartwheels and flips kept making me think of the Daryl Hannah Replicant, Pris, from the movie Blade Runner!
This game is a lot of fun; I highly recommend it!