Hotel Transylvania (3ds) - Ramblin' Review

Hotel Transylvania is obviously a licensed game made to help promote the animated Adam Sandler vehicle that was mostly appropriate for children. In it, Dracula has turned his castle into a large hotel in the woods of Transylvania as a safe place for monsters to go and hide from humans. He has done this because his wife, and mother of his child, is captured and burned by humans. He then takes on the role of an understandably overprotective father, and raises his daughter in the safety of the hotel, which is hidden from humanity by ways of an enchanted forest. At least, it's supposed to be. A bumbling human hiker, named Johnny, somehow makes his way to the hotel, and Dracula discovers him wandering around during his daughter's 118th birthday party before anyone notices, and captures him to disguise him as a monster to prevent a riot from his guests.
Along the way, many hijinks ensue, and his daughter, Mavis, falls in love with him.
In this game, Johnny has been kidnapped, and you take on the role of Mavis to rescure Johnny.
Fortunately for us, the game is made by wayforward technologies, who have made many excellent games over the years, and have taken particular care in their handling of licensed games, which most developers do not.
Unfortunately for many, this is also a game that they made with a very young audience in mind. The game is overly simple and repetitive, and has lead to many negative and lukewarm reviews.
I'm going to take the perspective of a game intended for it's audience, instead of one made for hardcore gamers in mind.

So, let's dive in.
The game draws obvious inspiration from Castlevania, particularly the Metroidvania portion of the series. You progress through the levels, and have to do a lot of backtracking to accomplish your goals. You get power-ups along the way that help you traverse new areas that were otherwise inaccessible earlier on, and there is a viewable map that you can use to keep track of where you are.
While wayforward is well versed in this style of game, and Castlevania is the obvious place to pull inspiration from, it seems that they could have done more with the concept. Again, however, that's how you see it as a seasoned veteran that has played the more in depth games put out by wayforward themselves, and the "heavy hitters" like Konami.
As a child, playing a game based on your beloved movie of choice, the game is very well done.
It Incorporates elements of Mario games by having you eliminate enemies by jumping on them, which is decidedly less violent than whipping and hacking your way through hordes of zombies.
Most of the game's objectives are going to recover an item from the wolfman's many children. These are easy to grasp concepts, and work well when representing the tone of the source material.
The game is also very short, taking no more than a few hours to play through to completion. Maybe, 2-3 hours.
This, is decidedly okay, though, as it allows the game's target audience to feel that sense of accomplishment that comes with beating a game, and does so more easily than if the game had more substance and took 3-4 times as long.
It really calls to mind Capcom's Little Mermaid game for the original Nintendo, although that seems to have a mpre positive legacy among the more adult gamers, possibly due to it's intense sense of nostalgia that we associate with the franchise, and something that will weigh heavily on a younger gamer when trekking through Dracula's Hotel this time around.

Veteran gamer score- 5/10. It's basically the definition of mediocre gameplay. Everything feels familiar, and not in a great way. It leans heavily on it's source material, and eschews some of the more enjoyable parts of it. Particularly the engaging bosses and master soundtrack.

Intended audience of children - 7.5/10

Kids that love the movies will really enjoy playing this game, and it's easy to find and very cheap, often found in clearance bins, but readily available on Amazon.
If you have a little one on your wish list that loves the movies, pick it up. It's also available on DS.

Make sure you check back in tomorrow for the conclusion of this 31 days of Halloween for what is possibly the scariest game yet!!

Hotel Transylvania - Nintendo 3DS

Day 29 - Haunted Halloween '86 < 31 Days of Halloween > Day 31 - Beetlejuice


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