It’s just a few days before Halloween and I was looking through my Sega CD collection for games that could fit under the category of “horror” and my eyes quickly saw a common theme between two in my collection. Dracula, the blood sucking ghoul from Transylvania, was the titular character for two of my Sega CD games, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Dracula Unleashed. Perfect subject for this time of year.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is based on the 1992 film of the same name starring Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder. In the game, you play as Keanu Reeve’s character, Jonathan Harker, who chases after Dracula moving across a digitized landscape of gloomy forests and castles while attempting to battle bats, spiders, zombies, etc. with oftentimes just your bare hands. The scenery admittedly looks good but the gameplay….oh lord. The jumping mechanics & hit detection are horrendous to control and you’ll find yourself falling into pits & taking damage more often than you’d like. In between levels you’ll see grainy FMV clips from the movie itself in an attempt to advance the plot. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is extremely difficult thanks to the controls and unrelenting assault of evil doers. Good luck advancing very far into this game, I certainly never have. In spite of its looks, this game is so flawed I have very little desire to get better at it.
Dracula Unleashed is a point and click FMV adventure game where you are an American in London attempting to find answers regarding your brothers death. You encounter a number of London residents who give you clues and may become integral parts of the story but it all ends up being about tracking and destroying Dracula. The pace of the game is slow and I haven’t advanced far enough in it to determine if the it’s ultimately rewarding to get through the tedium. The Sega CD’s version of gore can be described as “squinty” if you try hard enough so I’m not convinced it deserved a MA-13 rating. The atmosphere is sufficiently creepy at various points in the game and certainly offers Halloween-like gameplay but only for the most patient of gamers.
Currently in my collection:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula: game, manual & case D+
Dracula Unleashed: game only C