Darkiss - Chapter 1: the Awakening

We're a vampire in this one, awoken after having supposedly been killed off by vampire hunters. And the game really doesn't hold back in painting our "hero" as a monster: there's a lot of revelling in the memory of past cruelty, enough to make me wonder why I'd want to help him to the end of the story at all: doing so made me feel a little dirty. On the other hand, it's kind of refreshing to meet a vampire that is actually a monster, and not merely a conflicted or misunderstood anti-hero. This is an old-fashioned vampire, based on old folklore; not an especially long-lived human being with special dietary needs. What's the point of making a monster if it's not actually a monster?

For all that, there's definitely a sense of being a translated work, what with the occasional strange word choice. The tone is a little more ... unrestrained than I would expect from an adult native English speaker. Some of the story elements, too, are a little over-the-top. For example, the library booksheves contain the works of just about every writer who has ever expended ink on the word "vampire", which seems like a self-conscious message to the player that "by the way, this is about vampires". These things challenge one's suspension of disbelief, and add a certain cartoonish touch. I don't know if that helps to make the vampire's cruelty easier to swallow, or if it distances the player from the story. Perhaps it does a little of both.

Gameplay is fairly old-school; it's largely a case of "use X on Y", not that I'm complaining. There's nothing really groundbreaking here, but what there is, is competently put together.

I suppose, as a breakfast, one might expect a comparison with Count Chocula; but Count Chocula is a parody of a monster, and what we have here is an emphasis of the monstrous. I think that if it approaches the comedic, it is unintentional. It's a very traditional game at heart, about a very traditional interpretation of a creature that has been reinterpreted multiple times over the past couple of decades. It's more like bacon and eggs -- the quintessential breakfast. Extra-crispy bacon, eggs over-easy and fried in bacon grease, baked beans, and bitter black coffee on the side.