10/03/2021

๐Ÿน๐Ÿง›‍♂️ Wallachia: Reign of Dracula | Review | Nintendo Switch | 8/10 | "8-Way Combat is The Order of The Day" ๐Ÿน๐Ÿง›‍♂️ @Migami_Games #GameDev #IndieGames

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Following my review of Tanuki Justice a few days ago, a game from publisher Pixelheart that calls to mind the 8-bit Japanese arcade era, it was interesting to follow up that review with another game – again from Pixelheart – that shifts gears to the 16-bit era. 

Wallachia: Reign of Dracula is a  game that follows the tale of a vampire hunter as she bows-and-arrows (definitely a real term, don’t look it up) her way through seven stages of vintage arcade action in a bid to finally fire an arrow right up Dracula’s jacksie and put a stop to his haemoglobin-fuelled shenanigans.

Considering that this is a 2D side-scroller with pick-up-and-play arcade gameplay, the introductory cutscene was surprisingly full-on, setting the story of your character’s background and motivations as well as the events that lead up to the start of your game. I was quite into this as it really did pump me up and make me feel like I was about to embark on a quest, a good start to the proceedings!

The music is really well-judged and completely fits with the action, kudos to composer Jeffrey Montoya for this as it made me secretly think about a possible vinyl purchase. The soundtrack has a sort of restrained ominousness to it that called to mind the music from Sword of Vermilion. Good.

The visuals are really hi-res and crisp, showing off some seriously finely-tuned pixel art which reminiscent of Shinobi or Elevator Action and Wallachia: Reign of Dracula also shares some gameplay elements with those titles. 

8-way combat is the order of the day, with your bow being the main mode of attack and a sword also to hand for close encounters. I quite liked the powers that collectable orbs can unlock with invincibility, canine attacks and magic spells being selectable once the required number of orbs have been picked up. These add a nice element of strategy, especially when it comes to boss fights and more tricky areas.

Tricky areas…here we come to the difficulty curve and I will say that the game is NOT shy. Whilst there is an easy mode, the in-game menu describes this as an ‘unfinished game’ and so appears to be a sort of practice mode’ without all sections of the main game present.

On normal mode, you’ll need to be on your toes as the only checkpoints are at the end of each mini-stage and your character can only take a few hits before dying, meaning that the level will need to be restarted so this isn’t a game that can be breezed through casually. 

Focus people, focus!

As with Tanuki Justice, Wallachia: Reign of Dracula is a title that is extremely evocative of arcade titles from a specific time. Again, this could very easily be a lost classic from the early nineties and the gameplay reflects that. 


Right, I’m off to key Dracula’s car.

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