Summer vacation totally sucks; you’re not in a strict learning environment and you regularly have the soul-crushing decision of either staying in bed until noon or waking up early to trick youngsters into painting fences for you. Before you even think about hitting that mid-July slump, Microsoft has already tasked its super-scientists with conquering the flesh-eating disease that is Summer Boredom with combat-space-shooter, Project Sylpheed and the stealth-horror-shooter, Vampire Rain.
Project Sylpheed is one of them remake/updates of an ‘80s arcade game that’s all the rage these days. Developed by Game Arts and Seta Corporation, you’ll be able to customize the hell out of your warship and issue commands to fellow ships on your mission to blow away the evil ADAN forces. Expect a multilayered story - something we’re sure the arcade didn’t have - and about 50 minutes of CG footage.
In Artoon’s Vampire Rain, you’ll lead a black-ops unit on a secretive mission to destroy Nightwalkers - which are either vampires or those irritating Goth teenagers that have bird names like “Raven.” Combining stealthiness, survival horror and shooter aspects, you’ll somehow have to sneak up on these supernatural jerks via dark alleyways or rain-soaked rooftops. We’ll see if every weapon shoots a wooden projectile or if the game’s designers decided to rewrite how to kill vampires.
So before you start watching The View or begin that summer reading you've been putting off, just remember that Microsoft’s got your back. Bill Gates and his deep, deep pockets will make sure you'll never have a boring summer again, barbecues be damned.
April 2, 2007