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Van Helsing

(Vivendi Universal Games; PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance)

Van Helsing

We rate the ''Van Helsing'' videogame

YOU PLAY AS... Bad-ass monster-hunter Van Helsing

GAMING GOAL Try to investigate the secrets of your hidden past while shooting and slicing countless monstrous bad guys into teeny pieces. At the end of each level, confront such all-stars as Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein's Monster.

VOICE TALENT Star Hugh Jackman and a few other actors from the film (but not Kate Beckinsale) reprise their roles, though dialogue is relatively sparse.

COOL MOVES You can leap a dozen feet in the air, wield two guns at once, and swing around high places with a grappling hook.

JUST LIKE THE MOVIE? Pretty much -- it follows the film's plot, as well as its lack of character development. Fortunately, that's a lot less problematic in a videogame.

BONUS POINTS With its relentless action (you're often fighting numerous beasties simultaneously) and challenging ''bosses'' (Dracula et al), the game is an entertainingly retro, if simplistic, arcade exercise.

LOW POINTS Slaying monsters gets repetitive fast -- once you've killed, say, five identical dragons, there's no need to be confronted with 15 of their brethren. And no one could call the game's kill-everything-that-moves format inventive.

FINAL GRADE B

Originally posted Jul 08, 2004
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