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Important Importables: Vampire Knight DS review

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Vampire Knight DS Vampire Kishi DS

Title: Vampire Knight DS (Vampire Kishi DS)
Price: $58.90
System(s): DS
Release Date: January 29, 2009
Publisher (Developer): D3 Publisher (D3 Publisher)
ESRB Rating: N/A, Cero B for ages 12 and up.
Pros: Lots of mini-games, follows the storyline of the Vampire Knight manga/anime, seven brief “chapters” of the story, 70 CG images to unlock, full voice acting, interesting simulation aspects and can be quite funny at times.
Cons: Controls in some of the mini-games really suck. (No pun intended – really.) CGs featuring eye-less Yuki are incredibly disturbing.
Overall Score: 9/10

Vampire Knight is an interesting series from Matsuri Hino that centers around a school where vampires and humans learn side by side. It’s developed a loyal fanbase, and its popularity has resulted in a manga series, which has been translated in English by Viz and appears monthly in Shojo Beat magazine, an anime, drama CDs and light novels.

And now, Vampire Knight has become a video game. Vampire Knight DS, which is also referred to online as Vampire Kishi DS, is a genre-bending, import friendly game that allows players to experience events in the series in a whole new way.

Vampire Knight DS Vampire Kishi DS

Step into the shoes of Yuki Cross – human/vampire Guardian.

The storyline of Vampire Knight DS loosely follows the early chapters of the manga and anime, and basically offers seven vignette situations. Players step into the shoes of Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of Kaien Cross and one of the disciplinary committee Guardians who acts as an intermediary between the Day Class (humans) and Night Class (vampires) at Cross Academy.

So basically, you get to be Yuki Cross and chase after vampires, while also maintaining order between humans and vampires and occasionally wiping out Level E insane, psycho vampires.. While Kaname Kuran and Zero Kiryu are the only characters in the source material that have any kind of romantic interaction with Yuki, Takuma Ichijo, Hanabusa Aido, Akatsuki Kain, Senri Shiki and Toga Yagari are all chase-able guys in the game.

Vampire Knight DS Vampire Kishi DS

One part visual novel, one part mini-game collection, one part simulation, but all pro-vampire.

Vampire Knight DS is exceptionally import friendly, in part because the game doesn’t seem to settle in one genre. Yes, there are visual novel elements, as the game is divided up into seven chapters. But you’re also playing multiple mini-games as part of Yuki’s Guardian chores. There’s also a simulation element, as succeeding in the mini-games boosts Yuki’s parameters and makes her strong and more desirable. That, and all the menu options are in English. That helps too.

While all the mini-games are novel, the controls on some really miss out. For example, there’s one game where you must bop vampire fangirls on the head as they sneak around the Night Class dorms. They pop up on both screens, and you have to drag along a bar on the bottom to shift a scene to the touch screen side. More often than not – this doesn’t work.

Still – they’re worth a chuckle and keep the game moving extremely fast. I found myself favoring the Level E vampire hunt, fangirl bopping and stalking mini-games. I never thought I’d see a video game that encourages players to be peeping-toms, but here it is. There are also games where you confiscate forbidden items from students, deliver Day Class girl presents to their Night Class crushes or learn to dance, which are charming as well.

Vampire Knight DS Vampire Kishi DS

Things I’ve learned about vampires from Vampire Knight DS.

1. Vampires like strong girls. If you need to be rescued from Level E vampires during the vampire-hunter mini-game, the character who rescues you will like you less.
2. Vampires need to be protected from rabid fangirls.
3. Civilized vampires ask permission before biting you, and then ask where you want to be bitten.
4. Vampires will always want to bite you in the most suggestive, perverted spot.
5. Adorable puppies can become rabid vampire hounds overnight.
6. Vampires adore stalkers, so long as the stalker is sneaky enough to spy on him with binoculars for X amount of time without being caught.
7. Female vampires don’t exist on the Nintendo DS. Okay, I lie. They’re there – but they’ll get less than a minute of screen time.
8. Girls wearing bear, cat or penguin costumes are apparently a big turn-on for some vampires.
9. Yuki’s eyes have a mind of their own, and tend to reappear and disappear on command.

In short, Vampire Knight DS is incredibly entertaining. Fans of the original series would not only adore it, but True Blood, Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans would be able to find something to love about Vampire Knight DS. It’s a guilty pleasure.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables will talk about Puffy AmiYumi. If you don’t miss a single installment of Important Importables, or want to know right away when the next column is up, then sign up for the Gamertell Newsletter and RSS feed.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables reviewed Neo Angelique Special for the PSP..

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37 Comments

  1. Curses, Jenni! Curses!!! Stop making me want this game….badly! Curse~s!!

    If I had this game…I think I'd go after the blondes :P Let me know if you get any bargain deal notices on this game :D

    Janine
  2. Sorry, sorry. It'll probably make it even worse, but this is the funniest game in this genre I have ever played. And not unintentionally funny, like Duel Love was, but truly and purposely funny. The writing is wonderful.

    I'll be sure and let you know if its ever on sale anywhere online.

    Jenni Lada
  3. Thanks so much for writing about this game. The only problem is now I want the game even more, but I can't understand a word it says.

    Thank you for writing what you found out about and in the game though. Vampires like strong people. Now the manga chapter thirty five finally makes sense to me.

    The need to be strong. Anyway, thank you for writing this.

    Anonymous
  4. ARRRRGH!!!!!!! I want this so much. I could probably read most of it… and then I'd have even more of an excuse to bring my DS to Jap class….

    I hope they don't shittily dub this… or screw it over in any way/shape/form if they put it in English…

    Korbinnian
  5. No need to worry about bad dubs Korbinnian – there's pretty much no chance of this game being localized and released in the US. :D

    Jenni Lada
  6. Why can't it be in the US?????????????? Does it at least have translation subtitles?
    I WANT IT SOOOOOOOO BADLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jackie
  7. Sorry Jackie, it's in Japanese only. If you're familiar with the Tokimeki Girl's Side DS games though, you may be able to soldier your way through with only minimal knowledge of the language.

    Jenni Lada
  8. I WANT THIS GAME! i LOVE Vampire Knight!

    Jessica Reyes
  9. Is the game coming out in britian or the us or can you switch the langauage
    from japanese to english. and where can you get the game ?

    megz
  10. @megz: Nope, there's no English language release planned. And it's only in Japanese. Most videogame import sites (Play Asia, Yes Asia, etc) carry it.

    Jenni Lada
  11. I really hope that one day they make it with english translation :) thatd be awesome, itd love to buy the game except i cant read japanese kanji i can only read hiragana except i dont know alot of words

    Bronte
  12. hii my name is lauren and i love Vampire Knight and i really want the game could u Email me at greenfield.lauren@yahoo.com to tell me info on the game and if its comeing out to the uk or the us pls thanx….x

    Lauren
  13. @ Bronte: I'll try contacting Namco Bandai (since they own D3 now) and see if I can get any info on whether or not Vampire Knight DS would ever see an English language release. So far, there's no word on it. There's a lot of hirigana and katakana in the game, plus there's lots of voice acting.

    @ Lauren: I don't think English releases of the game are in the cards, but if one is ever planned, I'll be sure to report it! :D

    Jenni Lada
  14. OMG I WANT IT!!! where can you download this game?

    ...
  15. @ … : This is a DS game so you can't download it. You can purchase it at Play-Asia, Himeya Shop and Yes Asia, if you're interested in it.

    Jenni Lada
  16. is it possible to understand this game if you do not know japanese??? i used to take lessons and was like fluent in japanese when i was little, but i had to stop classes and forgot like everything :(
    anyway… i have been watching and reading vampire knight and im like sooooo hooked on it! i really want the ds game, but i would not want to waste like $60 if i cant understand it, you know…
    so if it is possible to understand whats going on in this game if you only know あ, い, う, え, お (a, i, u, e, o) please contact me, or if they ever come out with and english version(of which i highly doubt).
    spicedbutternuts@yahoo.com

    thanks! (n_n)

    MsMuffin :]
  17. @MsMuffin: Probably not. It's part visual novel, so there's plenty of reading required. If you can understand spoken Japanese, you should be okay as there's tons of voice acting and guides available online.

    Jenni Lada
  18. Hi my name is Stacey and I'm completely in love with Vampire Knight. My email is fangrl17@aim.com if there are any plans to make an english translation of the Vampire Knight game can u please email me because i realllllllyyyyyy want to get the game but i don't speak any japanese. So please if u here of any plans to make the Vampire Knight DS game in english please email me.

    Thanx :)

    StaceyVilleda
  19. Isn't that a fact, that when overseas brings out good games (even movies) North America never gets it. I would like to get that vampire knight game as well. I forget who the people are (the one who checks things out to see if it suited for the North American consumers), They really dampen things. Nothing suits the North American people, (According to those people.) I really hope that this game comes into North America, the profit they would make. Wow!

    Harker
  20. I got the game – soo much fun but the fangirl head-bopping game is annoying, the sliding bar sucks..
    What do you mean by 'Yuki's eyes have a mind of her own'?
    Also I thought that Yuki can't wear the bear suit..
    Just wondering.

    Qwerty Asd
  21. Thanks so much for your wonderful review, and the screencaps were lush :) I've read a couple of fan reviews from other sites too, and my need for this game increases with each passing minute.

    Biggest surprise? Being able to chase/stalk Yagari LOL. He is hot, though my inner fangirl acknowledges that Chairman Cross is hot too and wishes to be able to chase him, after completing Zero's scenario, natch. I can understand why he was left out though, seeing as he's Yuki's adopted dad and all. Let's not mention Kaname *coughs*brother*coughs*ancestor*coughs*

    I'm crazy about Vampire Knight and really, really, really badly want this game, but unfortunately can't read a word of any Japanese script. It's great that the menus at least are all in English,but there's no point in me importing it since I won't be able to fully enjoy it *wipes tears* so I guess all that's left to cling to is the incredibly slim hope that it'll get localized. Considering the manga and anime have such a huge fanbase, isn't there any chance at all?

    Actually, earlier today I emailed Rising Star Games (it's a UK publisher) to enquire of plans to localize VK…from what I've seen the company has a pretty good track record of publishing quirky Japanese fare that we'd otherwise have had to miss out on. Maybe if loads of us do the same thing? There must be other, similar publishers out there that we can contact/inundate?

    So I'm begging any quality publisher out there, on behalf of all rabid VK fangirls in the west (please don't leave us out!), you can make HEAPS of cash with this one, so come on, is it really too much to ask that this game is localised with English subtitles, but retaining all the original Japanese voice acting?

    honestly although they are all hot, I don't care much about the other bishies, ALL I WANT IS TO STALK ZERO-KUN AND MAKE HIM BLUSH XD

    Sorry for the long post, I just need my Zero-fix *v*

    Zero Fan
  22. @ Zero Fan: It's best chances for localization probably lie with Atlus, XSEED or Ignition. If it's going to get picked up, one of those three companies would probably be the one to do it.

    Honestly though, you'd probably have a better chance of one day playing one of Koei's Neo Romance games in English than Vampire Knight DS. It's sad, but true.

    Jenni Lada
  23. Thanks for replying here Jenni, I really appreciate those suggestions. I'll definitely give them a try and post here if I get any kind of response back. Hmm I wonder if a petition would be of any help too…

    Zero Fan
  24. Will there be subtitles? Sigh…..I cant wait! I wanna get it as fast as possbile! T^T Better start saving my money…. >.<

    Vampire knight~~
  25. Great review! I got a chuckle out of it. Yes, this DS game is the only one I can think of where peeping into windows is considered fair, haha! Yuki without eyes is creepy, but I can look at it another way and say it's, er, mysterious.

    I just finished the game and while I can't read the Japanese I can understand some spoken so I managed to get a gist of some dialogue. I enjoyed this game a lot more than I anticipated. I can't believe how much voice acting is in this little cartridge! Thank god for that and English menus because otherwise I would've been totally lost. I was actually MOVED by chapter 6's events because of the voices despite not being able to read a word. I chased after Zero and his events combined with chapter 6's theme was so appropriate I wanted to hug him.

    Having played Duel Love before VK, I can't believe the depth this game has! I am very impressed with the whole package. I barely got into DL and I had half expected the same when I tried out the VK game. I'm happy it wasn't the same experience!

    I can't wait to chase after Yagari. I've always thought of him as the Trevor Belmont of VK which is very fitting seeing as Trev is also a vampire hunter. I can so imagine Yagari with a whip because of Trev. :)

    Do you know of any other otome DS games that have English menus and voice?

    VKDSer
  26. @ VKDSer – Thanks!

    Other otome games with voice are easy to find. With English menus is a bit harder. I'd suggest checking out Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1st Love Plus and 2nd Kiss. Both are available on the DS and have full voice acting. There's also a version of 1st Love that doesn't though – but it doesn't have a "Plus" in the title. There are guides online to help people who have trouble reading Japanese, and most actions have icons to choose from.

    I think that's really the only other two games I can think of that could be really easily accessible.

    Jenni Lada
  27. what if we post a petition and spread the word then maybe if we get enough ppl to join maybe we could let them see how much money they could rake in if they translated the game and they would translate it and we could get our game

    daemonic saber
  28. fffff i so fricken want this game i don't care if the voices are japanese i just need subs that are english!

    Reeda
  29. ice.0nfire@yahoo.com …if anyones knows how to find the translations of the game…i don't care if they are just pdf or video or something…i just need to know what are they saying…i LOVE the game!!! VAMPIRE KNIGHT rocks!! please any info is sooo much apreciated!!!

    Kurosu Yuuki
  30. Please, it is really important
    http://www.petitiononline.de/petition/vampire-knight-ds/131

    Hikari
  31. OMFG I NEED THIS GAME!!!!!! It's not fair that they can't even make English subtitles. Even if they do and release it in America and UK I still can't get it because of fucking region lock! So I have to wait until it releases in Australia and what are the chances of that!

    coolgirlluvsupre
  32. Is there NO patch for this? :(
    I want English!

    I mean, I would kill (no pun intended) to get an English version of this.

    cutestnami
  33. MAN! I am Australian and i am in LOVE with vampire knight and because of this ds game, I BADLY WANT IT! I have every disc in the series and are hoping there is a series 3! (i know there probebly isn;t and never will be but are hoping!) If only i knew Japanese and actually learnt something from LOTE (langues other than english), then i’d know what to do! I hope there is english subs on the game! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT IN AUSTRALIA!
    from KG :)

    Karina Gatt
  34. I can’t believe i found out about vampire knight ONLY from the mid start of last year! OMG! (2011) Is there any other games that have been realesed to the world which i could get my hands on? If you know of any, then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE TO GET IT! Now not to start a riot or anything but, I LOVE ZERO!! HE’S SO HOT AND I WISH HE WAS REAL!

    Karina Gatt
    • Play-Asia should still carry the DS game. They ship things worldwide and since its a region-free game, you could play it on your Australian DS. However, it’s entirely in Japanese with no English subtitles or menus.

      You may want to check YesAsia as well, as that site carries quite a few import games.

      Jenni Lada
  35. I appreciate it jenni, i just LOVE vampire knight and if i could have the DS game on my DS then i will LOVE it even more. I may have to learn how to play it even with the Japanese sub; i can always study Japanese for school when i get the chance. I know there most probebly wouldn’t be, but if a Vampire knight season 3 is out, can you give me an update.

    Karina Gatt
  36. Also if there is any other Vampire knight games out there, can you please tell me what it is called, where i can get it and if it is in Australian sub or voice over. Thank you

    Karina Gatt