Hotel Transylvania – Nintendo 3DS is loosely based on the movie and like many video games based on movies, this was released around the same time as the premiere.
As the story goes, Quasimodo has captured Johnny and intends to cook him and it’s up to Mavis to rescue him. Mavis must navigate through the hotel grounds and battle enemy zombies, skeletons, and knights by jumping on their heads. She tries to get her father’s help, but Dracula doesn’t listen. He’s so focused on preparing for Mavis’s birthday party that he keeps piling duties on her.
The other duties Mavis has to complete include looking for lost items and delivering them to other characters. The wolf pups cause many of these mishaps and sometimes you have to fight them in a boss battle. Come to think of it, these are the only boss battles in the game next to the final confrontation with Quasimodo.
As you progress in the game, Mavis gets new powers and abilities that are mostly to help her reach areas that she couldn’t get to before. They include the hypnotic stare to freeze enemies, the electric shock power, running up red walls, and the ability to turn into mist to go through grates. There’s also the ability to turn into a bat and fly, but for some reason it doesn’t last long.
Normally navigation is never my strong point in video games, but there is a map on the bottom screen that shows you where you are and where you need to go. It’s very helpful. The only exception is the labyrinth down below. That area is so hard to get around.
Even though there are unlimited lives and many save points, the short life meter is also an issue. In order to increase it you have to collect blue crystals, like Mario collects coins. However, it takes 200 crystals to extend the life meter by one heart and the crystals never return once you take them, unlike the enemies that keep respawning.
I find this game enjoyable. I’ve heard in some reviews that it’s like Castlevania on a much younger level. I can see it that way in quality, but not in challenge. My only real concern is that if you go into a saved file where the game is 100% complete, an error occurs and you have to turn the 3DS off. I don’t understand why that is.