Insight Editions has published a hardback book titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats available from numerous online retailers and high street book stores. Slayer Stats is based upon the hugely successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendan, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, Michelle Tratchtenberg, David Boreanez, Charisma Carpenter, Kristine Sutherland, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, Seth Green, Eliza Dushku, Adam Busch and more besides that spanned 145 episodes including the pilot episode spanning seven seasons between 1997 until 2003. Does Slayer Stats deliver what it sets out to in the form of producing an ultimate statistical analysis for the collective 7 seasons of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series?

There have been a total of half a dozen Buffy the Vampire Slayer videogame adaptations including the side-scrolling beat ‘em up Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Game Boy Color in 2000 followed by a third-person action adventure beat ‘em up released for Xbox in 2002. The next Buffy game sub-titled Wrath of the Darkhul King, focusing on the Gentlemen and their henchmen set within season 4 which released in 2003 on Game Boy Advance in a return to the side-scrolling beat ‘em up genre. The fourth Buffy game was the only one to release on multiple platforms including PS2, Xbox and GameCube titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds releasing in 2003 featuring a third-person perspective in the action adventure beat ‘em up genre with multiple local multiplayer modes. Buffy: The Quest for Oz once again returned to the side-scrolling beat ‘em up genre, albeit this time on mobile phones in 2004; however Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sacrifice on the Nintendo DS finally brought third-person gameplay to the action adventure beat ‘em up within a portable gaming environment in 2009 complete with a story written by Rob Des Hotel (one of the writers from the Buffy TV series) set after season 7. Elsewhere, outside of Buffy games; Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed Buffy in the Call of Duty: Black Ops expansion titled Call of the Dead, while James Marsters voiced Lex Luthor in DC Universe Online, Zamasu in Dragon Ball FighterZ and presented a TV series about videogames titled Vidiots, alongside David Boreanaz voicing Squall Leonhart in the first Kingdom Hearts and Anthony Stewart Head voiced Reginald Ponsonby-Smythe in Destroy All Humans! 2 and narrated Flip’s Twisted World.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats is in appropriately experienced hands as it is written by Simon Guerrier and Steve O’Brien. Simon Guerrier has had a freelance writing career since 2002 with two of his standout pop culture books including Whographica in 2016 co-authored by Steve O’Brien and designed by Ben Morris and The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who in 2015 co-authored by Dr. Marek Kukula, while also producing documentaries and writing regular articles for publications such as Doctor Who Magazine, the Lancet Psychiatry and more besides. Meanwhile, Steve O’Brien has been writing film and TV journalism for two decades comprising such publications as Cult TV Magazine, Digital Spy, Doctor Who Magazine, Sci-Fi Now and SFX, while also having contributed to numerous TV and DVD documentaries about cult TV and films.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats’ additional title is The Complete Infographic Guide to All Things Buffy and for the most part; that is exactly what the book focuses on. Slayer Stats begins with a vampire’s hands rising up from a cemetery accompanied by the immortal words, “In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.” Immediately thereafter is an introduction to the purpose of the book that instantaneously begins displaying entertaining facts followed shortly afterwards by a complete map of Sunnydale including Sunnydale High School, the Hellmouth, Buffy’s house, Glorificus’ mansion, the Catacombs, The Bronze, the Magic Box and more besides.

A chronology of characters’ lives including Buffy Anne Summers, Willow Danielle Rosenberg, Alexander “Xander” Lavelle Harris, Rupert Giles, Angel, Joyce Summers, Dawn Summers, Spike, Daniel “Oz” Osborne, Cordelia Chase, Tara Maclay, Faith Lehane, Anya  Jenkins, Darla, Drusilla and the Trio (Jonathan Levison, Warren Mears and Andrew Wells) comprising important and interesting facts including the quantity of episodes the character appeared in, birth year, their first and last words of dialogue, their loves and hates and every specific character trait and moments in their lives. The Big Bads of each season also receive their fair share of coverage starting with the Big Bad Lineup in which every main villain is lined up as though they are having mugshots taken, while Battles with the Big Bad villains include a graphic and descriptive analysis of the battle and a timeline of the antagonist’s life including The Master, Angelus, Mayor Wilkins, Adam and Sineya, Glory, Dark Willow and the First Evil.

There are other various interesting features include a chronological timeline of Sunnydale before Buffy became a slayer, a detailed graphic overview of every weapon used to defeat enemies by Buffy and her allies, a rundown of other slayers and the battles Buffy has had with slayers, a breakdown of over a dozen magical artifacts between what they do, where they were found and what happened to them, the trials and tribulations of Xander, doubles of major characters such as the Buffybot, Xander and Willow’s evil twin vampires and the non-evil twin Xander and much more besides.

For Buffy fans who like their relationship story arcs and music; Slayer Stats also has you covered as The Web is a rather complex love relationship guide that even includes the non-starter relationships, while on the music side of things there is a stylish list of bands that have performed at The Bronze, alongside Buffy: The Album Jukebox that provides an in-depth listing of the official Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack album as released on October 19th 1999 and a brief summary of other soundtrack albums.

The quality of writing is superb as it retains Buffy’s humorous, witty tone that was a running character trait of Buffy’s throughout numerous memorable quotes; which shows that the authors are massive fans of the TV series and subject matter. For instance, a quote immediately underneath the introduction title quotes Darla saying, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” from season 1 episode 1 named Welcome to the Hellmouth, while combining a collection of outfits worn by Buffy, Willow and Xander within the Geek Chic feature with sarcastic comments written in the style of Cordelia’s dialogue about their fashion disasters.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats book is beautifully presented as every chapter features illustrations from Ilaria Vescovo and art direction from Chrissy Kwasnik including cartoon stylised drawings of every character in alliance with Buffy and villains opposed to her that are of such a high quality; Buffy fans would be more than happy if an animated TV series were to include the same art style. Elsewhere, presentation is always on point through its artistic direction and illustrations such as an amazing timeline of Buffy’s life and a map of Sunnydale, alongside graphs and diagrams.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats’ genuine value is its stylised Buffy tone in extensive features from the beginning until the end of the book. For instance, Fools For Love quotes ten of the pick-up lines in Sunnydale from best to worst, while Dead Things focuses on such statistics as the quantity of vampire slayings, on-screen sirings that is further expanded upon in the Who Sired Whom feature graphic and more besides, alongside wanted posters for Faith and Spike. Meanwhile, a Glossary of Buffy-isms explains each of the tongue-in-cheek phrases within the show’s dialogue, while Nerd Shelf showcases Andrew’s collection of books, DVDs, arcade games, comics and role-playing games, alongside Buffy and Pop Culture looks at numerous pop culture references and many more novel and interesting features in harmony with artwork throughout the duration of the 128 pages.

 

 

Analysis

  • Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats
  • Writers: Simon Guerrier and Steve O’Brien
  • Art: Ilaria Vescovo (Illustrator)/Chrissy Kwasnik (Art Director)
  • Publisher: Insight Editions
  • Length: 128 pages
  • Cover: Hardback

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound, while you can also find Insight Editions’ official website including a back catalogue of captivating books and product details regarding Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats book.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Verdict
90 %
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Jason
Jason plays all genres of games and enjoys all different kinds of experiences that the games industry has to offer. Jason’s favourite PlayStation exclusive franchises throughout various eras include: Crash Bandicoot, God of War, Gran Turismo, inFamous, Killzone, Little Big Planet, MotorStorm, Resistance, Spyro the Dragon, Uncharted, Wipeout and various games that never became big name franchises. A special mention goes to Black Rock’s superb Split Second: Velocity as it is rather unbelievable that it will never receive a sequel. Jason now mainly plays modern PlayStation games on home console and portably, but occasionally returns to the old retro classics on the 3DO, PS1 and PS2 such as discovering Cool Spot Goes to Hollywood 20 years after its original release on PS1. Jason is happy to see gaming coming full circle with updates for retro classics such as Alien Breed, Superfrog and Crash Bandicoot.

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