Nightmare Creatures II
Nightmare Creatures II, Kalisto's sequel to the blood-drenched original, has a lot of aspects to it that are quite enjoyable, bringing intense action to a survival horror setting and an interesting story that progresses nicely from its predecessor. It possesses a strong atmospheric feel, much like the first game, and there are moments where you'll feel palpably drenched by the nightmare surroundings and their absolute horror. But all is not well in old London towne, as the game, while it does offer some nifty surroundings and occasionally entertaining gameplay, manages to falter as it progresses, mainly due to a repetitive style and uneven pacing.
Unlike the original game, you only have one character to choose from when diving into Nightmare Creatures II: Herbert Wallace. While it doesn't exactly bolster the game's variety, the original played nearly the same no matter which character you picked, so here it at least keeps the theme and story more consistent. Wallace's skills as a fighter are decently quick and fluid, and the Dreamcast version is actually a strong step up from the sluggish controls of the game on the PlayStation. The spells and weapons also add a nice variety to the game, and the fact that they aren't hard to handle makes the game much easier and more forgiving than the 32-bit version.
Still, even with a better combat system, it isn't perfect, thanks to an overall combat engine that is still not diverse enough to sustain the length of the game. Although you have a small number of choices from which to choose in your destructive mayhem, the game's pace begins to grate as you use the same moves over and over as monster after monster throws itself at you. Although some of the beasts take different strategies to best, most can be finished off in the same way, the familiar fatality combos. These are cool features in the beginning, but they don't sustain the gameplay for any length.
While the environments you will wander in are large and generally impressive in their atmosphere, the gameplay is quite uneven, as these massive areas will require you to run all about them, often getting lost or mixed up as you make your way along, being sent on rather tedious scavenger hunts instead of getting to the bloody point. Games such as Resident Evil have been criticized for this kind of play, but those games at least dangle some suspense above a player's head. In Nightmare Creatures II, however, it's just more monsters popping out to be disemboweled.
The aesthetic aspects of Nightmare Creatures II, while they are clearly a port of a game originally developed for the PlayStation, are visually crisp with atmospheric music that perfectly fits the environments. There is no doubt that these are the best aspects of the game, as they help to purvey a feeling of dread, at least when you're not actually fighting monster after monster. The narrow streets and hollow asylums have that decrepit, dark feeling and while the atmosphere might not be as intense as, say, Silent Hill, it is still offered in a decent helping. The music, when not blaring Rob Zombie from the cut-scenes, is eerie and frightening as well, going along nicely with the sickening groans of the wicked hordes.
Nightmare Creatures II tries to be a worthy update to the original, but ultimately suffers from the repetitive nature of that game. It is brimming over with atmosphere, but little else, and often degenerates into a scavenger hunt. Still, fans of survival horror might want to give this title a try. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
While the graphics themselves could have been a bit crisper, especially on the Dreamcast, the dark and brooding atmosphere is quite nice. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The music in the main game, which isn't the hard-rock advertised on the box, is actually quite subtle and atmospheric. The horrid sounds that the enemies make are very nice and add to the title's creepy factor. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
While there is some fun gameplay to be had in Nightmare Creatures II, it ultimately fails to remain compelling for long, trading in it's spooky demeanor for a decidedly repetitive beat-em-up with annoying scavenger hunt quests tossed in. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The game is good enough to play through just for its mood, but once you dive back into the majority of the gameplay, you probably won't want to travel down that long, often annoying path again. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The instruction manual does a decent job in detailing the instructions of the game. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide