Nightmare Creatures 2
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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This sequel takes place a full hundred years after the events of the distinctly crappy original, but you have to wonder why this franchise was allowed to continue. With little in common with the original aside from the bad guy, the new game takes place in early 20th-century London, complete with smoggy, drizzly weather and dirty locales. The basic premise is that you play the part of a complete loony who wakes up in a cell next to a large ax (I'm sure all loony-bins presided over by evil villains are well stocked with weapons), and you then have to wander the levels swinging said ax at ugly creatures. It's quite spectacularly linear despite the early impression of it being vaguely Silent Hill-y. Once you've played for an hour you realize it's nothing more than a very gory update of Splatterhouse. Monsters growl, you chop at them, you move on. Unfortunately this potentially satisfying, albeit disturbing, idea is utterly destroyed by a host of irritating, cheap and nasty gameplay problems that render the experience boring and frustrating. Bad guys seem to be able to hit you even when you're not anywhere near them, the scenery can only be interacted with if you're standing by the single pixel "hot spot," and you can only sidestep in "combat mode" but not in "explore mode." Visual production is pretty good though; there's buckets of red stuff (which can be switched off) and some truly disturbing Evil Dead-worthy chop-chop moments.
Under all the gore and the extreme ax-swinging violence, Nightmare Creatures II is really nothing more than a very linear Final Fight-style game with very little substance. While the production values behind the visuals are clearly quite high, there's little substance behind the gameplay. You run from room to room chopping at ugly-ass monsters who gush pints of blood all over the place--and that's about it. There's an occasional button to push or lever to pull and every now and then there's a power-up to pick up, but fundamentally it's just a boring and frustrating game. The first game wasn't anything special. This one's no better.
Nightmare Creatures II comes out of the gates strong but, in the end, falls short of real lasting appeal. On one hand it's aesthetically on the mark. The sound effects are well-done if not cheesy in parts (especially the persistent groaning). The dark and dank environments convey the nightmare world very well and the gameplay mechanics, while simple, are tolerable. So what's wrong? I simply got bored with the game too fast. I kept hoping for more, be it more moves, more levers and switches, more breakable stuff, more interactivity with the environments and so on... NC2 isn't a bad game but additional variety and deeper gameplay would've helped a lot.