Something Wicked This Way Comes!
I once had a nightmare that went like this: I was at a party. I was drinking and I got so plastered, Ally McBeal would have seemed attractive. I passed out at some point, only to wake up in a bedroom. I figured one of my friends had so thoughtfully tossed me in a room somewhere at the house where the party was being held. Boy, was I wrong.
It began to get quite chilly, when suddenly I noticed that I had no clothes on. I searched the room frantically…but no clothes. Suddenly, I heard a voice: "Are you ready, daddy?" Before I could answer, she walked in. There I was face to face with the biggest and most unfortunate looking woman I had ever seen. Upon closer scrutiny (which I unfortunately had the pleasure of experiencing), I realized that this was no ordinary woman. In fact, this was no woman at all; it was supermodel (and I use that term very loosely) and world-famous transsexual Rupaul. She/he had kidnapped me from the party and had planned to do…things to me.
I quickly awoke in a sea of sweat, thanking the spirits that it was only a dream.
This was several years ago, yet I still consider it to be one of my most horrifying nightmares. What does this have to do with Nightmare Creatures II, you ask? Well, let’s just say that Konami’s latest has a tough act to follow when it comes to really scaring me.
Nightmare Creatures II takes place 100 years after the events of the original Nightmare Creatures. Although Ignatius Blackward and Nadia Fransiscus defeated Adam Crowely (resident mad scientist) in the first game, Crowley was able to regenerate himself and massacre Ignatius, Nadia and the Circle (a secret organization founded by Nadia and Ignatius). I guess only the people from the psychic hot line would know how these two lived for well over 100 years. The key must have been lots of organic fruits and vegetables.
Now Crowely is bent on his quest for immortality and the only thing that can stand in his way is one of his frail, beat-up test subjects by the name of Herbert Wallace. Herbert realizes that he must stop Crowley before he can do anymore gruesome, live-human testing.
The graphics in Nightmare Creatures II are decent. The textures on walls can get very pixilated at times, but they adequately get the job done. This is the Playstation we’re talking about, after all.
The use of light sourcing is average. Street lights and hall lights don’t seem to illuminate the areas correctly; all you see is an image of a small spherical halo around what is supposed to be a light bulb. These are second generation PS tricks, not what you would expect from the Playstation’s last hurrah.
Character movement is really important when playing video games. No one wants to play a character that moves like they have a super-wedgie. For the most part, the character you play in NC2 does not have this problem. In fact, all the characters in NC2 have really good animation when they are running or walking. The were-cat creatures move exceptionally well. They leap over fences, slink out of the shadows and scale walls with impressive fluidity.
But when it’s time to bust open a can of "Whoop Arse," Nightmare Creatures II fails miserably. Have any of you ever ridden the Grizzly rollercoaster at Great America? Good! Then you know what I mean when I use the word ‘jerky.’ During combat, all the characters in NC2 lose their fluidity entirely. The constant jerky character movements coupled with the jerky camera angles made me feel as if I was having an epileptic seizure or something.
Some of the enemies can prove to be quite challenging in the beginning. However, once you notice when they are vulnerable, the fighting gets to be quite repetitive, partly due to the limited combo system.
Tack on the complete lack of collision detection and uninteresting fatalities and you have one amazing action game where the action is something less than…well…action. It’s more like non-action. Hey, maybe Lao Tzu (famous Chinese philosopher) was speaking about Nightmare Creatures II when he wrote the Tao Te Ching. Wow! He was centuries before his time. That crazy Lao…
To put it succinctly, Nightmare Creatures II is unimpressive. It’s better suited for a rental than a full purchase; sometimes you feel like you want to play a game that will let you smack something around for a few minutes. Sadly, though, a few minutes is all it will take before you are looking through your Playstation library for something else to play.