Unfortunately, Nightmare Creatures II
just doesn’t live up to the presentation when it comes to gameplay. Sure, it’s entertaining as well, but it just doesn’t present enough variety to really keep you hooked.
There’s a storyline, picking up a good century or so after the previous title, with the bad guy even badder and you having to save the world, or at least himself. But the storyline, while presented in great cut-scenes, never really grabs you. The core of the game is hack-and-slash, with you running around and chopping up enemies into little pieces.
And you certainly do. Whenever you approach an enemy, the controls shift into something reminiscent of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time’s Z-Lock, where you stay facing the enemy and move around them. This makes it easy to keep targeted, but can be an irritant when you have to fight more than one enemy at a time. As you move around, you can use different types of attacks, and a few minutes in Therapy (one of the game options) will teach you some basic combos that let you really wail on the creatures. After you deal a certain amount of damage to the baddies, “Fatality!” will flash in the corner of the screen, and you can dissect them in an, er, unique way. This is, of course, incredibly entertaining, but you’ll stop doing it after the first few times to save the time it takes to execute.
Unfortunately, the farther you get into the game, the more you realize that that’s really all there is. Sure, there’s a bit of simple puzzles, “insert key-a into door-b” type things, but very little. You simply run around, looking for enemies, and you hack them apart. While it’s always cool to see new enemy types, after a while you’ll feel that the game could have been much more.
Hopefully, Kalisto and Konami can keep you entertained with novel character design for long enough that you won’t really notice this. It just cuts down seriously on replay value. The spells, which are cool and offer neat new ways to slaughter your foes, seem just another means to an end. (Wholesale slaughter, in case you haven’t noticed.)