Nightmare Creatures II Preview

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Nightmare Creatures II
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Kalisto Entertainment, the developer of the original Nightmare Creatures, has gone back to the drawing board and come up with what looks to be a much more refined, fast-paced sequel that still holds true to the dark feel of the original title.

The story in Nightmare Creatures 2 picks up a hundred years after the events in the first game. You can control Herbert Wallace and Rachelle Donnerty, and you are once again pursuing the evil scientist Dr. Albert Crowley, who has grown incredibly powerful in the past hundred years. It's up to you of course to put an end to his evil influence once and for all.

Many things that players found frustrating about the first Nightmare Creatures have been changed or totally removed. For starters, you no longer have to worry about falling into a pool of water and dying because the game's characters can actually swim now. Also, the annoying adrenaline bar has been taken out, since the designers of Nightmare Creatures II felt that the game was fast paced enough without it. In fact, the game is so fast paced that it almost feels more like a 3D fighting game with adventure elements than anything else. The game even comes complete with a variety of new fighting techniques, special moves, and fatalities. After you've worked on a big baddie with your axe for awhile, he'll slump down, and if you're quick enough you can execute an easy move that will to lop off your enemy's head, and you can even give him a few more whacks for good measure. In all, Nightmare Creatures II is said to contain more than 20 types of monsters - ranging from zombies to horrible laboratory creatures - along with an assortment of new spells and weapons to combat them with.

The environments in Nightmare Creatures II as a whole seem to be quite a bit larger in scale than those found in the original game. When completed, the game is said to have 30 game sectors that span eight different worlds. The majority of the sections we saw of the game included Paris and London, where familiar sites could be seen such as the Eiffel Tower. Most of the action we saw was of Wallace hacking and slashing creatures, and exploring various environments such as a creepy-looking haunted house. Opening doors is as simple as pushing either your kick or attack button, and unlike in the Resident Evil series the doors open without any loading time. The game continuously loads by streaming data off of the disc, so it is almost constantly moving. Graphically, Nightmare Creatures II is dramatically better than the original even at this early stage of development. The characters and creatures in the game this time look very smooth and not nearly as polygonal as in the first game. The level of detail of the environments is also astoundingly greater than it was before. Little touches - such as blood splattering on a nearby wall when you're fighting with creatures - really add to the action. The lighting-effects used in the game give it a more dynamic look overall, as does the new camera, which is much better about following your character. In addition, you can now use a first-person perspective, so you can look around the environments to see if you missed a box that may contain an item. The Dreamcast version is looking much nicer than the PlayStation version, naturally, and is moving at a rock solid 60 frames-per-second, running in high-resolution. Get ready to fire up those VGA boxes!

While still not finished, the sound and music in the preview version we played seemed to be much more suited to the situations that unfolded on the screen. Running into creatures cued up a fast-paced ditty performed by none other than Rob Zombie, who has the perfect style of dark music to fit a game such as Nightmare Creatures II. Although we'll have to wait 'til we get a more complete version of the game before going into more detail, it's easy to say that Nightmare Creatures II certainly seems to be well on its way to becoming quite an improvement over the original. Konami and Universal Interactive Studios have scheduled the release of Nightmare Creatures 2 for March 28.

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