Dementium II fixes up the issues from the first game and adds in gameplay tweaks that make it more polished experience.

User Rating: 8 | Dementium II DS


Game Title: Dementium II

Platform: Nintendo DS

Developer: Renegade Kid

Publisher: Southpeak Entertainment

Genre: Survival Horror

Age Rating: PEGI: 18+, BBFC 15+, ESRB: M for Mature, CERO: D

Release Date: 4th May 2010 (US), 25th June 2010 (Europe), 30th September 2010 (Japan)


Game Score: 8.7/10



Dementium II fixes up the issues from the first game and adds in gameplay tweaks that make it more polished experience.


Dementium The Ward on the Nintendo DS was horror game that showcased excellent graphics potential on Nintendo's dual screen system although noted for it's save system in the US version, enemy respawns and the game's overall short length. Renegade Kid responds to the issues from the first game and fix them up with a sequel and a fine job they sure did, not only are many of the issues are addressed but it introduces new weapons, new areas and new monsters to give you a few extra scares.

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Dementium II focuses on main character William Redmoor who wakes up from his brain surgery that he got from the first game and finds himself in a treatment centre where's shortly after his arrival his nightmare's come back to haunt him. So now he has to fight against a series of nightmarish monsters and also stop the mad doctor who has unleashed the nightmares from William's head. You are given little to no story or character development what-so-ever but the overall writing and voice acting for little there is it's very solid. The evil doctor however steals the show with his maniacal voice and his dialogue is well delivered and it's no doubt that his constant messages will leave you unsettled.

Like with the first Dementium game you get to explore different parts of the area finding recovery items, ammo, keys that can allow you to access other areas of the game and eventually get your hands on new weapons. The game starts out in a linear fashion but however when you get your hands on some of the later tools you'll be able to explore more of the area and find more hidden items. In the original game you had some hospital corridors that were reused in certain parts of the game where's in the sequel you're then introduced to underground areas and outdoor areas which are great and do spice up the game in plenty of ways. You also explore a few dark areas as well where you need to use a flashlight to see where you are going. One of the original game's main complains was that when in fights you had to switch from flashlight to a gun to be able to fight and it becomes difficult to shoot an enemy while in complete darkness, this was something that was also present in Doom 3. Dementium II fixes this by allowing the flashlight to be held with a small weapon like a shank or a revolver for example which allows you to see where you're actually shooting which is great because you do spend a great length of the game fighting enemies that are in the area.

One of the things the developers changed in the game is the interface. You have a jump and crouch icons on the touch screen which are used fairly well and also you have an inventory screen on the bottom of the touch screen which allows you to select one of the available weapons to use and also allow heal yourself with health items. Alongside health items and the shank and revolver you'll get access to a double barrel shotgun, assault rifle, a nail gun, a sledgehammer which can break down breakable walls, a flame thrower and lastly a mysterious relic which can be thrown like a boomerang. Each of these weapons have a punch in power and they can recoil sending you backwards by a small inch which is something to note of but fire in short bursts and you'll be fine. The buzzsaw has had a change to it's functionality, now there is a overheating system on it and you use for too long it will overheat and will need to cool down before reusing, this means that you have to use it more strategically if you want kill enemies with it. There is also a reload button on the touch screen so when you're out of bullets in your clip you can hit the reload button with the stylus to reload since you can't reload automatically. Ammunition does take up multiple slots in your inventory which is something to take note of since you do end up in combat frequently and ammunition does come up in scarce amount.

Alongside the new areas you also at certain parts of the game suddenly by transported into a nightmare world where William's nightmares come to life and you have to battle each of the enemies to be able to escape and return to the normal world. In that world you do get to see some disturbing stuff like corpses implied by chains which is just unsettling and disgusting to look at the same time. Another thing that is disgusting is the game's front cover which is enough to make anyone sick to their stomach and I think that the developers have done a great job on the disturbing nature sequel.

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The game has a few new enemies alongside returning enemies like stomach mouthed zombies and the annoying screaming heads. There is a new floating head enemy which shoots smog in your face, a jumping brain demon thing, a sliding monster who rolls around like an idiot and makes a lot of noise and also some large enemies. Each of the fights with them do get a little tense when there are more enemies on the screen at once and a good thing as well is that the developers have also done something about the respawning enemies. They only respawn at least twice or three times sometimes when you are fighting them but when you enter a new room and return enemies do not respawn which is a good thing. After a while the game starts introducing enemies that you're supposed to avoid fighting against at least until much later. There's an enemy which can be knocked down with ordinary gunfire but however recovers after a few seconds, you can only fully kill it with a flamethrower which you get in the chapters. There are also ghastly ghost things which cannot be killed at all and the only option is too run from them. These guys are easy to avoid but if you do get your hands on the complete Relic which can be used as a weapon it can drive the spirits away which is cool. Lastly there is a big fat monster that has a a big club and getting hit by it does loads of damage, it takes dozens of bullets to be put down which when you make it that far you'll probably have very little ammo remaining to deal with it. Usually it's best to relay on the shank against slow enemies like the zombies cause their staggering animation makes it easier to kill them, it's also better to explore every part of the area to find every box of ammo that you will need to survive the later segments because you will be doing a lot fighting towards the end of the game.

Alongside the jumping and crouching controls on the touch screen Dementium II utilizes the same controls from the first game. Aiming your guns can still take a bit of time to get used too because of the way the aiming works in the games but it's not so hard. What is hard is pulling of the double tap on the d-pad to run which is what you need to avoid taking damage and go faster in the stages. It's easy to do on the old DS systems but if you are playing the game on the 3DS which I was when I played through it, it can be difficult to double tap to run on the circle pad and in serious situations can lead to taking damage unavoidably. So far I think it's just easier to play this on a d-pad then on the 3DS circle pad. On the plus side the controls still function very well.

Like in the first Dementium you will have to deal with some boss encounters which requires memorising a boss' attack pattern before unloading a shot at them. Usually these segments require so much ammo and health items to actually win but honestly these fights require skill to bypass.

Afterwards you are thrown into a puzzle sequence where you use the stylus to drag objects around or to type in a code to unlock the door. These are great but however if you think you could write the code on a piece of paper, well you'd be surprised that you can't because every playthrough the code changes which prevents ways of cheating and skipping through sections of the game. Thankfully you can get the code from the letters you find throughout the game as well as some dead bodies in one area. There is one part in the game where you have to find an item to repel the gas in one specific area otherwise entering that room without it will cause you to get poisoned and eventually die. These aren't very difficult to solve but do mix the gameplay very well and prevent it from being too repetitive.

After you beat the game you also have a simple survival mode which you can unlock additional stages for it by playing through the main game. In Survival you have to fight through waves of enemies till they stop coming allowing you to progress to the next wave. After going through each fight once it increases the amount of enemies you need to kill before advancing and it goes on till you die. It's a decent mode I guess but the game itself lacks any multiplayer component and I think the survival mode could have been more enjoyable, and this is a sequel so it's kind of inexcusable.

Other issues with the game mainly involve the game's length as a whole. While it's a bit longer then the original game but the main game only lasts roughly five hours from start to finish, extra time time could be added that you are trying to find every single area in the game but it's really not all that much. It may only take longer on the harder difficulties with a few retries but aside from that it's easy to go through the whole game in a single sitting.

The highlight of Dementium II is the overall presentation, much like the original game the graphics showcase the high quality disturbing atmosphere and impressive lighting effects from the flashlight that made the original game awesome for it's time. You will see plenty of decapitated corpses bleeding out, plenty of trash and broken pieces of terrain and rubble which adds plenty of detail to the overall atomosphere. When outside you can see some really good snowy effects and the draw distance in all areas is rather effective. I also want to appreciate the view on the top screen showing small spots like seeing and looking from your own eyes. What's mainly impressive is just like with the original game is that it runs at a very smooth 60 frames per second with no slowdown at all even when there can be so much taken up the screen at once making the action in the game very stable. The animations in the game are really good as well, I do like how the prisoners in the beginning are seen shaking around in their beds and also begging to be let out and the monster designs are really grotesque and nasty. However I do find the animations on the zombies to be rather robotic and it's just hilarious to see one of those guys walk towards you in a bizarre state but otherwise Dementium II is honestly without a doubt one of the best looking games on the DS.

Most of the music and sound effects in the game is brought back from the original but it has some of it's own tracks like the confrontation tunes and the aforementioned outdoor areas and I think the confrontation tunes are fitting when in combat and they do get the job done.

Overall I can say that Dementium II is a more polished experience and a true sequel. It improves on many of the game's mechanics but also adding in some new gameplay elements. My only complaint with the game is the overall length, like I said it only lasts 5 hours and the survival mode really could have added a multiplayer element to it and in fact some multiplayer would have been a welcome addition as well. I should also say without trying to spoil anything too much the game sadly ends on a cliff hanger leaving itself open to a third game. Prior to doing this review I have found that Jools Watsham has a kick starter for a third Dementium game going on a Tweeter page and if the numbers are great enough we can finally see the end of William's nightmares. Regardless of the length I truly recommend playing Dementium II on the DS for those who have a love for horror and those who haven't the chance to experience it yet. I would also recommend that you stay away from the PC port because they didn't literally nothing to improve on the overall mechanics nor improve it's length. Plus I think the game controls better on a DS stylus then a PC mouse for some reason. Lastly there is a remastered version of the two games on the 3DS in which the first is released now but a remastered second is on it's way. In any case it's time to enter that demented nightmare again.


The Good Points:


1. Improved mechanics from the first game

2. New and fun weapons to use

3. Impressive graphical details and environments plus the overall atmosphere is truly unsettling

4. The evil doctor is voiced and quoted very well

The Bad Points:


1. It's short and only lasts 5 hours


Reviewed by: Anthony Hayball (AQWBlaZer91)