Nightmare Creatures, a side-scroller staring a caped monster slayer, owes more to the classic brawler Final Fight than to the vampire adventure game Castlevania. It plays more like a fighting game, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Our hero plays through a half-dozen levels slicing up flying gargoyles, rising zombies, and flame-tossing dragons. The level areas, from graveyards to sewers, are suitably creepy, and the demonic end-level bosses, which take up a third of the screen, are surprisingly intimidating.
However, the fear is cut by hilarious, Scarface-ian dialogue like "It's too late. The city is mine," which is pretty funny when coming from a 20-foot green hell-demon.
The real strong suit of the game is variety. There are three difficulty levels, all with noticeable differences. You also learn several new fighting techniques, like the double-jump attack, as the game progresses.
It's a fast-paced, occasionally chaotic game--just like a good action game should be.