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Nightmare Creatures

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Released: 1997

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Nintendo 64

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Kalisto Entertainment

Submitted by: Scott Reed

In Hornchurch, a place in Essex near where I live out my boring existence, there is a chip shop called ‘Oh My Cod!’. Just up from it is a military themed barbers called ‘Hairforce’. The chip shop in my town is called ‘Fish & Chicken’. Be honest, where would you rather eat? Whoever decided to name their N64 game ‘Nightmare Creatures’ was obviously on the same train of thought that thinks up glaringly obvious names like ‘Fish ‘n’ Chicken’.

I found this while copying over my ROMs to the computer in my new house. Nightmare Creatures really isn’t a survival horror game. Or if it is it’s a failure of a survival horror game. But given that there’s no atmosphere and there is a finite amount of lives and, the odd switch kicking aside, all you do is knock the crap out of undead things. I guess I’ll describe it as a horror themed beat ‘em up. Though you could lump it in that big ‘action adventure’ filing cabinet if you want.

The main characters are incredibly well rendered for the system, female lead Nadia’s face is a good as any example. But most enemies are pretty much woeful. Like they were nicked from a tech demo from Virtua Fighter Doom. And it’s like this all the way through. For every awesome there’s an equal un-awesome to balance everything out and leave the game in the perpetual land of ‘Meh’. Zombies rise again after a kicking- because they’re undead. Some areas have you wait for the lazy sods to drag themselves up before you can advance. Meh.

And the game has no difficulty curve. It has a difficulty snake. A difficulty snake who’s eaten boxes of old Super Sour Nerdz and gone a bit funny. I bloody e: The werewolf enemies have far too vicious A.I. to be in the first level. The 10th maybe. They’re the second enemy you face.

With controls simple, effective, and nothing special, the main problem with Nightmare Creatures is that it keeps freezing Project64. It didn’t do this on the laptop.