Repost: Dementium II Review

At the beginning of Dementium II, there is a strange déjà vu in the theme of the title, It immediately brings a feeling of Resident Evil on PlayStation in the mood and setting, though once in the title proper, Dementium II takes on a whole new feeling of survival horror.

The Nintendo DS doesn’t have much in terms of “Mature” titles, but this title uses its rating to the full extent and reintroduces the setting as an important asset in the survival horror genre.

The Plot

Dementium II picks up where the original ended, with William waking up after brain surgery and escorted back to his cell. In the first few minutes, William begins his journey of escape and trying to find some sanity among the horror of his mind.

The shifts from reality into the type of psychosis that is full of the horrific monsters who are then present in William’s reality bridge the gap and cause the players to wonder which world is the reality and which is based off of William’s insanity.

That question creates a great plot to experience and will draw in fans of the older survival horror genre rather than the newer action-based titles.

The Look

Considering the hardware of the Nintendo DS, Dementium II does a decent job of pushing polygons in the three dimensional environment. Visually, expect something similar to Resident Evil on the original PlayStation for comparison. The first person view only really shows the William’s hand, which carries a block resemblance.

The creatures of Dementium II are some of the most interesting horror monsters of the genre. They look like they were influenced from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser among other more disturbing movies. These enemies pop out from the background and both disgust and awe because while they look dated, the design is great.

Environments again look a bit aged, but an impressive technical feat of the game is the use of the flashlight in dark areas where the lighting is only highlighted where the flashlight shows.

The Sound

Play Dementium II with headphones because the stereo of the Nintendo DS will not do the title justice with the ambient sound or the aura of the title itself.

Voice acting helps move the story along while the music changes the theme of the title with each new environment. Sound also helps with the location of monsters in areas with the distance to the creature increasing the volume.

Sound is one of the most important aspects of any survival horror title and Dementium II uses it to its full potential.

Function

Dementium II has an interesting control scheme. With both left and right hand options, the title uses the stylus for looking around the environments while either the directional pad or the face buttons are used for movement. Attacks are through the shoulder buttons depending on which hand orientation is used.

While the title uses this control scheme well for the exploration of the world, the combat is less than solid. The title uses the “not much ammo” mechanic and most of the time a shank found early in the game is used. Moving around enemies in conjunction with the stylus is difficult and expect to lose a lot of health.

Exploring the story of the title is the most rewarding to find out what psychosis William is suffering from because of the theme of the title, but other than that, the necessity of combat brings the experience down.

Decisions

In terms of Mature titles on the Nintendo DS, Dementium II is among the best. It looks a bit dated, but the content of the title is worth the journey. Though fans of survival horror will find more to interest themselves than the casual player, Dementium II shows that Mature titles are possible on the system and can succeed.

If the combat was tweaked to not be as imperative to the progression of the title and just finding out the plot was the function of the title, then the overall experience would be great. But as using the combination of the stylus and buttons for combat is a little unpolished, Dementium II gains an unnecessary difficulty.

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

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