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Dementium II review

AT A GLANCE
  • Detailed and varied environments
  • Plenty of atmosphere
  • Improved interface
  • Irritating "creepy" tunes and sound effects
  • Playing extended sessions hurts hands and eyes
  • Still limited by the hardware

You have to hand it to developers Renegade Kid: they’re certainly trying their best. Like their Dementium and Moon before it, Dementium II is, at the very least, technically impressive. Getting those tiny DS screens to create a little atmosphere is no mean feat, and if you sit in the dark with a pair of headphones on Dementium II does a remarkable job of dulling your brain against the distractions of the outside world while keeping it engaged in what’s generally a decent first-person survival horror.

As in the original, much of the action here takes place in the dimly lit corridors of a decrepit mental asylum, home to a sinister doctor and a handful of enemy types – lumbering, open-chested zombies mostly, as well as tazer-wielding guards, bags of exploding pus and, of course, the obligatory ‘annoying ones’ (jumpy leggy-brains that make no attempt to disguise the fact they’re based on Half-Life 2’s poison head-crabs).

The flashlight is back too, that little cone of brilliance that will help you nosey around the many corridors, seeking out scant ammo supplies and pinpointing enemies. Mercifully, you can now attack and use the flashlight simultaneously… just as long as you’re using a one-handed weapon. Likewise, navigation has also received a bit of an overhaul with a map that’s genuinely useful (as opposed to the constant irritation it was last time) and it will, the few times you’re at a loss as to where you need to go, steer you in the right direction.

Perhaps Dementium II’s biggest improvement over the first game, however, is the wealth of environments it throws at you. Moon and Dementium had players suffering corridor fatigue after the first hour, and while the problem is still present in small doses here, Dementium II offers players some nice outdoor locations to help break the indoor monotony.

All told, it’s accomplished stuff, but the problem still remains: is a ‘fairly decent’ FPS any better simply because it’s impressive for the host hardware? We’d argue not and, good though it is for DS, Dementium II is just ‘fairly decent’ when compared with other shooters. If you’re looking for an FPS on DS specifically then you’ll struggle to find better, but the rest of us are better off sticking to shooters on bigger screens.

May 4, 2010

More Info

Release date: May 04 2010 - DS (US)
Apr 30 2010 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Shooter
Published by: SouthPeak Interactive
Developed by: Renegade Kid
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Violence
PEGI Rating:
16+

4 comments

  • GamesRadarBrettElston - May 5, 2010 7:02 a.m.

    The new format has nothing to do with this. It's not like I wanted to review it and didn't have the time. And IMO this wouldn't get the SR treatment anyway, it has to be something really big, like Chinatown Wars, Pokemon, Spirit Tracks and Kingdom Hearts. There are just as many feature and Super Reviews as there ever were, with plenty more on the way. In fact, Alan Wake should be appearing any moment. S'alright!
  • Ravenbom - May 5, 2010 7:01 a.m.

    I just want to know if the enemies respawn every time you leave a room like they did in the first because that pretty much killed the survival horror and limited ammo aspect of the first one. I really got drawn into the first one, but never finished it because it's too unfair if the enemies respawn everytime you reenter a room.
  • Romination - May 5, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    Why the hell wasn't this a Super Review? I swear, this daily format is really killing all the interesting things that used to be done, I thought Brett would be all over this. He loves Renegade Kid.
  • erreip199 - May 4, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    Metroid prime hunters is still king in the DS FPS department

Showing 1-4 of 4 comments

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