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May 19 10 12:58 PM

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about time I shove up a review of this bad boy. I wrote this on another site I regular on so excuse the whole "if you don't know Renegade Kid" stuff.

Dementium II
Publisher: Southpeak
Developer: Renegade Kid
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Genre: Survival Horror, First Person Shooter

If you follow recent DS or Survival Horror titles, then Renegade Kid will be no stranger to you. Renegade Kid have had two successful DS outings, Dementium: The Ward and Moon. Their third DS title, Dementium II, has finally reached our hands after a plethora of delays. Does Dementium II stand up to the standard of the first title? I believe I can answer that with a simple yes. Yes it does.

If you've played the first Dementium then that doesn't matter. Because the story isn't going to be any easier to understand. You once again take control of William Redmoor, who has just recovered from brain surgery at the Bright Drawn Treatment Center. Upon returning to your cell, the world around you soon turns into a dark and gloomy outer world where the creatures of your mind lurk. It doesn't take long for these creatures to escape your mind and enter the world. Once again you must fight to survive against your minds horrible creations and put a stop to The Doctor's scheme.

All I can say about the original Dementium is praise. It nailed the Survival Horror genre perfectly with next to no flaws. Dementium II follows in its footsteps and provides an even better experience, with some new additions too. As with the first Dementium, Dementium II boasts stunning graphical work and interesting enemy design. Some variety has been thrown into the mix as you're not just wandering around a hospital this time. You'll be venturing through snowy villages and underground mines as you try to escape from this hellish nightmare. The creature designs are both familiar and new. Some old faces make a return (with some re-designing) and some grotesque new foes make an appearence. Overall, the graphics have been polished up and look even better than they did in the first game. Very impressive considering the DS' limitations.

The audio once again adds to an atmospheric experience you'll never forget. Yet again, Renegade Kid impress with a fantastic selection of tracks to set the mood. You have the usual piano melodies playing throughout which really does make it Dementium. However, now the music changes upon encountering enemies. The encounter music could be described as being simular to that of music from a Psycho Horror film. Sharp and fast paced music as you fight to keep your life. Dementium II actually features quite a bit of dialogue compared to the first game. Mostly from The Doctor (voiced by none other than that lovely chap Jools Watsham) as he mocks your efforts and threatens you.

Some of the most commonly reported flaws with the first Dementium was the save system. This has now been fixed with save areas dotted around chapters. Renegade Kid has also learned to give us boss variety. I must say, I was very impressed with the boss fights this time around. Each boss fight is different in its own special way. It actually gives it a retro feeling as each boss has a set "pattern" you need to learn. It really causes you to plan your actions instead of going trigger happy on it all. On the subject of that, Dementium II has a huge focus on survival, limiting your supply of ammo and health. You now have an inventory which can be used to store ammo, medicine pills and health packs. You're forced to watch over how much ammo you use so don't be surprised if you end up using the Shank most times.

I know I say this pretty much every review but every game has its flaws. The length of Dementium II really disappointed me. Dementium II only features 5 chapters, compared to the first game which had 16. Whilst these chapters are long, it doesn't last forever. You can most likely finish the game within 4-6 hours, possibly less if you're playing on easy mode. The game doesn't offer much on replay value but there is a Survival Mode. This takes you through different waves as you rack up kills whilst trying to survive. You obtain a new weapon for the first few waves but after that you're on your own. It's a fun way to pass time but most likely a mode you'll only try once or twice. The second flaw is the general atmosphere. The original Dementium focused on building up suspense via darkness and throwing surprises at you. Dementium II feels more aimed at tension via rushes of enemies and sound effects. While it does provide a few scares, it doesn't stand up to what the original managed to produce. Probably nice for those who don't like to be frightened by games but personally I feel it was a bit of a let down.

To sum it all up, it's a Survival Horror fan's best friend. If you love the genre and own a DS then this is a must have game. Jools Watsham and the rest of Renegade Kid worked very hard on this game and i'd love nothing more than to hear its selling well. So please, if you own a DS then consider picking this game up. It could be the greatest game you've ever played. I certainly know it's mine.

Verdict - 9/10

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