Sunday, 6 November 2016

Night Creatures (Turbo Grafx 16 / PC Engine)

Night Creatures (PC Engine/ Turbo Grafx 16) :

To counter boredom, I'll often find myself out for walks at night, wandering miles just to get out of the house and do something different than sit in front of a TV or PC. Often, there will be many bats...and they'll swoop rather low to catch moths or other bugs, just missing my head! I've often wondered what would happen if one actually collided with my face...and as it turns out, I've been really lucky, if what happens to the poor hero of this game is anything to go by...... 

It turns out that Hecate, Greek Goddess of Witchcraft, Ghosts and Necromancy (amongst other things) likes to fly around in the form of a bat, y'see....and for some reason, she's decided to fly into the back of the hero's head, bite him and turn him into a creature of the night! If he can't break the spell by dawn, he'll be doomed to forever wear black clothes and sunscreen, hang around in graveyards and never again enjoy the taste of Garlic Kievs....

Returning to his village, our hero (let's just call him Norris) is informed by his girlfriend that he'll have to stay away from her for now, which is pretty reasonable I guess, but she does tell you that a wise woman in the village can help you out. So after beating up some rats and bats on the way further into the village, Norris meets said wise woman who tells him "You will find weapons that will help you," which whilst true, isn't really very helpful, as she doesn't tell him where to find these weapons!

Eventually, Norris does find some weapons like axes, guns, holy water, spears, etc. and the wise woman does become a bit  more helpful, popping up after you use a continue to tell you what weapons are effective against what types of enemy....and there's a gruesome bunch of baddies to fight! Werewolves, lizard men, vampires, killer trees, ghosts, skeletons......

There's the occasional bosses too, like a walking pumpkin and a bigger killer tree! Killing these bosses will often give Norris a special ability to help further in his fight against evil. He can turn into a wolf, bear, owl or....uhm...badger...Yes, I said badger!

Getting to see Norris become these creatures is easier said than done though, as this game can be annoyingly tricky! At first it seems like you'll breeze through, as energy pickups happen with every kill. The game soon takes a huge difficulty curve though, and annoying ghosts appear that can kill you instantly before you have a chance to do anything!

It can also be tricky trying to work out what weapon works best against the various creatures, as the wise woman is a bit selective in her recommendations! So it all becomes rather frustrating and difficult and ruins what could have been a pretty decent game.

Its got nice graphics, and a cool game world that you can explore pretty freely, but the tricky gameplay means it's not a game that I'd recommend unless you simply have to play another spooky game on the PC Engine/TG16....

A shame really, as Norris seems a nice chap and it's a pity to leave him in Hecate's clutches! 

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