Nightmare Creatures – An N64 Horror Miss?

Back in 1998, a horror-themed game called Nightmare Creatures made its way to the PC, PlayStation, and Nintendo 64. It was a game I remember reading about and seeing pictures of in Nintendo Power, but I never actually had a chance to play it. As time went on, any interest I had in the game waned, and the chances of me actually playing it kept getting slimmer and slimmer.

Yet, in some Google image search a while ago, a picture of the game came up and it got me thinking about it. A bit of research claimed that the Nintendo 64 port of the game was superior, citing critics’ claims at the time that the graphics were better and “smoother” looking and the audio was a bit cleaner. They also seemed to like the controls.

Having live-streamed it and played through three of the game’s levels, I can say that, while it isn’t a bad game, it certainly isn’t without its flaws. For starters, the story is poorly delivered (in my opinion), relying largely on notes and internal thoughts as you go. The game’s intro story simply flies by for some reason due to excessively high frame-rates, and that doesn’t really help either. The main thing the game suffers from is poor controls in places and a mostly uncontrollable camera. As evidenced in the boss fight at the end of this video, while this might be okay in other parts, it’s certainly a problem where it counts.

The game’s graphics do stand out pretty well, although keep in mind that this video features the game being rendered in high-definition with cleaned-up visuals, so the original version (most likely 320×240 or lower) wasn’t nearly as crisp.

Is this a game I’d recommend by today’s standards? Probably not. I do hear that the PlayStation port is worth giving an extra look, but there are other games from the era that are more worthy of a play. Perhaps one day I’ll take a look at Nightmare Creatures II, but that’ll be for another day.

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