Nightbreed (Ocean) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Nightbreed
By Ocean
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #67

Nightbreed

Midian... a place where even monsters can find forgiveness. A place where grotesque creatures, shunned by humanity, have fled to find some kind of refuge. Some are evil, some are simply misunderstood, but all of these vile creatures have one thing in common - they realise that true evil exists only in human souls, and that monsters, like animals, are innocent of their crimes by very nature...

And so in this game, based upon the book and film by Clive Barker, the enemies are the "good" guys. Soldiers from the Canadian (for that is where the film is set) equivalent of the National Guard seek to hunt down a man named Aaron Boone (the hero), and make him pay for a series of murders they believe he committed. Boone is in fact innocent, but his psychiatrist, Decker, has hypnotised Boone, and made him believe that he is guilty. Torn with anguish, he makes his way to Midian, where the unfortunate dude gets bitten by a sort of vampire thing. From bad to worse, as they say.

Boone does not snuff it, but instead comes back in the form of a beast thing called Cabal (after a meeting with a naked demigod called Baphomet), and decides to wreak vengeance on Decker.

The game takes the form of a sort of collect-'em-up, with Boone wandering from screen to screen, punching and kicking his way through the opposing hordes of enemy soldiers. Monsters do make an appearance but, true to the spirit of the film, these are best avoided rather than tangled with.

The baddies are a varied bunch, carrying flame-throwers, machine guns and the like, and can make life very difficult for a poor little monster, and you will soon find that the attraction of a beat-'em-up seems to gain something when the enemy are armed to tho teeth. Rip their faces off and watch the suckers bleed. Ha, ha, haaaarr! [Get this man a doctor! - Ed]

It's all very well running around killing everything that moves, but there is a point to this game, and don't forget it! Collect the keys to Baphomet's domain, reach the big oily critter himself, and gain the power of Cabal. Once transformed, you become rock hard and dangerous to know.

Transformation is essential if you are to beat your arch-enemy Decker, who you will meet in the final showdown at the end of the game. Decker is a nasty piece of work, and is more than capable of taking off your head with a well-aimed swipe of his chopper, and so more than a little caution is required.

The graphics are very well done; colourful and very atmospheric, really adding to the gameplay. Sound is reasonably good, with a creepy opening theme, and spooky sound effects throughout.

The gameplay, however, is not quite what it should be. What there is is really very good, but for this type of exploration-based arcade adventure, the average punter requires more than a little variation, and this game is very "samey" all the way through to the end.

On the plus side, it does play smoothly, and progress is simple, and easy to make. The game follows the plot of the film reasonably accurately. All in all, a reasonable game, and a must for fans of the movie.

Second Opinion

Very bright and colourful, but likely to succeed on the basis of its cinema forbear rather than any great originality of its own as a game. It follows the plot of the film very well, not that that's any great recommendation!

First Day Target Score

Find the keys.

Verdict

Graphics 81%
Smooth and colourful, with nice animation and varied creatures.

Sonics 76%
A nice tune to start with, and good to average spot effects throughout.

Grab Factor 80%
Easy to pick up, and progress comes very quickly and easily.

Staying Power 72%
A little too easy for long-term enjoyment, and little in the way of variety.

Overall 78%
A very reasonable game in its own right, and a good tie-in.

Frank O' Connor

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