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Just barely earning its RPG credentials is Jaleco's Nightcaster II: Equinox. If you haven't played the first game, think of Nightcaster II: Equinox as combining the gameplay of Gauntlet with the dual-analog stick control of Robotron the left thumbstick controls your character and the right analog stick aims magical attacks. You venture throughout mythical realms and square off against legions of creatures and soldiers, gaining levels and acquiring magical spells as you progress.
All in all, Nightcaster 2 is a game probably best left on the store shelves. If there's some fun in this title lurking around, I sure couldn't find it. It was masked by poor gameplay, cruddy graphics, and mediocre sound. And unlike Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, the co-op mode does not make the game worth it; you'll probably just end up with two frustrated people, instead of one. In fact, if you're looking for a title in the same vein, I recommend Baldur's Gate highly over this. Skip this one.
All Game Guide
While the graphics have improved somewhat, especially in the areas of lighting effects and textures, the levels are still rather confining and the enemies are silly looking, with little gnomes riding on birds, blob-like insects, and goblins who look like part of a Disney cartoon rather than natives of a dangerous world. In short, there is nothing in this game that hasn't been done better in every single way than Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Even the two-player cooperative action, which is normally the highlight of any game, only proves that misery loves company.
Nightcaster 2 plays a lot like Gauntlet. The game is played from a three-fourths overhead view, and you pretty much run around different environments while killing an endless barrage of enemies that are continuously respawning from, well, respawn points. And also like Gauntlet, the goal of each level is to eventually reach the exit gate. Normally, this type of scenario could provide either some mindless arcade fun, or even a deeper, richer game experience like say Baldur's Gate, but unfortunately, Nightcaster 2 has a few too many glaring flaws that keep it from being anything close to fun.
Nightcaster II may fool a shopper into thinking that since the game is a sequel, it must be worth buying. But it's hard to imagine anyone actually thinking that Nightcaster II is truly an improvement on the original in any way, shape, or form. The game just feels like one big rush job right from the start. Then again, beer could have been a factor. At any rate, Nightcaster II is a big step backward for the series in just about every respect.
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