Feature: Halloween? Dementium Time
This is a pre-recorded message letting you know that this article has been typed up prior to posting date. Yeah but lolsrs, I won’t be here on Halloween, sadly, so I’ve left it to the other busy bees at ABG to post this article for me. Since Halloween is coming up, and I bloody love the Dementium series, I couldn’t resist typing up something about it. There are quite a lot of people who haven’t heard of the Dementium series, so I’ve made it my goal to tell as much people as I can about it. To all of you hopefully reading this article on the 31st, have a Happy Halloween and be sure to pick up both Dementium and Dementium II, or you’ll make Jools, Gregg and the Renegade Kid staff sad. We don’t want that do we?
-Cazza, ABG Staff Writer
Wahey, it’s Halloween! For us too old to dress up and knock on doors for sweets, what can we do to celebrate? Video Games. There are many spooky games out there, some of them being top grade titles giving you more than a scare. But to me, one franchise sticks out from the rest. It’s not Resident Evil and it’s certainly not Silent Hill either. What could it be? Why, of course, it’s Renegade Kid’s Dementium franchise! Hit the jump for the full feature on Dementium: The Ward and it’s sequel, Dementium II!
The first game in the series was revealed under the name “The Ward” before being branded with the Dementium name. Dementium: The Ward was released in the US on October 31st 2007, with a much later release of April 17th 2009 here in Europe. Dementium was the first title from Jools Watsham and Gregg Hargrove under the Renegade Kid name but both developers have been in the gaming industry for years, with plenty of experience under their belts. The Nintendo DS is a platform that really lacks mature titles, and even now there are only a small handful of them. There are quite a few reasons why Dementium stands out from the rest of the DS’s catalogue of titles.
Atmosphere. If you take into consideration the graphical power of the DS, they did a fantastic job with presenting a genuinely scary title. Dementium: The Ward is focused on exploration, and by pushing the DS to its limits, Renegade Kid blew us away with a fantastic use of audio and visuals, regardless of not being all shiny high-definition. While this may just be a personal opinion, I don’t recall ever being somewhat disturbed by creature designs in a video game before this. I can handle the creatures with their chests open but The Cleaver? Nightmare fuel.
The Dementium franchise’s story has stretched quite far, but it’s clear that we’re in for at least one more installment. Dementium follows the tale of William Redmoor, a man whose life has literally become hell. After receiving some very serious brain surgery and waking up in a mysterious hospital ward, William is plagued by grotesque creatures and monsters wandering the halls. Throughout the course of the series, you learn more about William and what is going on inside his mind. The story of William is a confusing one, but not impossible to piece together. Unfortunately, Dementium: The Ward lacked a lot in the narrative section of story telling, but who’s to say this wasn’t fixed?
This year, after a number of unfortunate delays, Dementium II finally reached stores on May 4th. There have been reports of Dementium II being available in Europe but personally, I’ve never found a copy. As a sequel should, Dementium II improved on the original and added its own sleigh of content. New locations, creatures, gameplay modes and of course, more voice acting! It’s a bundle of awesome updates but I wouldn’t go jumping into it right off the bat. After all, it’s a sequel.
While the first Dementium title focused on exploration and atmosphere, Dementium II is more story driven and action based. Dark hallways and hospital wards have been replaced with prison cells, snow-covered villages and underground mines. The creatures are bigger, badder and even more disturbing than before. It’ll give you chills down your spine but rarely anything that’ll make you jump out your skin.
Dementium II tells its story through in-game voice acting and some rather pretty cutscenes. William follows the long line of protagonists who don’t speak, but everyone else around him does. A rather creepy but nice touch is the inclusion of speech for the inmates of the Bright Dawn Treatment Center. These characters, easily recognisable with their bright orange clothing, are actually voiced in russian. I honestly don’t know if this was random or carefully picked out, but it certainly gives you that creepy feeling. Then again, we’re all like that with foreign stuff we don’t understand! Although one of the inmates looks like Billy Mays, which is quite intimidating.
Kind of hard not making this sound like a review, but I’m pretty sure you understand the fact that I have nothing but praise for this series, and it’s true. Dementium and Dementium II still remain my favourite Nintendo DS titles and I honestly urge every single one of you to give them a try. Survival Horror fan? You’ll love it. FPS fan? You’ll love it. So go on, treat yourself to a little Halloween gift and purchase Dementium: The Ward and Dementium II. You’re missing out on one of the DS’s best series.
As for myself? I’ll be enjoying playing the games back to back. I never let a oppertunity to marathon the two games slip by. If you own either of the titles, why not do the same? You might discover something you missed on your last playthrough! But enough ranting, I’d imagine you all get the message by now.
P.S Oh and if you’re somehow reading this, hey Jools and the rest of RK! Keep up the great work guys.