Friday, 7 October 2022

Alone in the Dark 2 - Jack's Heart Attack

We continue our month of SpoooooOOOOOOOOOOKY CRISPS with this very obscure, strange title for the Saturn. Even for Survival Horror standards, this game is very strange. In fact, before this review, I had no idea this game even existed. Obviously, Alone in the Dark had sequels, but I had never even looked into them and this one hasn't come up in any of the conversations when talking about survival horror games. 

Total transparency here, I used a game walkthrough and I did not finish it. Every single element on display here was beyond terribly implemented. The controls are the worst of all. Not only are they tank controls, but they require you to fight zombies with tommy guns. Sounds awesome, right? No, it's really not. The only thing good about it is that it's funny and random. Actually fighting the three you encounter at the start of the game is jarring. You need to figure out these controls and that takes time you do not have when a zombie is using a bullet typewriter in close proximity to your face. 

Figuring out the button combinations and taking aim in multiple points of view is just a terrible way to learn. The controls are absolutely atrocious to begin with as they are the most awkward buttons to find and impliment in the game. Not only that, but finding out what to do in the game, objects to use and secret passages is another gigantic pain in the zombie rear! Figuring out these puzzles and getting ambushed at random points gets really old really fast. 

No matter where you go or what you do, you will die. Fighting in this game is so difficult with everything on display. Not only do the controls make it impossible to master, but you move so slowly. Every single time you run into a challenge, get ready to spend ten minutes trying to figure out how to get by it.

On top of everything, the graphics are about what you expect from Alone in the Dark, in fact, they are just about the same. They are just about as bad as they were in the original. The Saturn graphics on top of it are about the most charming thing you're going to get with this. 

Elements such as story, characters, setting and any connection to the first game, all of that went to the wayside. There's so little to focus on other than trying not to die, that you may as well consider each encounter a minigame. Trying to look at this game as a full entity is so daunting, you'll probably want to give up.

If this game had better controls and better mechanics with a little less of a cryptic nature, it could have been a nice little gem of a game. As it stands, though, this game even makes zombies toting guns boring. It is a dullfest that doesn't even attempt to scare you. That's really saying something when there are some genuinely creepy 32-bit games, despite what you might hear from these youngins today. Yes, I know I sound old, but who cares! That just means I'm getting ready to haunt your virtua dreams!  

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