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Nintendo DS Review: Dementium: The Ward

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Here's a survival-horror first-person shooter for your DS. Not too many of these out there! Luckily, this one is good enough to satisfy your needs. The game starts off quickly with you waking up as a patient in a hospital with no idea why you're there. You realize right away that there is something very wrong: the alarm is going off telling everyone to evacuate the building and there is blood everywhere. You encounter your first of thousands of zombies and begin your attempt to escape the nightmare.

Game-play
To be honest, I haven't had a game that sent chills down my spine like this one did since Resident Evil 3 came out for the Dreamcast. Especially for a portable game, this game can get pretty scary at times.

There are plenty of monsters and creatures of all sizes, speed, difficulty and even some bosses for you to fight as you try and exit the hospital. Then there is a slew of weapons that you can use to your disposal to handle all these enemies. The scenery of dimly lit, blood-spattered hallways can become a little repetitive after awhile, but it is fun.

The game is also relatively short and there isn't much replay value. You should be able to finish all 16 chapters in this game in 3-6 hours, and that's being pretty reasonable.

One of the biggest negatives about this game is the save system. The game saves after you finish each chapter, but if you die anywhere in the middle of a chapter, you have to restart the chapter all over again. So say, for one of the boss battles, you make it all the way to the boss, then die in battle, you have to start the whole level again. This can be a headache, but if you can get over that, you'll be fine. Just don't die!

Graphics
The graphics are amazing for a DS game! Alright, besides the gallons of blood spilt across every single room in the game (I'm not sure where all this blood came from) it is very impressive. If you've been waiting for another quality first-person shooter since Metroid Prime: Hunters. I'm really surprised with the level of detail in the entire game, from the environment to the enemies. And it must be noted I never experienced any lag or slow-down. Everything ran smooth and clean.

Music/Sound
The music and sounds in this game are superb for a hand-held game and raise the bar for future hand-held game designers. The music is eerie and adds to the atmosphere really well. You can hear creatures from around the corner, your own heartbeat, little girls crying, thunder through the windows… it all adds to the creepiness of the whole game.

Music and sound are such crucial aspects in making a successful game, especially in a horror/suspense game, because they can be used to heighten the suspense and the scariness of the game if done correctly. Dementium seems to have done this just right.

Overall
This game is awesome! The ending is kind of weird, and to be honest, a little disappointing, but I'm not letting that take anything away from the game-play. I had a lot of fun playing this game. Just try not to get stressed out when you have to start a chapter all over again and you'll enjoy it as well. It's definitely worth checking out. Although it seems there are plenty of negatives in the game-play, it is outweighed by the enjoyment you will get out of it.

Buy or Rent?
BUY. This is a fresh new survival-horror first-person shooter. With not too many quality games like this on the DS, you will be pleased to play Dementium: The Ward.

Dementium: The Ward is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Violence. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS.


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