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2003 spells sequel for Nightcaster

“countless times better than the original”

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Jaleco has whipped the wraps off the Xbox-exclusive follow-up to Xbox-exclusive spell 'em up Nightcaster, which proved a bit of a turkey on the system's release this March. Nightcaster was a slash 'em up without the slashing, and its repetitive gameplay quickly overcame anybody initially impressed by its visuals.

Fortunately, Jaleco is acutely aware of the first game's failings. "Our one goal has been to make a game that is countless times better than the original," says producer Adam Maxwell.

Combining the same spell and melee combat elements as Nightcaster, Nightcaster II: Equinox's husband-and-wife team of Arran (returnee) and Madelyn will need to think tactically, casting practical magic to battle goblins, trolls, dragons and otherworldly demons. This time, two players can work together on the same screen.

Not a great deal has changed though by the sound of it. The control system has logically progressed so that you control character movement independent of spell-casting, and there's the usual levelling up, with more than 30 spells to acquire in downing four bosses and neatly 40 enemies.

Like the original Nightcaster, Equinox takes place in a lush, verdant environment overrun by terrifically detailed nasties. Arran himself was a beacon of visual excellence in the original, and we expect that Jaleco will uphold the same standards of graphical quality. Maxwell certainly thinks so: "Everything, even the game's environments, which are now lush and alive with custom shader effects, bump and specular mapping, have been given such a drastic overhaul that the two games don't really compare."

Nightcaster II: Equinox is quite close to completion, and should be released in the UK in Q1 2003. Barely a year since the last one, let's hope it turns out to be more thoughtful.

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