December 7th, 2009, 01:34 Posted By: bandit
Ju-On: The Grudge
Release Date: 10/30/2009 (Europe)
Number of Players: 1-2
Genre: Fright Simulator
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Overview: Experience genuine terror from one of Japan’s horror masters, Takeshi Shimizu, in the first ever videogame offering of JU-ON: The Grudge.
The gaming environment is based heavily on the film version of the Grudge and using the Wii Remote as a flashlight, players explore haunted areas such as an abandoned warehouse, a dimly lit hospital and a mannequin factory, all whilst trying to remain in control of their nerves. The game is developed with heavy involvement from Shimizu-san - JU-ON: The Grudge is as close as you can get to actually being in the twisted world of The Grudge.
The aim of the game is to remain as calm as possible, the more a player flinches and jumps at the terrifying events unfolding around them, the worse their score becomes. A great game for groups of friends, JU-ON: The Grudge is a battle of nerves as well as serious laughs as each player takes their turn to frighten themselves silly. The developers have taken care to make sure that this game is as realistic as possible and many of the sound effects were recorded at existing ruined facilities and buildings to recreate the true horror of the experience.
The Wii Remote is also used as various different devices throughout the game, giving a realistic take on specific movements such as opening doors. At the end of the game scores can be compared with your friends and family to find out who truly is the most scared!
Released in time for Halloween, why not invite your friends round and see which one you can scare the most?
And remember, this game should be played with the lights off!
Gameplay: Ju-On: The Grudge is dubbed a "Fright Simulator" and is suppose to be a Haunted House Simulator (as per North American cover shot). Ju-On begins with a definition of the term "juon", defining it as a curse born from one who dies tragically that affects and kills all who come into contact with it.
In this game, you start off by selecting your gender as well as your star sign. Once you have selected your character, you begin the game with a dog, Ivy, wandering into a rundown factory. After noticing your pet hasnt returned, you proceed into the factory in search for 'man's best friend' armed with a flashlight. If you're the type to never open the manual and just jump right in, like myself, I suggest you open the manual before playing the game to familiarize yourself with the controls since there are no tutorials in the beginning.
Immediately, you encounter your first scare when you press B. As stated above, B is used to move forward and you only move forward at a slow pace and only that pace. On the bottom left of the screen, you'll see your three (3) battery meter for your flashlight. Like real life flashlights or any electronics, when in use, the battery depletes. This is essentially your life. Dont worry, you'll be able to find batteries in dark rooms along with keys to open locked doors. You would think that the character would move a little faster to find her pet dog before the flashlight dies but you're limited to an extremely slow walking pace. If the battery dies before the game is completed, you will need to start from the beginning. Yes, the beginning. There are no checkpoints at any time in the game.
The further you get, the scares become predictable and expected. They usually happen around the same areas, same situations and same way.
In the game, there is a 'curse'. If you encounter a 'curse', it chases you around for a few seconds and the only way to evade it is to perform a series of actions with the Wiimote. These actions such as waving the controller, are displayed on screen with arrows appearing at the edge of the screen and you have to move the controller in the direction specificed to help you escape from the 'curse'. If the arrow turns green, it means you passed. If the arrow turns red and you do not want it to turn red because that means you have failed which results in death and you will have to repeat it all over again.
A second player can join in but they arent there to help but more of scaring the first player which slows the player down. They have to wait 15 seconds before they can do another scare tactic.
Controls: To give you a quick rundown of the controls, the B button is used to move forward, DOWN on the d-pad moves your character backwards and the A button is used to interact with doors and items. And the most important part is moving your Wiimote. This is used to direct the light from the flashlight and to direct your character. As you creep further into the game, you realize the controls isnt really that good. Moving the flashlight is not as responsive and can be a bit frustrating at times trying to get your character to move in the direction you want it to move.
When something scary is about to happen, you are taken out of control and the camera moves to a location where something has happened.
Graphics: The graphics arent the best. You would expect a solid lighting environment but the flashlight is very weak and everything is boxy and pixelated. Maybe your character should of invested in a LED flashlight instead of a bulb based lighting system. LOL.
Sound: There is barely any sound at all. If you do hear sound, its from a cat screeching or right when something happens and even that is for a few seconds. Sound effects make up a good chunk of the game such as footsteps, doors creaking and other ambient noises fill the air and echo through the environments.
Replay Value: The game is very short with only four (4) episodes with each lasting 20-30 mins. So in total, you can finish the game in 2 hours. Once the game is finished, theres not much you can go back to.
Conclusion: Overall, Ju-On: The Grudge didnt impress me or frighten me. The biggest down fall was the controls and gameplay. We all know the Wii is not as powerful as the PS3 or Xbox 360 but it could have been better. According to T. Kanazawa, “You’ll jump, laugh and cry… perfect fun!” according to the bottom right corner of the box. To me, its more like you'll probably cry from laughter and jump up to use the bathroom or get some food/beverage.
If you want to try and get the most enjoyment out of the game or for your buck, play this in the dark and with a friend who is scared at horror. You wont be jumping out of your seat because of the game but because of your friend screaming. Thats the most fright you'll probably get out of the game.
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