Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ju-on The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator

Developer: feelplus
Publisher: Xseed
Release Date: Oct. 13, 2009
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: M

In a nutshell: Cheap thrills... emphasis on the cheap.

0:00 After playing Alan Wake a bit, I'm on a horror game kick. What better way to satisfy it than with this Haunted House Simulator that's been sitting on my pile for months. All I remember about the movie of the same name is that the trailer looked awful.

0:01 I'm playing this at 9 in the morning with the sun streaming in through the blinds. Hardly ideal for creating a scary atmosphere, but it is what it is.

0:02 Grainy, handheld video of an alley, a roof, a door to an old-fashioned house being opened. Slippers and trash on the floor. In the bathroom, a sink full of hair. A cloaked figure stands in the sunny kitchen. A mannequin presses against a frosted window. The door slams. Bloody napkins everywhere. A woman in a white shroud with black hair draped over her face. Jumpy close ups of her eye. Title screen. They're obviously going for a Blair Witch Project vibe, but I'm less scared than confused.

0:03 In addition to three selectable files, there's something called "courage test." How can I resist trying something like that?

0:04 The game asks for my gender and Zodiac sign. I'm a Leo. The only episode available is "Rundown Factory." Like, Zoinks, Scooby!

0:05 A golden retriever scampers along with the camera close in on his back, pointed towards the ground. Awkward panting as he comes upon a man with naked legs. "Oh that Ivy running off like that," says white text on a black background. "I wonder what she saw? This factory looks like it hasn't been used in forever..." Then a title card that simply reads, "Erika."


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