Hey folks, Valkor here. And just because Halloween is over, doesn't mean the scares have to end. Thanks to the folks at XSEED, the Val-Cave was treated to the ultimate scare. No I'm not talkin about the suckfest that is "Paranormal Activity", I'm talking about a scary ass game based on a scary ass set of flicks, set to scare the…. Well read on.
Ju-On the Game, is not a game per say, but more like an experience that you have to try at least once. Basically you play through five scenarios: An abandoned warehouse, hospital, Mannequin shop, an apartment, and the Saeki residence, your job is to get through each scenario alive. You have no weapons, save for a flashlight, which doubles as your health bar. When the batteries die then its lights out (and game over). As you progress through each level, you'll come across items to aid you such as spare batteries, keys, and newspaper clippings (which will reveal more of the story). But your progression will be hindered by the little Asian kid that meows like a cat, and the creepy long haired girl, whom you'll find in a bunch of scary Asian flicks, not just Ju-On. (My first introduction was The Ring).
Since you have no weapons, how do you fight the baddies? Well you don't! You have to escape them by waving your Wii-mote in the direction of the on screen arrows. The ghosts/monsters/whatever you wanna call em, will pop up at random. It only appears that way on your first play through, but once you replay the stage again, you'll see events happen over and over when you reach a certain spot. This lessens the scares because you know what is gonna happen, when you come to that spot again. Also music cues will also warn you when something is about to happen, especially when it's big!
And basically that is the jist of the game, nothing special right? Is it worth your time?
The short answer is yes, with a long answer to be continued in the bad section. The game has a great amount of scares in its first run through. If you've never experienced The Grudge on film, then this is a definite buy (if you can get it on the cheap). When you play it, make sure the lights are out and it's 2 a.m. for optimal scares. Now I know folks who complain that your character moves too slow, but to me it only heightens the experience and makes the game that much scarier. Again, when you first play the game, shit happens and it happens so suddenly that it will make you jump out of your seat. The graphics aren't the greatest, then again it's the Wii, so for what it's worth, I think the attention to detail is spot on. Everything is dark and gritty and given the limited area you can see, really draws you in the game, because the stuff you can't see is the scariest. And the music is most fitting, though sparse, however what's there fits each scenario.
Ok here's the long, though not entirely long answer. I repeat that upon your first play through you will get a good fright. But after that; once you know where all the pop ups will appear, then it's easy… maybe too easy. Of course there's the option to have a second player, to press the "panic button" and random moments, but that's only if there is a second player to begin with. Second is the controls; not the actually walking of the character, but the use of the flashlight. Move it too fast and the light will spiral all over the place, until you still the Wii-mote to gain control. I also think there should have been more to do than just walking around looking for stuff, something like Dead Space Extraction, where you have this total interactive movie picking up weapons and items and interacting with other characters. Why can't I bash that little kid in the skull with a bat? He can't die anyway, so why not slow him down a spell? Heh.
Ju-On The Grudge video game is the type of game that once you've played it, there's no need to play it again. Though I would recommend it for at least a run through, then you can pass it on to a friend… hmmmm much like the actual film where The Grudge is passed on to others. I think I'll give this game to Epic, he scares easy and cries like a little baby. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give Ju-On The Grudge a resounding 2.5 stars.