Escape from Bug Island - WII - Preview
E3 2006 Hands On Preview
Of the many new titles unveiled during Nintendo’s E3 press conference, one stood out as what appeared to be a survival/horror title: Necro-Nesia. With moderately dark environments, creepy bugs, and only a flashlight to lead the way, Necro-Nesia looked like a cross between Eternal Darkness and Silent Hill.
I didn’t expect to get any hands-on time with this game till next year’s E3. But it turned out to be further along than I thought, as a playable demo sat deep inside Nintendo’s booth.
The demo wasn’t very long or very shocking, but it was somewhat challenging. Using the analog attachment, players control a female character as she attempts to find her way out of a (haunted?) forest. Bugs are your first enemy encounter, and no matter how much controller shaking or button pressing I did, it did not appear that she was carrying a weapon. Her only line of defense were rocks. Launching them was no easy task – to do so, you had to stand in an awkward position (by holding one of the shoulder buttons) and press the A button. More often than not my rock hit a tree, landed on the ground, or bounced off the side of a beat-up shack (found in the middle of the level).
Soon the giant, squirrel-sized bugs got the better of my character and began to surround her body. She panicked and was unable to move. The music’s intensity heightened, and a Wii remote icon appeared on screen, with arrows pointing left and right. The indication was that I had to shake the remote as fast as possible to remove the insects from her body. It took a whole lot of shaking, but she was eventually able to fight off the bugs.
Free from their captivity, I ran toward what appeared to be the exit. Soon a glowing image appeared on my map. I didn’t know this at the time, but bugs were the least of my worries. With nowhere else to go, I approached the glow with caution.
On my way I decided to continue experimenting with the Wii remote and analog attachment. In addition to being able to throw rocks while holding a shoulder button, the remote also becomes active in a new way. Just like Silent Hill, where you could twist one of the analog sticks to move the flashlight, Necro-Nesia lets you control the light with the Wii remote. It’s not perfect – the developers have a bit of tweaking to do before the game will be ready for release. But it’s showing a lot of promise, with real-time streaks lighting the way.
Arriving at my destination, I prepared for the worst by getting in position…to throw a rock. I still had yet to discover a more powerful weapon, but hoped that whatever was waiting for me in this location would not be strong enough to survive my defense.
Who was I kidding?
The monster, who was about the size of the unnamed lead character, was vicious and looked rather disgusting. I’m thinking it’s a relative of the praying mantis, but given its enormous size one would have to assume that an experiment or two had something to do with its exceptional stature. It chased me around the area. I’d occasionally get far enough ahead to stop running, set up a shot, and throw a rock. I didn’t succeed in killing the monster, nor was I successful in chasing it away. It kept coming, I kept running, and I eventually learned that there was no way out of this haunted world. Not for me, at least.
While not as scary as the leading survival/horror titles, Necro-Nesia is an interesting take on the genre. Without any formal way of defending oneself, players will be scrambling to survive the lethal creatures that inhabit the game’s world.