previews\ Jan 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Calling - WII - Preview

The Nintendo Wii is an entity that many developers are attempting to explore mature themes for their titles. From Sega’s Madworld to Ubisoft’s No More Heroes 2, the Wii has its fair share of titles that cater to an adult audience. Never too late to join the bandwagon, Hudson Soft and Konami are readying Calling – a supernatural thriller that has players in four different roles.

The demo we had hands-on with had us in the role of Shin Suzantani, a young boy who has let curiosity get the best of him. You see, whoever visits the empty Web site called “The Black Page” ends up entering into an alternate dimension that allows people to encounter the dead. For Suzantani’s sake, an avid anime fanatic, he stumbled upon the Web site unknowingly after reading about it in an occult magazine. Little did he know that he would experience the true supernatural.

While the demo takes about five minutes to even get past the introductory videos and text, Calling presents a few peculiar methods of presenting “thrilling moments.” Through the speaker on the Wii remote, Calling has players listening to croaky voices from the dead who – I kid you not – call the player via their cell phone. This speaker acts as the phone speaker along with presenting creaky noises from opening doors, footsteps, and various other distinct noises.

Outside of the Wii remote speaker being used, the controls for Calling were unresponsive – they didn’t allow for simple navigation throughout the levels. Struggling to turn around and open up the door for the first 10 minutes was frustrating. What was even more frustrating was that 25 minutes in, Calling didn’t provide any spot-on horrific moments. To be honest, the dialogue was wooden, the storytelling was poorly told, and the level of terror was minimal.

Thankfully, this was only the demo and the development team has time to tighten the controls, spice up the thrills, and make it so that Calling produces heart-racing segments. For now, the portions of the title that try to get the player to jump fall flat on their face as if their bungee cord broke while leaping off a bridge. Let’s hope that Calling either A: turns up the campiness and cheese factor, or B: puts on its serious face and creates a terrifying game on the Nintendo Wii that will have players avoiding playing by their lonesome in the dark.

As of right now, Calling doesn’t do more than throw a few scenes that attempt to make the player jump out of their seat. What they do inspire is boredom. Take for example the most “thrilling” moment of Calling – Suzantani peaks through a doorway to see an unconscious body and then turns away to inspect the area behind him. When he returns to peaking through the doorway, Japanese porcelain dolls come running towards the doorway and fill up the screen. That’s it … if that doesn’t frighten you, then nothing from this demo will.

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