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.