Wii Horror Game Review: Calling
Learn more about this imported Japanese horror survival game and find out if it is worth the spooky game play when looking to add to your Wii games collection.
Calling: Horror Survival Game for the Wii
Created by Hudson Entertainment for the Wii game console, Calling is an imported horror survival game based on the same theme as other popular Japanese horror games. The game is not based on any Japaneses horror movie but the game play is very similar to other Wii games based on The Grudge and The Ring movies.
Here we take a look at the overall game play and storyline with corresponding screenshots in this calling wii review.
Game Play Storyline
The main storyline for Calling centers around a website named The Black Page. The two main characters, Rin and Shinichi have heard a rumour about an online site that allows people to communicate with the restless spirits. The rumor started with the disappearance if three schoolgirls who visited the website and then mysteriously died.
When visiting the site, Rin and Shinichi notice that it appears to be just a blank black page with a visitor counter. Soon though they notice that for some people who visit the site there is a chat room that seems to in place of the site. During random chat session through The Black Page, some visitors will get an incoming call on their cell phones. When the call is answered, those who receive the call end up being automatically transported to the Mnemonic Abyss which is an alternate plane of existence.
Once transported, the goal is to get back to the normal plane of existence from where you came. This is often the basis for gaming storylines and is no different for this calling wii review.
Once you are transported into the Mnemonic Abyss, you will at first need to roam around darkened rooms with no light-source other than your cell phone. Random spirits will try to grab for you either by grabbing your legs from the ground, grabbing the top you you as they pop out of the ceiling for rush you was you walk through the game.
The first few times that you are grabbed, it does provide a spooky experience until the play continues and your realize that this is how all spirits will try to grab you through the whole game. As shown in the screen shot to the left, the only way to get out of the hold from one of these spirits is to shake the Wii remote until they let go. In order to get a closer look at the image, click on it and a new window will appear.
After fighting off a few restless spirits, you'll be given a flashlight that will help you find objects that will provide clues on how to get out of the Mnemonic Abyss. The majority of drawers and cabinets that are found will be empty, so to find an object an extensive search will have to be done of every area that you encounter. Doing that extensive a search can take hours and will seriously lessen the shock value of the spirits you come in contact with and the spooky atmosphere as these elements quickly become predictable.
The main stars of this game are the cell phones. To travel to any location for searching you will have to call a phone that happens to be in that location. To make things more spooky the game creators even gave the restless spirits their own cell phones, hence the game title of Calling.
The most frustrating area of gameplay comes from continuously having to start the game over. Each section you complete is only a partial piece to the storyline and when you come to the end of each piece your treated by having to view the end credits over and over. There are also storyline chapters that open after you complete a partial piece of the game but to get to these new chapters you have to go back and start the game again. To get better gameplay and a spookier storyline, take this calling wii review to heart and spend your money on a longer lasting and more enjoyable horror game.
Calling Game Graphics
The graphics in this game are better than the gameplay but not by much. The basic color palette runs from black, red and then through various shades of gray. The higher quality graphic elements are reserved for the many cut-scenes that happen during gameplay, while during play the main theme is a blurry view and dark atmosphere.
One area where game play graphics come through is when your are being attacked by a spirit and get a close up view of what you are dealing with. Shown in the screen shot at the left is a close up of random spirit that you will encounter many times and have to shake off.
As an example of lesser graphic quality, shown in the screen shot to the right is a wall that grows black hair. Possibly a gaming homage to The Ring, the black hair that emerges during game play adds more to humor than it does for fear. The overall graphics quality really, should be much better for a horror survival game and this is more so when considering that the game was created for the latest gaming platform of the Wii.
To get a better view of each image, click on each one and a new window will appear.
Calling Game Sounds and User Controls
One of the new items that comes with playing a horror game on the Wii is the ability for the Wii remotes to emit spooky sounds. In this game, the remote will emit the voices from the spirits that you come in contact with. The idea behind it seems scary, the reality with game play for this Calling Wii review is that the spirit voices come across as more comical than creepy. The spirit sounds that come the Wii remote sound more like someone talking with gum in their mouth, very garbled.
The Wii remote controls for gameplay are basic for playing a Wii game. The A button allows you to interact with objects and spirits in the game, the Z button will let you run, the C button lets you crouch down and the nunchuck control lets you walk around. Controlling your character is not a hard thing to do in this game, the difficulty comes in when trying to interact fully with the environment you are in. Being able to interact with the area that you are in is a very important aspect to the game because for the majority of the game your character will need to do nothing but interact with its surrounding environment.
*images used in this article are screen shots for the Wii game Calling, which are provided and © 2009 Konami Digital Entertainment