Review By: Siou Choy
|# Of Players:||1-2|
JU-ON: The Grudge. Ah, where do I start? JU-ON: The Grudge (the game) is very loosely based on the Japanese horror film of the same title. While I couldn’t find much to recommend about the original other than the presence of the lovely Masaki Ito(h), star of numerous J-dramas, word of mouth was apparently good enough to garner a (far superior) Hollywood remake with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Please save this one for your records, as this may be the only time you hear me mentioning a U.S. remake being superior to the original…the sole further exception being the vapid but entertaining Point of No Return over the turgid La Femme Nikita (hell, who would you rather look at, a svelte Bridget Fonda or an emaciated Anne Parillaud?) Unfortunately, however, we are not discussing the merits of said film here, but rather a very sorry excuse for a belated cash-in video game.
JU-ON: The Grudge provides gamers with yet another poor example of shovelware being dumped on the unsuspecting public for the Wii system. Rather than spending even a few minutes building a creative story or developing some inventive gameplay to go with the unique motion controls of the system, we get this hunk of smoldering crap.
The “gameplay” (such as it is)? Here you go: you’re forced to travel through buildings at such a glacial pace that the local senior center’s outing to the all you can eat buffet at Denny’s would overtake you, while you hold (and continually need to replace batteries for) your Wii Remote virtual flashlight. That’s it. There is no real interaction in the game, with other players, ghosts, other characters, surroundings…you name it. It’s just you and your flashlight, crawling around at a snails pace through some very drab and boring commercial/industrial buildings (an office building, a hospital, some basement), which appear to be in current use, but unoccupied at this particular moment. No abandoned sites. No creepy haunted villages. No eerie mansions. Just some everyday office buildings, wandering around in the semi-dark like a geriatric security guard. Make no mistake, we’re not talking Fatal Frame here, folks.
The really sad part about all this is that I still can’t say JU-ON: The Grudge is the worst game out there – in fact, far from it. But that says more about the kind of crap that’s being routinely foisted upon the market than any intrinsic merits on the part of this sad and sorry game. It’s disappointing, to say the least, when the developers have such rich material to draw from, and yet choose to go the laziest (and cheapest) possible route and produce a truly execrable game like this. You could be generous and say FeelPlus didn’t explore the material enough to make an acceptable tie in, but it’s far more likely that they just didn’t give a damn, so long as they got paid. Haunted House simulation? Really? Where’s the haunted house? For that matter, where’s the simulation of anything other than being a nervous geriatric security guard, moving at a snail’s pace through some of the most boring settings possible, with absolutely no scares and nothing to keep gamers’ interest on any level whatsoever? Come on, FeelPlus. Just who the hell were you trying to kid here?
Posted: 2011-01-31 18:36:38 PST