Calling (Wii) Review

If there is one thing I learned in this life is this. Don't mess with the dead. Don't try to contact them, leave them alone. They are dead for a reason. A survival horror game entitled "Calling" for the Nintendo Wii. It receive horrible reviews. Being that I'm a horror junkie I brought this game regardless of the reviews. Should you pick up the call when it rings? Or should press the ignore button?

Story - The Black Page is a source of many rumors. The page is blank, with only a vistor counter. Some say that it's connected to a chat room. "Those led by the darkness" may enter the chat, and are said to receive a "call from the depths." They enter "The Mnemonic Abyss," Wander between life and death, forever. Even today, curiosity will draw more vistors to the "The Black Page." In Calling you follow 4 characters, Rin Kagura, Shin Suzutani, Chiyo Kishibem and Makoto Shirae. Throughout the game you will play Rin who is the center of the story. Rin is looking for someone she promised to meet in person from the site. However the person has been missing for a while. Rin then comes across upon The Black Page, where she is taken to the crossroad of the spirit world and real world known as "The Mnemonic Abyss." In "The Mnemonic Abyss" Rin will encounter the three characters, and try to unravel the mystery of "The Black Page."

The story is a mixture of The Ring, The Grudge and One Missed Call. I like to think of it as a love letter to Asian horror. However there is a few problems I have with the story. 1. The character of Shin is an otaku and he is a big wimp. It is a stereotype that gets annoying. Why are all nerds or otakus seen as weak or wimps in the media? 2. The story is really obvious you know from the beginning who brings the people into the abyss. 3. Finally some of the dialogue is just horrible. Other than that it's a decent story that will keep you interested. Playing the game I felt more sorry for the ghost than the people.

Gameplay - The gamplay is REALISTIC! I had to put that in big letters. A lot of people didn't like the gameplay and labeled it boring. But ask yourself this, how in the world would shoot a ghost? Calling gameplay makes it realistic as possible. You use the Wii mote as a flashlight, as you journey through several locations such as, a hospital, school and a house. As you journey through the game you will use your cellphone to record white noise, take pictures and receive calls from ghost. The cellphone is also used to transfer to different areas of the abyss, by using numbers you find. By finding the right phone number you will transfer out of the abyss (thus why this game is called Calling.) When attack by the ghost all you have to do is shake your Wii mote. That's all folks no strategy just shake your Wii mote. The boss fights are basic, shake your Wii mote or enter another room. I actually like it because of that realism. If you were in front of ghost, running will be your only means of escape. The game is scary. The first three acts made me jump and some calls were disturbing.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The graphics in Calling is ok. It's not really up to Wii standards. The design is lazy and lacking. The hospital has the same design on each floor, minus a few room changes. There is pixelated issues when you go close up to the wall. There is no lag issues. However the flashlight lightining is great and some the environments set a great fear factor tone. The ghost look scary especially the main one and the movements are ghostly.

Sound - The sound in Calling depends on the language you chose. English voice acting is horrible. The Japanese voice acting is scary and great! The atmosphere and creaks capture the setting very well. The music when it's play is great on the ears. Piano and strings are used through out the game. I especially love the final theme.

Replay Value - After you beat Rin's story you will have to do the character Makato story as a hidden chapter. There is also a great feature when the ghost send you pictures to your Wii inbox. There are things to collect and extra chapters, but after you clear everything you won't be calling again.

Final Grade - Calling gets a C-. The good is the scares, japanese voice acting and gameplay controls and hidden chapters. The bad is the graphics, the english voice acting, the otaku character and the one time trip. If you are a horror junkie like me, then at least give Calling a rental and decide for yourself. If your not a fan of horror then this is one call you shouldn't answer.