Forgotten Treasures #5 – Ju-On: The Grudge (Wii)
Nothing scares me more that Japanese ghosts with long black hair covering their faces. From Ringu to Ju-on, hundreds of Japanese and Korean horror movies feature these hair-raising ghosts that would make any grown man run away, screaming in fear.
Ju-on is a classic Japanese horror film that successfully frightened both eastern and western audiences with genuine frights, inescapbale situations, and an overall terrifying feel. I remember watching the film at home and in the dark. Needless to say, I didn’t get any sleep that night.
Ju-On: The Grudge fancies itself as a “haunted house simulator” for the Nintendo Wii. The game casts the player as multiple characters with interconnected stories through the course of the adventure. The player controls their character in first person view; no weapons, no run buttons, and no way to escape the horror.
Players use their Wii remote to look around as they point their ever important flashlight around the environments. The flashlight batteries serve as the player’s health bar in that, once the batteries run out, they will be left in the dark. Left in the mercy of the vengeful spirits of Kayako and Toshio. The player can try and find extra batteries, but they run the risk of running into more frights, scares and such.
Once the player finishes a chapter, they unlock the next one and play a different character. The overall story is pretty much something you would expect from the Ju-on series, with escalating horror at every turn. And the fact that the player doesn’t have any weapons, or even the ability to run makes it all the more terrifying when he or she encounters the vengeful spirits.
Of course, the game has its fair share of problems like an iffy control scheme, and mediocre graphics; but they don’t detract from the games mission to scare the hell out of the player. It’s also a fairly short game, the entire adventure running at about four to five hours depending on the player.
If you’re tired of playing “Action” horror titles like Resident Evil and Dead Space and are looking for genuinely terrifying survival horror, look no further than Ju-on: The Grudge. Once you step into that cursed house, it’ll stay with you for a long, long time.