Lame Scares And Plodding Gameplay Renew Your Fear Of The Dark - Ju-On: The Grudge - Nintendo Wii -
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Ju-On: The Grudge

Lame Scares And Plodding Gameplay Renew Your Fear Of The Dark

All who are touched by the curse shall die. These are the foreboding words with which Ju-On: The Grudge attempts to simultaneously frighten and entice participants of the haunted house simulator. Little did I know when picking up the Wii remote that I would actually die of boredom. This Japanese horror game is more watered down than one of the genre’s American remakes.

The dubious story of Ju-On focuses on the cursed Yamada family. Each doomed protagonist’s tale is played out through individual episodes, beginning with the daughter of the family chasing her dog into a derelict warehouse. Other family members travel to abandoned apartments, a haunted hospital, a freaky fashion school, and one very familiar household. Each locale features the meowing little boy and long-haired ghoul gal from the films, recycled ad nauseum.

The game starts off utilizing moody, real-life footage to set the dreary tone. The anxiety-inspiring atmosphere begins to falter in-game, with the liberal use of pitch blackness and a barely passable lighting system. The scariest sights you’ll shine your flashlight upon are the rough, unpolished environments.

Controlling the various curse victims is performed with a single Wii remote mimicking a flashlight. You aim the beacon with the finesse of a post-traumatic stress victim as you steer and move your character at an impossibly slow pace in the first person. Apparently the Yamada family suffers from a hereditary condition where you have turtles instead of feet. During The Grudge’s prompted, finicky evasion encounters, you’ll run for your life, hide in closets, fight hair-tentacle monsters, and fend off stray cats by waggling the controller. These quicktime events crank up the challenge later in the game, but distinguishing between whether an indicator arrow requests a forward thrust versus an upward waggle can be frustrating.

Ju-On: The Grudge fails to inspire terror, relying on tired jump-scares, that over-used croaking sound, and random, cheesy scares via a second controller. When horror movies suck, at least they only last an hour and a half. This spans an agonizing seven plus hours. This game deserves no more attention than a double-digit horror movie sequel laying in the $1.99 VHS bin.

Check out our exclusive Q&A with Ju-On's product manager regarding the status of the horror genre in gaming

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Second Opinion:


Ju-On: The Grudge immediately replaced my fears of its creepy raven-haired girl with frustration over its haunted Wii remote controls. While exploring stereotypical horror environments, you encounter the demon girl and her meowing male counterpart from the films, which is the only time any action occurs. You must swing the unforgivingly unresponsive remote in the direction of onscreen arrows, but its inaccuracy causes you to restart the entire episode if you fail. These encounters are few and far between, leaving you to wander and gaze at PS2-quality graphics. The Grudge had so much potential to creep the hell out of people and failed at every dark turn.

User Reviews:

  • 3.50
    As an avid survival horror fan I'm seldom caught off guard by scripted moments, but I actually did find myself jumping once or twice while playing. That being said nothing else in this game works. At the start your asked if your male or female and then regardless of your choice you start as a female...
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  • 2.00
    My grandma bought this game for my cousin some time ago. He told me it was fun and let me borrow it for a week. When I played, I had the worst time of my life. Seriously this a VERY boring game. If I were you I wouldn't waste my money on it. After day one, I put it on my shelf and returned it to...
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  • I played this heap and to say something I wanted to say is my girlfreind has horrible taste in videogames and movies she liked it. Make a long story short Im sticking to fatal frame and thats the end of that. I reccomond to anybody that glances at this just look away it is truly frightening in the fact...
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