JU-ON: The Grudge : Haunted House Simulator Review

Filed under: Gaming,Reviews,Wii Games |

 

For review today I have JU-ON: The Grudge : Haunted House Simulator. This game is loosely based on the movies of the same name, and their original Japanese counterpart. I like horror and the Grudge was a decent scary movie so I was a bit excited about a game based on it. The basic idea is that you play one of the characters in the game, it’s sort of a first person shooter, but there’s not shooting involved, you’ve got a flashlight and that’s it. The game takes place in different locations with you trying to escape with your life basically in each one. it does have some actual scary moments where you’ll jump, but the controls are horrid to the point that the game is no long any fun.

Game Info:

Title: JU-ON: The Grudge : Haunted House Simulator

Author: Kristofer Brozio

Publisher: XSEED Games

MSRP: $29.99

UPC: 853466001223

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It is said that when a person dies with a deep and burning grudge, a curse is born. When an average housewife in Nerima, Japan, was murdered in a grisly fashion, it gave rise to a curse so powerful that it threatens to kill at a pace thought unimaginable before.

The curse manifests on those who encounter the curse by any means, such as entering the house or being in contact with somebody who was already cursed. Once Erika Yamada is exposed to the curse while searching for her dog in an abandoned warehouse, the entire Yamada family is put in grave danger as soon as she reunites with them at home. They must now face their individual challenges alone, and only by overcoming the curse together will their family truly be free again.

Using the Wii Remote as a flashlight, JU-ON: The Grudge has players move forward with the touch of a button and explore haunted areas such as an abandoned warehouse, a dimly-lit hospital, and a mannequin factory. Much like a haunted house, the player must proceed forward even after being frightened and running away from the initial threat. As much fun as it is to get scared, sometimes it’s even more fun to watch others play to observe their reactions. For instant gratification, grab a second Wii Remote and push buttons to make in-game events happen immediately to make the player jump and hate you forever.

(This review was originally posted on my other site, Wii Digest)

First Impressions, Look and Feel:

The entire screen is the view of the game with the exception of little battery icons in the bottom left corner. The only thing you’ve got in the game is a flashlight and you’re limited to batteries so you’ll have to find more as you explore the game. The screenshots in this review are from the Abandoned Hospital level.

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You wake up in the hospital to find everyone else is gone. From there you’ll have to explore and try not to get killed basically. It’s a simple premise that is the basis of all of the levels, exploring with your flashlight and fining batteries is about all there is to it.

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The girl and the little boy from the movies both make appearances in the game, but the girl is the one that seems the most dangerous.

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The are several jump or scary moments in the game and it’s better to play the game in the dark. I played it on my 47” HDTV in 480P mode, such a large screen like this does make the game more enjoyable. Playing it on a small screen would just not be enjoyable at all I think.

Here’s the opening cinematic:

Graphics:

The graphics aren’t that bad, but they aren’t great either. Yes it’s the Wii so it’s not Xbox caliber graphics, but I’ve seen some very nice graphics done on the Wii and these could have been much better. You’re supposed to be exploring this world or area in the game but everything is flat and pixellated making it look very unrealistic. The graphics detract from the game feeling overall really.

Since it’s a horror game everything is dark, very dark really. That’s part of the charm though of a haunted house, being in the dark just seems to make things more scary.

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Controls:

Ju-On The Grudge could have been a great game, it’s got a good premise and idea behind it but the game falls apart truly at this point, the controls are just horrible. The delay between moving the remote and when it actually happens on the screen is a few seconds. It’s amazing that a game could be sold to the public with controls that are this bad truly.

The Wii remote does come into use in more than just movement. There are times when you’ll have to do certain movements to get something done like moving in a direction, or trying to keep it in a circle. I don’t quite get the idea of keeping the X in the circle to avoid being seen though..

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The MotionPlus attachment has been out for a while and this game could have been much improved if they had utilized it in this game.

Your character moves so slow in the game it’s pitiful actually, a turtle could easily run right by you. The slow speed of the game though is how they get it to last for so long. The slow speed is agonizing really especially when you’ve got to double back and get a key for a locked door you’re just come across, or you find the key and then have to go back to where the door is.

Turning is the game is just as bad, you’ll turn left and end up looking at the ceiling or you’ll do a complete 360 turn and by right back where you started. It’s just horrible truthfully

Videos/Screenshots:

Here’s a few screen shots and then a couple videos to finish this up:

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Videos:

 

Conclusion:

Ju-On The Grudge could have been a great game really. It’s got a good idea behind it but the execution is what’s really scary about this game.

The controls are just amazingly horrible, the very first games on the Wii had funky controls, but even they weren’t this bad. You’d think after all this time companies could have figured out how to program for the Wii controls.

It does have some scary moments yes, but they aren’t worth the trouble of actually playing the game.

I’d like to see this game re-done, it has the potential to be a great game.

I’m sure the owners of the Ju-On franchise are not very happy that they lent their name to this piece of junk game…

 

 

PROS CONS
+ Great idea for a game
+ Actual scary moments
– Sub-par graphics
– Very slow movement
– Inaccurate and inconsistent turn movements
– Horrible controls overall

 

 

Scores:: 5 out of 10
Overall: score-5-10
Graphics: score-7-10
Design/Story: score-7-10
Gameplay: score-3-10

 

 

 

Disclosure: This product was given to Review the Tech for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. This product may have also been bought by us for review purposes and does not influence the review.

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