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Calling review

Don't answer this call

We really wanted to like Calling. With the terribly flawed Ju-On: The Grudge missing the mark and Silent Hill then restoring our faith in survival horror, we hoped Hudson would give us a truly terrifying and engrossing experience. Instead, it's about as exciting as a long weekend locked in service station with Anne Widdecombe, and not even half as scary.

On paper, the plot sounds interesting. A number of curious youngsters log onto a mysterious internet chatroom where it's been rumoured it's possible to speak to the dead. A few days later they start getting visits from ghosts, preceded by spooky calls made to their mobile phones. It's basically The Ring with badly rendered characters and terrible voice acting.

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The game itself is similar to Ju-On in that it's played from a first-person viewpoint, however Calling does offer a lot more freedom. You're able to walk around using the control stick, while the Z button lets you run. However, there are loads of annoyances that make Calling less a test of your nerves and more a test of your patience.

At least Ju-On tried to chuck different frights at you as you wandered through its various locales. Here all you've got are loads of empty rooms and corridors, with the odd ghost face appearing on a window or a black shadow sliding across the screen. The whole game more or less involves wandering around saying "that was a bit rubbish".

Eventually you'll come across a ghost who'll grab on to you. To get rid of the ghost you have to continually shake the Remote. Eventually it goes away and you can keep exploring. If you press A at the right time the ghost will leave quicker. Really, Hudson? Waggling? That might have passed muster two years ago but not anymore.

Another annoyance is the torch. A small handful of games can pull off using the Remote as a torch, but Calling isn't one of them. You have to find it before you can use it, but it's perfectly possible to see where you're going without it. You can see what the various items in each room are with no problems.

Frustratingly though, the game decides that no, you can't see anything. Any time you look at an object and press the A button you're simply told that you can't see objects in the dark. "Excuse me, Calling, but I'm clearly in a school classroom. Look, here are some desks, and there appears to be some interesting stuff written on the blackboard. I'd like to investigate further if that's okay." "No, you're wrong. You can't see anything. Get a torch and then we'll talk."

Calling is dull beyond belief. You wander around bland corridors, not able to explore anything until you find a torch. When you do, there's more wandering, with the odd bit of ghost waggling chucked in. That doesn't make a good game in our opinion.

Comments

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  1. Bretteh Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 14:46

    Shenmue 2 had dark rooms that weren't dark.

    As a survival horror nut I will pick this up at some point but I won't be rushing to get my hands on it.

    The mundaneness of it all is what initially interested me and from the sound of things... it's mundane.

  2. mirage 5x5 Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 14:56

    and again a bad score for a wii game again :evil:
    come on get some good games out will you
    before i part ex my wii again

  3. ChrisONM Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 15:16

    and again a bad score for a wii game again :evil:
    come on get some good games out will you
    before i part ex my wii again


    There are plenty of good Wii games mate :)

    Check out Silent Hill, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, the new Rune Factory, or any of the great games released near the end of last year.

  4. MrGooseyMoose Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 15:29

    aaa thats a shame, was kinda looking forward to this one being good haha.

  5. Heroofhyrule Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 15:40

    and again a bad score for a wii game again :evil:
    come on get some good games out will you
    before i part ex my wii again


    There are plenty of good Wii games mate :)

    Check out Silent Hill, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, the new Rune Factory, or any of the great games released near the end of last year.

    Don't worry about him, he's just one of those people who are never happy no matter how much they get.

  6. Piplup Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 16:09

    and again a bad score for a wii game again :evil:
    come on get some good games out will you
    before i part ex my wii again


    There are plenty of good Wii games mate :)

    Check out Silent Hill, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, the new Rune Factory, or any of the great games released near the end of last year.

    Don't worry about him, he's just one of those people who are never happy no matter how much they get.

    Lol because you you know him in person, don't you?

    Well, I wasn't expecting much from this.

  7. ploiper Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 16:55

    im gutted by this score, it looked realy good early on, ah well.

  8. slangman Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 16:56

    Am I the only person who wasn't expecting much from this? I knew from looking at the screenshots in one of the previous issues of ONM that this wasn't going to be great. It looks quite laughable which is bad for a horror game.

  9. Gavin Rozee Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 17:16

    I also recommend Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. It's incredibly well made, and fun :)

  10. Giga Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 17:44

    I expected more from Hudson and Konami.

  11. Piplup Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 17:52

    Get Fatal Frame 4 with the English patch instead, kids.

  12. BlueSoup8 Thursday 18th Mar 2010 at 18:27

    12+?!
    Looks a bit more than that! :lol:

  13. piccadillio Friday 19th Mar 2010 at 01:30

    What's the deal with the all the "Survival Horror" games being made for Wii at the moment? It's a bit weird, wouldn't you say? What has made developers think there is an audience for these games? This is going to flop, Fragile is going to monumentally flop, even Silent Hill doesn't look like it's going to be a commercial success. I don't understand it.

  14. Broken_Angel Friday 19th Mar 2010 at 10:31

    there is a market for "mature" games on the wii. unfortunately, that market is shrinking due to the copious amounts of crap the wii is getting landed with

  15. blublur101 Friday 19th Mar 2010 at 22:29

    heh, that review was pretty funny. tbh though, i'd never even heard of this game till i saw this review!

  16. BenNev Saturday 20th Mar 2010 at 20:07

    Hudson soft should not be allowed to develop anymore of this crap they shovel, ban them for a year! :x

  17. Violet Thursday 25th Mar 2010 at 10:43

    Get Fatal Frame 4 with the English patch instead, kids.


    I like you. Listen to this man.

  18. maxmatt Friday 26th Mar 2010 at 07:36

    What a shame I was quite looking forward to this as well. I might still get it at some point (or at least rent it) For now I think I'll stick with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


    Get Fatal Frame 4 with the English patch instead,

    I'm trying to I've already got the patch and loader downloaded and ready to go but I can't find anywhere that has the game in stock.

  19. Sonic Freak Tuesday 30th Mar 2010 at 16:26

    and again a bad score for a wii game again :evil:
    come on get some good games out will you
    before i part ex my wii again

    I would never part with my wii.

  20. Xenobladeperson Tuesday 22nd May 2012 at 20:17

    Oh look, there's something on the blackboard. No! There is nothing there, go get a torch!

    He he he he he, Chris say funny words.

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