Calling - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Calling
Wii

Reviewed on: Wii

Developer:
Hudson Entertainment
Rated: "T" for Teen




CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I’ll admit it, I’m afraid of quite a few things. Spiders give me the creeps, I hate crowded highways with stupid drivers and you won’t catch me anywhere near _____. You know what I’m not afraid of? Weird and pale Japanese girls with their hair in their eyes. Yet for some reason, every form of horror media seems to think they’re the next Jason Voorhees.

The next title to jump on the sad-face, bad hair girl bandwagon is Hudson Soft’s Calling…and it’s bad. Really bad. What’s worse? It’s not even one of those so bad its funny games – from the loose controls to the horrid pacing, it’s terrible through and through.

The first problem with Calling is just how unoriginal it is. Get this, apparently there’s this website that when you view it – you die. But in all of their great wisdom, two Japanese teenagers go to the site and after visiting the chat room are sucked into some weird dimension between the worlds of life and death. Sound familiar? If you said just about every Japanese horror movie made in the last ten years – you’d be correct! There are moments when Calling comes off as a little brave, and then you can see just how much they borrowed from other media. Those moments are few and far between and what you’re left with is a truly ridiculous and predictable experience.

"...there’s absolutely no chance for player progression."

 
   

Calling can best be described as a first person action adventure title wrapped in a point and click blanket. You’ll control four alternating characters in between the world of the living and the dimension the two characters are stuck in, and you’ll use the Wii-mote to interact with objects in your quest. This approach works best if the game world you’re in is interesting enough; which Calling is not. The game is filled with the locales you’d expect in a game like this, creepy schools, hospitals and a lot of shades of gray. To an extent, the atmosphere works well during the game’s first few chapters but the game’s pacing is so incredibly bad, that feeling quickly goes away. You play as four characters, but don’t expect to identify with any of them – the plot is rushed along, storylines are started and dropped to never be mentioned again and there’s absolutely no chance for player progression.

If you’re wondering just what the gameplay of Calling feels like, try this – go into a long hallway and lock all of the doors but one, turn off all the lights and spin in circles until you’re really dizzy and can’t see anything. Your next step is to try and find the unlocked door. In Calling, you’ll spend a lot of time wandering through incredibly dark corridors opening doors and guess what – it’s as boring as it sounds. The whole game moves so slowly that when a supposed scary moment happens, you’ll be more excited than frightened.

"...it happens so much that it just becomes an annoyance."

 
   

One of the features I’ve always liked about the Wii is the interactivity with the Wii-mote. In Calling, your Wii-mote acts as a cell-phone which you’ll use to stay in contact with other characters and receive prank-phone calls from weird ghost things.  This all works well in theory, but in practice it’s a mix of failed attempts and broken mechanics. The first few times you get a weird ghost call, it’ll freak you out a bit but it happens so much that it just becomes an annoyance. Also, you won’t want to use the mechanic to contact other players since you’ll have to manually enter phone numbers each time you want to call them. Seriously – what the hell cell-phone company are these people using?!

Everything from the gameplay to the un-skipable cutscenes and load screens are animated poorly and looks like a mid-generation Gamecube game. It seemed like anytime the action got even remotely hectic, the framerate dropped dramatically. There’s major clipping issues and the characters tend to move like robots. I know the Wii isn’t known for its graphical superiority, but come on!

Hudson’s Calling works neither as a video game, a horror experience or media in general. It can be viewed as a broken, unfinished title in every sense. With quality horror titles like Dead Space: Extraction available for the Wii, it’s hard to believe anyone would willingly play this mess of a video game. 

 

CHEATfactor

There are no cheats available for Calling as of this writing..nor is there a trainer. Perhaps that’s due the fact that if the folks at Cheat Happens tried to play through this game to create a trainer..it’d put them to sleep.

What cheats would I like for Calling? One. Just one – that I never had to play it.



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