Hudson bringing Japanese horror to the Wii with Calling

Hudson is typically known for their easy, accessible and casual style games. Lately though, they’ve been working on branching out to different genres, one of which is the first person horror game, Calling, for the Wii.

Calling is a horror game in the style of Japanese horror movies. You’ll be playing as multiple characters as they try to figure out why they’re being tormented and how to escape the horrific scenarios they’ve been forced into.

Follow me after the jump to find out more on the Calling.

Calling (Wii)
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
To be released: Spring 2010

Before playing the game, members of the press were treated to a presentation of a later level in Calling. The level begins with a girl experiencing an intense dream. Upon waking up, the girl finds herself in a Japanese school and has no clue how she got there.

Players will move with the thumb stick on the Nunchuk and look with the Wiimote. The A button is the main button you’ll be using to explore items and perform other action moves with. You’ll also use the A button in conjunction with the motion controls to open objects as you would in real life. So for example, you’ll pull the Wiimote back as you open a door in the game.

There’s little to no light in the school so you can’t see more than a few feet ahead of you at a time. You’ll find a flashlight eventually that lets you see more of your surroundings, but before that, you’ll come across a ringing cell phone on the ground.

You’ll use the cell phone as you would use one in real life. Every time someone calls, you’ll hold the Wiimote up to your face to hear the caller speak through the Wiimote speaker. In this case, it’s the owner of the cell phone and they’re pissed that you have their phone. Moving forward through the level, the person keeps calling the player to let them know that they’re getting closer and closer to you. Eventually, the player encounters the caller, who’s actually a really angry ghost.

Whenever you make contact with a ghost, they’ll grab you and you’ll have to repeatedly push A and shake the Wiimote to get loose from the grasp of the ghosts. Once free, the ghost will be defeated and disappear. There’s a heart monitor that ranges from green to red indicating the player’s health. If you hit red, then it’s over for the player.

Further in the level, the player needs to find a key to gain access to another part of the school. The key is locked in a safe with a number lock so the player will need to explore the room with the safe in order to find the password and gain access to the key.

After the presentation, I went hands-on in a level with another character from the game. The story has a sort of Pulp Fiction style feel to it and the characters paths will cross into each other’s story lines. With this character, he’s found himself in a mysterious house. After some exploring and encounters with ghosts, the boy finds an old lady on the ground. Before he can help the lady, dolls come alive and hair starts to fill up the room making their way for the boy. The player needs to escape back to the room they started in, but it’s not safe there either now and the boy is over whelmed with dozens of little doll hands.

Calling is all about making players feel tense. There are no weapons and your only tool for fighting off ghosts is to waggle the Wiimote until they disappear. From what I saw, Calling doesn’t look like it will be all that complex. There will be puzzle elements, but it’s hard to say how engaging they will be as I only saw one simple puzzle.

It’s great to see Hudson branch out into new territories and to see the Wii get more mature titles, but my early impressions of Calling leave me to believe that the game looks way too simple and the seemingly repetitive nature could bore gamers. Calling will definitely creep you out at the very least.

Hamza Aziz