Calling Preview

Hands on with Hudson's Horror

Posted on January 18, 2010 at 5:18 am by Chuck Allen

Recently I was given the chance to play a demo of "Calling." This new survival horror title is developed by Hudson Soft and published by Hudson Entertainment. The demo itself is brief and does not reveal much of the actual story. In fact, were it not for the press release I was given, I would have had no idea of what anything going on was. The basic premise is about a mysterious website called the Black Page that people are visiting that is causing odd supernatural events and deaths. Immediately I was sent into a fear driven panic that this game was an updated version of the 2002 horror film "Fear Dot Com." (which receives my award for worst movie ever) Thankfully from what I got to play, it's shaping up to be a nice title that washed away my memories.

The demo starts off with a cut scene showing people visiting the Black Page. Shortly after this you find your character awake in a room with no bearing on how he got there. From here the demo gives you a brief rundown of the controls as you go into the game's first person perspective. The nunchuck stick is used for moving your character; the remote is used for looking around your surroundings, while Z is used for turning around about face. Pressing A on certain objects will allow you to interact with them, such as swinging open a door, or picking them up to use or examine them like flashlights. Overall the controls hold up pretty well. My only complaint is that you have to press B to leave the interaction mode. So say you open a door, before you can leave the room through said door, you have to press B in order to have your movements be free again. It's not a huge deal, but it takes a little getting used to.

Not much can be said about the music in this game. The demo is so brief that you don't really get to hear much of anything. One nice touch for the audio though is that you use the remote to answer phone calls and hold it to your ear to hear messages. After you get a call, you leave the starting room. From here you get attacked by a ghoul of sorts and have to shake it off in standard Wii game waggle fashion. Pressing A in a properly timed moment can skip the waggle fight though which is a nice touch. In another nice move, rather than having a health bar, this game grants you a "horror meter." The more panicked you become the screen becomes a darker tone of red until you reach your maximum horror which will result in a game over.

The demo ends abruptly with you finding a flashlight, finding a clue as to where you are, and then getting attacked by some ghouls again. Granted it's only a demo, but a little bit of closure on this brief chapter would have been nice. Either way, there are no gaping complaints to be had at this time. The play control takes a little getting used to, the cell phone premise shows some promise , and the horror meter instead of a traditional health bar is a nice touch. The graphics are fairly detailed as well which is a big plus. Horror fans that are looking for a new experience that isn't something from a pre-established franchise or a piece of garbage like "Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles" should check this title out when it arrives. The game is scheduled to be released this spring season.