Calling Review
Calling box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hudson Soft 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Hudson Soft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 9, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

This wouldn't be that big of a deal if it were a small part of the game, but it's practically the whole game. Whereas Ju-On took you on a ride from one scare to another and stopped after a couple hours, Calling takes roughly the same amount of material and drags the experience out, primarily by making you roam around opening things in search of phone numbers. There are few genuinely interesting puzzles; instead, you simply walk from item to item, loading time to loading time, and cutscene to cutscene, your eyes glazing over as the gameplay wears thin and the plot becomes increasingly ridiculous.

Calling screenshot

Depending on how often you get stuck (and whether you resort to the official Hudson walkthrough that's available online when you do), the ten episodes take somewhere around an hour each, but it feels like a lot more. If you follow the walkthrough the entire time, things will go much more quickly, but that defeats the purpose of an exploration-heavy game like this. Also, in the unlikely event you don't have anything better to do, you can replay the game to unlock various bonuses.

The sound and graphics are rather threadbare. Good horror movies manipulate the viewer with sound effects, but the crazed cackles and sparse orchestration on offer here never make you tense. Similarly, great graphics can make a setting look haunted, even on last-generation hardware (remember Resident Evil 4, anyone?), but aside from a few of the better-done locations, Calling looks far blander than it should.

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It's tough to pull off a survival horror game that doesn't feature much combat, but that's no excuse for making navigation a chore and boring us to death. Wii owners who love pointing their flashlights around in the dark should stick with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, or visit their local cemeteries after midnight.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.1
Graphics
There are a few spooky areas, but overall this isn't a great-looking game.
2.3
Control
Looking around doesn't quite feel natural, and the exploration moves take too long to execute.
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds don't do much to add to the scares, but aside from the voice acting, they're not notably bad, either.
2.3

Play Value
The bottom line is that it's just too boring.

2.7
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play through four core characters in a twisted, Pulp Fiction-style story of horror.
  • Classic survival horror.
  • Play with friends, solve puzzles, unlock characters, and find the alternative endings together.
  • Use the Wii Remote as a cell phone and flashlight!


  • Screenshots / Images
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