|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: feelplus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: XSEED||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
This brings us to another problem, The Grudge's one-hit-kill formula. The quick-time events are not particularly hard, save for a few cheap ones that appear later in the game, and there's little else that will challenge you too much, but there's nothing more irritating than being caught off-guard by a quick-time event (or having the controller not respond to your inputs) and then having to start a whole episode all over again. Also, while the game gives you plenty of extra batteries for your flashlight along the way, it's occasionally hard to tell what to do next, and wasting time can result in a do-over. The scares are never as good the second time, so this is a bit of a drag.
We have a few smaller complaints as well. There's "multiplayer," but all the second player can do is press buttons, which causes scary things to happen onscreen. Lame. Replaying the game isn't very enjoyable, given the pointlessness of re-living scares, but you have to go back through the four episodes to find the items that unlock the game's final portion. In one of the more obnoxious video game moves in recent memory, there's nothing in the game itself that tells you this final portion even exists, and we could find no indication of which episodes we needed to re-explore. At the end of each level, the game grades your willingness to confront its various scares, but it's not clear what good a high score does for you.
It's not hard to imagine how another developer could steal what worked from this game and create something truly worth playing. Faster walking would help quite a bit, as would a Metroid Prime style movement scheme. The puzzles could stand to be a bit more stimulating (they're usually in the Resident Evil tradition of "find item, place item in slot of some type, watch as something changes that allows you to progress"). Most important, the quick-time events could be replaced with a greater emphasis on outsmarting the ghosts in various ways.
In short, Ju-On: The Grudge is a great idea marred by middling execution. Purchasers can expect some great scares, but the actual gameplay feels clunky and unnatural, and there isn't much play time to be had here. At $30, this is not a worthy buy.
CCC Freelance Writer