Calling Review

Bonus Content! With a distinctly Japanese flair, Calling attempts to bring horror to Wii in a new way.

By Aaron Roberts. Posted 07/07/2010 14:27 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Great use of sound, Creepiness
Poison Mushroom for...
Horrible English dialogue, repeating levels multiple times

Calling Screenshot

The name “Calling” has multiple meanings.  Sure, it refers to the calling of the ghostly spirits, but it also means “calling,” as in “on the phone.”  Not only do the aforementioned ghosts call the player on the phone, as do other, more alive, humans, but calling on the phone also works as a method of travel, sending the player character through the void to the next area.  The Wii Remote works as your phone, vibrating with rings and emanating eerie voices from the speaker within.

The game plays out as a first-person adventure game, pointing and looking with the remote, much like The Conduit, only without the ability to shoot or attack enemies.  In Calling, the only means of dealing with ghosts is to escape, wildly waving the Wii Remote to shake them off.  A timed button press can get rid of them in an instant, which is nice when your arm is tired from all the shaking.

Calling Screenshot

One thing that stands out about Calling is its excellent use of sound.  An unusual noise or musical strain will always draw your attention, and the near-constant silence ensures that you’re intently listening for any change in the sound scape.  The one major flaw in the sound is the English voice acting, which is subpar at best and laughable at worst.  There is an option to turn on Japanese voice acting, but for players too lazy to have to read the subtitles, like your reviewer, this could be a problem.

Playing as four different protagonists is interesting, but two of them have only one episode apiece, and about a third of the game is played out of sequence, then repeated sequentially with the option to skip.  This seems like a way to pad out the game, and it would have likely been better to have played them all in sequence in the first place.  The overarching story is explained with documents and character exposition, but doesn’t seem to completely fit together once it’s all said and done.

While most of the shocks and jumpy moments are not particularly original, they are effective, and Calling definitely keeps up the sense of urgency for most of the game.   Fans of Japanese horror or players looking for something different will like most of what they find here.

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