Is this slow-paced horror title fun or boring?
Hudson has decided to throw their hat into the Wii horror game field with Calling. With a plot styled after The Ring and other Japanese horror films, it's focused on creeping you out with a spooky atmosphere, ghosts, and low-light settings. While the game succeeds on setting an unsettling, scary scene, it doesn't bring fun gameplay to the table, as most of the game is spent slowly wandering around different areas that all look suspiciously the same.
From a first-person perspective, players guide five different characters across different locales as they try to get to the bottom of The Black Page, a mysterious chat room that drags its chatters into the Mnemonic Abyss - the place between life and death. There is an entertaining story lying underneath everything, with requisite twists and turns along the way.
Unfortunately, the game is paced about as briskly as a snail crawls, since loading screens interrupt potentially creepy moments and ruin the momentum of frightening scenes. The puzzle solving, which is a big part of the game, also suffers from the same slow tempo. There are a few points in the game where it flows well, but these moments are few and far between, and you'll spend too much of the game waiting for something to happen as opposed to actually doing something.
Calling does make interesting use of the Wii Remote as a cell phone, though. The speaker on the Wii Remote is used to represent the phone's speaker, and you use the phone to perform many different tasks throughout the game. You'll be taking pictures and recording white noise with the best of them by game's end, but the phone isn't fun when you have to use the clumsy D-pad-controlled interface to dial a number while ghosts are attacking you. When ghosts attack you, all you have to do is shake the Wii Remote and press A to ward them off. This isn't scary or fun; it's just lame.
Ultimately, Calling falls flat. Its redeeming qualities, such as the interesting story and atmosphere, are neutered by its meandering gameplay. Horror fans might have a little fun with it, but it doesn't offer enough thrills or entertainment for anyone else to come out and play.