Japanese think they're really on to something with
their survival horror games that have been well received
recently. So it's only fitting that there's going
to be the odd miss among the hits. Kuon is one of
those misses. It doesn't miss the target by a lot
but enough to knock it firmly down into the "rental"
is not a very deep game. It's repetitive, short and
suffers from some control issues which gives the enemy
an unfair advantage despite your best efforts. On
the plus side, it's creepy, bloody and fast paced.
The fact that you can play through the game in one
day (albeit a very long day) and the lack of replay
value forces me to recommend renting this one. Hey,
this game has been around since last year. If you
haven't heard of it by now you have to ask yourself
girls, girls. What's the fixation with Japanese girls
and haunted mansions? As Japanese tradition would
dictate, in this horror game you get to play as a
girl. Make that two. Utsuki and Sakuya are the two
main playable characters. Both are compelled to investigate
the mysterious disappearances of the residents of
Fujiwara manor. Utsuki is accompanied by her ill sister,
while Sakuya brings in a group of priests, going for
that religious angle. Set in the past, there are no
modern conveniences such as electricity or flashlights.
Both girls make their way through the mansion with
low illuminating lanterns which do little to reveal
the horrors that lurk among the shadows.
and weapons are your only defense against a creature
known as the Gaki. They are a flesh-devouring species
that look like tortured and deformed humans. You will
find magic cards throughout the mansion which will
give you access to various spells. Magic is best used
for ranged combat. You can fire projectiles such as
fireballs or summon spirits to fight for you.
such as swords make perfect ranged weapons. You can
essentially "hot key" your magic attacks
and weapons to the face buttons for easy access. Unfortunately
there are some delays between commands and execution.
Using magic takes longer than it should. You can only
lock-on to the enemy when you're facing a certain
angle and even then commands are delay by fraction
of a second. You'll find that the weapons have a more
immediate feel to them although you will also take
unnecessary hits since the characters are very slow
to turn around.
from the ghouls you'll also have to look out for tempests
which are negative energy vortexes that will rob you
of your health, stamina and sanity. These areas are
like traps and may cause you to run when confronted
with horrific images. The screen will become blurry
as you begin to lose energy. Possessing the ability
to meditate, you can heal yourself and regain your
composure when subjected to such situations.
you complete one character's story you have to play
through the same chapter as the other character. You
will encounter a few new NPCs and some different paths
and clues but for the most part you will encounter
the same enemies at the same places at the same times
using the similar spells and weapons. This makes for
a very redundant game. Only after you complete the
two girls' story can you move on to the third chapter
which is somewhat different.
blood does flow and there are plenty of chills and
thrills to experience. Despite a haunting nursery
rhyme that serves as the theme the game is void of
music which adds to the tension and highlights the
sound effects of footsteps and ungodly noises in the
distance. Voiceacting is performed in both English
and Japanese, with the English actually good enough
to listen to.
not blown away by the graphics but they are consistent.
Consistently shrouded in darkness I should mention.
The mansion, the costumes and the mannerisms of all
portrayed manage to whisk you away to another time.
The monsters aren't horrifying but they beg to be
sliced and diced.
isn't going to make anyone's list for Game of the
Year. Even if the controls were perfected the gameplay
would need at least another five to eight hours of
fresh content - and some features to extend the replay
value would be a welcome addition.