Ju-On: The Grudge Review
Ju-On: The Grudge box art
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.

Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot

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.

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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.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
They're about average for the Wii, with some good shadow work.
1.9
Control
Turning is a chore, walking forward happens too slowly, and there's no Nunchuk support.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The noises make you tense at all the right moments.
2.1

Play Value
This game is short (it takes just a few hours) and has very little replay value.

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

Game Features:

  • First-person-oriented action that always keeps you engaged and ready to be scared.
  • A unique haunted-house simulator that forgoes deep story elements to offer immediate gratification with scare after scare.
  • Easy controls based around the Wii-mote used as a flashlight move players forward with the press of a single button. It's fun to get scared, but even more fun passing the controller to someone else and watching them jump.
  • While someone is playing the game, grab the second controller and push any button to instantly activate on-screen events to have that player hate you forever.
  • Title is based on Ju-On, the Japanese inspiration for the hit horror film, The Grudge, with the original director, Takashi Shimizu, acting as a consultant on game development.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge Ju-On: The Grudge screenshot - click to enlarge

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