I got a chance to interview Jimmy Soga, Product Manager at XSEED Games about JU-ON The Grudge for the Nintendo Wii. The game is out now Wiisclusive! Check out the interview and some screens beyond the break!
In JU-ON: The Grudge -Haunted House Simulator- the player will only have
a flashlight to explore the haunted areas such as an abandoned
warehouse, a dimly-lit hospital, and a fashion design studio littered
with mannequins. In each stage the player will be controlling a
different member of the Yamada family trapped in a haunted area. The
main objectives will be to find clues and items and try to escape from
the situation they find themselves in.
Will the game tie in to any of the movies at all?
There isn’t any direct tie-in with the movies other than the ghosts
(curse). However, we did have the creator and director of the JU-ON
series, Takeshi Shimizu as an advisor for this title. He would come in
to give cinematic directions as well as character animations and various
tips to scare users. It was really important for the game to have the
sense and feel of the “JU-ON” world, as if you were a character in one
of the movies and we couldn’t have done it without his expertise.
Will there be any gore in the game?
The players will not see any straight-up gore, but there are lots of
scenes that will hint at something that has happened.
What exactly is a “haunted house simulator”?
In this game the only item you carry around is a flashlight. There are
other items you can pick up in each stage, such as keys and batteries,
but the main item is a flashlight. The game will take place from a 1st
person point of view and the player uses the Wii Remote as a flashlight.
Much like a haunted house, the player must continue forward, pressed on
by fear and an overwhelming urge to explore and escape.
I know the game isn’t even out yet, but can we look forward to any
sequels? Possibly on PS3, or 360?
Since the 360, PS3 and Wii are all trying to implement an interface with
intuitive controls, there is always a possibility to have a sequel.
We’ll just have to see how players will respond to this game and move
Will the game have a score? Any music at all? Just creepy sounds?
Though subtle sound effects such as water drops and footsteps are
definitely important in the game, there is also background music to
heighten the experience, much like a horror movie or a haunted house.
What is the second player experience like, and can you go into how this
will differ from single player.
The 2nd player can use a second controller to scare the 1st player at
any time. Some of the presentations of the “scare buttons” are done
according to the suggestions of Shimizu-san. Once you finish playing all
of the stages, I recommend that you have your friends and family come
over to play with you on the 2nd player side.
Will there be one stage for every character…and how will the stage
relate to them….such as a previous experience, their fears, or their
own personal hell?
Each character will have their own situation to deal with. For example,
the first stage is about Erika, who wanders into an abandoned warehouse
chasing after her dog. Later, the player will be a sick mother in a
Will the game be heavy with text and/or voiceover, or will it try to
immerse the player and give you the opportunity to make your own
There will be some text at the beginning of each stage to let the
players know where they are and why they are there, but the majority of
the gameplay will rely on the player being the character and have them
freely explore the stages to find out what’s going on and how to get out
of the area they’re trapped in. With the game being in first person view
and using the Wii Remote as a flashlight, the player will really feel
like they are in the JU-ON world. Also, for the final stage, the player
will be able to go into the Saeki house where the curse originated,
which I think the fan of the series will love. There will also be a
result screen at the end of each stage telling the players what their
scare and sissy levels for the stage were, so it’ll be a fun way to
tease your friends when you play together.