Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend launches in Japan tomorrow as a forerunner to two separate Twilight Syndrome movies that will release in Japan over the next few weeks. Judging by screens, the DS game appears to be based on the second of these films, Twilight Syndrome: Dead Go Round, in which seven high school students end up being terrorized in an amusement park by a mysterious man in a clown mask (incidentally, the cheesy trailer contains many scenes of the teenage cast clutching their DSes).
To celebrate the game's imminent release, publisher Spike invited three of the film's actresses along for an interview about the title, and also furnished us with new shots of the game, which looks attractive, if not very scary. Run into our gallery while screaming hysterically to see more.
The Japanese iTunes Music Store is haunted -- by a five-track EP. Specifically, the Nanashi no Game Sound EP, a collection of music from Square Enix's DS horror game Nanashi no Game, about a student who gets caught up playing an 8-bit RPG that kills its players.
The collection sells for 600 yen ($5.60) is only available through the Music Store, and only in Japan. Should Square Enix decide to release the game in the U.S. (an announcement whose absence at E3 was felt), the tracks will no doubt show up on our iTunes store as well. Square Enix has several Final Fantasy soundtracks available on iTunes.
This is just one of the rather gruesome sights that can be found over at the new site for D3's budget survival-horror Simple DS Series Vol. 42: THE Haioku Byoutou (Simple DS Series: Vol. 42 - The Abandoned Building). Even though our chances of seeing this game in the west are as good as Fido there ever fetching a frisbee again, we still spent an enjoyable fifteen minutes scouting around the site, taking in loads of screens and some genuinely eerie footage of the game.
Hit up our gallery and see some of the sights for yourself, but keep your flashlight close.
Once more we must subject ourselves to the horror of Nanashi No Game, which is gloriously portrayed in this new trailer. The RPG of death is back with a vengeance here, and the video shows off many in-game exploration scenes along with suitably creepy sound effects.
The more media we see, the more we want it. The DS is hitting all the right chords with its continuous barrage of mystery, adventure and horror games, and this looks to be the most technically impressive and emotionally disturbing outing ever seen on a handheld console. Japanese gamers will be picking this up in just a few days on July 3rd, while American gamers cry silent tears and re-watch The Ring.
As ominous as the quiet subway scene in the first 50 seconds of this video might be, there's little in this new trailer to convinces us that Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiraneta Toshi Densetsu (Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend) will be even half as scary as Twilight Syndrome: Search for the PlayStation.
Check out the old commercial we embedded past the post break to see what we mean! The animated skeleton and bugs are a bit goofy, but the smiling girl that pops up at the end for half of a second freaks us out every time!
Fun trivia: Did you know that famed game designer Goichi Suda worked on the original Syndrome games during his tenure at developer and publisher Human Entertainment? More fun trivia: Did you know that we have Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend's boxart after the break? It's all true!
Another anime-to-DS adaptation is heading to Nintendo's handheld, this time for the series Ghost Stories (known as Gakkou no Kaidan in Japan). This game by Compile Heart will be an adventure title, in which you investigate the disappearance of a friend. We love the combination of adventure and horror, so we hope to see this get localized.
Spencer Yip from Siliconera speculates that Gakkou no Kaiden DS will see an international release, which eases our minds a little bit. Something to be aware of for those unfamiliar with Ghost Stories, though, is that the game probably won't scare you. Even though it can be considered a horror title because of the subject matter, the animations and tone are meant to appeal to younger teens.
This also won't be the first Gakkou no Kaidan software in existence. A game based on the anime and manga was made for the GBA four years ago, but was essentially a compilation of minigames. The DS version thus sounds much more enticing.
Square Enix made a very smart move in the design of Nanashi no Game. The DS isn't exactly the best system for creating an immersive environment conducive to horror, so they've created a scenario in which the game system itself is, both inside the game and in real life, a frightening element. Most of the game puts you in a 3D environment, but the use of a "cursed" mock 8-bit RPG allows you to experience some of what the main character is supposed to be going through all by yourself. And that helps force you into the 3D game world, where you will find the RPG basically chasing you around.
We have no idea how effective this design will be in the final game, but it totally works on video.
Famitsu has blessed us with screenshots of Nanashi no Game's game within a game, a fictional cursed retro RPG that kills anyone who plays it. Of course, you (and your character) play the thing, otherwise there wouldn't be too much horror content. Horror movies (and games) just wouldn't work if the characters had any damn sense!
The game is faithfully 8-bit until, randomly, it begins showing unexpected things -- in this screenshot, the screen has gone dark and the kanji for "death" has appeared in white. The cursed game also affects your character's real world: mysterious flower symbols appear on train doors, for example, as the 8-bit character looks toward a flower bed.
We noticed two things while watching the new trailer for Spike's horror adventure game Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiraneta Toshi Densetsu (Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend) (which you can access by going to the site and clicking the button indicated above):
It looks exactly like a creepy version of Gyakuten Kenji, with a schoolgirls in place of Miles Edgeworth and Dick Gumshoe
Zoinks! Like, we gotta get outta here, Scoob!
Seriously, we were expecting hilarity out of this trailer and, while some of the artwork looked goofy, and the actual gameplay bits looked not-scary-at-all, we got pretty freaked out. Not "get up and hide" level, or "stop blogging" level, but there was at least one heebie-jeebie involved. We know that the urgent music is designed specifically to try to get a panic response out of us.
The horrorgenre is takingoff on the DS in Japan, but the U.S. has Dementium and pretty much nothing else. Who's going to be the first to localize? Twilight Syndrome would be a good choice, as part of an existing horror series, for which a movie has just been announced.
Abandoned buildings (in this case a hospital), spooky little child spirits -- sometimes the most popular horror clichés can still be highly effective. D3 clearly thinks so, anyway, because it's included both of the above in its latest Simple game, Simple DS Series: Vol. 42 - The Abandoned Building.
From what we could gather from machine translation, you play as journalist Akira Kashiwagi, who sets out to an old, closed-down hospital to investigate the murder of four youngsters twenty years ago. It's played from a first-person perspective, you can hide in various spots throughout the hospital (lockers, for example), and it looks scary.
Needless to say, that first shot past the break (of the little girl peering through the elevator doors) will stay with us for our next few sleepless nights.
Famitsu has posted some new screens of Mitewa Ikenai (Don't Look), the horror game about investigating photographs to look for ghosts. They look really weird, basically -- due in part to the mosaic blur on everyone's face, and due in part to the, uh, creepy ghost stuff happening in the photos.
While you can search for supernatural events in the game's photos, you'll have very little trouble identifying super-skeezy events in the rest of the Famitsu article's pictures. Somehow -- perhaps because of the photography theme -- it made sense for Dimple to promote this game by having former AV idol Nana Natsume come to the Famitsu offices and take pictures in which the magazine's editors pretend to sexually harass her. The video at the end, of Natsume praying at a shrine, is clean.
Being an adventure title played with the DS held on its side, it's easy to draw a quick comparison between Square Enix's Nanashi no Game and Cing's Hotel Dusk, but this video walk through of the horror game's 3D halls further pronounces the similarities.
Of course, just as Hotel Dusk had its "Take on Me" art direction, Nanashi no Game has its own gimmick -- you've stumbled across a cursed retro RPG (Hydlide?) that is said to kill whoever plays the game within a week. The Ring, much?
Interestingly, Square Enix has taken care to take advantage of the DS's speakers to provide 3D sound, so you can actually hear audio cues that really sound like they're coming from behind you. Thus, it's recommended that you play Nanashi no Game with headphones.
Bring a flashlight and a kitchen knife into the gallery below for the horror title's boxart, as well as screenshots from Nanashi no Game and its cursed RPG.
Square Enix's horror adventure game Nanashi no Game looks way interesting. We find the game (about a haunted game that kills people in seven days) so cool, in fact, that it's completely worth posting these direct-feed versions of what we saw in a much blurrier scan a couple of days back.
The main game uses the layout seen here: a vertical Brain Age-style orientation, with the actual game view stretching across both screens. The use of first person is apparently a design decision, with the intention of making you feel like you have no idea what's behind you. It also uses some kind of 3D sound programming to be even more immersive.
Nanashi no Game is about a student who becomes a sort of hero to his peers by bravely playing an old game that is supposedly cursed. When he goes home, he finds -- a portable copy of that same game! (scream) The title screen of this retrogame is even all glitched out for extra creepiness.
The latest issue of Famitsu has screens and information about a new DS horror game from Square Enix. Nanashi no Game (Nameless Game) seems to try to convince players that they are in danger even as the characters are in danger.
The concept is like The Ring, but on your DS: a cursed game kills everyone who plays it within seven days. It looks from the scans like your character plays this game; but somehow, so do you. There's a fake retro RPG that will no doubt begin dripping with insanity effects, and even a fake DS menu through which you'll receive creepy messages.
We're not sure how the main game works, and how it interacts with all these little fourth-wall-breaking touches, but we're sure we'll find out soon. Square Enix is apparently releasing this in July.