Another Japanese 3DS download title that does not appear to have a single review in English anywhere, so I’ll write one.
Creeping Terror is one of a small number of horror games available on the 3DS. It is the product of Sushi Typhoon, a horror-focused subsidiary of the Nikkatsu film studio. Although Sushi Typhoon mainly produces movies, this is actually their second game, following a PS Vita download title “Irezumi no Kuni”. I’m not quite sure what genre of game that one is, but it involves cute, traditionally-tattooed anime girls representing different districts of Tokyo so I am keen to try it some day. (I actually passed by their booth and picked up a flyer at last year’s Tokyo Game Show!)
While Takashi Miike is associated with Sushi Typhoon I didn’t notice his name in the credits of Creeping Terror. I did spot Yudai Yamaguchi though, and this appears to be his baby. In any case, Creeping Terror immediately reminds one of Clock Tower, with you moving from room to room to avoid and hide from invincible monsters while you try and figure out a way to escape from a mine, mansion, and hospital (all old and long abandoned). You play a highschool Japanese girl, but the game actually takes place in America, where she is coming to the end of some study abroad homestay program. You and three of your American classmates/friends/homestay family members are desperately trying to become Youtube famous when you wind up in over your heads. Which is to say, the only way in or out becomes unusable and there are things trying to kill you.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward, played on a 2D plane. There are only a handful of usable items, and all the hiding spots act pretty identical. The enemies behave in predictable ways, and I didn’t find it very difficult at all, even though I’m by no means well-versed with this type of game. The spacing of the enemies I thought was handled pretty well, as I was always at least somewhat nervous of being ambushed.
I think the graphics are the game’s real strong-suit. It is dark and scary, the lighting with your flashlight (smartphone app) looks good, and the 3D adds some pretty depth to an otherwise 2D game. Definitely try turning your 3D switch up if you get a chance to play this one. In any case, there were some genuinely creepy rooms throughout the game, which really helped give you a feeling of dread when exploring, which is where you’ll spend most of your time.
The story was pretty standard, with you slowing piecing together background plot from various pieces of paper you find throughout your explorations. The dialogue sequences were also pretty standard, and you got a bit of a feel for each of the four friends’ character-types. I do wish more had come out of the relationships between the characters, but then I have seen only the “good” ending, and there are some hints that there is more information to be had in the the other three endings.
Just doing one ending took me about four hours, which is probably more like three if you’re playing in your native language. Speaking of language, there is no furigana in this game, so bring your kanji dictionary. You can easily play the game with no Japanese knowledge, but I’d only recommend that if you really like Clock Tower style gameplay. If you have some basic kanji knowledge you can get through the conversations, but the diary entries, etc. are a lot more difficult.
Overall at ¥990 it feels a bit expensive for as simple a game as it is. However, I’m not a huge fan of this style of run-and-hide-from-monsters gameplay, so it is probably worth it for those who like Clock Tower, Amnesia, etc. I’m curious to see the other endings, but I don’t know that I want to play through the whole game at least three more times. Still, it’s a solid second entry, and I’m very keen to see what Sushi Typhoon comes up with next.