The Nintendo Wii is well-known for being one of the most popular consoles of all time. It redefined what people thought a video game had to be. The Wii is also well-known as a family gaming console with many titles that everyone can play. However, the Wii also had quite a few really good survival/ horror games too.
While most people don’t associate the Wii with gruesome games, franchises like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and even Manhunt made their way to the console. Of course, the Wii’s unique motion controls added another layer of depth to many games, which helped in some cases and hurt in others.
1. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
- A re-imagining of the original Silent Hill that turns everything you thought you knew on its head
- The game watches you and adapts to your actions to create a unique experience to each player and intensify their fears
- Implementation of a cell phone as the user interface, which acts as a story telling device, map, puzzle helper, and camera that provides seamless flow with no interruption in gameplay
- New nightmare sequence focus on escape and evasion rather than direct confrontation
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories will feature an all-new soundtrack by acclaimed series composer Akira Yamaoka
Shattered Memories is the sequel to the first Silent Hill game released on the PlayStation 1. The game follows a similar premise as the original, with the protagonist searching the town of Silent Hill for his daughter. But don’t worry if you haven’t played the first game, as this is a complete remake of the gameplay with some changes to the story as well.
The graphics are good for the time, and the animation is also very good. But this game is a standout because it can change slightly depending on your interactions with the world. For instance, NPCs will change or mention different things based on what you’ve seen and done in the world. This helps play into the game’s psychological nature very well.
As for gameplay, you spend your time mixing puzzle-solving and running from creatures. A significant difference between Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and other survival games is that you have no weapons throughout the entire game. Instead, you must escape monsters by just running away from them. Not to mention, much of the world is dark and only illuminated by your flashlight.
2. Cursed Mountain
- Designed Specifically for the Wii
- Places the player in a realistic himalayan environment
- As players ascend the mountain , they will clearly see the summit in the distance, a looming reminder of their final destination
- Designed to mimic the physical aspects of sacred prayer rituals, mantras, and gestures of Buddhism, combat is compromised of gestures that release spirits from their curse
- Players climb to the top to discover the fate of their brother as well to stop the curse that’s interupting Samsara - the Buddhist concept of reincarnation
Cursed Mountain is a departure from the dark horror games usually seen in the survival genre. Instead of the typical zombie-infested town, medieval castle, or haunted houses, Cursed Mountain takes place on a snow-covered Himalayan mountain. However, the mountain is cursed, so there are some creatures to kill, which is par for the course.
As a mountain climber, you must scale the Himalayan mountain in search of the protagonist’s brother. In the game, you not only climb the eerie mountain but also explore various villages that are built upon it. As you explore the mountain, you will have to fight ghostly creatures as well as solve multiple different types of puzzles.
While climbing, you can also pick up belongings from previous climbers, which help build the narrative of what is going on. As you progress, you also receive a few new weapons. Since the game is on the Wii, it does utilize motion controls. Unfortunately, that is actually one of the main problems with the game, as different actions, especially with nunchucks, simply don’t register.
3. Obscure: The Aftermath
- Six different characters to play - each needing to contribute their unique abilities
- Survival horror game heavily influenced by teen horror movies
- Unique co-op mode where a friend can join in anytime
- Highly detailed, creepy environments
- Immersive soundtrack performed by the Boston Symphonic Orchestra and the Paris Opera Children's Choir
Obscure: The Aftermath is a sequel to the PlayStation 2 exclusive Obscure. However, this one is also available on the Wii. The game takes a similar tone with both the story and gameplay. It isn’t the best Wii game, as the graphics definitely look dated and like a game that you would find on the previous generation of consoles.
Luckily the gameplay and story make up for the subpar graphics. However, the story is a bit odd at times. Most notable is the strange dialog between characters that is either drug-induced or just poor writing. In the game, you play as several college kids who get high on a dangerous flower. These flowers are what turn people in the game into monsters.
The game has a very dark tone, not only from the very dimly lit graphics but also from the corpses spread throughout. However, one place where Obscure: The Aftermath really shines is its gameplay, which works quite well with the Wii’s motion controls. In addition, the ability to play as multiple characters adds depth since each one has their own abilities that help them solve puzzles.
4. Resident Evil Zero
- As with all Resident Evil Archive releases Resident Evil Archive: Resident Evil Zero features the convenience of play on the Wii, at an affordable price.
- See where it all began in the prequel to the ultimate survival horror series Resident Evil.
- Play as rookie cop, Rebecca Chambers and escaped convict on the run, Billy Cowen.
- Multiple play options as you switch between each character in the blink of an eye using the "Partner Zapping" system.
- Explore the most terrifyingly real gaming experience, pioneered by the Resident Evil franchise.
You can’t have a list of survival/ horror games without at least one Resident Evil title on it. Resident Evil Zero was released on the GameCube back in 2002; however, it was re-released on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The game serves as a prequel to the franchise, taking place a day before the first game starts.
You will notice many familiar names and faces from the original game if you’ve played it. However, you don’t need to have played any of the other games in the series to jump in. The original Gamecube version didn’t have the best graphics, as they were similar to Resident Evil 4. But the versions released on the next generation of consoles look much more impressive.
As for gameplay, Resident Evil Zero plays very much like the other games in the franchise at the time, such as Resident Evil 4. It plays a little slow, as you aren’t left running throughout the game.
Instead, you methodically make your way by solving puzzles and killing undead creatures. One nice difference that sets it apart from its predecessors is that there are no longer boxes to store items, so there is much less backtracking.
5. Alone in the Dark
- Utilize the pockets of protagonist Edward Carnby to hold items that you can view, switch, and combine without leaving the game
- Stay hooked on the narrative through TV season-style structure based on episodes that deliver maximum intensity
- In-game movement has been designed to allow players to do almost anything that is physically possible in the real world
- Photographic rendering
- Lavishly detailed game world with highly realistic and advanced cinematographic effects
- Nintendo Wii
Alone in the Dark is a survival/ horror game set in Central Park in New York City. You play as a paranormal investigator that starts by escaping a skyscraper and going into a dystopian Central Park. The dialogue isn’t very inspiring, but the gameplay and visuals are a step up from the traditional horror-esque feel of most games in the genre.
The fire effects during the skyscraper escape are especially stunning, and they also translate to other parts of the game. Fire is so important because it is the only way to kill enemies in the game. Although you do have other weapons, such as a pistol, they are mainly useful for causing other objects in the game to blow up and catch fire.
You must also craft certain weapons from random items you find while exploring the world. The biggest problem is that the inventory is not very intuitive, and the crafting system is pretty clunky. Alone in the Dark is one of the few survival games to feature driving which is a nice way to get through the spooky Central Park area of New York City.
6. JU-ON: The Grudge
- First-person oriented action that always keeps you engaged and ready to be scared.
- A unique haunted house simulator unlike any other product on Wii, that foregoes deep story elements to offer immediate gratification with scare after scare.
- Easy controls based around the Wii Remote 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...
- 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.
JU-ON: The Grudge is a Nintendo Wii exclusive that is loosely based on the JU-ON movie series, which is popular in Japan. On the other hand, the game didn’t receive much notoriety as it is a rare horror title on the Wii. Oddly enough, the publisher billed the game as a “haunted house simulator,” which is an interesting way to explain the game.
The backstory is that you move into a haunted house. Next, you must progress through five stages of different locations, such as an abandoned hospital and apartment complex. These settings are exactly what you would expect from a horror/ survival game and have nothing to do with the haunted house. Finally, in the last level, you are in the family’s house.
The story is all over the place, and it really doesn’t make sense. Nonetheless, the game offers some pretty good scares. Adding another level of depth is the fact that the Wii remote is used to pick up on your level of fright by how much you jump. The only problem is that the motion controls can be hard to work with, and failing a level means starting it from the beginning.
7. Manhunt 2
- Audio and Video Upgrades - Utilizing the superior audio and visual processing power of the PSP, Chinatown Wars is reborn with noticeable boosts in graphic and sound quality
- An Expansive Liberty City at Your Fingertips - Contemporary Liberty City is a massive world complete with pedestrians, weather and traffic patterns, five different radio stations and four different...
- Endless Game play - Mature storyline with over 70+ story missions; plus dozens of side quests, collectibles, contextual mini-games and the all new mission replay feature
- Street Economics - Addictive drug dealing side game with 6 different drug types, 80+ drug dealers and a supply / demand driven narcotics economy
- Play with Friends - Take your game online with the PSP's Wi-Fi capabilities for head-to-head and co-op multiplayer mayhem
Manhunt 2 is arguably one of the most gruesome games available and certainly the most intense. The game received a lot of backlash because it was so intense and ultimately had to be toned down a bit. Manhunt 2‘s gory and dark nature is certainly a standout on the Wii, which was known as a very family-friendly console.
Although the game fits the survival genre, there’s a twist. Instead of killing zombies in a post-apocalyptic world, you must go around killing people gruesomely. There is also a lot of hand-to-hand combat that takes place once you get spotted. Manhunt 2 has a range of weapons and objects you can use throughout.
The Wii version of Manhunt 2 utilizes the Wii remote’s ability to point for its aiming mechanism, which works pretty well. In addition, the game’s story is well thought out and doesn’t feel like an afterthought as many others in the genre do. The environments do vary as well, which provides plenty of jump scares in addition to opportunities for exploration.
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