Nintendo’s consoles have been known to be squeaky clean for quite some time, so it is very nice to see them branch out now and then with some more adult-leaning titles. This October AKSYS Games published an interesting little title called Creeping Terror for the 3DS, and I am very surprised. I will be honest with you, I don’t play my 3DS as much as I should, it is one of my most neglected consoles. One can only play so many Mario games before one grew tired of the Italian plumber, so when I was told about this Creeping Terror I NEEDED to play the game. First off, it is a survival horror game that we haven’t seen the likes of for at least 3 generations of consoles, second, it is in 3D; I loved the fact that Resident Evil: Revelations was in 3D it made it that more fun.
The story is a pretty simple, a quartet of high school students decide to investigate a huge urban legend of the town. Bob, the student trying to be a YouTube sensation, gathers his friends at the creepy mansion and they start to film. The filming begins to go great, but then the mansion rumbles and poor Arisa falls through the floor and ends up in a mine. She gets up, dusts herself off and begins to seek an exit. Everything is fine for a little while until she stumbles into another human, who sadly didn’t get away from the shovel-wielding maniac. You must escape this maniac, the mansion and other horrors all while keeping your stamina meter up, phone battery level up and friends alive. Are you up for the task?
There are some pretty neat mechanics built into this title, you have to search for batteries to keep your phone alive, you have to find certain items to continue through levels, you get to flesh out the story by finding journals and you have to find rations. The rations are probably the second most important items other than batteries. When you encounter the maniac and if he happens to catch you, you are prompted to mash the A button as quickly as possible. As you do this your stamina meter slowly decreases and will only refill up to a certain point. Eating the rations restores the missing stamina and gives you a chance to keep encountering your shovel loving friend. The map is kind of useless though, it only tells you in what room are in, not what direction you are facing, nor does it mark hiding spots, which would have been very useful!
The controls are pretty simple for this game, the Control Pad or Circle pad moves Arisa around the area; if you find the need to run, which you will, then hold R down. Now you can run all you want when you aren’t being chased, but when you’re being chased you have to watch your stamina meter, if that empties then you can be caught by the shovel-wielding maniac. You can also trip on things in the mine and mansion, so press B to get your phone out and use the flashlight, but watch the power on it; if it runs out you could be left in the dark. You find tools in your travels, you use the tool by pressing Y after you select it in your inventory by pressing X. I know it sounds a little complicated, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. You’ll also need to remember to press A when you find a hiding spot, seeing as you really have no weapons in this game you have to hide from the maniac. Yes, you have to hide, so if you are a fan of Clock Tower or Haunting Ground you get to enjoy a portable and Teen rated version of the game. If you don’t play your 3DS much you will get killed a few times thinking that the A button is placed elsewhere, so keep that in mind, be patient as you get readjusted for your 3DS button layout.
I enjoyed the look and feel of this game, some survival horror fans will remember the game Obscure that came out for the PS2 and OG Xbox and the characters reminded me of the cast of that game. A group of high school kids dealing with the supernatural that is way above their pay grade. The use of the 3D also pleasantly surprised me, the areas you must search have a nice depth to them and it makes the game feel a tad more immersive. The one thing that I did not like about the design of this game was the fact that as the sentences come up on the screen while the characters are talking an annoying beep accompanies them. I get that maybe they didn’t want to use a voice-over cast, and I’m fine with that, but why the irritating beep? The design of the maniac is pretty slick too, he looks like a cross between Jeepers Creepers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre but feels original in his own right. While I didn’t enjoy him chasing me down with his bloody shovels, I liked how he looked on the screen and was both excited and fearful of his appearance as I searched for an exit and for my friends.
Survival horror is what I live for in video games, it is nice to see all these different types of survival horror games hitting all these different systems after a pretty bleak dry-spell. Creeping Terror is one of those better survival horror titles, while it may not have a “Mature” rating, I was holding my breath during some of the maniac encounters. It is hard going into a game knowing that you won’t be able to attack your attacker and instead you have to run, remember where the hiding spot was, and then make it in time to the spot so you don’t get shoveled to death. I failed on several occasions and I loved every minute of it, thankfully the game had a very nice “checkpoint” system and I didn’t lose too much time in the game. I would recommend this title to all the 3DS owners who want a little something different now and again. I also would push this on people who enjoyed Capcom’s classics Clock Tower 3 and Haunting Ground, this is the best version you’re going to get until Capcom realizes there is money to be made in sequels and reboots of these franchises.
A Nintendo 3DS Review Copy of Creeping Terror Was provided by Aksys Games for the purpose of this review.
- Survival Horror on the 3DS
- Brings back memories of Clock Tower and Haunting Ground
- Used the 3D well for this game, better than I thought they would
- Have no direction at all during some points of game
- No voice overs, just annoying sounds when the letters come up on the screen
- Wish you could draw on the map to mark hiding spots