Review: Creeping Terror (Nintendo 3DS)

Creeping Terror: Official GBAtemp Review

Nintendo 3DS 2,138 views 6 likes 9 comments
Reviewed by Chris Knight, posted Nov 7, 2017
Nov 7, 2017
  • Release Date (NA): October 31, 2017
  • Release Date (JP): January 18, 2017
  • Publisher: Aksys Games
  • Developer: Mebius
  • Genres: Horror, Adventure
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • Also For: Computer
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Time to take a look at the 3DS' latest horror game.
Chris Knight
Lemme just start off by saying, by far the most difficult part of Creeping Terror was finding who the heck made it. Nintendo's site says Mebius, however their wiki page mentions nothing. Creeping Terror's official site references Sushi Typhoon Games, as well as Nikkatsu Corporation.

Take your pick. One of 'em probably made it. But anyway, it was produced and localized by Aksys.

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Creeping Terror is a Japanese horror game set in America. You play as Arisa, a Japanese exchange student, accompanied by three of her friends. There’s Emily and her brother Bob, as well as Arisa’s crush, Ken. Bob decided to gather them all at a spooky mansion deep in a forest, apparently for his stream...except he wasn’t streaming, he was recording footage. So I think they meant it to be for his alternate world YouTube account. Regardless, pretty much right after they walk into the mansion, Arisa falls through the floor into an abandoned mineshaft below, and thus begins her journey.



Digging into the game

I’m just gonna come right out and say it now; this game is generic. Group of teens go to spooky mansion for reasons, group gets split up, main girl finds herself alone in some creepy place and has to find a way out. Worse still is Arisa’s aggravating and utter lack of any humanity. A lot of terrifying things happen to this girl and she either has metaphorical balls the size of jupiter, or is horribly written to lack any sort of realistic emotions. Her reaction to falling several stories into a mineshaft seemingly was “oh, well that was pretty not great. Glad my phone is okay!”

Every time she’s faced with anything like blood, dead bodies, or psychopathic monsters, she’s barely startled, if she shows any emotion at all. Most of the time in fact, if you’re chased by the big spooky shovel monster, you know immediately after you hide from him, that you should then head exactly where you found him because that’s where the next part of the story is. I think going back to exactly where you just found tall, dark and spooky would be the last thing i’d do.


Unfortunately the roster of music is also fairly small and pretty mediocre at creating any atmosphere. By far the best background song is right at the end of the game, and most will probably be too annoyed during that sequence to notice it. A majority of the sound effects are also very low budget, and boy oh boy, I think the only thing from this game that’ll haunt me are Arisa’s repetitive, low quality footsteps. There’s also no voice acting, opting instead for differently pitched blips to denote characters as they speak.

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Running until the end of time

Gameplay sadly also falls pretty short too. The first time you gain control of Arisa feels very jarring. Her movement is quite sluggish and feels like it has about a half second of input delay. Luckily, the game is 2D and you only control Arisa moving left and right. This does, however, greatly limit the depth of gameplay significantly. Arisa’s cellphone flashlight is the first mechanic you’re taught to use. Its only purpose realistically is to help you avoid tripping on stray obstacles that might slightly hinder you as you run from spooky things. Though, truthfully I think I tripped about 3 times running from Shovel Blight and still managed to hide unscathed. It’s also used, of course, to light things up. However even in pitch darkness, Arisa finds every object, door and stairway just fine. If you so chose to, you could probably play the game without the light. It has limited batteries, but you find chargers so frequently I just decided to keep my light on for the entire game, and never once came close to running out of battery.


Besides the flashlight, you also find little piles of rocks and stones to throw at some things, or to stun the giant hulking shovel beast when he chases you. Arisa must have one hell of a pitching arm, given the shovel monster is supposed to have very high pain tolerance. Other than that, you just find an abundance of rations to heal hp, and chargers to regenerate your battery.


One of the more annoying mechanics to note is that Arisa walks at the pace of a one-legged turtle unless you hold the R trigger to run (aka you will never let it go), which is all fine and dandy with infinite stamina. Regrettably, once you’re being chased, Arisa somehow transforms into a 400lb chain-smoking walnut, and can run about 5 seconds before you need to let go of sprint and let it regen (and if you deplete the bar, it regens slower and has to fill completely). Your HP is your stamina bar as well, so as you take damage the time you can sprint is significantly reduced. Never really was a problem though. My biggest problem was remembering where hiding spots were on the plain, unmarked map you couldn’t write on. Any time you ran into something, you had to struggle to fight it off by mashing ‘A’ and losing a chunk of HP.

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This game is so basic, it drinks pumpkin spice lattes

In general, gameplay is just very simplistic. Running from room to room, and floor to floor. Finding notes to reveal bits of story, or various keys to open new rooms. The game is fairly short, which is probably to its benefit. It apparently has multiple endings, despite having absolutely 0 choices or places to deviate the story. It requires you to slog through the entire game again just to get a different ending, and needless to say I only got the first. Even without getting them, the story is so obvious you basically know and understand absolutely everything by the conclusion of the first ending anyway.


On a surprisingly positive note, the art is pretty good. I did like how the characters looked, they had a fairly unique artstyle. The environment also looked pretty spooky and well done, but there are a lot of repetitive sections in two of the three main areas.


Of course the biggest highlight is the solid translation, but I expected nothing less from Aksys. Every line of dialogue, and all of the lore notes were translated flawlessly, and localized properly. Really goes to show that even while working on a not so great title, Aksys still puts in quality work to do a great job bringing over a game.


Overall, Creeping Terror really just doesn’t do anything to distinguish itself among horror games, with a basic, easily predicted story, and dull sluggish gameplay. Most of its attempts at horror involved running and hiding from shovel bro, which got old real quick and I even started just face checking him and running past to the objective on the other side. Lacking also on the audio side of things, at the very least it has decent visuals and a great translation.

Verdict
Pros
+ Solid Aksys translation
+ Decent visuals
Cons
- Sluggish gameplay
- Lousy sound effects, and a mostly lackluster soundtrack
- Generic, dull, predictable story
- Robotic, emotionless main character
6 Presentation
Creeping Terror has alright visual fidelity, with decent looking characters and fairly well done environments. However they do get a bit repetitive. Audio is very low budget, with one or maybe two good BGMs.
4 Gameplay
Sluggish, awkward, and lacking in depth. There really wasn't a whole lot to this game. Very basic running and hiding from monsters, otherwise you were just wandering aimlessly collecting notes and keys.
5
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Creeping Terror was unfortunately just a dull, uninteresting experience through and through. It did absolutely nothing to try and distinguish itself from other horror games, and that is abundantly clear from the first minute of gameplay. The only solid and well done part of the game is the flawless translation.
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