January 22, 2012

Sweet’N Low – My Haunted Weekend

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:08 pm

The Hidden Sweet N Low
It’s a well established fact that ghosts are jerks – they move furniture around while you’re away, drive your electric bill up by playing with the lights, and though I realize you may not want to hear it, they do sometimes stick things in your mouth while you’re sleeping.

Within the videogame medium, ghosts have an equally dickish reputation, from the boards of Pac-Man to the haunted houses of Super Mario Bros. But this weekend I had a chance to catch up with perhaps the worst yet via The Hidden, which released for the 3DS back in November.

The augmented reality game asks players to walk around areas in the real world while the 3DS camera is used to layer blob-like phantoms on the screen – the game seems hesitant to call these creatures ghosts, but they fit the ghostly bill. The player’s task is to scan and destroy these creatures, which will have you spinning around as if grabbed by a seizure as these ghosts quickly twitch out of your field of vision while throwing some form of ectoplasm excrement at you. The player must somehow meet the challenge of calmly readjusting their perspective to keep these critters on screen without throwing the 3DS into the nearest ditch.

The game is hilariously terrible, perhaps the champion of such pursuits on the handheld to date – one of those interesting ideas that has no room to evolve beyond the “hey isn’t this neat for five minutes” factor.

The real long-term humor stems from the game stressing players be mindful of their surroundings, but at the same time making it necessary to visit new Wi-Fi areas to discover more ghosts and progress the game. The Hidden absolutely encourages players to find new destinations in which to play, and thereby look like a complete ass in public, which is just a little bit wonderful despite the awful act of playing the game.

If you still owe any of your frenemy’s an xmas gift, this might just be the ticket.

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