Nanashi no Game: Me: Open Your Eyes

By Spencer . September 8, 2009 . 2:09pm

image Nanashi no Game: Me (The Game With No Name: The Eye) begins like a NES RPG where a three person party walks around in a town until they talk to a wizard that opens a gate to the real world.

 

In the “real world” you’re an anthropology student walking around a creepy apartment complex. While exploring the real world, Nanashi no Game: Me is played with the DS held in book mode. You move your character by holding the stylus in the middle of the screen. Dragging the stylus allows you to look and turn around.

 

Everything around you is quiet, except for a little atmospheric noise, until suddenly Nanashi no Game: Me attempts to jolt you with a loud cracking mirror, car horn or falling bicycle. These scares are cheap, but quite effective if you wear headphones. Turning the volume off sounds like an option. However, you need to listen for a haunting chiptune melody which leads players to TS consoles (haha, Square Enix) running the cursed game.

 

When you enter the cursed RPG, your buddy Yuuto runs into you and stabs your pixilated avatar with a knife. Red specks explode on the screen. Then he goes after Ren, your classmate. Both characters are left in a pool of 8-bit blood before the game clicks back to reality.

 

image Somehow, you survive the attack, unscathed, in the real world. When you finally find Yuuto (or what’s left of him) he is hovering over a TS console. He crawls on the floor and lunges at you like a zombie. Things for the protagonist go from bad to worse when Yuuto’s data transfers to the player and a faceless girl rises from the TS, Ring-style, and curses you.

 

The curse spreads to your left eye (represented by the left screen) which now has the ability to see evil. Your eye blurs when ghosts are around, a sign that trouble is close. You’re toast if a ghost touches you.

 

You can’t really “fight” ghosts either. You have to run and the best way to do this is to use the D-pad to dash. But, what if all the doors are locked? Start searching for white hand prints with your left eye. When you see one of these tap where it would be on the right screen to enter the cursed RPG. While the game within a game is designed to look like a RPG, you don’t level up or grind by battling cursed monsters. Perhaps, it’s better described as a cursed RPG interface because Nanashi no Game: Me isn’t an RPG, it’s a horror adventure game.

 

Things you do in the cursed RPG affect the real world. In one area the cursed RPG is set in a prison where you have to sneak around zombie guards (a la Solid Snake) to reach the exit. If you get caught a loud splattering noise plays and you have to start over. Once you make it out a door in the real world unlocks.

 

image Here’s another example of how the cursed RPG is integrated into the real world. One desolate town has ghosts act as sentries that prevent players from moving forward. You have to to get rid of the ghosts by entering the RPG and talking to a girl who drops flowers in the game. The flowers also appear in the real world, which force the ghosts to move and allow you to press on.

 

Nanashi no Game: Me introduces a new kind of game, a cursed platformer identified by a red mark. When you enter one of these you’re given a certain number of lives to run to an exit. Levels are filled with traps like pits and blades, but they look more menacing than they really are. If you happen to youch any of the razor sharp guillotine blades your 8-bit head falls off. That isn’t the only form of retro violence in the game either. One cutscene shows a character dragging two charred bodies around.

 

At the end of each day you have a chance to save the game and pick the next area to explore. Ren and your occult professor give you choices like exploring a karaoke club or a hotel. Both are eerie places at night. And that’s what Nanashi no Game: Me is about exploring eerie places and creeping the player out.


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  • Julius

    This sounds awesome. It’s like SE’s take on Yume Nikki. I really hope it makes it stateside, though the first one never made it so it’s doubtful…

  • kurokotetsu

    Interesting. I hope ir gets localized, but doubt it will. It seems a strange mix of genres in a creepy way.

  • Dasuzero

    Now the game just sounds silly :

  • http://twitter.com/nameoftheyear Elliot T.

    I’ve been fascinated with the Nanashi no Game titles since I heard of them, for their novel approach to horror. Common theory was that you just couldn’t make an immersive horror game on a handheld because the interface gets in the way – it takes up less of your attention than a big screen TV with a stereo system, and you even see your own hands while playing – how do you put yourself in the shoes of a character that’s scared half to death like in your typical horror games?

    Apparently, Square Enix’s approach was to make the interface – the DS – a source of immersion instead of an obstacle to one, by attaching meaning to that handheld kinda self-awareness. Pretty clever design if you ask me. I’d love to actually play these games myself to see if the rest of it holds up, of course. And it’s totally disappointing that there have been no plans to localize them.

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Damn it, someone needs to pick these up for localization. Hmm…Aksys published Theresia in the U.S. The Nanashi games seem to be a little more high profile than that…

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      I mentioned it a couple times on their forums.
      Not sure how S-E will take to a publisher seeking out this particular game. Do you think they would have reservations? I read the first game sold quickly, but then I heard that there weren’t that many copies shipped out at launch in the first place.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        I haven’t heard of any Square-developed games that were published by somebody else in recent times — I could be wrong though.

        I wish I could say but I honestly have no idea how they’d feel about someone else trying to localize these. If I were to be optimistic, I’d say these will eventually get picked up toward the end of the DS lifecycle — whenever THAT happens — like a lot of PS2 games. :/

        Edit: Almost 62,000 copies as of July last year. I’ll let you know if I find updated numbers.

  • MadMirko

    That’s really great. I wonder if it would be possible to release them (this and the prequel) via DSiWare should Square Enix decide they’re not worth a physical release in the West.

    I guess the SD card streaming will not just apply to Wii, so storage shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      While it hasn’t been stated officially, I bet you there’s a limit on DSiWare filesizes. :(

      • MadMirko

        Sure, but the Nanashis look like they might fit a say 20MB limit. That would be half of the WiiWare limit, which seems a good guess as the Wii has twice the internal memory.

        On the other hand, the Wii limit was created before there was a storage solution, so they might be redefined after SD card streaming is available.

  • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

    Just finished Me. It’s a real nice fallow up to the first game, which is one of my nearest and dearest games on the DS. The cheap scares worked on me and to be honest I didn’t think Me was gonna freak me out like the first game did, but lo and behold, there was a grand finale that made up for that and it looked beautifully freaky!
    I have to say though, Me had the same flaw as the first one did; too short. Way too short. However, the platformer kind of makes up for that. I’m going to be busy collecting all the levels (and beating them, oy ve).
    Another aspect was that the ghost chases doesn’t make you do these crazy patterns when they chased you like they did in the first game, which was a relief for me gameplay-wise but it would have added a lot to the suspense – something horror games always need, but give and take.
    Also, for those interested in importing NnG: Me, I’d say it’s import friendly for the most part, but there are about two puzzles that might give you trouble; one where you have to input four Japanese characters and a riddle. Refer to a guide (ie GameFaqs) if you can’t read Japanese otherwise you’ll be stuck for a while. Really creepy once you solve it!

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      I think I know which riddle you’re getting at. It’s early on isn’t it and has a chilling solution?

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        Yeah, it’s on the first path, iirc.
        I was stumped at first, then I went back and heard/read the clue.

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