White Day: A Labyrinth Named School’s Easier Difficulties Take Care Of Players

By Jenni . August 17, 2017 . 12:00pm

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I am a wuss, but one that is fascinated by the plots of some scary games and movies. Especially if it has to do with folklore and fairy tales. Which means I power through games like Fatal Frame and Silent Hill, playing during daylight hours, often with someone nearby as moral support. I’ll choose the easiest difficulty levels, if I can, to avoid dreaded jump scares, but worry I’m missing out as a result. White Day: A Labyrinth Named School has a reputation. There are people who say it is one of the scariest games out there. Yet with the remake’s multiple difficulty levels, I feel like its multiple difficulty levels are there to help ease players like me in and let us enjoy the story without worrying about things getting to be too much.


There are five degrees of difficulty in White Day: A Labyrinth Named School. Very Easy, Easy, Normal, and Hard are all immediately available, with Hell locked away. Very Easy paints itself as being most welcoming, saying it is for people who want the story and no challenge. Easy bills itself as less suspenseful. Normal is balanced. Hard is suspenseful and harder to play. People familiar with horror games can go ahead and go with Normal or Hard, but those wondering about a first-person horror game or who want to focus on the visual novel elements should go right for Very Easy or Easy.


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Both Very Easy and Easy offer various hints and edges in White Day: A Labyrinth Named School. They keep you ahead of the game and help you when you might find yourself a bit lost. You’ll get SMS text messages on both levels of difficulty, for example. These can be ignored, if you’d like. Many of them are common sense points like, “Turn on the lights.” But you would be surprised how often a little nudge can help. Like when I went to play on Normal the first time, to see the difference, I didn’t realize I’d need to actually catch a glimpse of Sung-A Kim and Ji-Hyeon Seol in the hallway to make the door to it unlock. 


The thing that makes the most difference is the Eye Icon. (Or rather, the Eyecon?) This only appears on the Very Easy difficulty level and is the reason for the description saying it removes all element of suspense. This eye outline appears at the top of the screen and is animated. It lets you know the moment you are in danger, so you can turn off lights, hide, and do whatever is necessary to save yourself. It really helped make me feel more secure. It made the other scary moments so much easier to bear, because the janitor is the real threat to your safety.


Of course, these are the two most obvious additions. The Very Easy and Easy difficulties have other adjustments to make things easier to deal with. I noticed a marked difference in how much longer Hee-Min Lee could run on these levels, compared to on Normal or Hard. Certain ghosts aren’t present. It is easier to see and the game is brighter (both with the lights on and off). The janitor is much more forgiving than the one on the normal level. I also had no trouble finding felt pens for saving, coins for health items, and Hee-Min Lee seemed like he had more health. Of all these, the janitor’s intelligence and saving were the most important elements. You never know when you’ll find a point and or if you have a pen to make use of it on Normal, but I never had that worry on Very Easy or the brief time I spent sampling the Easy mode. And the janitor can be surprisingly cunning on Normal, so having that breather so I could enjoy the atmosphere, character interactions, and ghost stories littered throughout the school was important to me.


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Because there really are some great story segments in White Day: A Labyrinth Named School. Whenever you find yourself with characters like So-Young Han, Sung-A Kim, and Ji-Hyeon Seol, you have chances to also talk with them. And this isn’t just one dialogue choice, then the moment passes. It almost feels like an actual conversation, thanks to multiple prompts. Knowing I didn’t have to deal with as many aggressive ghosts or more aware janitors let me appreciate these moments more.


White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a game that can be both challenging and horrifying. But for those who are really intrigued, but worried about how they would manage their investigations, interactions with other characters, and survival when faced with janitors and ghosts, there are two difficulty levels that aren’t as intimidating. They offer special features that give you survival tips, extra items, a slightly stronger hero, and janitors that won’t be as smart. The scary story and some of the challenge is there, but it becomes more manageable.


White Day: A Labyrinth Named School will be released on the PlayStation 4 in North America and on PC worldwide on August 22, 2017. The game releases in Japan on August 24 and Europe on August 25.

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