Japanese horror is a colorful genre. While it shares the same themes as western horror, it has its own flavor with its storytelling, monsters and ghosts. Now, put everything j-horror, set it during the 17th Century, make it into a video game and you get Kuon for the PS2 by From Software. Yes, the same From Software that’s famous for Dark Souls but I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you.
Kuon takes place in an estate that’s overrun by demons and has you take control of two characters: Utuski, a timid girl who’s looking for her dad. The other is Sakuya, a ninja who’s sent to investigate why demons have overrun the estate. Each character’s chapter is called a phase. Utsuki is Yn and Sakuya in Yang and then there’s Kuon which is only unlocked when you beat the game with both characters.
The story isn’t anything too special. However, there are some messed up things that happen along the way. One of them is the cacoon people which, once you see them and know what they are they’re pretty damn horrifying.
The gameplay is the basic survival horror stuff: you find an item to use on this thing/to solve a puzzle, solve this puzzle to get an item to use on this door to proceed. There’s also combat which is the worse thing in the world if you play as Utsuki. She’s weak as all hell, so you’re gonna have to figure out some clever ways of killing the enemy with your dinner knife and some spells you get along the way. The spells are like items, meaning be careful about how often you use them. Sakuya is better at combat because of her ninja training, but really you won’t be fighting a lot in this game (if you walk and not run all over the place like an idiot) so be glad.
Graphically, the mansion does look creepy as all hell which is what you want in a horror game, right? The character designs are PS2 era good so don’t get too excited about them. Also, the characters’ mouths don’t move, which is weird but a great thing because…
The English voice acting is below bargain basement crap. Wow, did From Software hire some bad voice actors for the English track. Choose the Japanese track since while not great the actors at least know how to voice act.
In all, Kuon is an OK survival horror game for the PS2 by an early From Software that still didn’t find the magic formula for success. If you want to play this game, look for a ROM because this game is NOT worth $300 or $1.500 sealed.
Categories: Video Games