Gregory Horror Show [Import - PAL]
Game Info
Playstation 2
Survival Horror
Official Website
The Good

• Unique gameplay
• Great graphical style
• Addictive
• Judgement Boy!!!!

The Bad

• Short
• You need plenty of patience


Gregory Horror Show is the latest in Capcom's line of somewhat niche titles to be released on the PS2. Based off an anime of the same name it charts the trials and tribulations of a young boy (or girl) whom has unwittingly wandered into a strange hotel. This is no normal hotel, it is in fact a hotel for damned souls, run by a somewhat eccentric rat named Gregory.

Gregory appears to have been expecting the poor child and allows him to use the guestroom, explaining that he/she can never leave. Upon falling asleep the guest is greeted by Death (who sounds alarmingly cheery) who bestows upon him the task of collecting all of the lost souls possessed by the other hotel denizens, and so begins our heroes advenrture.

After an initial tutorial from Neko Zombie (a Frankenstein's Monsteresque cat) which intoroduces you to the general procedure of being a voyeur (spying through keyholes, hiding in cupboards, etc), you claim your first soul, and are introduced to the style of gameplay involved in this quirky survival horror. The gameplay basically involves observing your fellow guests in order to ascertain the location of their soul. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Every guest has their own daily routine and can be found in various areas of the hotel depending on the time of day. For instance Nurse Catherine (one of the most freaky creations ever) will spend her time reading, or in the clinic. Using careful detective work you can eventually figure out where she keeps her soul and more importantly how to distract her long enough for you to steal it. Each guest has their own daily routine, which must be learned in order to proceed through the game with some of them requiring a significant amount of reconnaissance in order to both locate their soul and the means by which to get it.

After successfully nabbing a soul, the game becomes more difficult. The characters whom you have "relieved" of their souls become steadily more aggressive and if they see you will chase you down and subject you to a Horror Show, a cutscene involving something nasty being done to your character, upon which you start to lose Sanity. The only way to actually avoid being hurt is to run away and hide. Yes run away. You have no weapons whatsoever. Not even a pistol or pointy stick. Once you run the pursuit is relentless, until you locate somewhere to hide, or leave the current floor. As you can imagine once you get further into the game this can make for some tense moments as most of the guests will be looking to hurt you. Ah did I mention Sanity? Sanity is basically a measure of the characters health, and it must be kept reasonably high at all times. This can be accomplished via the use of Gregory's Shop, and Green Herbs/Juices found throughout the game. The items you find can be traded or upgraded at the shop allowing one to obtain some forms of defense (banana skins for instance) or items necessary to further your quest for souls. Reading the many books found throughout the hotel can also go some way to relieving your constant Sanity drain. As you run out of Sanity or get tired status effects start to kick in. Such as not being able to run. Which kinda makes getting away quite hard.

Graphically Gregory Horror Show is.......... Unique. Ever single character is made up of around 10 (exaggeration) well textured polygons giving the game a nice sense of style, whilst the hotel itself is nicely rendered, with some decent texture work, and sometimes fantastic lighting. I personally love the graphical style and think that it is something that should be used more often. Voice acting is also above average and ranges from the happy go lucky Death to the quite frankly cool as **** Judgement Boy. Who you will love. Trust me.

The game does have several downfalls though. A competent player can complete it in around 7 hours, and a lot of that is spent spying on people so the impatient need not apply. Certain bits (Roulette Boy, cough) can also be rather frustrating and require a certain amount of trial and error.

In summary, if you are looking for a nice budget title which will last you 3 or 4 sittings, and is simply oozing with charm and good ideas then Gregory Horror Show is an ideal game for you. It gives a fresh new spin on the survival horror genre, and proves that gore or cheap scares are not needed to provide tension. If however you are impatient, or dislike short games then I would still recommend a rental as the game is genuinely unique.

- - Kid Spatula

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