When it comes to any and all things scary, I am in, so it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to witness such a widely loved title as Tsugunohi. The type of horror this game falls under is interesting because it almost has it’s own style of approach to creating a fearful experience. Although there are a few jump scares here and there, Tsugunohi really is not a jump scare based horror title. If I were to classify this game into a specific genre it would be something like psychological.
As the horror is the focal point of Tsugunohi, I feel it is the most important thing to address. I personally, did not find much here that actually scared me. If there was anything I would say that would be fearful in this game, it’d have to be more so the idea the game presents. It attempts to create a standing psychological blemish that may cause fear outside of the game, which is my cause for classifying it as psychological horror. Although the jump scares are present, the game really tries to set a tone for a spiritually sinister experience. Fearing the unknown really seems to be what the creator was trying to force upon you. When you are walking down the street, laying in bed or walking down a dark hallway, what is causing that chill down your spine? What is making it feel like that something is watching you?
As for the sound and music, which are highly important in setting up an unsettling situation perfect to incite fear, Tsugunohi did pretty well. Although the audio and graphics are very dated, the sound and music really do still carry a lot of the same feeling and tone as I find in most Japanese horror films. With that in mind, the developer seemed to really nail the ambient side of the game. Everything really seems to fall into the horror side of Japanese culture.
As I see things with this title, I could definitely see how this game could really create a highly eerie setting for a lot of people, especially those who do not do very well with fear. Additionally, this game, to me, seems like one that would maybe cause a little boost to normal paranoia in the fear sensitive if they allow the ideas of spiritual presence to latch on to the mind.
With Tsugunohi I do respect what they did here. There was a great attempt at doing something different, which is great for horror as it feels like most horror has become fairly stagnant. If you are a massive horror fan, such as myself, you more than likely will not find this game very scary. If you are a player looking for something that isn’t going to scare you into a heart attack because you do not do super well with horror, then this may be a great title for you to try out. The price point is very affordable and wont break your bank. As a horror fan, if you’re looking to just support more new and different ideas or to experience a different cultural approach to horror, you should try this game.