OWTK Gaming

Nintendo 3DS Game Review: The Hidden

THE HIDDEN for Nintendo 3DS
by Cooper McHatton

When I first heard about The Hidden I was instantly intrigued. And who could blame me? I mean, have you seen the game’s awesome trailer (below).  Sadly, The Hidden falls short in every single department save for the brilliant idea behind the game.

The 3DS’s First Retail Augmented Reality Game: Simply put, the Hidden is an augmented reality, first person, ghost hunting shooter. Players assume the role of a new recruit at G.E.I.S.T. (Ghostly Entity Investigation and Strike Team) which use high technology (aka, the 3DS camera) to see beyond our existence and search for “shades” (which, while the game is supposed to be a ghost hunting adventure, shades are actually alien entities living parallel to our world). Quite the awesome premise, no?

Maybe when all playground and open spaces offer free WiFi, The Hidden and future games making use of Augmented Reality will thrive.

Going on a Ghost Hunt: In order to hunt shades, players “patrol the area” (aka, walk around while the 3DS gyroscope captures movement) with the 3DS while reading occasional text messages that are sent from G.E.I.S.T. cohorts. This takes an extreme amount of patience, as players must walk around with only these chats to read for a good 5 to 20 minutes. Once the 3DS detects some shades, they appear on the 3DS screen on top of whatever the player is standing in front of (thanks to the 3DS camera) and the shades begin attacking the player. From this, players have to fire their weapons at the shades and chase them down until the area is clear. The action is very fun, but the amount of waiting that has to be done before hand is a bore.

The Problems: As an idea, The Hidden is nothing short of brilliant. But it would’ve been difficult to execute it much worse. The game suffers greatly from the fact that you have to be at a different Wi-Fi location for EACH level (this is supposed to simulate having to travel to get rid of ghosts near you). That means that you can only play one level in your own home. When you want to go play another level, you have to go some place with free Wi-Fi. Now part of the nature of the Hidden is the fact that you have to walk around for quite a bit (as previously noted) before fighting a ghost, then you have to spin wildly in circles to catch it. Trying this in most places offering up free Wi-Fi is all kinds of crazy, as it means paying complete attention to the 3D screen while spinning around at a (likely crowded) establishment with hot beverages flowing and other patrons working away on expensive laptops. I advise against trying this.  Unless you have a tight knit group of friends living in undecorated WiFi hotspots, this one should probably be left on the game store shelf.

Overall: The Hidden is a fantastic concept with poor execution. Ghost hunting could have been a blast, but instead it’s much more like a chore, a chore that could lead to a serious accident in a Starbucks.

Graphics: 3
Sound: 4
Design: 1
Story: 9
Gameplay: 2
Value: 4
Overall: 3.5

*OWTK received a copy of The Hidden for review consideration. The opinions above are honest and unbiased.

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