REVIEW – What a coincidental time it is for me to write about the game on September 1, the day when school starts around here. Schools indeed – this game is set in a South Korean high school. White Day already gets my interest simply because of its place of origin, but without it, it’s still an alright game.
This game has a somewhat complicated history. Originally, it launched on PC in 2001, followed by an iOS and Android port in 2015, which was then moved further to the PlayStation 4 and PC this year, complete with Unity engine. (So is it a port of a remake? A remake’s remake? A port’s remake? Let’s move on…)
Does Amnesia: The Dark Descent ring a bell? Well, White Day has a similar concept – you have no way to strike back. Nope, instead, you have to get stealth going to avoid getting caught by the janitor in the first half of the game, or by ghosts in the second half. It doesn’t sound stupid, but the base plot does: Lee (let’s just stay with that name) is a new student in the Yeondu High School.
He immediately falls in love with Han So-young, whose diary he founds, but he wants to place it back in her locker after school closes. This is where you step in: others also sneak into the school for their reasons, and no, it is not going to be some dating sim. The school hides some occultist and serial killer things behind its walls…
Building relationships won’t take more than just a few minutes with two ends of the scale: you either meet someone who’d easily spend a few more hours with you, while others would just never want to see you again. You’ll be alone for the most part, and isolation could be familiar from Amnesia.
You’ll have constant puzzle-solving, which isn’t much of a hassle in the beginning, as initially, you will only have to concentrate on the janitor, who will give two blatant „alarms” to you. His flashlight, as well as his whistle, will be easy to recognize. Meanwhile, make sure to learn the school’s layout, as backtracking is going to be often happening throughout the game. If you don’t learn the map, you will lose, because those ghosts will be part of the annoyance.
Yes, annoyance: to look around in the rooms, you’ll need light, and the janitor will see that. You’ll risk getting caught, and as you will quickly run out of batteries, and you will not have unlimited torches either. The puzzles raise the replayability, though.
I respect that White Day offers you to choose the Korean voice acting. If the game didn’t have this option, it’d fall on its face with the audio, as the music isn’t memorable. I may just have garbage taste, but I don’t think it’s good. What about the graphics then? It has Unity engine, which is capable more than what I saw.
To be simply put, I think the game has just average visuals. Sure, it is a remake of a 2001 title, but frankly, the PlayStation 4 is capable of more than White Day‘s graphical level. The ambiance of the game is nice, but the audiovisuals pull down things a bit.
There will be jumpscares. Ehh. At least the game has no less than NINE (!) endings, which is not bad with all those difficulty levels. For your first run, you will need about nine hours to complete White Day, but to replay it, you will have to get used to a few technical issues and bugs. Sometimes I noticed the frame rate dropping a bit. Lol.
I also had to restart the game twice due to Lee unable to climb a ladder. The save system is also somewhat ridiculous: almost all the time, I got thrown back to the beginning of a section even with saving. Ehh…
I’d have given this game a 6.5 initially, but then I moved it up to a 7 simply because it’s a different experience. It’s not as scary as it could have been, and it’s also a bit annoying here and there (I should say that a few puzzles are ridiculously difficult, and don’t forget about the janitor and the ghosts while solving these!), but it’s from a different era. An era that we miss nowadays. Around the time White Day originally launched, there was another significant title: Silent Hill 2. You hear me, Konami? In my dreams, I see that town…
+ A Korean game. You don’t see them around here that often!
+ Good ambiance
+ Nine endings
– The base plot is somewhat stupid
– Annoying and a bit buggy at a few points
– Audiovisuals are average
Genre: Korean Survival horror, puzzle
Release date: August 22, 2017