Thread by Dusk Golem, adapted by James for Vooks.Net
- Platform: Nintendo Wii
- Developer: Tecmo Koei
- Release: June 28th, 2012
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Genre: Survival Horror
- RRP: $79.95 AU ($69 at JB)
- Players: 1, with a 2 player mode
Twin sisters, Mio and Mayu Amakura, are visiting the spot where they used to play as children, which is due to be cleared out for a dam soon. Mio reflects on this place and their history here as children, whilst Mayu's attention is diverted when a strange red butterfly appears, which Mayu follows deep into the woods. Concerned, Mio chases after her sister when, with a sudden's notice, the sky drapes itself in night and the two sisters find themselves in a strange village shrouded by fog. While it seems abandoned, the twins soon realize that the tortured souls of the dead roam this place, trapped here after something went wrong with a ritual that was performed here in the past.
It's up to Mio to solve the curse of the lost village and rescue her sister, who seems to become odder and odder with each passing moment, as if in a trance. Wielding the camera obscura found inside one of the many homes here, she must capture and seal away the spirits that haunt here as she makes way for her and her sister to escape this nightmarish place.
The narrative, while following the original game's, includes a reworked script that is closer to the original Japanese version, and includes new & redone cutscenes and additional story to unveil, new story chapters, along with new endings to unlock.
The game uses the mechanics and engine of Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse , as opposed to the static camera angles and tank-esque controls of the original game. The camera follows closely behind Mio as she explores the village, keeping her in the center of the action. During gameplay, you can interact with various objects in the environment, in which the camera will dramatically follows her actions (such as lifting a cloth covering a mirror, peeping through a grate, or picking up an item). These segments are a player-controlled action, as the player can either accelerate the action or back out of it at the sign of danger.
While exploring the village, the game takes on the familiar mechanics of a survival-horror game. Our heroine is very slow, even while running, with limited health, and there's only so many items laying around one can make use of. You can examine your surroundings, find items (both important for survival and for progression), solve a good number puzzles scattered around the game world, save at special oriental lanterns, and wander around atmospheric and terrifying locations full of dark secrets and under the threat of being attacked at any time. Throughout the game you pick up files, which fill you in on the back-story of the characters and the village itself. These are stored in your inventory so you can read them later, and often provide you with an array of valuable information. While exploring the lost village, you may stumble upon one of the game's several side-quests. These side-quests, while optional, often provide rewards or extra challenge, ranging from putting to rest the souls of restless spirits, partaking in hidden sub-objectives, or simply filling out your ghost log. You can also tinker with a special radio that you have, which can read the messages special spiritual stones hold that are linked to the ghosts that inhabit the village. But most importantly, in your possession you have the camera obscura.
The camera obscura is special, full of spiritual power that has a strange effect on other spiritual entities. With it, you can take photos of not only your surroundings, but the ghost themselves. By taking a photo of them, it 'damages' the ghost. When their health reaches zero, their soul is sealed away and they disappear from this realm. You have to be careful with your photo taking though, as you only have limited amount of film, and the more powerful types of film (indicated by the number on the film, for example, 40-type film is stronger than 14-type film) are harder to come by. Players are also scored on their performance against ghosts, which gives you points you can use to upgrade your camera and, after you've completed the game at least once, unlock goodies. To get a better score, you need to use less shots against ghost and take bigger risks. You'll need to get up close and personal with the ghosts as the closer you are to them, the more 'damage' you deal out to them. You also want to try and find the small frame of opportunity to take a 'Zero Shot." Zero shots are an extremely short period of time right before the enemy attacks you, and is different on an enemy-to-enemy basis. If you get perfect timing, you may even be able to score in some, 'Fatal Frames', which is the split second the enemy if the most vulnerable. Besides points, you also can upgrade your camera through gadgets and lens you find laying around the village, each with different perks such as seeing enemy health or the camera flashing red when a zero shot opportunity arises. You'll have to pick what may be most useful to you however, as you can only equip one special at a time, so choose wisely.
Besides vengeful ghosts, the game also features an array of 'friendly' ghosts, which often will point you in the direction you need to go (though be warned, not all ghosts should be trusted!). They also act as limited-time photo opportunities, so be sure to take a snap of them before they disappear for some extra points and to fill out your ghost log! You also must get rid of spiritual entities that block off doors. You do this by using the camera obscura to take a photo of the blocking entity and going to the location that reveals in the photo you take of it, and snapping a picture of whatever you find there. The camera obscura also has a few hidden functions you'll discover through the game.
Also be warned that while daddling and adventuring about, you may be attacked by randomized ghosts. You can be attacked at any time by these randomized ghosts, and staying in one location a bit too long especially attracts them.
Several other modes and goodies are also available in the game, most of which are unlocked by completing the game and purchasing them with points. These unlockables include:
-Mission Mode: An objective-based mission mode where you must complete stages and obtain a rank based on how well you do. Be warned, the game is very harsh on it's grading and you get the most points out of a mission based on your first run, rather than your runs after your first.
-Survival Mode: A race where you have to get from one location to another and survive! The number of ghosts are greatly increased, as well as a number of tougher enemies appearing. Rank is determined by time and points you get by killing ghosts.
-Haunted House Mode: A new mode to the remake with two-player functionality. You play a new side-story to the game as you and possibly a friend enter into several haunted locales with randomized scares and puzzles, trying to escape alive through a first-person perspective. This game also includes some series veteran fan service, including ghosts and characters from throughout the series mythos.
-Alternate Costumes: An array of alternate costumes you can unlock for the twin sisters.
-Accessories: Besides costumes, you also can put on accessories, such as glasses or pumpkins.
-Artwork, videos, & music: Several unlockable goodies from trailers, concept art, conceptual videos, and more!
If you're ever inquired, 'What ghosts do you want to meet?,' the only appropriate answer would be to respond, 'I would like to meet no ghosts.' However, there are some ghosts you especially don't want to meet. And unfortunately, this game features two of these very deadly ghosts that cannot be killed, and them touching you results in instant death. The couple, known as Sae and Kusabi, are very tightly knitted to this village and are filled with extreme resentment in their afterlives due to the events prior to their deaths. While both are quite different, in how they move, appear, and give chase, they are essentially the same instant death trap. These ghosts are the ultimate obstacles, and must be avoided at all costs.
Nintendo Gamer- 89%
Famitsu- 34/40 (9, 9, 8, 8)