Review by robcram

Reviewed: 04/04/03 | Updated: 04/04/03

A far cry from DoaXVB.

From the makers of the Dead or Alive series and Monster Rancher , Tecmo brings us Fatal Frame. A far cry from Dead or Alive Extreme Volleyball. Set in eighties Japan , Fatal Frame’s story is a weird mix of ancient history and overall spooky-ness. You control a girl named Miku who has the ability to see what cannot be seen by others. An ability shared by her Mother and Brother. The game takes place in a deserted Japanese mansion. Miku’s brother has gone missing. He is searching for a missing novelist and his assistants. All leads have ended up at this ancient deserted mansion. Where the mix of the real and unreal manifests itself. You begin the game controlling Miku’s brother for a short introduction. Then the game begins as you take control of Miku as she searches the mansion for her lost brother. Upon entering this dark sinister mansion you begin to realize that it is not as deserted as you may think . With her unique abilities Miku discovers an ancient evil in the mansion which is linked to the disappearances. CUT.

Ok so you may be thinking that this is a Resident Evil rip off. Sinister mansions, Missing people, female lead character etc. Well yes and no. For starters the mansion is unlike the usual European mansions,with its own unique Japanese look and style. There are no zombies either because the place is filled with the ghosts of the mansion’s dark history. There are no weapons in the game either. That means no handguns, shotguns or grenade launchers. There are however healing herbs as seen in every game of this type.The action in this game takes a different direction. Miku has a camera which can capture the souls of ghosts . This makes the camera as powerful ( in context) as those shotguns that you may be used to. Littered around the place are various types of film for the camera which vary in power and scarcity. When you begin the game on the default difficulty you are aided with a sensor which will tell you the direction of any nearby ghosts. Capturing ghosts is easy to begin as you enter the shutter view which enables you to look and move around in first person. Aim the reticule at a ghost then wait to charge up power, then shoot. Ghosts do get increasingly difficult to capture as they often move quickly and teleport behind you. Unlike Resident Evil, these ghosts will still raise your heartbeat even after you have captured many ghosts. You can also customize your camera with added abilities which can be purchased from the points you gain for capturing ghosts. This encourages you to go for that perfect shot and take some pride in your efforts.

Fatal Frame is a welcome addition to the survival horror genre. Featuring an awesome soundtrack that will have you
spooked to the max and excellent graphics. This is only let down by some frustrating controls and invisible barriers. This is annoying but once you get over it, you will ignore it. Fatal Frame is a great game and worthy of your time. With loads of secrets to uncover and a compelling story. Get this now.

Rating: 8

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