Fatal Frame (PlayStation 2)

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Written by  :  Robert C (7)
Written on  :  Oct 01, 2003
Platform  :  PlayStation 2

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Big Let Down

The Good

Not too damn much.

The Bad

I had first heard about this game a few months ago, when I was looking for a PS2 game to buy. I do enjoy the survival-horror games, although most of the time, they don't live up to the hype.

Fatal Frame is no exception. What caught my attention about this particular game was that it is "based on a true story." I have an interested in the super natural, so this grabbed my attention right away, In fact, I have gone into suspected haunted areas before, just to look around and see if I could find anything. I don't want to get off topic here, so let me get back to the matter at hand.

I bought this game (after looking for it for quite a while) expecting to be scared and impressed at the same time. Man, was I disappointed. Though, I did startled a couple of times, it was a major let down in my book.

The story takes place in 1986 in Japan at a place called: Himurto Mansion. It starts out when a photographer goes to this mansion, to look for his friend and mentor: Jensei Takaminia. Mr. Takaminia is an author, who disappeared with his team of researchers, while researching ritualistic murders for his latest book. A curse and dies affect his entire team. While looking for Mr. Takaminia, the young photographer gets trapped inside the mansion and falls victim to the hoards of ghosts that lurk inside

After two weeks, the young photographers sister sets out to the mansion to try to find out what happened to her brother. She learns about the rituals of the murders and about what happened to the ghosts left wandering around.

Your weapon in this game is a camera, which was given to your brother by your mother, before she died. This camera has the power to expose things the normal eye can't see, and can capture ghosts. Reminds me of the camera I got from my mom two Christmases ago. Again, I don't want to go off topic here; so I'll shut up about the other stuff and get on with it.

The introduction of this game is in black & white and this is the only time you can play as Mayfuyu, I know that probably isn't spelled right, but what the hell...It's not a common name.

I thought this was a really neat effect. I sat playing, waiting to get the bejesus scared out of me. I thought the background music was a nice fit for the introduction. I was however, disappointed a short time later because the music really doesn't change. After a while, I just became annoyed at the sound of it and turned my stereo down. There are ghosts that pop-up in several different areas within this game. You earn points if you can take a picture of them, before they vanish. The better shot you can get in the capture circle, the more points you get. Some of the ghosts are pretty hard to catch (like the editor in the closet.)

I found this game to be overall annoying more then anything, I didn't really find it all that difficult, aside from taking some of the pictures.

A lot of the positions of the ghosts aren't randomized at all. You can play through the same part in the game, and that ghost will always be in that spot. There are some random ghosts. Like when you get attacked going to complete a task.

Even then, it's just some girl with a broken neck or some guy that looks like a zombie. Big deal! The battle system in this game was something else I didn't like.

Typically, the way you fight in this game is to get a ghost in the lens of the camera, take a picture, then run, You have to wait for the camera to power up though, and you only have a limited number of shots. What can be particularly annoying is trying to get zero-shots. Those are the ones worth the most points. Whenever a ghost grabs you: you're forced to hear them say the same thing over and over again. (Unless you turn the sound down.) Things like: "My eyes!" "It hurts." Come back my child,” A really big pain in the ass.

The graphics looked to me, more like a cartoon like Japanese anime. I'm not big on graphics anyway. I've been playing video games for over twenty years, and I've played and seen just about everything.

I'm sure anyone can already tell: in terms of video games, it takes quite a bit to leave a good impression on me. I liked the concept and story, but the game itself is boring. I played it in the dark and it didn't keep me awake at night, Total BS. I found the controls pretty easy to use. You have to use the analog stick and the way the camera angles are set up in this game, it took me a few minutes to get used to.

The audio in this game isn't bad, but it could have been better. There are these tapes that are around the mansion that you listen to on a tape recorder. I had to turn my stereo volume up, because it was sometimes hard to hear. The quality of the tapes got me to wondering if theses are actual recordings or just actors. I still haven't found out for sure. I don't really give a rat’s ass anymore either.

I'm not convinced that this is based on a true story; I think it may have been a marketing ploy. I looked it up and couldn't find anything.

I heard that this was the scariest game ever. In one sentence: Fatal Frame is crap.

Get it if you want, but it was a waste of my 56 bucks.

The Bottom Line

A waste of money.