Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly - Director's Cut

aka: Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Project Zero II: Crimson Butterfly - Director's Cut
Moby ID: 76650
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Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly - Director's Cut for Xbox is an updated port of the PlayStation 2 game Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. It is the first version of the game for Xbox. It has the same story and includes all the elements from the PS2 version, but includes these new features not available previously:

  • Additional ending scene
  • New difficulty level
  • Optional first-person control/view style
  • Several extra unlockable cosmetic accessories
  • Six additional unlockable pairs of costumes for Mio and Mayu
  • Unlockable survival mode with an additional ghost type

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96 People (95 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)

Sweet disappointment

The Good
As a fan of horror-survival genre, I was aiming at the original title couple of times, but always found a reason not to get it. With this game, however, there was no doubt in questioning whether I'd like to play it or not, the answer was yes, of course. However, it also proves that game is not always to be judged by its trailer (or else, we'd all love Warcraft III, eh eh, and where would the world go then) because it is done just about to capture your interest to the max, I mean, you have eerie atmosphere of events that take place in the lost village (keyword "lost" here, since if Mio and Mayu didn't get lost they'd probably stay out of this painful nightmare), you have two cute little girls in, well, I'd call it a school uniforms (although after finishing the game, as in all games of the genre, outfit can be changed), and you have a story that pours in the current mystery into crossing it with the past. The recipe sounds delightful. The result, however, tasteless.

I know games generally look better on Xbox than on PS2, but I was surprised how good the graphics were, and aside from a few pre-rendered cutscenes, in-game cutscenes looked close to being the same. The lighting and fog effects were great giving a boost up to the atmosphere, and the setting was already eerie enough by itself so all you could hope for is to experience something on par with Silent Hill 2. Alas, that was nowhere near to be found. Sound effects, although good (yeah, we all know door squeeking sounds still work the cut) were not supported by a decent soundtrack (think of the original Silent Hill game where pretty much entire soundtrack sounded like sound warfare), the ending song was brilliant, at least.

The Bad
There is very little music to it. If we don't count ending song and nice melody that plays on the load/save menu, there really isn't much to find, and what you can find clasps with sound effects which only makes a confusion which should never be included in games that are part of horror-survival genre, relying on good sound scheme is crucial in games of a sort, and any melody that isn't a melody will just create an unwanted feeling of distraction.

Story itself, although very promising at start, made a very dissatisfying overture in the end. There is a pitch in the fork that lets you escape and save yourself and leave your twin sister behind which leads to nothing but a game over with additional cinematic, and a true way of coming for her and saving her from whatever evil ceremony has taken her by the hand. I really do hope there is some better ending to it (additional features prompted at three more, though) because this one is not rewarding for the player, I mean whatever made Mio and Mayu so connected to Sae and Yae, that thing is pretty unclear since they weren't trying to save the village or anything in the first place. Just being lost is not good enough to lead the story, it has to be a better reason. James had one in SH2.

The Bottom Line
Hm, an interesting game. Not sure whether to recommend it or advise against it, it's bathing in the shades of grey.

Xbox · by MAT (241141) · 2012

Sometimes beautiful, otherwise a meandering mess.

The Good
I have to hand it to Tecmo, they know how to make good ambient horror. The original Fatal Frame is a masterpiece of atmosphere, pacing and gameplay that ends up sending you to a sort of gaming nirvana. Fatal Frame 2 features an enhanced, more atmospheric setting with a far more varied set of environments and dark, terrifying locales.

The control scheme has been updated with more fluid camera control, extra camera customization options and a more well paced upgrade system. The FPS mode unique to the Xbox version is a fantastic compliment to the original game and really adds a whole new dimension to the tense environments.

The sound design in Crimson Butterfly has been vastly improved. Not that there was anything wrong with Fatal Frame's sound design the variety of music, chilling ghostly lamentations and the new Spirit Radio all lend to Crimson Butterfly being a truly splendid auditory experience. The same traditional japanese instruments are used for background music however there are also more upbeat tracks and even a great ending theme with lyrics.

Character models and ghosts are far improved over the PS2 version of the game, aliasing it non existent and load times are barely noticeable.

The Bad
In comparison to the original Fatal Frame, which is a fair comparison, Crimson Butterfly just does not stack up. It's hard to really describe how it feels when you are trying to describe the difference to someone who has never played the game before. In Fatal Frame, you were gently prodded from one objective to the next by subtle environmental hints, ghost appearances or the now obligatory glowing blue ectoplasm on the doors. These elements are apparent in Crimson Butterfly however some hints are so vague and some pictures or clues so indecipherably cryptic and you will invariably have to rely on a walkthrough at some point. It all feels really loose and meandering. The village is a welcome departure from one environment but at least the mansion from Fatal Frame was cohesive. Each environment in Crimson Butterfly is loosely sewed to another with a cryptic clue or the total reverse, the presence of Crimson Butterflies fluttering around an objective basically punching you in the face with a solution. It goes from being ridiculously vague to insultingly obvious.

Puzzles are repeatedly recycled in Crimson Butterfly, sometimes within a few rooms of each other. The fact is they aren't even really that good. There is a Pinwheel Puzzle which is braindead simple and a simple rotating Doll puzzle which are recycled repeatedly. This was a problem in Fatal Frame and it disappoints me that Tecmo didn't address it in the sequel.

There are several endings in Crimson Butterfly however in order to see the true ending of the game you must go through on the hardest possible difficulty level. This really gets on my nerves. Games like Silent Hill and the Suffering have got it right where your actions throughout the game reflect the ending you receive. A game that forces you to play through the most insanely frustrating difficulty level just to see an ending is cruel.

The biggest issue with Crimson Butterfly however is that it isn't particularly scary. It comes across as contrived, falling back on horror cliche's and cheap jump scares. There are things in closets, under the floor etc. etc. The reason the Silent Hill series is so frightening is because it is so visceral, it doesn't fall back on gore but it really gets in your face and floods your mind with negativity which forces you to flee from it. That is frightening. Something putting it's hand on your shoulder and then not being there when you turn around isn't scary, it's cliche'd.

The Bottom Line
Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly succeeds and fails as a sequel in different ways. I commend Tecmo for trying to vary environments however by convoluting them they have created a confusing atmosphere that leads to nonsensical meandering due to to overly vague clues.

The recycling of puzzles is frustrating as this was a problem in the first game however the camera upgrading system, camera control and visual clarity have all been improved, which is fantastic.

Fatal Frame 2 is by no means a bad games. It's a lot of fun, looks great and will definitely engage you until the end. It just suffers from a feeling of staggering from one location to the next clumsily until sort of figuring out what to do next. Then there's the fact that it will only really make you jump a couple of times, other than that it is quite tame.

Xbox · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2010

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Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Dae.

Game added January 25, 2016. Last modified May 20, 2024.