Lariel's Fatal Frame Game Review

Fatal Frame

Fatal Frame game Review

Fatal Frame

When her elder brother goes missing, Miku Hinasaki tracks him down to an old, dilapidated mansion in the woods of Japan. Upon her arrival she discovers the Himuro mansion to be possessed by the vengeful spirits of the dead; pleading children, lost souls, and murderous ghosts walk the manor, and all who enter become cursed by the “Rope Maiden.” Armed with her sixth sense and a mysterious Camera Obscura that photographs the supernatural, Miku must unravel the mystery of the manor in order to rescue her brother and leave the grounds alive.

Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

While visiting the woods where they used to play as children, twins Mio and Mayu Amakura find themselves drawn in to the haunted All God’s Village. Tormented souls roam the village and the voice of a girl’s insane laughter fills the air as the twins search for a way out. As Mio you battle the ghosts with the Camera Obscura, keeping an eye out for your sister as crimson butterflies lure her further in to the nightmarish village. Escape is their only chance of survival, and the further they delve in to the night the closer they draw to the “ritual”, and they begin to uncover the horrifying truth about the village… and its twins.

Fatal Frame III: The Tormented

After a tragic accident that claims her fiancé’s life, Rei Kurosawa tries to move on. Pursuing her love of photography, she visits locations of claimed haunting… until she begins dreaming of one. One night she is drawn in to a mansion in pursuit of her deceased lover, and in the dream she is touched by an angry spirit that burns a tattoo in to her body. Though the nightmare was horrifying enough, the worst comes in the realization that the tattoo remains… after she has woken up. Night after night she dreams of the haunted mansion, and every morning the tattoo spreads further. In sleep she wanders the manor with the Camera Obscura for protection, and during the day dreams and reality begin to bleed in to one another. In order to escape the curse of the Manor of Sleep, Rei must delve further in to her dreams and unearth the manor’s sorrowful past, before she- or others that have been pulled in to the nightmare- are claimed.


Story & Playability

This is my first time reviewing a game, so technically I am extremely clueless at what to say. But oh boy, this review was long overdue anyway- it has been rotting away to dust and ashes.

The synopsis says it all- Fatal Frame is a game categorized within the horror genre, and has been rated as one of the more frightening games by various veterans and critics. Fatal Frame II, Crimson Butterfly, or perhaps known more as Akai Chou, is an indirect sequel and prequel to Fatal Frame I, a link of all the happening that occurs in the first Fatal Frame series. This time, Tecmo introduces us to Mio and Mayu Amakura, twins. Now, what the hell of a coincidence that twins were formerly used in a sacrificial ritual within All Gods Village to seal the Hell Mouth. It is technically, a repeat of history which includes Yae and Sae. Again, both Yae and Sae are a pain of twins who eerily resemble like Mio and Mayu. You play Mio Amakura, and your only item of defense against these terrifying ghost that haunts the village is the Camera Obscura, which has exorcism capabilities. Your task is to find your sister, Mayu, who has been possessed by Sae and is currently wandering All Gods Village. Not to mention that you have to find a way out of All God's Village. Sounds simple? No.. It is one long tiresome process.

For various levels, ranging from easy to nightmare mode, there are four potential endings. Of course, that too, will be based on the choices you'd made throughout the game.

If you've watch Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, then you would realize the slight similarity that Mio and Mayu shares with Shion and Mion. It's just that Fatal Frame leans less towards psychology horror and more towards hostile ghosts who are just too eager to drain your lifebar.

I didn't really pay much attention to the primary characters, Mio and Mayu. Oh no, instead, I was thinking of how not to be scared shitless of those hostile ghost. From crawling to floating, ghost are the main threat to your survival in All Gods Village. Did I fail to mention that their features are completely intolerable?

As for the gaming system...

"Run! Run- OMG, OMG, it's behind us! RUUUNNN!" --> Typical response. Yet perfectly reasonable and logical because Mio just DRAGS. Even if you attempt to speed the poor girl up, there's not much of a difference. Another annoyance that the producers could have fix. But somehow, Tecmo manages to makes it that even if your vicious attacker is in lunging mode, he/she will miss. Always. Unless, of course, if you're foolish enough to let your guard down. The control system was perfectly fine to fiddle with. Now, if only we weren't forced to take close shots to hit the ghosts dead...

Rating: 7


Tecmo obviously didn't put much effort into designing the many rooms, houses, mansions and shrines scattered all across All Gods Village. If it wasn't for the god-almighty map, I might have wandered into a different room and though it alike to the previous one I had visited.

I wouldn't give the art based on the characters much. Even if the summary stated that Mio and Mayu are twins, they do have rather different features. I wouldn't even bet on them being related if I didn't know better. Oh lord, those facial expressions... dear me, you have a psychotic, white old man who's not even the slightest happy to see you (on the other hand, just too happy to suck the life out of you), a ghastly hag who resembles Samara from The Ring just a little bit too much, and another limboing couple who's totally messed up, floating just mere inches away- and dare you tell me you won't scream and run for your life?

Apparently not, for Tecmo.

Bah, so the characters went down the drain. The setting itself, did not. It was completely dark and eerie, a fascinating combination of red and black. The effects of turning the screen a grainy black and white when Sae is around was, and still is, a horrifying experience. Somehow, I still get the shivers from experiencing that. The surroundings however, when you are traveling, is a tad too dark to my likings. Doesn't help much if a random ghost jumps out of nowhere and decides that you are his meal for tonight. I know a darker setting is more appropriate in comparison to a background of beaches and sunlight when it comes to a game like Fatal Frame, but still... ugh.

Rating: 5


Tsukiko Amano's "Chou" -FF II ultimate theme song- is one of the longest standing songs in my computer's database. Though I have to admit that I don't listen to Chou as often as I do back in the older days, it still brings a quiet, nonchalant sentimentality that only Amano has managed to produce. Her voice is hoarse, but Amano manages to kick off Chou well. It's not particular forgettable either, and I have to give Tecmo credits for that.

Now, if it wasn't for the eerie background music, I wouldn't be quivering like a couch potato, would I? Or maybe it's a cowardice of mine. But now, it's time to jab. The voice acting. Horrible, completely horrible. I have no idea about how Fatal Frame II fared well in the sound section in it's native language, but the English dubbing was one hell. The characters voice were unclear, not at all solid- in a nutshell, it sucks. Granted there are a few precious lines, but the producers could have chosen better seiyuus. And can't Sae rasp more than 'you said you'll come back...'?

Rating: 6


At this point, I DO know that I still quake at the idea of facing those horrors, but it is still unclear if I enjoyed that game throughly or not.

Gameplay is good. What I enjoy most will be blasting the knickers out of those hostile ghost. Combining combo shots to just shave off their lives makes me just scream aloud in joy. You would too, after numerous hours of being assaulted by these assess. I only complain that All Gods Village is simply too large. Without a map, you're bound to get loss. Stacking up healing items are absolutely a must, or you would never be able to surpass Night 3, with all those random hostile ghosts around.

Sometimes I thought that Fatal Frame II had dragged the entire thing too long. Look here; to open ONE. STINKING'. LOCK, it was necessary to travel from south to north and all back again. In addition, Tecmo always equips the stronger ghosts with those keys. For an amateur who finds it absolutely a need to follow the FAQs, you'll be facing the screen for a good 5-10 hours. And I'm not so sure if you'll be sick of the game then. The only thing that pushed me was probably the ending- which I could have just lazed back and watch it via online. But hell, where's the thrill?

If I'm whining that much about FF2, then Fatal Frame III is going to be hell. Thirteen nights in whole, in comparison to FF II's five. Good lord.

... This feels more of a rant than a proper review.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.17 (average)

Reviewed by Lariel, Jul 27, 2008


  1. shoujoboy Jul 28, 2008

    Hmm, I'm a bit confused by your review. Some of your verbage doesn't exactly match your scores. Take for example your first section. You end the paragraph with "It is one long tiresome process." yet I see a score of an above average 7. When I think of things that are "tiresome" I typically don't associate that with "above average". And as always, I stick by my stance that you enjoy using the comma just a bit too much.

    As for the game... well I can see your points. This type of game elicits a love/hate reaction. There are those who will love it, while others will be bored stiff. Much like the older Resident Evil games. I personally liked the game well enough, but certainly wouldn't call it a masterpiece.

  2. BossMac Jul 28, 2008

    ^Told ya sho I wasn't the only one who thinks Mio runs like she ain't got a gut-munching ghoul in her back!

    Anyways, I wouldn't call your review a rant. You've properly voiced out your opinion though it was rather in a "informal" tone, it was quite concise.

    You gonna do a review on FFIII?

  3. angelxxuan Banned Member Aug 31, 2008

    nice review, but for me the controls were way off, I mean I would have given it a two, I don't like using different keys to move the character, for me I got lost in the game a lot because of it ^_^ but all in all the game had excellent gore/horror detail, but the rest was stictly per taste, for me it wasn't all that tasteful ^_^

  4. Ishikawa91 Mar 22, 2009

    good review. i also thought it was slightly confusing due to contradictions. At the end it kind of did turn more into a rant than a review. But nice job anyway!

  5. chumbariwap123 Apr 24, 2009

    woah! cool review, nice job here

  6. pigmypuff Jun 05, 2009

    like the most horror series

  7. pappo1 Jun 09, 2009

    great review

  8. yuyuppi Jun 17, 2009

    wanna playing this game

  9. Onlyrockman Aug 01, 2009

    I like the artwork of this game so much, oh does it have an anime series?

  10. Fanatik007 Aug 15, 2009

    not bad review, thanks

  11. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

    merged: 10-31-2009 ~ 09:02pm
    Thanks for the review!

  12. animalandia Nov 15, 2009

    Uno de los mejores juegos de terros, gracias

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