When I discovered that Fatal framework Series, it was almost impossible to find copies of the first three games on PlayStation 2. Nobody wanted to part with these niche Japanese horror games at a price that was compatible with my wallet. The Wii U’s Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Coming as a port to current generation consoles piqued my interest, and I finally got the chance to experience this popular franchise for myself.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Review – Shallow Waters
In this fifth episode of the Fatal framework Series, players explore the enchanted mountain Hikami. It is a popular suicide site with a tragic past. The Miko massacre, which tended to the mountain shrine decades ago, has left its mark on the region. New characters join this Fatal framework List: Yuri, a young woman who works in the antique shop with unique spiritual skills, and Ren, a writer who came to Mount Hikami in search of his next hit. They are joined by Miu, a legacy of the series. These three characters guide us through this story armed with a mystical tool: the camera obscura. These special cameras are connected to the spirit world. We can photograph lingering ghosts, drag objects into our world from the other side and turn the camera into a weapon in case a malicious ghost attacks.
Each chapter puts us in the position of a selected character as we explore the mountainous region with our camera obscuras in hand. But I immediately notice that something is extremely wrong Black Water Virgin‘s story: Nobody is really scared. And I am one of them. Nobody in the entire cast looks or sounds terrified at any time. There could be half a dozen corpses floating in a pool, or a burning ghost running dead on me, and there is no semblance of fear. I know this is simply a port of a Wii U game and that there are no new voice overs or character model updates, but blank faces and dry vocals really kill the vibe. Nothing kills the mood like Yuri trying to deal with ghosts while babysitting an NPC wandering aimlessly into my shots.
It’s also filled to the brim with as many tropes as you could cram into a game. This distorts the experience and weakens the overarching story. Well, I love horror tropes when they’re done with taste and you focus on getting a handful of them right. if Black Water Virgin Had Mius destroyed the entire plot and focused only on Ren and Yuri’s paths, they could have tightened the writing and the pace. Maybe then I would have come across a real “Oh shit”. Moment. Instead, I went into every damn situation only to be disappointed and slapped in the face with distracting, exaggerated innuendos.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Review – Shutter Bugs
The Camera Obscura is a pretty great game mechanic. Just like the flashlight in Alan Wake, it’s one that I think is wonderfully executed and memorable. The primary use is as a weapon. With various film types and modifiers, players can damage and eventually drive out evil spirits. Damage points are determined by how many targets and attack points are in each shot. It takes several shots to exterminate the ghosts. Dedicated films or lenses can make things easier for a price. Each film type has its own reload time, which affects your attack speed. The same thing happens with the burst lens. There are so many ways to cause harm that it feels a little overwhelming at first.
At the beginning of each chapter, you can redeem your points for things like healing items, film, lenses, and costumes. Since healing items and general film seem to be items to be found in general, I’ve never really found a reason to spend points on these things. Without my compulsive need to unlock as many items as possible, I would not have unlocked most of the costumes. The only story relevant costume in the bunch is Ren’s groom outfit. For Miu and Yuri everything is just unrealistic fan service with no connection to the game. There’s nothing wrong with fan service if it makes sense. Nobody is legitimately investigating the disappearance of a dear friend in the woods who is wearing a wet bikini.
I had some problems with the camera obscura. The built-in motion control option of the DualSense controller enables the option to play Fatal framework on the PS5 similar to the Wii U. I found that combining motion controls with manual controls didn’t work in my favor. After trying a couple of chapters using both and getting a bit frustrated, I had to turn it off. Nothing sucks more than aiming the perfect shot and ruining it for having to twist a stiff shoulder. Then it was a matter of finding the perfect angle to manifest an object from the spirit world into reality. If you are even the smallest bit off, this function of the camera will not be triggered.
In addition, there are general problems with the control. R2 focuses on the phantom or the route along which we are supposed to take or pick up an object. However, if you’re too close to an investigation point that supposedly requires Circle, pressing R2 will trigger it instead. This is either lazy programming or a bug that no one wanted to fix. But this mistake gets really annoying when it just keeps happening. There are also those things where when you reach down to pick up something, the camera will point in the opposite direction when you get up again.
It is unfortunate that Koei Temco has no intention of remastering or remastering those Fatal framework Series from the start. This slightly scaled and modified porting of the Nintendo Wii U to the current generation platforms offers a sub-par experience that doesn’t sell me about the series. It just seemed like the most convenient edition to make available for the 20th anniversary, and it shows. If you are like me and Black Water Virgin is your first Fatal framework Game, I recommend that you keep these expectations low.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water review code provided by publisher. Version 1.000.002 checked on PlayStation 5. For more information on the score, see our scoring guidelines.