Fatal Frame

Overview

Fatal Frame was initially released to the PS2 where it really got mixed results, some people raved about it, but others brushed it off and said it was just another horror game. So now all of you Xbox owners can find out what all the talk was about. If you haven’t heard here is a bit of background information on the game. You play as Miku Hanaski, a young girl in search of her missing brother. Her searching leads her to the Himuro Mansion where your journey will begin.

Gameplay

Like any survival/horror game, there will be a lot of exploration to be done, along with solving puzzles, searching for various items, and even killing a few monsters. The game really does play like all the other horror games, albeit at a much slower pace than most.

As I said earlier your weapon is a camera. This may sound odd, but it’s based on oriental belief that a camera can capture souls. So In Fatal Frame, your camera’s function is to kill the ghosts. This is done in a first person fashion, which is actually very difficult to get to work right. What makes the game so difficult are the controls. There are two different set of controls. One when you don’t have the camera on, and the other when you do. The controls really do become a problem because there will be so many times through the game where you will come very discouraged with the control system.

The idea of using a camera as a weapon is really just not over exciting. Where shooting guns does kind of get old the fact that a camera doesn’t seem overly powerful does hurt the game. It also is pretty disappointing on how slow the game plays at. Where some horror games play at a slower pace this one is just plain slow. So you are really going to need to have some patience

So for the most part the game really plays like all the others. Finding things throughout the game does sometimes feel rather repetitive, but the puzzles will always do a good job of mixing things up.

If any genre has to have good sound, the horror genre is definitely the one. The background music was the chilling scary music that you would expect to get the mood of the game very dark and gloomy. There are a lot of background noises but you will have to turn your speakers higher to hear everything, and let me tell you it can be a little spooky.

Graphics

This has to be the strongest portion of the game, which is really not saying a whole heck of a lot. The PS2 versions graphics were pretty impressive, and with a few upgrades it is actually a fine looking game.

The environments of the game are really what stand out superior to the rest of the games graphics. The environments have very nice lighting effects that really give you the feeling of a horror game. This also helps keep you in the state of mind in the scary mood to try and keep you interested in the game.

The characters on the other hand aren’t overly impressive. To say the least they look good but we have definitely seen better. Hinaski looks pretty good but she isn’t as detailed as you would expect from an Xbox game. The ghosts are also just decent looking, for the most part each of them looks the same so it is kind of hard to judge their overall appearance.

Fun Factor

The game has good graphics and good sound effects, but the gameplay is just not all there. I just found that the fact the adventures were repetitive, and the camera was not very exciting really held the game from becoming much fun at all. The game is also played at a very slow pace, and it is just one of those games that takes a lot of effort to get into.

Overall

If you are really in the mood for a horror game then this is a choice that you may want to consider. There just isn’t much to this game that really makes me overly impressed. This is one of those games that I would really just recommend as a rental and then you can decide if you really want to purchase it.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.