Review by Vapor Snake

"This game freaked my crap out..."

... and THAT's coming from a rabid horror movie fan. When it comes to getting scared, a horror fan is to scared as a porn star is to arousal: Damn near impossible to do. In a repetitive genre of this survival horror crapfest (''After all, Resident Evil and Silent Hill struck gold, why can't we?''), this game is a beam from heaven in originality. Your weapon? A camera. The puzzles? Ugh, don't get me started on them. I got stuck for hours on one involving Japanese numbers. The atmosphere? Spooky as hell, with excellent, uh, ''camera'' work. It won't take to long before your heartbeat is passing up that of the controller's..

Story - 8/10.
The ''Based on a true story'' crap will start to freak you out if you dwell on it later in the game.
The story is that a young man is off on a search for a famous novelist, who vanished while doing research for an upcoming book.
The boy enters the mansion, which is the location where the author was last seen. The boy soon disappears, and then you control his sister, looking for her brother.
You know how most games have you watch an FMV intro? You play this game's Intro. Done up really nice with the Black and White, it serves as an introduction to the mood, feel, and controls of the game.

Audio/Video - 10/10.
Lalalalala.. I'll just open this doo- AHHHHH! JESUS ****ING CHRIST! *Pounds on camera button like a madman*
This game is awesome when it comes to this category. The creaking floorboards, haunting whispers, and just the environments' themselves will all take part in the total and absolute demise of your sanity. Try to escape em by running to the next room, eh? These guys aren't no retarded Resident Evil zombied up, virus infected characters. They'll hunt your ass down THROUGH the walls. Beautiful effects and the superb design of the ghosts makes this category the most bad-ass, no contest.

Replayability - 5/10.
Alas, there is no real reason to replay the game, save for getting all the camera techniques and building up points. You might as well just start up a new game should you get the urge to play it again. I think that's more fun to do, anyway.

To buy or to rent? - Rent first, then buy.
It's vital to always try a game out before you buy it, no matter how astounding the review. This game is a gem in a dying genre, and it shines like pure gold. Got any ''I'm not scared a any schtuff!'' friends? Introduce them to your little friends: The PS2, and Fatal Frame. You'll have them running for the hills screaming ''The Dead live!'' in no time.

===

True, it's not your average horror game... but I sure as hell like it. I haven't been scared by a game in a while. And I don't mean the cheap ''*breaks through glass* Boo!'' type scare games count on now.
The beautiful atmosphere, spooky sounds, damn scary story, and originality ought to give this game a sure spot in your collection.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/02, Updated 03/15/02


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