Review by breremarer

"Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid."

Look, if I could give this game a 9.5, I would. Let me start off by saying that this is with no dought the scariest game I've ever played. Fatal frame excels in almost every category only leaving a minor sense of lacking.

Fatal Frame is basically about this young Japanese girl, Miku Hinasaki, who ventures into the Himuro Mansion after her brother went in and also disappeared. Miku's brother, Mayfuyu, had gone into the mansion looking for his friend and mentor, Jensei Takamine, who (along with his team), ventured into the mansion and also disappeared. Well, anyway, Miku has this sort of sixth sense and can ''sense'' supernatural objects and spirits that other people can't. Miku bravely walks in into the house armed only with her camera, flashlight, and intuition to guide her. Boy will she need all of them. Turns out that there's ghosts haunting the mansion. And they don't like visitors.

The gameplay in Fatal Frame is certainly interesting. The main gameplay mostly consists of finding clues, solving puzzles and dispatching enemies. How do you defeat those supernatural pain in the butts? With your camera. Yes, you kill them with your camera. See, the camera has some sort of special powers, and will kill the ghosts with the different types of film you get. Weird, right? Well, I have to agree with you, but at least it's something different. Finder mode (a.k.a. camera view) is moderately easy to control. Tap the O button to toggle finder on/off and use the others to fire and move around. Simple. The ghosts is where it gets hard. The ghosts don't exactly like to stay in one place while their energy is being sucked out. They will change shape, disappear and reappear, moan in agony, and just bum rush you. These ghosts look creepy. In fact, they're some of the best graphical effects yet seen on the PS2.

Like I said before, the ghosts are a graphical and audio roller coaster. Picture this (no pun intended): you are in finder mode, there's a ghost in front of you. It's constantly shifting in/out of view, making it hard to get a focus on it. All around you, you hear it's agonized screams. You still can't get a lock on. Then it charges. Game over. Got it? This game has some of the most impressive graphics and such yet on the PS2. The voice acting's really good. The ghosts sound and look like tormented spirits. And the characters models are certainly great. Here, all is good.

Replayability? Hmmm... Well, there's alternate costumes, an extra mode, a new level of difficulty, the ability to start with a ton more supplies than you had before... Oh yeah. There's a lot of replay.

Now the big question: Should you buy or rent? No-brainier. Buy. If you're a survival horror fan and think this game looks to childish. You couldn't even imagine what you're missing out on. This is one of the best and scariest games on the PS2. Bar none. Now for the over view.

STORY: 10
GAMEPLAY: 9
GRAPHICS: 10
AUDIO: 9
REPLAY: 8
BUY: YES

OVERALL (an average): 9.3


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/16/02, Updated 09/16/02


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