Review by DJ cream

"*Shivers* Scary, very scary game. *Shivers*"

WARNING: NEVER PLAY THIS GAME IN THE DARK, ALONE, AND AT NIGHT AT THE SAME TIME!

Fatal Frame is one of the scariest, if not the scariest, game out in the market. I've been hunting this game for over three months. Then on that faithful day in Gamestop, I found a copy of the game and waited until nighttime. I haven't realized until playing through the first chapter of this game that this is some messed up stuff. Furthermore, I haven’t realized that I'm such a person that cowers to stuff of this caliber. The freakiness of the game is enough to scare Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of Mystery Inc. out this place, if they can find the exit of course! I'm getting the chills just writing about this game.

The crazy thing about this game is the fact that the subtitle of the game is ''Based on a True Story.'' That means this stuff re-enacts the demonic rituals held in the malevolent past of a big mansion. Now a group of three writers came there to study and document all of the stuff happening in the place. Needless to say, they didn't get very far. Now, the main character’s brother went to investigate the mansion in order to find the group. He apparently ''disappeared'' like all does before him. Now this is where the main character, Miku Hinasaki. She came to the mansion to find out what happened to her brother. The only thing that she finds in the mansion is a bunch of spiteful lost souls (ghosts). Can she survive the wrath of the undead concealed in this mansion?

The controls are really simple to learn but may need some hands on action to get used to the battle system. Occasionally, wondering sprites will attack you. Now this is time to fend them off using your...camera?!?! Don't trip, because it works. To enter camera mode, press the circle button and the rest should be easy to do. The trick is to conserve film by hitting the ghost when it recovers from a Kodak moment. Button mashing will mess you up worst than fighting Bison in Super Street Fighter 2. Be sure to check your menu by pressing triangle regularly to uncover the mysteries of the mansion and to heal yourself.

Welcome to Himuro Mansion, possibly the tangible image of a house in Hell filled with intangible tenets. The place is dark, old, and filled with freaky ghosts, the key components to any horror/survival game. What makes the game standout is the many stuff in the place. The place is based on a cult that does some crazy ritual every decade. Basically, the tie a rope around your ankles, wrists, and neck and pull them so hard that your limps will pop out. Now the place is covered with ropes, blood stained kimonos, ruble, and objects with a funky aura emitting from them. I’m getting the chills again.

The background music is unparallel to any horror game I've played recently. The creaks in the floor, moans and groans of the undead, creepy incantations and chants, and the chill inducing background music all is present and goes beyond anything I've expected from this game.

This game offers the chilling feeling that not many people get riveted about. If you're one of those people that like a fright and a trill once in a while, might as buy this game...if you can find a copy these days. If I were anyone of the leftover gamers who are not interested in this kind of stuff, I'd rent it or maybe avoid it completely. The second one is coming up on November 15, 2003 so I would wait for that one instead of getting Fatal Frame 1 for those who does not own it yet.

In the beginning there are no difficulty settings so you are forced to go through the game whether you are sorry at stuff like this (like me) or a veteran and can pass this game without even getting scared. At the end there is the soundtrack to the game and a new mini-game. Just like Chrono Trigger, one of the best RPGs I've played, entering a new game for the second time carries over the items from the first time making the game less irritating. Then there’s ''Nightmare Mode'' when you beat the game twice. Want to relive the horror for a third time?

Pros
- One of the scariest games in the market
- Playing with the lights on and with a friend makes the game less scary
- Horribly cool storyline (that sounded a bit messed up)

Cons
- One of the scariest games in the market
- The game is a bit slow
- Really hard to find

I have suffered from insomnia for two days as a result of this game. I have never been so scared to this stage since MTV aired the show Fear. The horror is simulated to its peak and this reviewer got the chills throughout the duration of producing this review. Please excuse me while I try to cleanse my mind of this terrifying game by listening to some Outkast while cuddling my teddy bear in a fetal possession.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/18/03


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