Review by retcepsbro

Reviewed: 01/25/02 | Updated: 01/25/02

Definitely a creepy game !!!

I can't believe Tecmo actually tries their hands on the new genesis, the horror, unlike any other games. This game is no survival horror or monsters jumping out to scare you. Nope, not in there. Just pure eerie atmosphere to set the mood.

The control scheme in Zero is quite flexible. You can choose whether you prefer a typical 3D action-adventure style, such as the Resident Evil style, or a custom setup. You'll be able to swap the triangle and R1 buttons, so you can use R1 to switch to the first-person view and snap a shot with the triangle button--this might be more comfortable for those who are used to the controls in Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid 2. The D-pad or the left analog stick is for controlling Miku, while the right analog stick is for aiming the flashlight in the direction you desire. While in first-person view, the left analog stick is for aiming at your target, while the right analog stick is for walking around. It might feel awkward at first, but once you get used to it, charging your camera and keeping targets at a distance works like magic. And if it's still difficult for you to keep away from them while charging, your camera can be powered up with enhanced abilities. With experience points earned from killing ghosts, you can customize your camera to widen its range (the circle on the camera finder becomes larger), quicken the charge time, or even paralyze or slow down the target's movements.

This game is nothing compared to Silent Hill and Resident Evil series. Believe me, none of those games scare the crap ot of me but this ghostly gmae change my life forever. Zero delivers the mood and atmosphere into the setting perfectly with its unique sound effects, so having a good sound system or wearing headphones is highly recommended. For instance, you look at the floor on the corridor and see trails of blood. You walk slowly, and suddenly you hear the echo of a baby crying. Subtle vibrations on the Dual Shock 2 controllers are also executed well and draw you further into the game. Say goodbye to all those ammunitons and weaponry, you come armed with only the camera to spook all those paranormal away! Walking around a seemingly empty corridor is nerve racking enough, but feeling a light buzz on the controller, the same eerie buzz you feel when a bug flaps its small wings around your ear or the tip of your finger, is very unsettling.

The graphics are simply marvellous. The level designs throughout the mansion keep you on a high level of alert. The lighting effects are also used to good effect, and you'll control the direction of the flashlight illumination in the darkness. The loading times in between moving from one room to another are processed in the background, so the game seems to flow smoothly.

The game begins when reporters working on a documentary about the mysterious mansion of the Himuro family disappear. You'll take the role of a young girl named Miku Hinasaki, who is in search of her brother Mafuyu, who also is missing inside the mansion. There you will encounter ghosts and spirits waiting to torment you. Like I say earlier, you are armed with only the camera, no shotgun, handgun or what so ever, only a camera! It's simply fun taking a snap of the ghosts which is addictive and engaging. You'll watch your character walk around the mansion from fixed camera angles or from mobile ones that travel on predetermined paths. Holding down the triangle button switches to a first-person view, as if you're looking through a camera's viewfinder. The various camera angles deliberately prevent you from seeing what's ahead in the corridor, so using your camera is a must to make sure your path is clear. The lower right portion of the screen has a small box that lights up when ghosts or spirits are present nearby. Because the game uses a variety of eye-candy-like transparencies and motion blurs for the ghosts, it's difficult to visually track the ghosts with your eyes, so you'll have to rely on your camera to take them out. While your target is inside the viewfinder circle, you can keep ''charging'' your camera and hit the R1 button to snap shots. The longer you charge, the more damage you'll do, which earns you more experience points. Of course, you need to replenish the ''ammo'' which is actually films scattered throughout the place so use it wisely. The puzzles are rather mind-crackling. The same small box on the lower right of the screen that warns you of nearby ghosts will light up if there is something related to a puzzle.

So overall this game is simply the best, what could I say? Wait for the US version to come and buy it! Not for the weak-hearted.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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