" This game and its series will take you places not many games can. You follow Rei Kurosawa, a 23 year old photographer. After a terrible car accident, Rei escapes from a roadside ditch on a rainy night. Only to crawl away finding her fiancé lying dead in the wreckage. After the accident, while on a freelance assignment; taking pictures of a haunted mansion, with a befriended assistant Miku Hinasaki. The image of Rei’s deceased fiancé appears in a photograph. As she lowers her camera, she is s..."
This game and its series will take you places not many games can. You follow Rei Kurosawa, a 23 year old photographer. After a terrible car accident, Rei escapes from a roadside ditch on a rainy night. Only to crawl away finding her fiancé lying dead in the wreckage. After the accident, while on a freelance assignment; taking pictures of a haunted mansion, with a befriended assistant Miku Hinasaki. The image of Rei’s deceased fiancé appears in a photograph. As she lowers her camera, she is surprised to see her lost love standing only a couple of feet away from her. Compelled to see her love again, she follows this figure deeper into the mansion only to have her reality split. Finding herself in the snowy center of a graveyard, in a very large and well-kept castle. She continues her search only to run into a nebulous female ghost covered in what looks like a blue tattoo. As the being gets closer, Rei is shaken into reality to find herself back in the original dilapidated castle along with Miku Hinasaki. As the camera follows you both out, Rei is thrown back into the alternate reality.
The true beginning of this story starts when you explore the mansion for a second time. You eventually come across another breathing human; known later as Yoshino Takigawa who has her own back-story as to why she is at the manor. As you try to console the hysterical woman, the menacing tattooed ghost once again confronts you. As you flee for your life, the apparition gives chase and eventually gets close enough to brush your shoulder with its fingertip. As Rei once again shocks herself into reality, she quickly finds herself at home, in bed, and grasping her right shoulder as a blue tattoo-like-bruise begins to spread across her body.
Throughout the game, the player will eventually get to know and play two additional characters. Along with Rei Kurosawa, you play as Miku Hinasaki, and a male character by the name of Kei Amakura.
Game play is simple, you are solely armed with a supernatural camera duly named, "Camera Obscura." The camera is used to take snapshots of yuurei and onryoo; Japanese ghosts and vengeful Japanese ghosts. As you confront a harmless apparition while in the first person camera view. A blue ring encompasses the figure and you take a snapshot, which in turn gives you "spiritual points" that are later used to upgrade your camera and its functions. While combating a vengeful spirit, you have a light or "filament" in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Instead of being a harmless shade of nothing (no ghost) or blue (friendly ghost), it will be a menacing red. As the being approaches, you try to keep it centered in the "capture circle." The longer the being stays in the capture circle without you running away in terror, you can actually charge your spirit power, which is reflected around the capture circle. The longer you hold the shot and let the camera charge, the more damage you inflict. To increase the adrenalin, if you let the being get close enough to the point where its about to attack. The capture circle turns red. If you take a snapshot while not only having a full spirit charge, but during a ghosts onslaught, you further increase your damage and spirit points. This is known as a "Shutter Chance."
Along with the shutter chance, there is a moment where the top of the finder will flash. This is known as a "Fatal Frame." This enables you to obtain another shutter chance while the enemy gets crippled back. Allowing you to perform multiple powerful attacks and subduing even the most demonic of apparitions.
There are many minor abilities and each character you play has their own special ability, but killing ghosts with powerful Fatal Frames will be your primary form of expulsion throughout the entire game.
The game itself is artistically done extremely well. Beautiful graphics, great ambiance, tragically loving story line for both protagonist and antagonist characters, along with a decent soundtrack to boot. Surprisingly, I found this game to inspire me artistically in my own works months after I played it. But that’s just my own personal gain from playing. The only downside I found with the game was the limited abilities. You do indeed use the camera as your only and primary weapon. Other than the lack of variety in your supernatural arsenal, this game is close to perfect. There will be plenty of times where the game makes you jump, and that anticipation of fright is what makes the Fatal Frame series one of the best survival horrors to date.
She will watch you in the shadows, your dreams will be hers to devour, only the pain and the tattoos engraved on her skin and in her eyes will release you from your reverie. The Holly and Snake are one and spread to your flesh, time escapes in your dreams and you only wake up to find your self still asleep. The Tormented beckon you and your camera captures those you’ve loved and lost. I am in the manor and I call to you "My Angel will you come?" The snow falls and you wake up by my side forever in the Manor of Sleep.
Community review by reticent (January 16, 2007)
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