Shoot from the Hip – Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Hello dear readers and welcome to the latest of my quick-fire series Shoot from the Hip where I aim to distill my thoughts on a game or anime into around 500 words. Today I’m taking a look at the most recent entry in the Fatal Frame series, so why not join me to find out what this game has to offer!

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is the fifth main entry in the Fatal Frame series (also known as the Project Zero series) but was the first instalment that I played. I have since played the second game in the series which is a really excellent game, and dare I say it a bit of a classic, but what does this later instalment offer and should you play it? Let’s find out shall we!

What you need to know

Title: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Year of Release: 2015 (2014 in Japan)

Platform: Wii U

Developer: Koei Tecmo Games

Publisher: Nintendo

Director: Makoto Shibata

Genre: Survival Horror

What’s it about?

Explore the beautiful but terrifying Mt. Hikami and uncover the mysteries that have cursed the mountain and resulted in multiple tragedies whilst trying to keep yourself alive. Using a camera obscura, you fight evil spirits whilst taking pictures to piece together the lives (and deaths) of some of those previously taken by the mountain. You take on the role of several characters who all have links with the mountain in the present and the past, and whose stories intertwine to tell the chilling story of the mountain’s streams, forests and other once-vibrant attractions. As well as combat, investigation and exploration the game occasionally asks you to make choices at critical moments which all combine to change how the story goes.

Should you play it?

If you’ve got a Wii U and an interest in the horror genre then yes definitely. In fact, the first chapter or so are available for free so I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot. I for one hope this game eventually receives a Switch port as it is an excellent game, although for full effect I do recommend playing it on the Wii U as it makes really good use of the gamepad. Whilst the story is slightly difficult to follow in places, the game has an awful lot going for it. It is a beautiful looking game, excelling in both location and character design, with the absolutely stunning character Shiragiku being a real highlight. The ambience of the setting is a perfect mix of beauty and lonely terror and the whole game has this strange, faraway vibe which is brought to the fore by the way it combines spiritual and real-world elements. The camera based combat is quite unique and gives the player a lot to think about and I don’t want to give anything away but for me it also contains one of the scariest scenes I’ve experienced in video games, and that is really saying something.

So there is my short introduction to Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, but what do you think? Does this game interest you? Would you like to see it ported to Switch so more people can play it? Maybe you’ve tried it already and have your own thoughts? Let me know below in comments and make sure you join me next time for more random thoughts on gaming and anime.

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001 x

All photos shamelessly stolen from Nintendo

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