The original Fatal Frame was a serious shocker on the Xbox, it was a great mix of creepy storyline and oogie-bookie jump out at you scares. At DailyGame, we spent many evenings crying like little girls as the ghosts of Fatal Frame crept up on us through our gaming hours. And with 5.1 digital audio, it was a truly spook-tacular experience. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Tecmo’s latest attempt at striking fear in the hearts of gamers, doesn’t really do anything new, but it certainly lives up to its pedigree in the purely petrifying playfield.
The story, which really is the most important part of Fatal Frame II, follows twin sisters Mio and Mayu as they explore a mysterious “lost” village. As they search the village, they are beset by blood chilling ghostly encounters from all directions. In the roll of Mio, it’s up to you to solve the mystery of the village, or at least survive your night there. Your only weapon is the Camera Obscura, a semi-mystical camera that lets you capture ghosts. That’s right, your only weapon is a camera!
The gameplay allows you to choose from first- or third-person mode, and if you want to really feel the terror, I suggest going first-person. It’s so much more chilling and realistic this way that you’ll have a hard time getting to sleep after just a few hours of play. Third-person is a little easier to navigate, but to really experience the game, it’s first-person or nothing.
A nice touch in Crimson Butterfly is the addition of twin-sister Mayu, who will frequently up the scare factor by making comments like “I’m sure I just saw something” or “please don’t leave me.” She’s also very handy to have around when you’re totally lost, as her AI programming allows her to realize you’re probably lost, and give you some tips on what to do next, without blowing the whole secret to solving the level.
The fear factor in Crimson Butterfly is jacked up tenfold by the top-notch graphics and audio. This game uses visual stylings to build a horrifying world like none other. While some may say Silent Hill holds the horror-visuals crown, one stroll around the lost village of Crimson Butterfly will quickly change their minds. The audio really makes the game, as the ghosts sound truly tortured, and if you have surround sound hooked up to your console, you’re going to hear ghosts sneaking up from behind, above and alongside you as boards creak and snap while the wind whistles through broken glass.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is one of those games that has to be played to be appreciated. Just when you think you’ve had your fill of the survival-horror genre, something like this comes along, which restores your faith in the genre while leaving you shaking in your boots. If you want a game that provides great scares, good puzzles and a heck of a good time, this is worth the cash.
- Gameplay: 8
- Spooky stories, weird weapons and a truly immersive world.
- Graphics: 8.5
- Graphics are perfectly matched to the scariest of scary worlds.
- Sound: 8.5
- Immersive audio that will have you jumping at every little noise.
- Replay: 7.5
- Worth playing all the way through at least once, and a survival mode lets you pit your camera against waves of ghosts
- Overall: 8.5
- Super scary fun. Well worth picking up