Fatal Frame originally appeared in 2001 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and soon won over many fans with its macabre plots, terrifying visuals and helpless protagonists who could only fight the hideous ghosts that attacked them using the iconic Camera Obscura.
As my favorite survival horror series, and I made a point of enjoying all the titles more than once (or twice, or three…), even playing Mask of the Lunar Eclipse — the fourth game that was released only on Japan — in Japanese with an English guide at the side so you don’t miss any information about the plot.
Unfortunately, after the worldwide release of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water in 2015, we had no more news about the franchise, which seemed to have come to an end, much to my dismay.
So when Koei Tecmo announced a remastered version of it to commemorate 20 years since the day Miku Hinasaki first walked into an abandoned mansion behind her brother Mafuyu, I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to test my own. camera skills again!
It’s worth remembering that Voxel has already done a really cool and very thorough review of this game on Wii U, so this time, let’s focus on what’s new in the remaster for you to find out whether or not it’s worth giving the horrors brought by the waters a chance. black.
Spooky cute graphics
Like every good remaster, Maiden of Back Water features a significant graphical improvement. The original was already beautiful, but as the saying goes: the devil—or in this case, the lost souls—is in the details.
The revamped look helps immerse the horror, heightening the contrast between the beauty of Mount Hikami during the day and its horrors at night, as well as clearly displaying various aspects of the characters’ journey, such as when they are drenched in the cursed waters.
The improved graphics also serve to create more tension when facing or running away from ghosts, as you can now see every part of them very clearly, which makes them even more frightening.
Dresses to exorcise
And of course, no one is really ready to deal with various hauntings and discover the secrets of horrendous ancient rituals without a killer look!
One of the new features of the game’s remastering are different outfits for Yuri, Miu and Ren, including the very cute Ryza’s first costume from the franchise. Atelier, and the main character visuals from previous games in the Digital Deluxe Edition.
So if you’re like me who loves changing character outfits, you’ll have fun venturing on this spooky journey in a punk, goth, or swimsuit style (the question is always why not, right?).
How about immortalizing your favorite look in a super creative way? With the new Snap Mode, you can create photos of “Mount Hikami adventurers” in a very cool way, adding filters, frames and even various spirits. A great way to explore the horror artist in you.
camera in hand, ghost on the ground
Originally released for the Wii U, Maiden of Black Water used the Gamepad to control the Camera Obscura, which sounded like a pretty good idea in theory, but it had its problems running.
In tight places, it was more complicated to get the shots right, which made room for damage from the ghostly attacks. Also, it is much bigger to hold and with buttons further apart than traditional controls, which can be a disadvantage at times.
The remaster controls, which basically return the formula from the first three games, resolved these occurrences. It’s very easy to turn the camera angles in any environment to get several Shutter Chances and Fatal Frames, and if you miss the timing to shoot, you can also avoid being a lot of trouble.
Some curses tend to repeat themselves
Even improving several points of the original title, the remastered version also fails in some moments. Camera angles can get pretty awkward in certain parts, especially in hallways and smaller venues, making combat and movement a bit confusing.
The commands to pick up items and follow the chapter objective are on the same button, so several times you can prepare to collect something from the scenario and end up turning sharply to follow the “shape” that leads to the next important part of the game, something that gets frustrating after a while.
Another detail that is not such a serious problem, but worth mentioning is that even after so long, the game still does not have Portuguese subtitles, which is a shame, as it prevents more people from enjoying the adventure.
It is worth it?
Maiden of Black Water isn’t really my favorite of the franchise, but it’s still interesting. The remaster is a good option for those who can’t play the original on Wii U, with more intuitive controls and extremely charming graphics.
If you’re a survival horror fan and are looking for a game with an interesting story and filled with scary moments, it’s definitely worth giving this haunting journey through the cursed Mount Hikami a chance.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has been kindly provided by Koei Tecmo for this review