Before I Begin
This review contains opinions that may not appeal to you, but its about my opinion and liking of the series, not yours. If you get offended by opinions, then don't bother reading the review because it'll most likely piss you off. Also another point, this is a trio review, meaning this is a review of three games set over 3 separate reviews. This review is the first of three. Enjoy.
Fatal Frame, also known as Zero in Japan and Project Zero in Europe, is a very horrifying survival horror for the PS2 and Xbox (original) consoles that was released on 13 December 2001. This is the first game of the Fatal Frame series, also being the very first one I played (because why not). It was then re-released for the Playstation Network as a PS2 classic on 9 April 2013, but only for North America (lucky ;-;).
Fatal Frame 1 takes place in a horrifying Japanese mansion called Himuro Mansion (which actually exists and is supposedly haunted o-o) which is covered in memories of bloody massacre and spiritual rituals that would scar the living daylights out of anyone. The player plays as Miku Hinasaki, a Japanese schoolgirl (yes I know, cliché as fuck) who is searching around the mansion for her missing brother, Mafuyu Hinasaki, who went missing on an investigation with his group who were figuring out if the mansion was truly haunted and what secrets of the past rituals they would find.
Now, here's where the gameplay, ambience and all those aspects come in.
Gameplay - For most of the game, the player takes control of Miku, only slightly playing as Mafuyu at the beginning, but its only for about 5 minutes (I just consider as a very slow and boring tutorial). The game takes place over 4 chapters (or nights as the game calls them) leading over the course of Miku's investigation and search for her brother. The only weapon in the whole game (I kid you not) is a camera. A bloody camera. Now, this may seem really stupid and crappy at first, but this camera is VERY VERY useful. The camera is infused with the ability to see the living dead, AKA ghosts, and has the power to exorcise them with special film that inserts the camera. The camera's name is the "Camera Obscura", which, to be honest, me likey. The Player can find many times of film for the camera, ranging from barely any damage (the blue film) to nearly killing the bloody spirit all over again (the gold film). Everytime the Player kills a ghost, they receive SP, or Spirit Points, which allow the player to upgrade the camera and certain mechanics of it, also allowing some special abilites to be added to the camera, such as freezing the ghost or slamming it backwards.
Ambience - Oh my good god, the ambience literally scares me in this game. I beg for the background music to start playing again, but I hate being in silence in this game. It either means a ghost is coming to screw me up or I am about to see a cutscene that will leave me shaking for the power button. The ambience really brings out the game for what it is and it also makes the location of the game stand out like a Japanese haunted mansion.
Puzzles and Ghosts - The puzzles in this game literally drive me up the wall. I've had to search up every single answer for every single puzzle in this game because they are so freaking hard. They leave little clues in notebooks for you to figure it out, but I'm not wasting my time reading useless bullshit. I just wanna get on with the game. The ghosts are horrible, just absolutely horrible. I scream my bloody head off everytime I see one. I dare you to search them up on Google images because they are absolutely disgusting. They range from beheaded heads to bloody hung woman. Yes it's a horror game, but I want to get sleep at night.
I say Fatal Frame today still stands up for what it is. It's scarier than the standards of horror games that you see these days. It my 3rd favourite game of the series, but I'll go into more detail of my favourites during the course of these reviews. The ambience, the ghosts, puzzles, and everything about this game just scares me to death. I give the first game 8.5 out of 10. The only con being the combat. It's rather stiff and hard to control, but it does get a lot better in the future games.
Reviewed by Mrchrisrocks23