Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water – Mystery of Hikami
Fatal Frame, hearing this one name is enough to make gamers who have grown up with Playstation nostalgia. When other horror games offer firearms and melee as weapons, it makes the camera the only tool to deal with any threat that exists. There is something different about the implementation of a gameplay system like this. When a western developer horror game like Oulast or Amnesia actually asks you to avoid the source of threats, Fatal Frame actually reverses the psychological. The only way you win is to face the source of your fear directly, the closer, the better.
Complex, this might be the word that immediately slides from your mouth when you first learn to pay attention to the plot offered by Fatal Frame: this Maiden of Black Water. Indeed, the common thread is still the same, that you become a protagonist who must fight against the demons and phenomenal paranormal variety by using a special camera – Obscura. The difference? No longer two, you will now act as the three main characters with background stories and their respective motives. You will face these nightmares as Yuri Kozukata, Ren Hojo, and Miu Hinasaki.
Everything revolves around a haunted mountain named Hikami who does not hesitate to ask for casualties if anyone dares to climb it at night. Yuri tried to find her best friend – Hisoko Kurosawa who disappeared without a trace on the mountain, while Miu looked for his mother – Miku Hinasaki who also suffered a similar fate. While Hojo is more focused on trying to uncover the mystery of what really happened behind Hikami’s armature. What makes the paranormal activity on the mountain inherent in suicide activity so strong, especially when the information obtained begins to open a surprising fact.
Plot on Fatal Frame: The Maiden of Black Water is not as simple as imagined. Although in the end you will find a definite red thread between these three characters, it is presented through the storyline back and forth with the introduction of new characters that are not as strong as imagined. The only main way to understand what is happening is simply to read in detail all the notes that you find along the way. Past it? Goodbye to understanding well what is really happening. Because you will meet culture, the activities of heretical sects, brutal killings which of course need strong motives to be assembled.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is still the Fatal Frame series that you have known so far. A mysterious world filled with spirits that can only be lowered with one weapon – the Obscura camera. The gameplay is simple. Like the survival horror game in general, you will struggle to move from one point to another to achieve story progress, fight the boss, deal with any threats that arise, and try to survive. The only way to produce damage is by photographing these spirits. The closer they are, or the more targets that appear on the same screen, the greater the damage that can be “harvested”. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is still a series of Fatal Frames that you know.
The difference? Now you can use three different characters. But unfortunately, it’s not in the GTA-style format, for example, which allows you to use it whenever and wherever you want. The characters you use will depend on the story chapter that you are exploring without the opportunity to replace it. Not only visual, these characters also have different abilities that can be maximized according to their chapter. Hojo for example, is reinforced with a lens that allows him to do Burst Mode, but with a higher reload time. While Miu can use Spirit to slow down the time when shooting, leaving the accuracy there.
There are a number of new mechanics such as Fatal Frame – a counter attack system that can be triggered if you shoot the targets when in an attack position, not only giving extra damage, but a short time to continue shooting without reload. Meanwhile, there is also Fatal Glance – where you can touch existing dying spirits to capture past events before they end up being haunting spirits. Collect points from attacks and completion of missions, you can also strengthen your camera to increase damage or just speed up the reload process, and of course also make the various effects of your lens more effective. A mechanism that seems unfamiliar to gamers who love the survival horror genre.
So, what makes Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water feel so special? The main key lies in one word: Nintendo Wii GamePad U. Do you remember the giant controller with a tablet with the big screen? Not only can you show a map of your trip or become a second screen with the same content, it also “becomes” your own Obscura camera. That’s right, when you enter shooting mode, your GamePad is your camera!
By looking directly at GamePad, you can aim, take pictures, and watch how effective your attack is. Cool again? Supporting the gyro feature that he stretches, you are like playing a tablet game when trying to aim and destroy them one by one. The whole room is your playground because you can always point your “camera” to every corner of the room to look for ghosts who often end up appearing and drowning at will. Coupled with the fact that they have never been restricted by the laws of physics to be unable to penetrate solid objects, there is its own excitement with the implementation of functions like this. One of the best on the Wii U, there’s no need to doubt. Unfortunately, lifting this gamepad for a long time, your arm can be a victim.
So, what can be concluded from this Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water? A sense of relief and glad to see that this extraordinary classic franchise in the past finally found its way back to the Western market. Although there isn’t much different gameplay mechanics, the fact that it implements the Obscura camera with GamePad Wii U gives birth to a unique and thrilling playing experience. Especially when with the existing gyro feature, you start rotating your body to be able to aim at these spirits more effectively. Moreover, you can capture their photos not only horizontally, but also vertically for more effective areas of attack. Extra costumes, camera upgrades, a world atmosphere that deserves a thumbs up, with a female character design that spoils the eyes, so it’s a selling point.