Our Score: 8/10
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, a Japanese survival horror game, has returned with upgraded visuals. It stands on its own as a game in the series while drawing on its legacy. It opens up the series to a wider audience and adds to the canon of the world.
Masking the Moon in Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
When the local cultists began snatching females for their strange rituals in the 1970s, Rougetsu Island was a quiet rural region. Among of the abducted females included Ruka, Misaki, and Madoka, all of whom were rescued and attempted to resume their regular lives away from Rougetsu.
After ten years, the ladies see that their friends are passing away from an unknown illness called Getsuyuu Syndrome. Memory loss and difficulty remembering familiar faces are two symptoms. This illness has afterlife implications that may harm the souls of the dead. The trio of Ruka, Misaki, and Madoka have returned to Rougetsu Island in search of answers.
Soon enough, the girls realise that their inquiry has gone horribly wrong; the sanitarium and the adjoining hospital are both entirely inhabited by ghosts who want to make their stay as long as possible. Lucky for us, the playable characters have spiritual weapons to use against the wandering spirits.
Old School Hunting
It’s nice to play a horror game that doesn’t autosave or spoon-feed the player their way through the whole experience. For the most part, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse doesn’t accomplish this, instead relying on the player’s observation skills and the hints provided by some well written notes strewn throughout the game world. One must be in a favorable frame of mind to appreciate it. This survival horror game’s framework is unabashedly from the PlayStation 2 era. There are save places, essential objects typical of adventure games, puzzle screens, and a constant setting that expands out in a gratifying manner over the course of the game.
There is often a lack of clarity in the riddles, making them a little more challenging than they seem at first. Some doors will be inaccessible until the player finds the image shown in a vision and snaps a photo of it, which will either open the door or provide a hint. Ghosts may emerge at any time in Fatal Frame, thus players must constantly be prepared. The game makes use of this immersion at many moments, such as when an adversary has to be defeated or when a spectre might be photographed for bonus points. As a result, the scene is set for further terrifying moments later on in the game.
Both Ruka and Misaki are given their own individualised gadgets, each with their own controls and statistics. It’s important to get the photo right when you’re using one of these ancient cameras since it takes time to reload the film.
The Choushiro character unlocks the Spirit Stone Flashlight and allows the player to play as a spirit medium. This equipment may be upgraded and used to fight ghosts while using moonlight. While confronting ghosts, each of the game’s three playable characters has a unique feel and may acquire their own unique wardrobe.
The greatest opportunity to kill a spirit is during an assault, when players attempt to capture a Fatal Frame for maximum damage. With enough success, you can chain together fatal Fatal Frames to unleash deadly strikes. The Camera Obscura is an original approach to damage in horror games. There are a wide variety of lenses and upgrades to choose from, so users may customise their experience to their liking. There’s replay value since certain upgrades can’t be obtained until after many playthroughs on different difficulties.
Remastered Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
This remaster also includes additional clothes that may be unlocked by collecting items and gaining points by taking pictures, providing more content for dedicated players. As compared to the game’s Wii debut, this remake improves on it in every visual respect. It has a refined aesthetic, with modern graphics that enhance clarity. The cutscenes look great, and the Japanese voice acting is excellent, but there is no English dub. Every aspect of the user experience has been modernised to make it more accessible and comprehensible, including the User Interface. Fans of photography will be pleased to know that picture mode has been added.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is another Fatal Frame title that has been remastered for modern gaming. If you’re a fan of old-school horror games then this will be right up your alley. It’s a slow burn with a heavy emphasis on atmosphere and anxiety that most modern games often don’t match.