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[Review] The Remaster of ‘Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water’ Gives a New Audience The Chance to Experience a Beloved Horror Game Series

[Review] The Remaster of 'Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water' Gives a New Audience The Chance to Experience a Beloved Horror Game Series

The Digicam Obscura returns with an improve because of a multi-platform remaster of Deadly Body: Maiden of Black Water. Does this snapshot of the Deadly Body collection’ current previous look sharp or has it light?

After spending seven years confined to the Wii U, Maiden of Black Water stays the swansong entry within the underappreciated Japanese horror sport collection, and it wasn’t seen as a very triumphant finale both. So maybe time and refinements to the sport will shed new gentle on it.

Maiden of Black Water makes use of the usual field of Deadly Body methods. Discover haunted locales and vanquish ghosts with using a magic digicam. The important thing change to the unique model of the sport was in the way it included the Wii U’s pill display, and that’s in fact now, not the case. All the identical, effort has been made to cover the sport’s origins and make it playable with out the necessity for a second display. It truly turns Maiden of Black Water right into a extra conventional Deadly Body sport, which has combined outcomes.

This explicit story sees three protagonists caught up within the mysteries and tragedies of the fictional Hikami Mountain, a notoriously haunted locale. An historical evil referred to as the Black Water is corrupting the mountain, inflicting individuals to go lacking… or worse. On the heart of it’s a cursed shrine maiden, who repeatedly seems to torment the protagonists as they examine the varied disturbances on the mountain.

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The sport is break up into phases, every specializing in  a portion of 1 particular person’s story. There’s Miu Hanasaki, daughter of collection stalwart Miku Hanasaki goes to the mountain to assist her good friend, and fellow protagonist Yuri Kozukata, who has a particular reward to carry individuals again from the shadow world. Rounding out the trio is one other of Yuri’s buddies; the creator Ren Hojo, who can also be out trying to find Yuri. It’s not instantly clear when every character’s story is going on in relation to the others, and that doesn’t all the time really feel like an intentional selection.

In any given stage, the motion takes place from a third-person perspective when exploring the surroundings, and switches to first-person when battling specters with the Digicam Obscura. The digicam is Deadly Body’s distinctive promoting level, a software as a lot as a weapon, because it uncovers secrets and techniques, finds guiding ‘shades’ to gentle the right path, causes beforehand misplaced gadgets to rematerialize, catalogs in any other case innocent spirits, and naturally, busts the nastier ghosts through their weak point; publicity (which is coincidentally a weak point of gaming writers).

It’s not so simple as simply firing a number of snapshots off like a photojournalistic machine gun, every shot requires time for the digicam to load the following strip of movie earlier than one other snap cam be taken. Fortunately the ghosts aren’t all that quick more often than not, and the remainder of the time there’s a helpful dodge button to keep away from the extra sprightly of these entities. The bottom line is persistence in lining up and focusing photographs to maximise harm to the ghosts and even knock them again after they attempt to get a bit too recent. Hitting the ‘deadly body’ (the ghost’s weak spot) breaks off spectral fragments of that ghost, and when lined up collectively in a single shot, does huge quantities of harm. It’s typically tempting to chip away at a ghost from a secure distance, however they’ve a nasty behavior of vanishing briefly earlier than reappearing some other place. 

Given how claustrophobic a few of these encounters will be, going down in rotted waterlogged corridors, confined rooftops, and enclosed forests, it provides an unnerving edge to what would in any other case be pretty pedestrian fight. Sluggish doesn’t should imply simple, and Deadly Body has lengthy understood that. What Maiden of Black Water doesn’t do fairly so effectively is signposting the place precisely ghosts and gadgets are, with the hinting arrow system a bit too obscure for my liking.

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Again to the Digicam Obscura, and it throws a little bit of selection in there with several types of movie and lenses to fight apparitions that supply distinctive issues to the protagonists. The fundamental movie is limitless, however weak, whereas stronger variants are restricted. By amassing factors from capturing pictures, performing camera-based duties, and defeating ghosts, the participant is ready to buy further movie between phases, in addition to the varied therapeutic gadgets required to outlive the acute haunting shenanigans on Hikami Mountain.

Ghosts touching the participant is only one manner of taking harm. The connection between the happenings on the mountain comes from the Black Water’s involvement in a lot demise there. So water weakens the participant characters, inflicting them to tackle extra harm and acquire another disagreeable illnesses that may flip a easy encounter right into a multi-ghost nightmare. A particular drying treatment reduces the moistness of characters, however there’s all the time rain, flooded buildings, and rivers that find yourself being an unavoidable impediment. As a gimmick, it’s an intriguing one, however throughout some later phases, it could actually change into a dreadfully repetitive slog to actually hold rinsing and repeating within the span of a twenty to thirty-minute episode. It, sadly, finally ends up being fairly actually oversaturated. 

That was all the time a difficulty with this sport, however absolutely Maiden of Black Water’s remaster has to supply some fixes for its historic faults? Nicely the visuals are simply the standout enchancment. Sure the feminine protagonist’s outfits nonetheless really feel odd for the tone of the sport, however the Hikami Mountain space appears way more enticingly haunting on fashionable consoles. There’s little question you may peer nearer and see the seven years within the particulars, however the glowy, ethereal sheen to the visuals do effectively to cover quite a lot of these. The ghost designs stay very good as ever.

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There’s little fixable concerning the fixed backtracking to beforehand explored areas, however the technical improve does at the very least imply it doesn’t take as lengthy to get to it and thru it now. The story, whereas a refreshing break from the glut of Western concepts of horror in gaming, isn’t precisely top-tier Deadly Body by any means. Somewhat too clunky in introducing its central solid, and giving its grim subject material an all too gentle contact in the course of the cutscenes. It doesn’t assist that the voice performing is pretty underwhelming, promoting what sturdy factors the story does have fairly brief. I’ll caveat the story criticisms by noting there’s a deeper, extra significant story to be present in Maiden of Black Water, it’s simply largely tucked away in journals and notes.

It’s unlucky that, even with a good repair for the absence of the Wii U gamepad, it nonetheless takes away one of many main positives of the unique launch. The claustrophobic nature of fight continues to be current to a point, nevertheless it merely can’t really feel as dreadfully intimate because it did if you’re successfully holding your personal very personal Digicam Obscura. Should you’re coming in by no means having skilled that, then it’s not going to be that a lot of an issue.

That run of downbeat paragraphs out of the best way, I can say that regardless of these points, there’s sill one thing about Maiden of Black Water that related with me. The gentle glow of candles and lanterns towards the darkish and rainswept locales of Hikami Mountain, the creeping dread of transferring via more and more tight areas, the unnerving utterings of the ghosts, and their distinct designs felt intoxicating. The methodical tempo and episodic construction mixed to make for efficient snack-sized parts of horror, wealthy in ambiance. To play Maiden of Black Water for longer stretches exposes the sport’s repetition and backtracking, so I a lot most popular approaching it in brief bursts the place its strengths are simpler to understand.

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Whereas Maiden of Black Water will not be one of the best instance of the Deadly Body collection, it’s been lengthy sufficient that an entire new potential viewers has emerged in the previous few years, and this, flaws and all, will likely be one thing of a brand new expertise. It’s extra essential that Maiden of Black Water acquired this multi-platform remaster for that purpose than some other. If Deadly Body is to have a future, it should want greater than a handful of present followers championing the great previous days. It wants new blood too, and Maiden of Black Water’s remaster for a wider viewers provides the collection that likelihood.

3 5 skull rating

Deadly Body: Maiden of Black Water overview code for PS5 offered by the writer.

Deadly Body: Maiden of Black Water is out on all main codecs on October 28.

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