Tecmo’s Fatal Frame a brilliant game umong survival horror games. Developed in-house at Tecmo by the team responsible for the acclaimed Deception series, Fatal Frame does manage to stand a good bit higher than its offbeat kin. The game is quite stylish, and it is built around a set of interesting game mechanics, which make many of its sequences quite enjoyable. Most of these revolve around the combat system, which essentially lets you “kill” ghosts by taking pictures of them with your magical camera. Despite how silly this might sound, though, Fatal Frame, like most horror games, takes itself very seriously. Its narrative revolves around mysterious disappearances, ritual sacrifices, and restless spirits, all of which are presented to you in a straight-faced manner. It is par for the course, given the genre, though you will honestly find some sequences rather creepy. Novel gameplay elements and decently conceived story aside, however, Fatal Frame does not stray too far from the things that have traditionally held back survival horror games–specifically formulaic, repetitive puzzles and more backtracking than you can stand.
A young girl named Miku Hinasaki has ventured into the mysterious Himuro Mansion, the last known whereabouts of her missing older brother, Mafuyu. Mafuyu had ventured inside to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a certain renowned author named Junsei Takamine, who is Mafuyu’s idol. Takamine’s aim was to study the mansion’s mysterious and bloody history, and, as you’ve imagined, neither him nor any of the members of his research team have been heard from since. You take the role of Miku, who, in the search for her brother, manages to learn all about the craziness going on at the Himuro Mansion and find out a bit more about Takamine and company than she probably wants to know.
Play Fatal Frame. It is fun, and exciting to traverse the Mansion and see what ghosts can be uncovered.