Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fatal Frame Aims to Haunt the Wii U




Tecmo Koei recently announced that it is working with Nintendo to develop the next entry in the Fatal Frame survival horror video game series (a.k.a. Project Zero) for the Wii U. Even though the game's title and release date have not been specified yet, the game's development will coincide with the development of other Fatal Frame projects, including a live-action film.

For a series that started back in 2001 on the PlayStation 2, Fatal Frame eventually transitioned to the Wii in 2008 with Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse and a Wii-specific remake of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly in 2012. (You can read my review of Crimson Butterfly here.) Wii’s motion controls fit perfectly with Fatal Frame's style of "spirit photography" game play, and the second screen within the Wii U's game pad should provide gamers with a very frightening and immersive experience. Multi-screen gaming is what the Wii U is made for, and I hope that the new Fatal Frame sequel will encourage developers to create more titles that creatively utilize this capability.

Unfortunately, the announcement of a new Fatal Frame title for a Nintendo system is no guarantee that it will be distributed outside of Japan. Crimson Butterfly was released in Japan and Europe, and Lunar Eclipse was exclusive to Japan; neither of the games made it to the United States. Copies of both can be found on sale on eBay, although the prices can be very steep--the cheapest price I saw for Lunar Eclipse was $70. I'm hoping that Nintendo has seen the errors of its past ways and will make the Wii U Fatal Frame available everywhere, but only time will tell.

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