Fatal Frame V: Maiden of Black Water – Review

Let’s get down on some spooky business. Nintendo America finally released a Fatal Frame game on their new(console) the Wii U. Released in America on October 22nd, 2015, developers of Koei Tecmo have introduced us to another story of Japanese folklore that requires the dark. Released digitally (only in America) for the Wii U, Fatal Frame V is a single player survival horror story and features your favorite weapon ever: the Camera Obsucra.


A background of what is happening…

Mount Hikami is a site that is famous for the amount of suicides that have occurred there. It is said that the maidens who used to live on the mountain helped those to pass a more peaceful death by receiving all of the secrets of those dying. In doing this process, the maidens would be placed in a reliquary and float between life and death. When the maidens fulfilled their purpose they would be locked away in the reliquaries as the Eternal Flower to keep the black water at bay. In order to strengthen the maidens, a Ghost Marriage would take place in which the maiden would marry and Outsider and they would be bound together and placed in the same reliquary. And if you can see where I am going…the newest Eternal Flower yearned to be by the side of who she had chosen-Kunihiko Aso-but he wasn’t present, and then tragedy struck the maidens which overwhelmed the Eternal Flower and the black water was released on the mountain.

You play as 3 different protagonists:

  • Yuri Kozukata-A girl who teeters between living life and seeing death.
  • Ren Hojo-An author man who enlists the services of Yuri and Hisoka (roommate) to find an album of postmortem photographs because of a reoccurring dream that involves a ritual of death.
  • Miu Hinasaki-For those who have played Fatal Frame, Hinasaki is the surname of Miku who was the main protagonist in the first game, and a protagonist in the third came, and Miu is her daughter. Miu is looking for her mother who has been in the mountain for sometime.

Each character is connected to each other and the mountain, and it is quite the spooky journey to figure out why they each have been called to the mountain.

Let’s get down to game play. This game plays like most Fatal Frame games in terms of lifting the camera and taking the photos. The camera (in game) functions in a comfortable and familiar fashion as well. It is everything you would expect in a Fatal Frame game. My one complaint is the transition between the use of the Wii U’s game pad and the t.v. You HAVE to use the game pad as the camera which is really cool and also incredibly annoying because you move from a t.v. sized frame of reference when fighting to a smaller screen. While it adds to the fear factor it is a little difficult. You can move the camera manually (I may have spun around in a chair a couple times) or you can use it like traditional controller, the camera is viewed through the game pad either way. The switch between the gamepad and the television, though a little distracting, did give you a more immersed feeling when playing because you have to be more alert and ready to throw up the game pad.

This is the longest Fatal Frame game because there are three different stories (and secret chapters after you beat the game) and it is played through in a chapter function. There are 8 different endings and nightmare mode always adds a good challenge. I really enjoyed playing even though it took a bit to get into due to acclimating to a new way to control everything. The environment was beautiful, the story was really intricate, and the ghosts were so detailed it was a little crazy. I actually had a nope moment where I shut off the game in the middle of a chapter, but I am not going to say where. You will have to discover it yourself.

For anyone who is looking for an interesting and spooky game that adds an interesting twist with its unique controlling style this game is one to explore. I personally have always been a fan of games that are occult in nature and Fatal Frame is one of my top five favorite games series.

Can you find out what happened to the Maiden of Black Water? Or will you succumb to the call of the Otherside? Play this game for a different Wii U experience, its not disappointing.

Review article by Meghan Rodriguez (Twitter @collins_m81)

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