29 July 2012

My new toy: Project Zero 2 (Fatal Frame Wii edition)

Only once in my life did I really have a paranormal experience and even until today it's something I can only recall but never really explain. We usually feel afraid when we find ourselves in unknown situations and fear is an important mechanism to keep us away from harm.




Project Zero, also known as Fatal Frame, is a survival-horror-adventure game released in 2001. When I first heard about it from my friend, Tas, back then, I was excited that they released a game that will test you mentally and psychologically.

When I started the game once, the windows in my apartment (which I had previously opened) flew shut and when I stood up to make sure they were locked and secured I saw a hearse (vehicle used to carry a coffin to the cemetary) drive by the street in front of my apartment. Whether spook or coincidence, I wouldn't want to know.


In the sequence, you find yourself lost and trapped in The Lost Village. And all you have to do in the game, is find your way out. Then you find out that the village has a dark, dark past. There has been a masacre and they're all dead, forgotten, and... angry. This entire place is loaded with their hauntings.

Then you find a camera - the Camera Obscura - and it has the ability to banish hostile ghosts before they attack you. It is your only weapon in the game.

So it sounds simple: just aim and shoot, right?
Yeah, well... it depends on whether or not you have steady hands.


You get to collects items in the darkest corners which will take you deeper into the darkness and guide you through. In order to improve your camera's functions you need to photograph and banish as many spirits and possible... so it makes no sense to run.
The more you take your time and the more you explore, the better it is because you need everything that you can find.
But one thing's for sure: the spirits will find you and you must find them.


Yet they are almost always faster than you. Taking you by surprise in moments you least expect them to. At one point they're ahead of you, and the next second they're behind you, above you or under you. And this means one thing: fight or die.


Camera Obscura has the ability to push them away, stunn them, damage them and banish them for good. All it takes is the right moment where you mostly have a wonderful view of such pretty faces (and better) :)


The atmosphere, landscapes and settings in the game is extremely spine chilling. It's designed to be played in the dark since you can't see a thing otherwise. So I play this with my curtains drawn shut during the day and at night I leave a nightlight on.

This game will give anyone the creeps even those who don't easily get scared, like Michael. I quote what he said to me, "...I am so glad that I am not really in this place."

The only thing that bothers me about the game are the controls. It's a catastrophe especially in battles and it definitely takes a lot of time (and nerves) to get used to. I'm just thinking that this is supposed to be part of the stress.

Although I love the fact that this film wakes you up and puts you in a state of acute awareness. Your senses will grow into a magnitude you never imagined it could. Most people interpret this as fear or jumpiness. But it is this sort of awareness that we have forsaken through the course of life and to discover it again is most overwhelming.

In the game you will be aware of every single detail, every leaf, every sound, every flicker... as if you suddenly have eyes where there are none. At least this is what happens to me... and it's a whole new dimension that I want to get to know again.

And as far as time is concerned, it's not a game that will make time pass so quickly, if you know what I mean. Every minute feels like an hour.

Play it if you can afford it (don't play it alone unless you can really handle it). It's a recommendation.
Although this game is very different from the others, it's really good practice at emotional and psychological control. And once you get the hang of it, it's fun :)


I'd give it a rating of 4/5.
Stunning.
Literally.


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