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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

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1 Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:51 am

Birdman


Moderator
I'm up to chapter 3 now. I'll talk a bit about the mechanics, as there are some changes, both good and bad, compared to the older games.

Cool stuff.

*There are motion controls, of course, but not too bad. Some really cool ideas present here. For example, you can rotate the gamepad vertically to take shots, because now ghosts have multiple hit zones on their bodies.

*You can chapter select now, and each has a ranking. I believe the highest is SS. I love shit like this.

*Multiple playable characters with unique abilities. Not new to FF, but cool to see return.

*The theme of this game is water, relating to story. The game takes places at some mountain where it's raining a lot, and at times you have to go through flooded areas or pools of water. There is an icon that fills up the more wet you become. The more wet, the more evil you attract for some reason, causing ghosts to attack more frequently. The character's clothing even change and get sodden. There is an item that makes you dry again, but I haven't used it yet. I've had a few random encounters but nothing serious.

General crap.

*It's the over the shoulder cam again, first used in FF4 on Wii, then the remake of FF2. I have no issue with this but can be hard to see sometimes.

*Movement is more clunky, and you can't turn sharply. Characters seem to be faster but only in a straight line. In tight spaces or like, in a building it absolutely sucks.

*Fatal Frame shots work differently. I'm not sure but looks like they are on a timer of some sort, rather than timing the shot with a specific frame of the ghost's animation. You start them the same way, by shooting when they ghost is in a specific point in its attack animation, but after that this timer starts running. Will report back on this later when I figure it out.

*There is a lock-on button now. Seems useful because some ghosts have a specific target like this one girl, you had to target the knife she's holding while she's running at you full speed.

*There is no 180 turn and before you say the old games didn't have, that was because they didn't need it. In those you just flicked the stick and they swiveled around instantly. With this clunky behind cam, they should have included one, but again this is Nintendo and they put their weird controls schemes over logic. There is absolutely no reason to not have an RE4 180 turn.

Bad changes

*Every time you pick up an item like a key or whatever, the game automatically takes you to the map screen to show you where to use it, because you aren't capable of such a big ask. It wouldn't be fair to just hit the map button yourself.

*There is the classic path finder mechanic, in the form of following a shade of a memory or something, some ghostly figure. If not, pressing the ZR button will make the character face the direction you need to go.

*Item locations, in addition to the usual sparkle, are now indicated by a white arrow on your screen. Ghosts are indicated by red arrows. In the old games you had to find shit yourself, and locating a ghost was only possible while having the camera out. There is an orange light on the window that brightens when you are looking in the right direction. Now it's like one of those Gundam Vs games.

*Ghosts seem to never attack from within walls. They do come in from the sides but just seem like they were programmed to stay in sight. I haven't had enough battles in enclosed spaces to say for sure, but with the ones I have I was surprised at this. If they are programmed to avoid walls, I think that's kinda dumb. I've seen the complaint over the years of being grabbed or attacked from a wall but you are supposed to reposition and keep tabs on your enemies, not expect them to line up.

*Fatal Frame shots seem easier. I'm hitting combos on ghosts I've never encountered non stop. In the old games you had to know timings.

In other words, casual mechanics.

Stupid things.

*There are all these places where you can crouch and crawl through a space. There's no point to this other than wasting time.

*That item grabbing mechanic from FF4/FF2R is back, and it's not an awful thing but I would rather not have it.

*When taking pics of door spirits or other hidden items, you now have to rotate the gamepad to get the right angle to make the item appear. I don't see the point to this. I had to do it on this hidden book, but after rotating the pad, it' just shows a regular looking book. There was no actual reason to rotate other than Nintendo and their forced motion controls. The battle one is actually a neat idea and works well enough. This is just dumb.

And finally, the characters and even some of the ghosts all have huge breasts and look like DOA characters due to being worked on by a different team who I'm guessing are some of the DOA guys, not just from the character designs, but because Ayane is a playable character and has her own little story after you beat the main game.

Also, this game was censored in the west. But we get some cool costumes from Zelda and Metroid instead. Censorship is stupid but at least we got something different. I have the JP version anyway so whatever I win again.

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2 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:31 pm

I've never really played any of these games, but they've held my interest for a while now. Are they designed as survival horror games where the camera is kind of like "the gun"?

Because you mention a lot of stuff that gets me going like chapter select, rankings, player characters, costumes and more.

Considering the platforms I have (WiiU, PS2, PS3, PS4, X360, GC, SNES, N64) which would you recommend I give a shot? I'd prefer no Wii version if possible since setting that up is a pain.

Have to say I was surprised by that video you linked in it. Those breasts are really overdone, DOA style. Was also surprised at the video being...good. As in, just long enough to explain the thing and show the thing. Not 10 minute long stuff about it. Just quick and to the point.

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3 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:18 pm

Birdman


Moderator
Are they designed as survival horror games where the camera is kind of like "the gun"?

Basically, yeah. You go into first person to shoot and have limited movement, but you also find these orbs ypu can equip to the camera granting special abilities such as freezing a ghost in place, knockback etc.

First, in PAL regions these games are known as Project Zero. You can get the first 3 on PS2, or on the US PSN (known as Fatal Frame over there). I always call them as FF because I played the US versions first.

The first two games were also on Xbox as director's cuts with tons of extras (think Genma Onimusha) and are the superior versions.

The 4th is Wii only and never released outside of Japan the remake of FF2 is Wii only too but it did get a Europe release.

I'd say PS2, because I heard that FF3 has a lot of problems on PS3.

The old games dont have chhapter select but the do have a separate battle mode with rankings, otherwise ranking comes at the end of the game. They all have costumes and difficulty modes to unlock as well as special camera functions if you fulfill the requirement.

Another cool thing is the ghost list. Throughout the game passive spirts will appear then vanish, sometimes quite quickly. Very easy to miss and require knowledge of exactly when and where they will appear. Some require a second playthrough. Serious replay value here.

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4 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:20 am

Birdman


Moderator
So there IS a 180 turn, though a VERY poor example of one.

You face back toward the camera and hold that direction, then hold ZX (one of the shoulder buttons, still getting used to the labels). Why does this suck? Because the camera swings around and through the character slowly. There's no reason not to have RE4's 180 turn which is instant.

Another issue I'm having is how the gamepad is used for shooting. You can go full motion which is crap, or motion plus the sticks which feels more like the PS2 games. Thing is, I tend to use just the gamepad because it's difficult to keep looking up and down between the pad and TV. I really have little motivation to look at the TV screen. I think I might just play exclusively on the gamepad.

Another thing they've made easier is the dodging mechanic. In the original PS2 trilogy, you can escape when grabbed by a ghost by pressing the camera button at the right time. It was really difficult and there was no indicator of the timings. I think in FF1 there wasn't even a file on it and you just did it by accident while mashing the button to get the ghost off. In FF2 and 3 it tells you about it.

Now in FF5, if an attack can be dodged, the screen starts flashing red and a big prompt comes up. I don't like it, but I guess because it lets you dodge attacks that aren't grabs (by grabs I mean a common ghost method was latching onto the character and screaming in their face while draining your life) where in the old games the escape was basically a throw escape. You couldn't dodge any other attack like swipes or projectiles. In this case there's no way to see the real timing from and off camera attack.

I'm not sure what the limit of dodging is in this game. The tutorial said IF an attack can be dodged, you'll get this prompt. As with all the games, positioning is paramount. You will be in and out of viewfinder mode often in battles.

I don't even think grabs can be escaped anymore. I've been grabbed many times and no prompt came up.

Came across another 'DOA' character lol. I'm pretty sure these are all existing DOA models slightly modified and dumped in a horror game. They have those same blank, copy/paste faces.

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5 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:40 pm

I looked it up online and I could actually get my hands on quite a few versions down the line.

I can get my hands on:

Project Zero: maiden of Black Water (wiiU)

Project Zero 3 - Tormented (PS2)

Project Zero (Xbox)

Project Zero 2 (Wii)

Project Zero (ps2)

Project Zero 2 - Crimson Butterfly Directors Cut (Xbox)

Which would you recommend if I ever were to start?

Also why the Doa characters? Were they published by the same company? Takes me by surprise haha.

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6 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:29 am

Birdman


Moderator
Which would you recommend if I ever were to start?
I can tell you where you WILL start. I'll make a list then detail the options below that.

1. FF1 (Xbox or PS2)
2. FF2 (Xbox or PS2)
3. FF3 (PS2)
4. FF4 (Wii)
5. FF5 (WiiU)
6. FF2 Remake (Wii)

Obviously, start with the first game, though as I understand it you could easily start with FF2, because though related, it's not directly related to the events in the first game. FF3 and 5 are though. I'm a bit rusty on FF4, and I played that completely in Japanese so I've only read the plot online and to this day have no idea what all the in-game files say.

But I wouldn't recommend starting with FF2 anyway, because the mechanics are updated and going back to FF1 would feel like step back I guess. Just play them in order and see how the mechanics evolved with each game.

As for consoles, the main choice you face is original Xbox or PS2. FF1 and 2 on Xbox are like Genma Onimusha. Huge upgrades. Difficulty modes, more costumes, more ghosts, modes etc. If you have the capability I'd go with these. If not PS2 is fine.

FF3 is only on PS2.

FF4 is Wii only and Japanese only. There IS a fan translation patch if you can play copied DVDs and some process for attaching it to the ISO. I never bothered with this. You can understand Japanese though right?

FF5 on the WiiU.

FF2 Remake on Wii. This got an English release but it's hard to come by I think. I put this last because it's still FF2 just with the camera angle of FF4 and similar mechanics so I guess if you were going to play this, you'd want to leave until last and go through all unfamiliar content first. If you were playing this series as they were released you would obviously be playing this earlier, but at this stage there's no point until you've done everything else. FF2 seemed to be the most popular entry.

As for the DOA character designs, FF is a Tecmo game too. I just don't know why they've decided to change the character designs now. Now you have the main characters, as well as these NPCs AND ghosts look like they could stand in for a DOA character. It's kinda bizarre.

Fun fact: In the English releases of FF1, they actually changed Miku's design slightly to make her look older.

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7 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:10 am

Birdman


Moderator
Chapter 6 now. Found how a few more mechanics work.

I mentioned ghosts now have multiple points on their body which I thought were targets. Seems they aren't. For example this one with a target on her head and a circle on each knee. You can only lock on to a square.

The more targets you have in the frame, the better the shot. If you lock on which is easier for Fatal Frame shots and tracking the ghost, it zooms in a little making it impossible to see all possible targets.

I found that by rotating the gamepad, I can make the frame longer so I can keep the ghost's whole body in the frame within a certain distance. Starting to feel like some kind of paparazzi with all this rotating and snapping shots. Actually, I often don't bother trying to get all points in the frame. There doesn't seem to be much point for how awkward it is and FF shots still destroy ghosts, even more so being way easier than previous games.

This series has always had many kinds of shot, which pop up on-screen when you take a shot. You have close, core, zero, FF, tilt, special (used an ability), combo etc. You can get multiple bonuses in one shot.

Still trying figure stuff out. Wet status boosts your power, but makes more ghosts appear. I haven't encountered any really hard ghosts though so it's free upgrade points.

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8 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:30 am

Birdman


Moderator
Chapter 9 now.

The ranking system is weird. It seems to be based on points, and the results screen lists all the items you have with a value beside them. I'm not sure if it's saying you lose points for using them. Also not sure if you can just by stuff from the 'store' to get points.

If that's the system it's kinda stupid but makes sense now that I think about it. The areas are larger and there are totally optional paths you can take with nothing but a basic healing item or weak film. I guess they want you to search for items to get more points. If you're totally wet (unavoidable in rainy, outside areas) you're running the risk of attracting more ghosts.

I assume using items lowers your points. I hoe that's the case because that's almost a no damage requirement. Need to look more into this at some point but I probably won't be doing this immediately after I finish because of my backlog rule of just finishing stuff for now, then going back and doing all the rankings and stuff later. Depends how I feel when I finish. Right now this game is dragging on a bit, the controls aren't great and are irking me.

Is it just my eyes, my TV, the game, or is the WiiU just a really weak console. I'm honestly not seeing a huge difference between this and the FF2&3 on PS2. Not that I care about graphics, I'm just really noticing it with this game.

It has many good points though. The ghosts seem to have more varied attacks. I was fighting this girl who starts off trying to grab you, then pulls a knife and comes at you with that. The knife hand becomes the main target. Then, I''m guessing when health is low (but not 100% sure) she slashes her throat and get covered blood and appears to become more furious. It might be possible to shoot the knife and stop her doing this. I've notice a few other ghost change their state, like one who has a blade of some kind and ignites it.

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9 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:20 pm

FF is Project Zero in Europe, but I prefer Fatal Frame, sounds better, as I’ve no clue what a project zero is. That’s the most stock Japanese horror name ever, like some re knock off would be called “PROJECT ZERO”!

Oh yeh, and I love how increasingly arcade the camera shooting became what with all the points and FATAL SHOT and EROTIC SHOT, wait wrong game that one...

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10 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:02 am

Birdman


Moderator
Its the name of the dev team. No one knows why they decided to name it that in PAL regions. Easily one of the most awful choices ever made.

In Japan the games are simply called Zero plus a title.

Fatal Frame comes from the types of special counter shot you can use in FF2 onwards. For the XBOX director's cut versions, they were named Fatal Frame even in Japan for some reason.

I love the combo shots that were added after FF1 but even FF1 was arcadey but with each game more mechanics were added and more streamlined system allowing you to change film and orbs with the camera out.

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11 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:16 am

Project Zero just sounds like the most generic Japanese game ever, it could be a sci-fi shooter or a action game or even a shmup for all it tells me. Maybe Fatal Frame was too American for PAL I guess haha. Can you get ZERO SHOTS!(ghost pantsu) or something? Wondering if Zero has lore relevance...

I might play Fatal Frame 1&2 at some point, given they are 360 compatible, just have to check if they are buggy or expensive.

I like the look of combat, I tend to avoid games where I don’t enjoy the actual combat so typical survival horror stuff where the combat is supposed to be awkward annoys me rather than spooks me. Shooting ghosts with a magic camera looks fun, plus it’s tense by how claustrophobic the camera view is and how you have to wait to charge big damage shots.

Doesn’t seem that an actual Fatal Frame arcade shooter exists, seems like a missed opportunity if you ask me. Maybe have a crossover with Time Crisis and call it “Fatal Crisis”.

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12 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:20 am

Birdman


Moderator
The kanji can be read two ways. Zero and rei, rei meaning ghost. That's what I read anyway. Makes sense.

I know a few games that have had their names changed, and long ago I came to the conclusion that the west is considered utterly brain dead.

Haunting Ground and Nightshade are good examples. Okami has all the names of towns and some characters shortened. For example, Kusanagi Village is shortened to Kusa Village.

Calling it Project Zero makes no sense and there's no explanation other than the localization team being just plain stupid. There's no way anyone with a normally functioning brain call call this shit ok.

Get the PS2 versions. The PS3 ones are a little buggy, though I've only heard of FF3 being broken. Never looked into it much though.

Edit: Some stuff I forgot to add.

Every FF game up until has been quality. FF5, while having some cool mechanics like wet status, rotating camera, and more interesting ghosts, has more flaws and feels super rushed.

No one expected to ever see another FF. You can tell they didn't care for this game or the series when Koei Tecmo releases something with no DLC.

Here's the flaws I'm seeing.
*Not a graphics guy but somehow they're worse in those game than at least FF3 on PS2.

*Character design is more simplistic. They could be added as DoA characters and no one would notice. Hell even Miku has had a breast enlargement. I'm not against the design but it's weird in this series.

*They don't eevn hold the camera properly. I saw my reflection in a mirror and one of their hands below the camera not even touching it. PS2 could do that no problem, even the first game ffs.

*Movement is awful. Previous games had fixed camera and you could turn around instantly. This game doesn't even have a decent 180 turn. Movement in small spaces is a chore.

*Fatal Frames are actually mashable. I tried it today. So a Fatal Frame is a moment during a ghost's attack (and can sometimes be a non-attack animation) where if you connect a shot, you will do huge damage, and knock the ghost out of its attack, and be able to start a combo. In the old games it required timing, for the initial shot and follow ups. Now there's a timer and you mash as much as you can.

*When you get grabbed now, it automatically goes into viewfinder and gives you the chance to break the grab with a free Fatal Frame shot. Escapes used to require tight timing.

*Path finder mechanic in an already linear game where getting lost is impossible. Piss off.

*There's an item called Stone Mirror. In older games you could only carry one. It restores all your health when you would have otherwise died. You can now carry 99 lol.

*Game taking you to the map when you find a key item. Wastes my time, takes my control, and spells out where to go on top of having the pathfinder ffs. Should just have auto travel.

*Ranking system seems dumb. Points for items forcing you to search stages for them. Kind of like farming I guess.

*Arrows show up to show you where items are. You don't even need to explore.

*Dodge is mashable.

*Fighting the same ghosts over and over. Fatal Frame Musou.

In other words, casualized mechanics. That's all I can think of for now. I'm on the fence about the item shop before chapters. I guess it's ok because stuff is quite expensive and you use the same points you need for camera upgrades.

Need to figure out more about ranking. Chapter select is a good thing, but not if the ranking sucks. Makes it easier to complete the ghost list though. Tons of fun unlockables which you don't see often these days. Goes to show how little they care for this series.

Overall, I feel it's the weakest entry. I'm on the final chapter now. I'll post what the first playthrough unlocks when I'm done.

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13 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:00 pm

Birdman


Moderator
Just finished.

Got a few unlocks. Some accessories like glasses and cat ears, and a costume for each character. There's tons more stuff like this left to unlock. Also got Ayane's story, nightmare mode, and a lens but not sure what it does.

Overall I did not enjoy this anywhere near as much as previous games. Way too much backtracking through the same areas with three characters. Even though you still do this in previous games, I don't know, it didn't feel bad at all.

No real desire to play again and unlock everything right away and I have to get through this backlog anyway.

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14 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:37 am

Why not the Xbox versions? they seem fine and have noteworthy additions/changes(FF2 has a 1st person mode). Only 2 is 360 compatible so I’ll get the ps3 versions of 1-3.

>Fatal Frame PS3 buggy ports
I think the PS3 emulation issues got patched, I’ve read at least for 2 got fixed. Yes the bugs are to do with software emulation on older models of ps3 that had emulation software built in to it. So playing the digital of physical ports of ff2 has the same results on old models. But it was patched apparently and no bugs appear for newer models anyway(I have a slim model so I’m fine).

Can you punch ghosts? Should let you make a boxing glove out of the camera obscura!

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15 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:01 am

Birdman


Moderator
Xbox as in 360 versions? I dont know much about running them on 360.

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16 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:27 am

I mean the Xbox versions in general, do you have any experience with them? Both are 360 compatible, I mention as I don’t have an original Xbox, but I can get the PS3 copies no issue also.

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17 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:42 am

Birdman


Moderator
Yes I own the JP versions but I only play on og xbox.

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18 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:46 am

Suppose I’ll make a topic sometime and if you’d be so kind as to note the differences there.

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19 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:59 am

Birdman


Moderator
Xbox vs PS2?

Xbox FF1 got some new ghosts, difficulty and costumes. There is also gallery mode where you can view character models but it was removed from the western releases.

FF2 got pretty much the same and some extra modes like first person and survival. I think it got a new ending too.

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20 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:03 am

I was thinking of getting 1 and 3 from the US psn store(not on UK store, super cheap also) and the Xbox version of 2 since its PAL 360 compatible, 1 is US 360 compatible only apparently and the ps2 version is great as is(60fps from what I read).

The 1st person mode in 2s Xbox version seems neat but I’d have to see how much that effects gameplay, like movement speed.

Is Ayane playable in 5? I read she’s in it which was bound to happen with tecmo games.

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21 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:35 am

Birdman


Moderator
Yeah she has her own little story. Not sure how long but nothing close to the main game.

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22 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:11 am

Still waiting for that Fatal Frame arcade rail shooter, if Silent Hill got a good rail shooter I think a series about shooting ghosts with a magic camera is prime material for one...

Yeh I’ll pick up 1 sometime this or next month, in the mood for some ghost snap shots.

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23 Re: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:57 am

Birdman


Moderator
Yes, do it. It's a fantastic series.

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