Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

released on Mar 09, 2023

A remaster of Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen

When the protagonists were children, they visited the isolated island of "Rogetsu Isle" to celebrate the Rogetsu Festival. In the midst of the celebrations, they suddenly disappeared. The game begins when the girls decide to go back and visit the island again in search of their lost memories of that day.

Attempt to repel encroaching ghosts, relying solely on the faint glow of a flashlight and the Camera Obscura; a camera with the ability to photograph unimaginable things.

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É um otimo jogo, uma pena que sofre de sexualização

these people move so slow that combat had me screaming

After many years being stuck on the Wii and in JP only as well, FFIV finally makes it way to the west for modern consoles. For a remaster, it's somewhat disappointing since there doesn't appear much that was improved or updated.
Controls now can be played without motion sensors, but it still feels clunky at times. This is evident when trying to uncover hidden items with the flashlight or during combat. The graphics looked decent at times, but upon closer look of walls and furniture, the textures are noticeably bad and of low quality. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but there is a constant film grain effect. I guess it sort of fits the atmosphere and the game, but I'd really like an option at least to have a smoother and cleaner look.
I briefly mentioned the combat already and it wasn't too bad overall, but the controls detract from the experience. Not to mention that many combat areas are in small corridors or small rooms making it very difficult to maneuver around. Anything with more than one ghost at a time can be a pretty frustrating experience. Fortunately, the enemies aren't that aggressive and most don't have unusual attack animations compared to FFV.
The story is the usual ritual gone bad Fatal Frame story, but the mystery execution was interesting as is the general premise. You slowly uncover clues for the bigger picture as you progress.
The characters are mostly one-note which I guess is also similar to many Fatal Frame games. No character development or interesting reveal except for one plot twist. Most of the game is spent looking for missing memories for the main characers.
Probably the best aspect of this game is the horror elements. The game is very on point with the creepy setting, oppressive atmosphere and unsettling vibes. The sound direction is also pretty solid too particularly with a few rooms where you hear eerie whispers. I thought all of these elements were lacking from FFV.
Overall, a very good survival horror experience. A bit easy at times on Normal especially being able to to purchase additional consumable items with points you get. It's a good entry for FF newcomers since progressing isn't as confusing as the earlier entries, the combat and survival elements are more lenient and it's the first game in the timeline without much connections with the others.

great game, love the gameplay, love the atmosphere, story is great. fuck sliding block puzzles though.

What happens to us when we die? I'm not talking about our souls, or any afterlife, but to the memory of us on this world. The imprint we made while we were here. Does it stick around, haunting corridors and the minds of those we were close to? Or does it dissipate, leaving no trace we were ever here? Fatal Frame 4 concerns itself prominently with this specific question about death, and its hyperfocus on such a specific unsettling subject matter is what gives the game itself enough impact to last long after you finish playing.
Written and partially directed by Suda51, Fatal Frame 4 dares to dream of what would happen if dementia were contagious, and if it spread simply by looking at an afflicted person. The answer is as devastating as you can imagine, complete annihilation. What a wonderful topic for a horror game, and unlike many of the game franchises in its wheelhouse Fatal Frame is the one where every design decision is focused purely on horror. Want to open a door? You're treated to an almost OG Resident Evil level door opening animation, every single time, occasionally accompanied by a spooky cut to a fixed angle. Want to pick up an item? That'll be a 5-10 second long interaction, with a small chance of a surprise jump scare every time. Want to run fast away from a threat? Fatal Frame laughs in your face, the sprint button in these games being a facade implemented purely to frustrate and annoy you. These games want to scare you, they want to scare the SHIT out of you, and nothing else matters. While not the scariest or most surprising Fatal Frame game, Fatal Frame 4 still managed to scare me quite frequently because of those aforementioned design decisions and some truly excellent atmosphere and level design.
Fatal Frame 4 is set primarily in a large hospital which is divided into two sections. You explore them both individually with different characters before both sections connect near the end of the game. This large level is so well designed, with several pathways leading to whatever objective you're headed for. The game will always guide you down one specific path, but the adventurous player that chooses another route will almost always be delighted to find completely unique encounters and scares down whatever route they choose. I let my guard down while exploring early on, and almost hada heart attack when a room I'd already explored a mile away from my objective suddenly exploded with activity, locking me into a fight with three enemies simultaneously - a lot to handle with only one measly magic camera. It felt great to know that the developers considered other ways players would choose to explore the game world, and once this happened I never felt I could let my guard down for even a moment. Horror perfection. The sound design deserves a special mention, too. So many rooms have a unique and awful flavor all their own thanks to the subtle soundtrack and all sorts of horrible creaks and gasps of air. You never feel safe because the oppressive soundscape never lets up.
Combat in Fatal Frame 4 is perhaps the easiest of any game in the franchise, thanks to both its dedicated lock on button and surprising lack of difficult spirits. Towards the end of the game there are definitely a few recurring threats that present a real challenge, but for the most part the enemies in this entry are of the 'slowly walk forward, and then lunge towards you' variety. Even at its most braindead, combat in Fatal Frame is still fun thanks to its multiple special moves and unique feel, but I often felt more scared outside of combat than within it, which is maybe not ideal for a game about fighting scary ghosts. The endgame also loves throwing some real film sponges your way, which I thought made the game's final levels drag on a bit longer than they should have.
With an interesting plot, excellent direction, and endless dread, Fatal Frame 4 does everything you could hope for. While its combat can be a bit too easy and the game runs out of gas towards the end, it's still a terrifying and completely unique experience from the most underappreciated horror IP in gaming. If you like horror games and don't need constant action to keep your attention, Fatal Frame 4 is a must play.

Fatal Frame 4 is like a breath of fresh air after playing Fatal Frame 5, it feels more survival horror, but still has a hint of what 5 is going to be.
Story is your standard Fatal Frame, folk ritual gone wrong, and now a place (this time an island) is haunted by ghosts. This time the story is focused on amnesia on all 3 protagonists, and their goal is mainly trying to recover their memory, and maybe get rid of whatever problem the island has.
Combat is divided into 2 systems, Camera Obscura and Spirit Flashlight.
The camera works mostly the same as the previous entry, but this time you have an infinite type-07 film (the weakest one), this is huge, because technically you can spend an infinite amount of time trying to kill a ghost without even needing to worry that your ammo will run out. You don’t even need to try to get an effective shot every time to conserve ammo like in the previous game, sure getting an effective shot made the encounter faster but if you don’t want to risk getting hit for Fatal Frame Shot, then just shooting with max charge is a viable strategy too. This problem persists even in the Nightmare difficulty.
The flashlight is even more broken, there’s no need for ammo, you can shoot your most powerful shot infinitely. Although you do need to recharge if you are shooting continuously, which is easily overcome by just putting the flashlight down for a few seconds (not even a second on max upgrade) and then putting it up again.
There are also collectibles in the form of ghosts and dolls, the dolls I don’t really see a point of honestly. But the ghost is still fun to collect, even if most of them are literally just in front of you. The annoying one is the blossomed one, some enemies (wraiths) can blossom when their health gets low enough, this blossoming form is counted as a different entry in the collectible list. But it happens at random, if you kill the wraith before it can blossom, then all you can do is reload the previous save file. This is most annoying to get with the Spirit Flashlight, because the flashlight has a really high damage, and with max upgrade, it can potentially 2-hit kill most ghosts even on Nightmare. If the ghost doesn't blossom on the first hit, then all you can do is reset.
Overall, still a fun game, not really scary but does have a few scary jumpscare moments, the final boss isn’t as threatening as Reika or Sae even though she chased you in some parts of the game too. Combat is fun but I still don’t like the infinite ammo thing. Ultimately, it’s a lot better than 5, but still not as good as the previous trilogy (though I do miss the wet system from 5).
Now, I want a port/remake of the original trilogy.