While Nintendo’s E3 presentation was met with mixed reactions, it can’t be denied that the House That Mario Built has some interesting games in the pipeline. While the new Star Fox Zero trailer, Animal Crossing, and Nintendo’s other family-friendly offerings dominated the presentation, Nintendo let one of the odder titles for the Wii U slink by virtually unnoticed, posting a trailer discreetly on its official YouTube page during E3. But while Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water wasn’t given its time to shine at the show, it’s shaping up to be a game that people should pay attention to when it finally hits the States.
The fifth entry in the supremely creepy horror franchise Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water tasks players with surviving on a ghost infested island relying upon nothing but a camera. This camera, called the “Camera Obscura,” is a mystical camera that causes ghosts caught in its pictures to dissipate. Thus, players must snap pictures of these hostile natives to survive. It’s a unique mechanic that leads to many pulse-pounding encounters, forcing players to hastily line up pictures and snap away, lest a ghost shreds your character to pieces.
While previous entries in the Fatal Frame series tasked players with relying upon the analog sticks to line up the perfect ghost shot, Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water instead makes use of the camera found in the Wii U gamepad to immerse players in the game. When a ghost appears, the gamepad must be held up like a camera, forcing players to jump between the main screen and the “camera.” A simple click of the button will snap a picture, but each ghost features a “Fatal Frame” that indicates what part of them must be featured in the picture to do the most damage, forcing players to work quickly to line up the best photo.
While Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water saw release in Japan last year, the team is still working on localizing the game for a Western release. The latest trailer reveals that the game is set for release this Fall, but no concrete release date was provided.
The game has fared well in the Land of the Rising Sun, with notoriously picky gaming magazine Famitsu rewarding Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water a 33/40. For fans itching for an interesting approach to the stagnant survival horror genre, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water should prove to be a breath of fresh air, especially for the horror-lacking Nintendo system.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will be available in Fall of 2015, exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U.