Although the struggles of the Wii U have been well-documented, with the system only just reaching 10 million sales overall since its launch in 2012, the console has had a resurgence over the last year. Strong sales in 2014 helped Nintendo to turn a profit, with an emphasis put on a stronger line-up of games and the success of Nintendo’s amiibo peripheral range. With the release of official launch dates for a number of highly-anticipated titles, including Star Fox Zero and Devil’s Third, Nintendo will no doubt be hoping that the Wii U can continue its run of form.
There was one game, however, that players may have overlooked on Nintendo’s lengthy list of release dates. Amidst the likes of Super Mario Maker and Xenoblade Chronicles X lay the return of a cult horror classic in the form of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. Fans of the series have often missed out on North American releases, with no US release of a game from the franchise since 2005’s Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented, but it turns out that Nintendo has been true to its word regarding a North American release.
Now, more details are beginning to surface regarding the launch of the latest title from the Fatal Frame series. As well as a release date of October 22, 2015, Nintendo has also confirmed that the survival horror game will only be available via the Wii U eShop, with no physical release expected. Although that may be disappointing for hardcore fans of the series, one more detail about the title may help to win new players over; Fatal Frame: Maiden of Dark Water is going to be “free-to-start.”
Gamers wishing to try out the title will be able to download Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water’s prologue, as well as the entirety of chapter one and “most of” chapter two. Then, players who want to purchase the full title will be able to do so, either directly in-game or via the Nintendo eShop. The title, which is being co-developed by Tecmo Koei and Nintendo, will be available for $49.99.
Fans of the Fatal Frame series were given a useful look at the title during E3 2015, where Nintendo unveiled an official trailer. One of the highlights of Nintendo’s showcase, which received a mixed reception after the event, the trailer gave a brief look at how Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will utilize the Wii U’s gamepad, acting directly as the series’ infamous Camera Obscura.
Horror aficionados will be hoping that the latest Fatal Frame title will fill a large gap in the Wii U’s library, with ZombiU one of the few horror-based games available on the console. Fans will no doubt find solace in the fact that Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has received rave reviews for its Japanese counterpart, with Famitsu giving the title a score of 33/40. Let’s see whether the title manages similar success with its North American release.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will be released exclusively via the Nintendo Wii U eShop on October 22, 2015.