In the midst of passing the baton over to the Wii-U, NINTENDO® still has tricks up its sleeve to keep the Wii’s head above the water.
One in particular is a remastering of one of the creepiest yet intriguing video games to hit the PLAYSTATION2®.
Developed by TECMO KOEI and published by NINTENDO, PROJECT ZERO 2,CRIMSON BUTTERFLY, or better known as FATAL FRAME 2, makes an unexpected transition to the NINTENDO Wii, complete with updated graphics, redone FMV sequences, new areas, new viewpoint and an added 2 player mode, which was not included in the previous version of the game.
The story is a strange one; the game revolves around twin sisters Mio and Mayu Amakura who decided to visit a particular spot which brings back childhood memories, as it isn’t long before the area will be levelled to make way for the construction of a dam.
Mayu spots a red butterfly and follows it into the depths of a nearby wood. Mio naturally follows Mayu and both twins come across a seemingly abandoned village shrouded by fog.
The twins soon realize that this village is indeed haunted and the dead souls roaming this village conveniently need twin sisters to perform a ritual.
Mayu soon falls victim to a spell brought on by the red butterfly and is led to start this ritual, whilst Mio sets out to search for her sister in an attempt to escape the village.
Yeah, it is as silly as it sounds, however the games atmosphere and unnerving setting, and its effortless ability to scare make it easy to see why this game is so popular to survival horror fans.
The changes made to the gameplay are mostly welcome with the new behind the shoulder (a la Resident Evil 4) viewpoint.
It enables the player to see more of the surroundings and maintain orientation whilst navigating this labyrinth of creepy corridors, and hellishly dark rooms made even more like a living nightmare with the torch.
You point the Wii remote to where you want to shine the torch and the control stick on the nunchuk moves Mio(or Mayu during her short lived sections) with the A button used as an interaction button with the environment, and found objects.
It’s standard stuff but I find using the control stick alongside pointing the remote to see where you’re going very frustrating, as it’s easy to forget to do one or the other.
It’s not long until you’re able to use the only games weapon, the camera obscura.
It’s just a basic camera that makes Project Zero 2’s residential ghouls and ghosts disappear.
It’s a welcome change to shooting zombies and skeletons and I can see that TECMO KOEI wanted to go in a different direction to the likes of the Resident Evil games, and they did so without a hitch.
The new addition to the Wii version is Haunted House mode, an on-rails element where random events occur making the Wii remote shake.
The game judges how each player controls the shaking remote, it’s clever and adds to the games replay ability.
The updated graphics add to the tension brilliantly, giving the sisters added personality.
Tecmo Koei maintains the nightmarish sights and sounds of a haunted village throughout, and its inhabitants look terrifyingly good which is carried over flawlessly from gameplay to fmv.
It’s thanks to these visual upgrades that PROJECT ZERO 2 is able to keep up the horror and makes the shoddy story a lot more appealing even though the voice acting is abysmal.
This is easy to ignore though due to the consistent high quality of the games ambience, both visually and narratively.
PROJECT ZERO 2: Wii EDITION is a key entry to the survival horror genre, however the frustrating controls, although add to the games tension, dims the light this game shines on true horror fans, but it is compensated by beautifully updated visuals.
The tale of Mio and Mayu is an unnerving one but the story falls short of a true classic, but there’s just enough here to keep thrill seekers and fans alike coming back for more.
I give PROJECT ZERO 2: Wii EDITION 7 out of 10
Project Zero 2: Wii Edition
Developer: Tecmo Koei
Genre: FPS (First Person Shooter)
Release date: 29th June 2012