Welcome to PS2 Review Week! Each day of this week I’ll be reviewing an old PS2 game I love and still play, focusing on the slightly lesser known or lesser played games and franchises (so no, even though I loved Final Fantasy, you won’t find reviews of it here).
For day 2 we have Fatal Frame 2 (also known as Zero ~Crimson Butterfly~)!
Following into the steps of Fatal Frame, this second installment of the series also focuses on a story of siblings. This time it’s twin sisters Mio and Mayu. Mayu sees and follows a crimson butterfly deep into the forest. Worried, Mio follows after, but loses sight of her sister when they reach a lost, abandoned village. As you can imagine, the village is cursed and in it dwell plenty a ghost, again created by dark rituals once performed there, this time (surprise, surprise) involving twins.
While searching for her sister, Mio comes across the Camera Obscura, which will be her only weapon against the ghastly apparitions…
During the game you mostly follow Mio, though there are a few scenes where you play Mayu.
Much improved upon the first installment, not only are the controls and the twin’s pace much better, but the saving points seem closer in between as well. There are some puzzles, and the camera has been improved upon plenty, making it easier to handle and better and faster to work with.
Like before, the game has a few difficulty settings and with each comes a different ending, adding variety and making you want to replay it with a harder challenge. And of course, there are costume unlockables, camera upgrades, and story bits to find throughout it all, as well as ghost pictures to collect in a beautiful album… that sadly just about takes up the entirety of your card’s memory… so you better have a large one prepared for it!
Much like the first installment of the series, all the sounds, voices, effects and music are perfect to get you into the mood of the frightening, eerie village. While Fatal Frame 1’s events happened only within the one mansion, here you have an entire village to explore and get lost in, which can sometimes prove fatal… The ghosts are once again frightening, even a bit more so than the ones on the previous game, and the typical Japanese village’s run-down, eerie looks and story are done superbly, transporting you into this world once more with a little too much ease.
I highly recommend everyone plays Fatal Frame at least once in their lives, and out of the first 3 installments, Crimson Butterfly is definitely my favorite.