It’s hard to believe that ten long years have passed since Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly — my favorite entry in Tecmo’s supernatural survival horror series — scared the crap out of me. An entire decade has gone by since the broken neck woman fell down screaming in front of me, causing me to fear-pee (just a little and in an extremely manly way) and run away screaming (okay, that was less masculine).
Now that my favorite game in the moderately influential survival horror franchise has turned ten, I’ve decided to celebrate that with a list of things I’d like to see from the next game, should Tecmo Koei ever decide to get around to producing one.
Check out my wish list for the next Fatal Frame after the break!
The most obvious thing I’d like from this game, should it ever see the light of day, is to actually be able to play it.
Unfortunately, Fatal Frame IV never saw a release outside of Japan, though if you really want to get your hands on it there’s always the unofficial patch which adds English text and subtitles. This series deserves more than that and with the recent resurgence in smaller scale horror games — including the similarly themed upcoming indie horror title DreadOut — this could be the best time to release it.
Keep it small and focus on the series’ roots in survival horror (more on that later). Hell, it could even release as a single-player arcade title.
Speaking of which, let’s not continue that annoying trend of shoehorning in an unbalanced or unfinished multiplayer component. Some horror games have managed to incorporate multiplayer, and specifically co-op, well. Like Resident Evil 5 and Dead Space 3. Even still, this is decidedly a survival horror game, and while I like to consider myself imaginative, I can’t picture multiplayer working terribly well in a Fatal Frame.
I didn’t play Fatal Frame IV, so there’s every chance that entry could have remedied this issue, but I have played the rest of the games and boy, there is a lot of backtracking in this series. It didn’t bother me as much in the original game, mostly because I only barely remember it, but there’s an abundance of forced tedium in the two installments that followed it.
Granted, that’s a problem that plagued the survival horror genre back in the late 90’s and early 00’s, but today it’s less accepted. In Crimson Butterfly, it felt like an issue of excessive padding; in The Tormented, it just felt lazy.