Well, I really did try.
This past week was swamped with activity. I did what I could, but I didn’t beat Fatal Frame.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t play it.
Let’s start with the good news: I beat Pokemon X! I had such a lovely time diving back in to the game that I ultimately spent nearly 120 hours with it. That’s so many more hours than I ever thought I would spend playing my first Pokemon game. But I loved it. I loved so much about it, and I have no doubt I will dabble in it again from time to time. Now if I can just keep myself away from Sapphire or Ruby, I will be able to attain productive status with some other games.
I also played and “beat” Hatoful Boyfriend, one of the strangest games I’ve ever played.
And then there was Fatal Frame.
I love Japanese horror movies. I love Japanese folklore. I love the premise of Fatal Frame.
But those flingin’ flangin’ controls are doing everything in their power to keep me from enjoying the game.
I understand this game is from the PS2/Xbox era. That’s an era I largely missed out on, and I’m aware that during that time, developers were still getting control schemes figured out. But holy hell. I don’t know if I was ever this frustrated playing the original Resident Evil using the tank controls.
The main character you play as is Miku, a girl who is poorly dressed to explore a haunted mansion. What is worse is that when she walks, she is painfully slow. I’m not sure about anyone else, but if I was being chased by evil spirits, I’d walk a hell of a lot faster.
Her run is only a shade faster than her walk, which means both are infuriatingly slow. This becomes even more of an issue in battle when you need to gain distance from an evil spirit so you can “capture” it with the Camera Obscura.
And sure, Miku moves in the direction you move the analog stick, but because the camera angles change like crazy, it causes the movement to go wonky, sometimes walking back through a door you just came out of because of the change. I’ve tried to adapt to this, but I still struggle with it.
Then there are the controls of the Camera Obscura. There isn’t much to be concerned with there, except the “look around” stick is swapped with the usual “look around” stick causing even more nonsense. I sometimes feel like I’m playing inverted even though I’m not.
Basically, what I’m saying is, this game is doing everything in it’s power to keep me from enjoying what would otherwise be an intriguing experience. I’m super into the story, and I feel like with refined controls this game could be everything I hoped it to be. Instead, it’s a slog. I’m over halfway through but it’s not even enjoyable. My movement is so cumbersome that I end up taking nonsense damage from some spirits because I’m not able to move away and the camera angle changes suddenly. Then I am suddenly walking right back into said spirit. It’s maddening. I can’t recall a time I’ve said “Oh my god this is FRUSTRATING!” quite so much during a game.
I know I will finish Fatal Frame, but it won’t be before Until Dawn releases. And I’m giving myself a pass on this one. I’ve had Until Dawn on pre-order since it was originally announced years ago. Once I pick up my copy at faux midnight release, I’m playing the heck out of it.
So with that, I concede my second failure in a row. I’m also going to have to think long and hard about next month’s challenge, as I will certainly be playing Tearaway: Unfolded and The Taken King. But I also still want to finish Fatal Frame and get back to the Witcher 3.
It’s going to be a glorious, full month.
And with that, I bid each of you adieu. I have a game to pick up!