Previews

Fatal Frame 2: The scariest game on the Nintendo 3DS?

Smile for the camera...

After Fatal Frame IV's mediocre 70,000 sales we're surprised to see Nintendo helping Tecmo with a glossy remake of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.

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Creeping into Ninty's 3DS press conference like some lank-haired scare sprog, Fatal Frame (title to be revealed) was a refreshingly dank splotch on an otherwise rainbow-coloured day.

Good thing the Wii knows a thing or two about rendering dankness - our porcelain-skinned heroines are beautifully lit among the shadows and murk.

The girls are Mio and Mayu Amakura, identical twins visiting their childhood forest play spot. When Mayu chases a crimson butterfly into the woods a concerned Mio follows her. Butterflies and forests we can handle.

Five minutes and one fog-shrouded village later and we're quivering behind the couch.
Or at least we were in the PS2 original. Something bad has gone down in Minakami Village, and all that stands between villagers and Mio is a ghost-capturing camera.

Regularly voted one of the scariest games ever made, Crimson Butterfly taps into all kinds of fears. The village setting manages even more claustrophobia than the constraints of a haunted house; them you can escape, this is an expansive horror.

Then there's the fate of Mayu to contend with, heightened by playable trips inside her head to see what she's doing.

The whole thing is garnished with a sprinkling of ritualistic executions and attempted murder. It's like dinner round Kittsy's house.

If PS2 owners have walked these paths before they've never walked them in such comfortable boots. Gone are the awkward fixed angle cameras - very early Resi - replaced with the over-the-shoulder view debuted in Fatal Frame IV.

Question is, will the game adopt IV's controversial flashlight controls, where the beam was directed not with the pointer, but tilts?

Personally we liked how the sluggishness emulated the stubbornness of a frightened limb. Either way, set guts to spill and prepare for one of 2011's best.

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