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Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir - A new AR distraction for 3DS

Who you gonna call? Er... Kodak?

The new issue of Nintendo Gamer is on sale now.

Turns out our office is built on an ancient Indian burial ground. It's the only explanation for the volume of ghosts unearthed by Tecmo's augmented reality spook snapper.

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Taking photos in 'ghost camera' mode reveals spirits lurking beyond the eye: a lank-haired Ringu escapee plagues the coffee machine (which explains a lot, particularly '#28 no sugar'), Satan's face appears on the Babysitting Mama baby and a ghostly boy skulks near Matthew's desk. Perhaps it's the unquiet spirit of the work experience lad we accidentally killed really badly last summer.

Another mode takes its cue from Face Raiders and plasters a friend's mug onto the body of an angry spirit. In true Fatal Frame fashion, ghosts are vanquished with photography - in this case, by physically moving the 3DS to line up shots. As in Face Raiders, the appeal lies in importing celebrity faces - one quick Google image search and George Clooney's ghost is legging it around our kitchen. It's an absolute hoot until you accidentally knock over your flatmate's plant pot and try to explain how "the ghost of Al Pacino made me do it."

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HOLLYWOOOOO

Fighting Al PacinoooOOOooh prepares us for Story mode's spiteful spooks. The yarn unfolds by scanning concealed augmented reality markers in the 20-page notebook that comes packaged with the game. Pointing the 3DS at the page sees ghostly writing splotch the paper, wormholes tear in the surface and - the game's smartest trick - photos burst into life as short video clips. Complete short AR puzzles, such as page-flipping hide-and-seek, and a spook emerges into the real world for 360-degree battle. Needless to say, this isn't one for the bus.

Messing around with the booklet is the meat of the game. Well, we say 'meat'. Having completed half the game in just one hour, this is more of a bacon sliver than a hearty steak. No bones about it (they are ghosts after all), Spirit Camera can't compete with a fully-fledged Fatal Frame. It's a throwaway bauble; a worthy replacement for 3DS's in-built AR distractions, but not a proper game. If it weren't for the augmented reality booklet, it'd be easy to see this hitting eShop instead.

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Thankfully, Nintendo of Japan got it, and released Spirit Camera for roughly £20. Question is, will Nintendo of Europe do the right thing? A price tag of more than £20 and it doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.

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