Ghosts, a camera and a history of sects and Japanese mythology What can go wrong ?. I’ve always been a die-hard fan of the Project Zero franchise. In fact, Crimson Butterfly was one of my favorite games on the first Xbox, and I have a huge memory and nostalgia for the game. Today I’m here to tell you about my experience after a few hours at the helm of this latest remastered opus, which also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the franchise.
First of all, let’s clarify that although I’m going to talk about the game in general, this is a remaster, and you already know that when we analyze a remaster, we do it taking into account the remaster work and not so much of the remaster. the quality of the game itself. Also, Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water was a game I could play at the time on WiiU, so there is no wow factor for me.
Without too much spoiler, I will tell you the common thread of the plot. Mount Hikami is famous for its disappearances and paranormal events. You’ll find the motivation behind it all throughout the game, but You already have an idea that this will not be a precisely friendly walk. Japanese horror floods everything from the conception to the terrifying rituals that are depicted in the game are worthy of a movie.
And it is precisely in the plot that you will find the greatest incentive; maybe a little stuffy for my taste, but interesting nonetheless.
Let’s go with the important part, the graphics. Because as much as we want to focus on the experience, as we are faced with the remastering of a game that has been behind it for 7 years and which was developed for a machine with hardware already a little outdated.
Namco in this case has done what is right and necessary so that your eyes do not bleed while playing, better texture and a disproportionate emphasis on modeling female leads. And it is that Ren does not present the same mime (male protagonist) as that of Miu or Yuri, both have also received a curious update on the physics of their breasts, which now bounce as potato when we look at each other in mirrors.
The cocktail does not bode well, This remaster includes absolutely nothing that really improves the original beyond resolution, audio, and nothing else.. And it’s in the audio that I want to stop, because that’s where the game can shine. The sounds and the soundtrack perfectly reflect this sense of angst that the main plot aims to convey. Aside from a few bugs with the sound that make ghost screams anticipate their appearance, the rest is awesome.
Otherwise, you can expect a Project Zero-style experience, dark tones, sultry designs, and an atmosphere that always makes you feel like someone is watching you. There are areas like wooded areas where this is particularly successful, and the flashlight seems a good ally for dark areas.
As I said a few lines above, this Project Zero understands little to be a remaster. Don’t expect anything new at the playable level, they just limited themselves to adding costumes from other deliveries and nothing else. I could say the hidden mode you play with Ayane from Dead Or Alive in is a success, but really it was in the original game as well.
For those who have never played a game in the franchise, something possible since since the second opus we have not seen any more on Xbox, note that this is a Survival Horror of yesteryear where you should seek your health with medication, there is a subtle set of stationary cameras, and it is presented in an episodic format.
Your only weapon will be the “Camera Obscura”, an old camera that has the power to exorcise spirits. When you fight against an entity, you enter first person mode with the camera, and you will have to go through the films and their various attributes, since they are the ammunition of the camera. The frames are a plus to reduce the energy to the ghost in question. There is no shortage of puzzles (quite easy) and hidden and daily areas to discover more about the plot.
Project Zero: Maiden of Dark Water places us squarely in 14 scenarios where the main novelty compared to its predecessors is to play with several protagonists and their unique abilities. That is, Ren’s camera is not the same as Miu’s, the former can take 4 photos at a time and the latter has different enhancements. This is a good point, but certainly insufficient. If the idea is to relaunch the franchise, it’s time to turn to games like Face, because while classic gameplay is appreciated, everything feels very outdated even for the WiiU of the time.
If you were wondering how it takes to “scare” … good enough. It’s a shame the franchise is moving towards fan service where it rewards more that the busts look well recreated while you’re wet, than a good level of tension when playing the game. If I compare it to new to Crimsom Butterfly, this Project Zero has lost entire and almost the element of total surprise. The ghosts are predictable and the game is no challenge because from the first moment you are loaded with drugs and items to heal you.
Finally, point out how badly the water in the game is used. Beyond a specific fear, it says nothing, and that the game motto was “You will be afraid of water” … In fact, seeing a lot of water is only a warning to the player. that a confrontation is going to be in this area and little else.
A normal game of Project Zero can last around 15 or 18 hours depending on how long you stop to read or investigate. Maybe a talented player will overcome the adventure much sooner. The good news about all of this is that getting everything can extend the experience up to an extra 5 or 6 hours, and also you have 8 endings to unlock and the Ayane bonus chapter.
Unfortunately, getting the last 8 is not a challenge, the game is easy and also if you want to see an alternative you will have to replay the same scenarios over and over again. It would have been a good idea to change the routes or add additional scenarios for this.
If you’ve never played Project Zero, now is the time to do it. While this remaster doesn’t involve the effort and work that I consider appropriate for a job like this, the truth is, it might just be a good time to introduce yourself to the saga. The game is original, its gameplay is still fun, and the story behind Mount Hikami is still scary, with grotesque elements such as the fight against ghost children and their gruesome deaths.
Plus, this edition adds original costumes from previous installments, something more franchise veterans will appreciate. The game itself is replayable, I recommend a first round in normal difficulties then another to play with a certain fear of dying; this way you unlock one of the game’s many endings.
Inform you that the title is in English; in fact, I don’t remember any Project Zero localized in Spanish. Its plot is not difficult to follow, but you lose a lot if you don’t have a good knowledge of the language.
I would highly recommend the game to those who want to get into the franchise and are looking for classic gameplay, if you do it with those expectations you will enjoy it very much. Thanks to Koch Media Europe, I was able to play the Deluxe Edition, which includes a digital art book of the entire franchise and a good number of additional costumes.