Everyone who ever asks me about my favorite horror gaming franchise has listened to me babble about Fatal Frame, and anyone who’s talked with me about the last installment in the franchise knows how completely irritated I was that it wasn’t released in the US. (The same, actually, can be said for the Wii release of Fatal Frame 2, which we ALSO never got. Sigh.)
As far as I’m aware, at this point the only legal way to play Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is to import both a Wii and the game from Japan, since it’s region locked. You would have to modify your console in order to play any Japanese imported game on an American Wii, which I understand is what they call a no-no. Of course, I didn’t realize any of this right away, and so I went and bought an imported copy of Mask of the Lunar Eclipse for my roommate’s birthday, and now it’s sitting all sad and unused on our video game shelf.
Anyway. There’s a new Fatal Frame in town, and its trailer was recently released. Here is the trailer for Zero: The Black-Haired Shrine Maiden!
The game is set to be released for the Wii U at the end of September in Japan, although there’s no word yet regarding whether it will come to any other regions.
Let’s diverge here for just a second, though, to talk about movie adaptations of video games, since it looks like we’ll be getting not one, but two film versions of Fatal Frame. Now, as you all know if you’ve been reading, I’m more than willing to watch some pretty TERRIBLE media. I have a low entertainment threshold for movies and television.
So there are two Fatal Frame movies in the works: one that’s actually Japanese and one that’s American. Frankly, the little I know about the actual Japanese version of the movie is that it’s in keeping with the spirit and theme of the game series and is not an actual recreation of any of the games. I feel like, at this point, the worst-case scenario here is that we end up with a pretty good horror movie that may or may not actually feel like part of the game series. So I’m excited to see it. This movie is set to release in Japan around the same time as the game is released.
Here’s the trailer:
I understood almost nothing of that but it looks pretty cool.
The American version, on the other hand, is set to be produced by the same folks that did the Resident Evil movies. And while (confession time) I totally love the first Resident Evil movie, and actually kind of like the second one (I told you I have terrible taste and Milla Jovovich is awesome, so shush), I’m not sure I like the idea. Frankly, American movies about Japanese games haven’t done so well in general. Yeah, I liked the first two RE movies, and I was okay with the Silent Hill movies, but neither series of films are particularly good representations of the actual games. I worry that, at least in the American version, we’ll end up with a movie that is not only not scary, but is so not scary that it’s ridiculous.
But in any case, Fatal Frame is back on everyone’s radar, it seems, and I hope that means we’ll see more of it here in the West.