Fifteen years after its original release, horror game Fatal Frame: Mask of The Lunar Eclipse is finally being released for Western audiences. Mask of The Lunar Eclipse was originally released in 2008 as the fourth installment in the Fatal Frame series and was only available in Japan for the Nintendo Wii. The series, consisting of five main entries, one remake, and one spin-off game, is a survival horror franchise set in 1980s Japan that heavily draws on elements of Japanese horror films.
Fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting a Western port of the game since its Eastern release and now their wishes are finally coming true with a remaster of the game officially released on March 9. Unlike the original game, the remaster is not a Nintendo exclusive and has been made widely available on eighth and ninth-generation consoles as well as Windows, making it much more accessible. However, it’s not quite as easy to find the other games in the series, so here’s how fans can do so.
How to Play Each Fatal Frame Game
The Fatal Frame series consists of five main entries, a remake, and one spinoff game and some of them are much more accessible than others. The first game in the series, Fatal Frame, was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox before being made accessible on the PlayStation Network for the PS3. However, since the PS3 store has shut down, there’s no way for new players to access the game on that platform. As such, the only way to play the game is by obtaining a hard copy of the game on one of the original platforms.
The second and third games, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly and Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, are similarly elusive. The prior was released for both PlayStation 2 and Xbox, while the latter was only released on the PlayStation 2, making it even less accessible. While there was a remake of the second game for the Nintendo Wii in 2012, it is perhaps even more difficult to find than the original because it was only released in Japan, and the Wii Shop channel has stopped service.
Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is the fourth game in the series and, as mentioned, has finally released in the West on virtually every platform, so fans can jump right into this one. It’s also worth noting that Fatal Frame games’ stories are completely independent, so if fans couldn’t get their hands on the first three games, they’ll have no problem with this latest release.
If fans want to play the spinoff game, Spirit Camera, they’ll have to act quickly. The game was released on the 3DS, and while fans might be able to track down a hard copy of the game, it’ll be easier for many to just get a download from the eShop. That being said, the eShop closes later this month, so fans who are on the fence about getting it should keep this in mind. While downloads of previous purchases will still be available, players won’t be able to buy any new games after March 27.
Finally, the fifth main game in the series, Maiden of Black Water was released in 2014 in Japan and 2015 worldwide for the Wii U. However, it was remastered for eighth and ninth-generation consoles as well as Windows in 2021 for a worldwide audience. This release features upgraded visuals, new outfits for characters, and additional photo features, with the original game’s Japanese lingerie and swimsuit outfits and the more wholesome Nintendo-themed costumes for the worldwide release being left out.
While it’s not always easy to get into the Fatal Frame series given how difficult it is to play some of the older games, they’re definitely worth checking out for those with the means to access them. Though slightly underrated in the West compared to other horror series like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, it’s an iconic franchise that features some of the best horror games of all time. With the most recent few entries being quite easily accessible on various platforms, potential fans should take a chance on Fatal Frame.
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