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Fatal Frame starts off very strong. It's intense, scary, and the story as it unfolds is quite good. The camera combat is unique and satisfying, but admittedly is greatly improved in the sequels. And the Himuro Mansion is a legitimately fun setting to explore, full of interesting nooks and crannies.
For all of its strong points, though, the game ends up being more frustrating than anything. The difficulty noticeably spikes during the second night, and then does so again to a greater degree in the third. There are only a few required ghost fights on the third night, but they're all against incredibly cheap enemies that hit hard, with attacks that are impossible to avoid. And the third night is also home to the Wandering Monk, a randomly occurring enemy that also shoots impossible to dodge fire balls. It's almost entirely down to pure luck if you're able to finish this part of the game or not, and it stops being scary because the frustration level is just too high.
Compounding this is the relatively crap healing items, that restore too little health, and the over stinginess with the items in general, making it possible to get stuck completely. A game being hard doesn't make it scary, in fact it often detracts from it, especially in this case. Thankfully the fourth and final night is much, much more tolerable.
More minor annoyances include Miku's tendency to get caught on invisible corners, and the automatic ladder climbing that's bound to piss you off at least a little. The lack of subtitles and built in brightness controls are also irritants.
But like I said, there's a lot that makes this game worth playing, with a thick atmosphere and strong scares. It's just a shame that the problems are so pervasive for a large chunk of the game.
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