From The Armchair: Bring On The Scares

ArmchairWhat-ho, chums!

It’s been an inordinate amount of time since our last tete-a-tete, but you can blame this dearth of communication on the heavy mantle of fatherhood, which I now carry proudly across my shoulders. As such, the lightweight blouson of gaming has been left hanging on the neglect peg, although of late I’ve had occasion to don the casual-gaming bobble hat from time to time – specifically, I’ve been ploughing my way through Pokémon Shuffle quite shamelessly, though it pains me to admit it.

Back when the game came out, I was pretty damn rude about it, claiming it showcased the very worst of free-to-play models. I still maintain that this is true – ‘pay to win’ is completely the worst way to approach free to play – but the game itself is a lot of fun, and the way that it rations hearts (read: ‘lives’) has actually worked well for my new circumstances. I often find myself with only the odd ten minutes here and there for gaming in between work and looking after Merriweather Jr, which is just enough time to run through my five hearts and put the game to one side (I’ve yet to actually spend any money on it). Nowadays, the shorter a game is, the better.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Super Mario 3D World and Yoshi’s Woolly World, too – both are perfect for quick bursts. And any longer gaming stints I’ve been able to wangle have been put into Code Name STEAM, which I’ve been thoroughly enjoying now I’m used to the strange mix of real-time and turn-based elements, not to mention the odd but clever choice to not include a map.

But the game I’m really looking forward to playing comes out next Friday – Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water for the Wii U.

Project zero maiden of black water screenshot

It’s been fascinating to see how the game has completely divided the critics: EDGE magazine rewarded the game with an 8, high praise indeed from the famously harsh publication, whereas Eurogamer emphatically urged readers to ‘Avoid’ the title. I’m quietly confident that I’ll like the game, however: I’ve been hankering for another ‘proper’ survival horror title ever since finishing ZombiU back in 2013, and I’m disappointed with the action route that the Resident Evil series has taken of late – put it this way, Umbrella Corps has failed to set my hype gland a-pumping.

I’ve never played a Project Zero game (aka Fatal Frame in the US), but I love the idea of hunting for ghosts with nothing but a camera, and the Wii U’s gamepad seems perfectly suited to doubling as a spirit camera. I’ll let you know how it goes after sampling the game over Halloween (and no doubt scaring myself silly while I’m at it). The collectors’ edition should be arriving on my doormat this Friday, all being well…

Toodle pip for now!

5 Comments

  1. My then girlfriend (now wife) introduced me to the first game shortly after it came out on the PS2, so I’ve been along for the Camera Obscura ride for years and years. And you’re in for a real treat, if earlier games in the series are anything to go by. I even enjoyed the somewhat maligned third game in which the series, which from what i have read this most closely resembles, so I’m giddy with excitement for this.

    Talk about scary though, i was left so scarred by Crimson Butterfly on the PS2 that the Wii version sits there still unplayed, despite it being easily the best in the series.

    1. It’s like ZombiU all over again…

      I’m really looking forward to playing this, a bit of old-school survival horror is just the ticket for Halloween. Reckon I’m in for a treat!

      I wonder what the sales will be like? It’s digital only in America and mostly digital only in the UK (the only physical version is the collectors’ edition, which is exclusive to GAME). What’s the situation in Australia?

      I’m hoping that sales will be above expectations owing to a built up desire for more survival horror games. It’s a genre that’s due a comeback!

      1. In Australia its sold in at least two retailers, one the limited edition, the other not. But i can’t see why it wouldn’t be more widespread.

        I’d be surprised if the old fashioned third person survival horror didn’t make a comeback on the back of the Resident Evil HD Remakes alone. Was one of my favourFITite genres for pretty much two hardware generations, so a return would be great. A sequel to Haunting Ground would be a perfect start!

  2. I see – only the limited edition is available in physical form in the UK. I wonder why they’ve released both the regular and limited editions in Australia and nowhere else?

    I’ve never heard of Haunting Ground! I’ve just looked it up…

    I know about the Clock Tower series though (I see it’s a spin off). I also see it came out in 2005, which is probably why I haven’t heard of it (I was living in Japan at the time and a bit out of touch with the game scene).

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