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Tachikoma

Project Zero - Maiden of Black Water - WiiU

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So, randomly found out about this game, didn't even know it was a thing on the WiiU, so after some serious deliberation (translation: being drunk on eBay) I picked up a WiiU solely for this game.

Now, never being that bothered with the WiiU and only ever playing Mario Maker in Game, I wasn't expecting much, but I have to say, I am quietly impressed. The screen on the controller is actually really nice (despite being a resistive screen), but fuck me, is it a heavy beast. Anyway, you all know about the hardware, let's get on with the game.

Following the same tried and true horror stereotypes of the previous games, you have hot bird that goes missing, hot psychic MILF training younger hot bird (who you control) how to commune with the dead, and a generic gruff voiced Japanese boyband looking "artfully nonchalant" exorcist, trailing a jailbait waif personal assistant that gets attacked by ghosts every 30 seconds.

Koei Tecmo have always played strong to the hardware with the graphics on these games and are arguably some of the best looking on the system they release games on. This one is no exception, everything oozes horror charm and style, the dilapidated houses, the attention to detail in the character models, the ethereal ghosts, it all looks polished as hell.

The controls... hmmm... so, so close to being great, the motion controlled camera for the most part works great, but in hectic scenes, it just falls apart. The game can't work out where it's supposed to be pointed, resulting in you flailing around, and usually having to drop out of camera mode, strafe the ghosts and try again.

Another "should work, but really gets boring quickly" is the "slowly reaching your hand out to pick up an item" mechanic, it gets boring really quickly, with a maybe 20% chance of a ghost hand grabbing you and draining some health. I get it, it was a clever idea, but don't do it for every fucking item, every health pot, every roll of film, it just makes basic inventory management a chore and not scary. I don't event bother playing the spooky minigame, I just grab everything and take the hit on the health bar every few items, but it still takes time.

The puzzles are all pretty standard adventure game stuff, just done with a camera: take photo of door, it shows you where the key is. Invisible book? twist the camera until the controller buzzes, take a photo and it miraculously appears in the real world.

The story is interesting enough, but if you have played any of the other games, it's same old, same old and nothing original.

The ghosts are cool, and are proper creepy, as always, and the game plays to the vulnerability of the playable characters well, something the series has always been good at. Koei Tecmo really do need to tone down the sexualisation a bit though, I know they changed the bikini costumes in the Japanese release to a Samus costume, but it looks ridiculous being attacked by ghosts when you are wearing what looks like body paint and a backpack, resulting in confused boners.

Still, introducing you to a new fetish aside, it's still a really good game, the pacing is good, and having three different stories expands on the world building and story well.

Not finished it yet, but it seems to be a pretty lengthy game if you take the time to explore, and of course the multiple playthroughs and time attack modes help.

Once this is done, going to attack Project Zero: Crimson Butterfly on Wii mode, can't wait to see that through crispy HDMI rather than shitty composite.

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