I like Japanese horror. I like Japanese horror a lot. So, when I asked myself to review Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, I jumped at the opportunity! I have always wanted to play a Project Zero game but for some reason I have never gotten around to it!
I have now very gladly rectified this though and been absolutely sessioning Maiden of Black Water over the last couple of days so I have come to you with my thoughts on the Wii U remaster.
I will stay light on story for this review as for a game like this I don’t like to give too much away when it comes to narrative as I find that experiencing it for yourself is by far the best way to have a go. The games story revolves around “Mt. Hikami” which has become notorious as the place where people go to commit suicide, you are then investigating a missing person (dependant on which character you are) and whilst you explore the mountain you start to see ghosts and the mysterious “Maiden Of Black Water” who appears to be forcing these people to commit the horrific act.
You spend the vast bulk of your time with Yuri, investigating what happened to your friend and the mountain in general and whilst you do get the opportunity to play through a couple of other characters, its clear that Yuri is the main character of this tale, which makes it feel almost annoying when you are dropped into playing as one of the other protagonists – simply because I wanted to see how Yuri’s storyline played out and found myself caring very little for anyone else
This is sort of where I want to leave the storyline alone as its such a fantastically terrifying story that has continuously made me feel uncomfortable, unnerved and downright terrified that I refuse to prepare you anymore than I have above. Instead you should absolutely play this game if you are even remotely interested in horror or Japanese games.
OR you can watch my Stream where I will be going back to the early hours of the game to give you a taster!
The gameplay is really quite unique to this series. Unlike the majority of Survival Horror games where you can simply fight back by shooting whatever horrors come your way in the face, Project Zero instead arms you with only a camera. It’s with this “Camera Obscura” that you need to take photos of Ghosts to deal damage (and gain points) lining up the shot the best way possible in order to maximise the amount of damage you deal in any one go – think Pokémon Snap with a lot more terror, dread and dead things.
You also need to time shots perfectly to get the “Fatal Frame” which is essentially a critical hit with a small chance to completely kill (is kill the right word for a ghost?) the ghosts.
Alongside all of this you are simply investigating the areas you have been dropped into by picking up items which allow you to follow a “shade” of that person and discover where they have gone, I REALLY REALLY like this but there are a couple of gameplay elements that sadly take me out of the overall experience, these are only minor however and are things like needing to hold R2 for the longest time ever to pick something up just in case a ghost tries to grab you. If this happened more often than 2/10 times I could understand it but the game would not be any lesser by having this element totally removed from the title.
Looking at the game, I absolutely would not have ever been able to tell you that this was a remaster of a Wii U title because the characters and overall world are really quite beautiful and whilst it occasionally can look like an earlier PS4 game I never would have believed this was a Wii U exclusive!
So that’s my thoughts on Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water wrapped up in a nutshell, if you are fan of horror like myself then I wholeheartedly recommend that you pick this up during this spooky season of 2021. The game is bound to give you scares and spooks from start to finish whilst making you feel downright uncomfortable throughout it’s entire 15 hour play time.
So with this in mind I happily give Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water an 8.5/10. Theres a few gameplay elements that drag it down and the triple protagonist can disrupt the overall flow of the game however I have had an absolute blast playing this!
If you want to see the early hours of this game then please head over to our YouTube channel for full 2 hour gameplay run through from chapter 3 onwards!