[PS5] FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse Review

by EdEN, Owner

Horror game FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse from Koei Tecmo America is one you should check out on PS5. Find out why in our FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse review!

Horror game FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse from Koei Tecmo America is one you should check out on PlayStation 5. This game was originally released in Japan back in 2008 and is the fourth entry in the long-running survival horror franchise. It was also the first game in the series to land on Nintendo hardware, launching on the Nintendo Wii after the first trilogy had done its thing on the PlayStation 2.

After Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, there was Spirit Camera on the Nintendo 3DS – which we did get in North America – Project Zero 2: Wii Edition, which is a remake of FATAL FRAME II: Crimson Butterfly, as well as FATAL FRAME: Maiden of Black Water, which released on the Nintendo Wii U. I got a chance to review the FATAL FRAME: Maiden of Black Water remaster on the Nintendo Switch, so I was definitely looking forward to checking out FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse on PlayStation 5. This remaster is giving us a big jump from its Nintendo Wii origins thanks to revamped graphics, improved rendering and lighting, as well as a new Photo Mode.

The game’s story takes place on the fictional Rogetsu Island. A group of five girls was kidnapped by a suspected serial killer. The good news is that the girls were rescued. The bad news is that they all had somehow lost their memories. It’s now been ten years since those events, and two of the girls make their way back to Rogetsu Island after Tomoe Nanamura and Marie Shinomiya die under mysterious circumstances. Misaki Asō and Madoka Tsukimori want to learn more about their past, and they’re followed by Ruka Minazuki, the fifth survivor.

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You’ll be playing from a third-person perspective as you explore each location. You’ll move with the left analog stick and look around with the right one. Depending on the control mode you select, you can run by holding down the L2 button (in Classic Mode) or the R2 button (in Action Mode). You can strafe with the L1 button. A quick turn to your left side is done by pressing in on the left analog stick or to your right side with the right analog stick. The Circle button will be used for interacting, and you can grab items by holding down the button. Why is that when we’re used to the X button being the one for interacting? Because the X button will be used to dodge attacks from spirits! This is the same button you’ll use to dodge attacks when using your camera.

Speaking of which, you’ll be taking a ton of pictures during your time with FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse as you walk around with the left analog stick and prepare your shot by looking around you with the right one. To bring up your camera, press the Triangle button (Classic Mode) or the L2 button (Action Mode) at any time. You can lock onto an enemy by holding down the L2 button (Classic Mode) or R2 button (Action Mode) so that you can take a picture with the R2 button, which will damage your opponent. The clearer it is to see a spirit in the picture, and the more centered, the more damage you will deal.

To deal more damage to a spirit, you should try to keep them focused for a bit before you finally snap a shot. As long as a ghost remains within your camera’s capture point – which is the circle at the center of the screen when you pull out the camera – you will charge up for a more powerful shot. Taking photos of ghosts will also increase our spirit points gauge at the bottom left corner of the screen, which can allow you to make good use of special lenses to add bonus effects. Depending on the film type you’re using, charge time and damage dealt will be different.

If you time things just right, you’ll be able to make the most of the Fatal Frame indicator on the screen. It will flash depending on a ghost’s actions, giving you a window of opportunity to capture a picture at the right time. If you manage to pull it off, the ghost will stagger for a moment as you deal considerable damage, all while potentially opening up the ghost to some combos. This is why it’s important to equip the alarm upgrade so that you can have the Fatal Frame indicator on display.

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Always pay attention to the spirit filament at the top of the screen since it will let you know if a spirit is near your character. It will glow red for wraiths, yellow for specters, and blue for other ghosts. As you take pictures of spirits to damage and defeat them, you’ll also obtain photo points. These can be exchanged at lanterns – which you also use to save your progress – so that you can obtain items. Speaking of items, there’s also an item filament at the bottom right of the screen that will glow blue when you’re near an item so that you hopefully don’t miss out on collecting it. When doing this, be sure to pay attention so that a ghost hand doesn’t get a hold of you!

On top of the Camera Obscura that is used to take pictures, a character will sometimes have access to the Spirit Stone Flashlight. This item will be used to damage enemies by converting the moonlight stored inside spirit stones into energy. As long as an enemy is located within the blue blast circle for the Spirit Stone Flashlight, it will be damaged. You can expand the blast radius for the Spirit Stone Flashlight by pressing and holding down the R2 button as needed. Once you’re ready, release the button to consume moonlight and blast away!

To be able to enhance the capabilities of the Camera Obscura, you’ll have to collect many blue spirit stones to improve its basic capabilities. You can use them to boost the Camera Obscura’s max power, sensitivity, charge, storage, and spirit power. Max power increases the damage dealt to ghosts. Sensitivity improves camera charging time. Charge improves film loading time. Storage increases the max number of stored spirit points. Spirit power, increases how many spirit points you receive from the photos you take.

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FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for you to work on. The list is split into 26 Bronze trophies, 10 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. There’s plenty to do in this one for those trophies, having to upgrade all lenses to the highest level, get the highest rank for all missions, collect all notes, diaries, spirit radio recordings, and cassette tapes, take a photo of every single ghost in the game, get a combo of 3 or higher during Fatal Time, and, of course, finishing the game.

And here’s the thing. Since you can only play the game on the Normal or Hard difficulty setting during your first run to then unlock the Hard difficulty after completing the game, you’re going to have to take on this one more than once. Why is that? Because there’s a trophy for completing the game on Normal, another one for completing the game in the Hard difficulty setting, and one more for beating the game in the Nightmare difficulty setting. And that Nightmare difficulty setting will unlock when you beat the game. At least you can make good use of New Game+, which allows you to use some stuff from your previous run. For some extra help, be sure to check out this FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse Trophy Guide.

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FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is finally no longer a Nintendo Wii Japan exclusive thanks to this remaster landing on PlayStation. We’re getting the definitive version of the game, thanks to revamped graphics, improved rendering and lighting, as well as a new Photo Mode that you can use to capture special images with the characters and spirits in the game. It’s available as a Cross-Buy title at a $49.99 asking price, thus giving you access to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost. There’s also the FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse Digital Deluxe Edition for $69.99, which includes the game, the digital artbook, as well as the Rogetsu Isle Dinner Party Costume Set. If you get the game, you can later get the extra content with the Digital Deluxe Upgrade Pack for $21.99.

This FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Koei Tecmo America.

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