This use of music and sound is perhaps the greatest strength of Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly, the sequel to Tecmo's underrated survival horror offering Fatal Frame. While Crimson Butterfly never wants for a gruesome or terrifying visual, it's the audio component of the game that makes it so creepy. As it stands, the game is a veritable primer on how to use sound to create atmosphere in a horror game.
Game Description: Based on a true story, Fatal Frame, a horror adventure game, leaves its victims breathless as they become immersed in a world full of supernatural spirits and sheer terror. Guided by her sixth sense and armed only with an antique camera, Miku sets out to solve the mystery of her brother's sudden disappearance. As the story unfolds, she discovers gruesome details about the Himura mansion's troubled past. The property and surrounding area have a dark history involving grisly murders, an evil cult, and restless spirits.
Nihilistic tone wasn't the only thing that really impressed me about Manhunt, though—there are about a bazillion technical elements that stand out as well. Everything from the art design, the casting of the inimitable Brian Cox as the voice of the game's antagonist, to the ingenious use of the USB headset to add to the immersiveness of the gameplay is top notch.
I have "fragged" millions, perhaps even billions of creatures, but never once did I ever suffocate anyone with a plastic bag. Not once did I castrate anyone with a sickle, or jab a glass shard multiple times into someone's face, or knock a man's head clean off with an aluminum baseball bat.
Game Description: Follows the epic drama of three major races, vampire, human and Hylden, fighting to control the world, each pursuing their idea of the true prophecy., The next chapter in the epic Legacy of Kain series is a cutting-edge action or adventure game featuring more action than ever before. Take control of two powerful and highly evolved vampires: Kain, an all-powerful demigod, and Raziel, a demonic angel of death. Each equipped with a legendary sword, Kain and Raziel must battle through a world loaded with conflict and intrigue as they attempt to unravel their destinies and defeat the dark forces that seek to condemn their world to eternal damnation.
The last time I reviewed a game in the Kain series (2002's Blood Omen 2) I was appalled at how poor an effort it was. This darkly gothic series starring vampires, intrigue, and pathos has never been home to top-level gameplay, instead being driven by its strong voicework, memorable characters, and sheer cool factor. Despite that, it was such a lousy piece of software that I claimed one more game as shoddy as that one would most likely force me to jump ship and abandon the series. After playing through Crystal Dynamics' most recent installment, Legacy of Kain: Defiance, consider me swimming for shore.
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