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I took a risk on this game, having not heard anything about it before, and purchased it based on it's write up on the back of the box. The Wii has a reputation for being a 'kiddies' console, and this was a horror game, designed to creep you out. As I parted with my cash I thought I'd be trading it back in again within a week, but I am really pleased I did, because it's brilliant and completely different to anything I've played before and since.
The action is set in a Japanese village, and the story centers around two young female twins - one is destined to be sacrificed by the other to 'protect' the town from evil, as has been the 'tradition' for many centuries. Unfortunately, the last time this ritual was due to happen, one of the twins did a bunk, leaving the other to be sacrificed by the villagers in an attempt to 'save' the town from the powers of darkness. This clearly didn't work because the town that the action takes place in is eerily quiet - but is it 'empty'?
Turns out the answer is 'no' - the village has been engulfed by evil, turning the villagers into (nasty) spirits who take control of one of the siblings, believing her sacrifice will be enough to save them. It's up to you (as the other sibling) to find her and save her.
Ok, so we've arrived in this spooky, empty town and our sister has been possessed and is nowhere to be seen - we're going to need some weapons to help us rescue her - so what have we got? a ghost seeking missile launcher? a small nuclear reactor pack attached to our backs (who would use one of those?) - nope! We have a rather shabby looking olden day camera. Awesome!
This camera is not all that it seems though - it is in fact the camera obscura (seen in other games in this franchise) - which not only detects ghosts through it's lens, but zaps them too! The idea is that you go around the town detecting and taking photos of the ghosts which releases their spirit. Although this is your only tool you have, there are plenty of upgrade options as you go along, such as the lens and the type of film you are using. These make 'trapping' a ghost easier.
The basic controls are easy enough, but the camera control (being wii remote operated) is a little tricky to get the hang of, but after a while it becomes second nature. Beware though, when you are caught by a ghost, you need to shake the remote violently - so don't play it with limited space available!
The atmosphere this games generates is immense as you immerse yourself in the characters, plot and creepy china dolls. The ghosts vary from small children (who sing) to the old school teacher you always feared as a child and they properly make you jump out of your skin. The added touch is that their noises come through the wii remote speaker - oooh - creepy. I am not easily freaked, but this game did it's job when playing alone last thing at night. I even had to go and check all the locks on the doors...