Deadly Body: Masks of The Lunar Eclipse Overview


Whereas the Resident Evil 4 and Lifeless House remakes takes up everybody’s money and time for his or her large costly returns to generational statements, spare a thought for the boy in blue. 2008’s Deadly Body: Masks of The Lunar Eclipse, notable for being the primary Deadly Body launch on a Nintendo console, specifically the Wii, it’s additionally the one Deadly Body that didn’t get a Western launch. Till now, that’s. 15 years later, Koei Tecmo has tidied it as much as give it the massive remaster and port it deserves!

Moreover being the fourth within the Deadly Body sequence, Masks of The Lunar Eclipse can also be noteworthy resulting from growth being assisted by Grasshopper Manufacture, Suda51’s firm, with Suda directing alongside Deadly Body creator Makoto Shibata. Following the story of three people, Ruka Minazuki, Misaki Asou, and Choshiro Kirishima, all 3 are there to uncover the historical past behind the island, which primarily includes a once-in-a-decade ritual. After the final one failed in 1970, the entire island’s inhabitants mysteriously die, with Ruka, Misaki, and Choshiro all looking for out why.

It seems to be a really difficult plot, even with out 3 playable characters (4 in case you rely the brief prologue), who you’ll swap between after every chapter, with all of them having totally different objectives. Misaki ultimately needs to uncover the id of a lady from her childhood, bringing alongside one other woman from Rogetsu Isle, Madoka Tsukimori, for the journey. Ruka needs to know her particular function throughout the ritual that her, Misaki, Madoka, and two different ladies have been concerned in. Lastly, Choshiro is there on the behest of Ruka’s mom, Sayaka, whereas chasing somebody who could also be answerable for the ladies’ authentic involvement within the ritual.

As I stated, there’s quite a bit happening, and regardless of my poor clarification, all of it manages to coalesce right into a cohesive construction, and considered one of real intrigue. The precise historical past of Rogetsu Isle, its inhabitants, and the murkier undertones of its extra outstanding institutions, is an unnerving pleasure to unfold and admire. As narratives go, it definitely succeeds in set-up and pay-off, however there are shortcomings when it comes to the way it approaches its characters.

Ruka’s arc is well essentially the most engrossing, and Choshiro’s function is a superb aspect story, however Misaki’s, whereas enveloping, had an opportunity to be one of the best story within the franchise, not to mention right here. There’s a degree of animosity that presets her friendship with the aforementioned Madoka, one of many different ladies concerned within the ritual. Madoka is aware of that her function as Misaki’s good friend is considered one of begrudging acceptance, even once they have been on Rogetsu Isle collectively. Sadly this battle by no means absolutely excels, demoted to a footnote for the reason that ritual performs a much bigger half as time goes by.

Should you’ve by no means performed a Deadly Body game earlier than, gameplay includes utilizing the “Digital camera Obscura”, the sequence’ mainstay merchandise, to relinquish ghosts and spirits from the world of the residing. As soon as they’re in your viewfinder, you’ve gotten a battle system that offers extra harm in case you’re in a position to lock on for lengthy sufficient, with that harm being expanded upon with numerous results. There’s plenty of nuance and construction behind the fight, due to using totally different lenses that impede the ghosts additional or trigger large harm rapidly.

An in-game screenshot of Fatal Frame: Mask of The Lunar Eclipse, showcasing a hostile ghost in view of the Spiritual Stone Flashlight.

With it initially being a game to make the most of Deadly Body’s debut on a Wii, plenty of Masks of The Lunar Eclipse has the stench of an introduction. Regardless of this, the fight can work very well, the homely and real looking rooms changing into arenas with professional design with regard to the way you navigate it when combating ghosts. It will get muddied with Choshiro, who makes use of the “Religious Stone Flashlight” that doesn’t cap his motion when aiming, and ghosts will assault in hordes, missing the identical selection.

What makes a Deadly Body game continues to be in right here, simply seemingly homogenized to its core ideas, whether or not it’s the exploration, the ghost looking, or the horror itself. In the beginning, Masks of The Lunar Eclipse is front-loaded with aggressive linearity, signposting of essentially the most alienating method, and exceptionally low-cost jumpscares. As time goes on, nevertheless, these primary ideas turn into creepier, extra laser-focused on an expertise akin to earlier entries within the Deadly Body sequence.

That is due to some completely stellar sound design, one thing that will be a trigger for concern in case you had performed the unique. Because of the Wiimote’s built-in audio system, sure moments within the game, like telephone calls and the demise rattle of defeated ghosts, would transpire by way of that speaker in a scratchy, illegible sound font. Even with out that speaker, Masks of The Lunar Eclipse manages to promote the worry and have among the finest sound design in a game this 12 months, largely due to a mix of modernized narrative, and its analog aesthetic when in comparison with the remainder of the sequence.

An in-engine cutscene of Fatal Frame: Mask of The Lunar Eclipse, showcasing one of the characters standing in front of an abandoned mansion, with a full moon above.

There are some parts {that a} easy port and remaster to different techniques can’t iron out, nevertheless, specifically the motion. The exploration mechanics might’ve used some precise fine-tuning alongside the management scheme, with objects solely being obtainable to select up in case you’ve shone a flashlight of their common space. Past that, merely controlling the characters in among the extra claustrophobic areas can turn into irritating, and getting within the actual proper space to select up an merchandise is a problem.

Regardless of this, it will probably nonetheless be extremely simple, with mini-games and ghost encounters both changing into too easy to execute, or a cakewalk to defeat, respectively. On the Wii, Masks of The Lunar Eclipse would permit you to lock onto a ghost completely, and with that modified to a selected lens you’d equip on the digital camera, the problem has modified from “none” to “minimal”. Ghosts not often reap the benefits of the intangibility they possess past dashing the participant within the later levels, and the ultimate boss is an absolute joke, no matter which problem you play.

An in-game screenshot of Fatal Frame: Mask of The Lunar Eclipse, showcasing the character Misaki Asou standing inside a brightly-lit room, with mannequin hands dangling from string tied to the ceiling.

In actual fact, one might say that Masks of The Lunar Eclipse’s greatest downside is its lack of replayability. The game solely has one ending, with an additional playthrough solely offering additional saccharine context which you can argue isn’t essential. The twists within the story are implausible although, and fortunately, a lot of the bonus aspect content material like outfits for the characters and lenses for the Digital camera Obscura is generously distributed throughout a sole playthrough.

Even with its shortcomings, Masks of The Lunar Eclipse was nonetheless an absorbing time that made me grateful for the expertise I had. Whereas not one of the best Deadly Body within the sequence, it nonetheless has the hallmarks you’ve come to know and adore, in addition to being a fairly good introduction for anybody trying to get into the sequence. It’s not the scariest Deadly Body, nor the tightest, however it’s a Cliff Notes presentation of its strengths in brief bursts, and eventually releasing within the West is a blessing, irrespective of which method you image it.

TechRaptor reviewed Deadly Body: Masks of The Lunar Eclipse on Xbox One utilizing a duplicate offered by the writer. Additionally it is obtainable on Xbox Sequence S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Change, PC, and the Nintendo Wii.

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