By Operation Rainfall Contributor / October 19th, 2015
This article shows one writers opinion, not all oprainfall staff will share these opinions.
If you’ve found yourself here, then I’m assuming you’re a fan of the long standing franchise Fatal Frame, which dates back to 2001. Now let’s address just a certain part of the readers, if you’re a fan of Fatal Frame and live in the region controlled by Nintendo of America, then I’m here to tell you that they have taken it into their hands to kill the series in the west. The company also has a message for Wii U owners too and that is, “You can’t handle graphic or sexual content so we are just going to give you whatever we want.”
This relationship with Nintendo of America and the suckers stuck in their region, me included, have been fighting a downhill battle for years now. The lack of third party support for the console should be enough to show that other companies are fighting the same battle. Not only do we receive far less games then any other console owners, but we don’t even get retro games that we have been asking about for years now. Cue in Mother 3, where a fan even offered to translate it for free, but all we get is Reggie punching us in the face with a joke on a digital event.
So let’s go to Spring of 2015 and finally, NOA Wii U holders, a third party game is announced, and it’s focused towards the hardcore gaming community! Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, also known as Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water for PAL fans, was announced for localization for Europe and America. We rejoiced and took back all those nasty things we said about Nintendo. We started thanking them for giving us such an awesome exclusive game that we can rub in the PlayStation Nation’s face! But wait, somethings strange, no spotlight in the sizzle reel at their E3 2015 event, but they had plenty of time to badly show off Metroid Prime Federation Force?
Here’s where the pieces fall into place, Nintendo of Europe gives an announcement that Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water will be getting a special limited physical release. This is great for them, but when weeks go by and all we hear is silence from NOA, Wii U owners and fans of Fatal Frame knew something bad was going to happen. NOA then announces early in the morning via press release that they will be releasing Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water as an eShop exclusive. Aside from the fact that they put a 16GB game on the eShop, they completely took your choice as a gamer away. Call this petty, call this whatever you want, but it is wrong to completely alienate the fans that have supported you by not only giving up on third parties, but by telling us how we have to get our content, while Nintendo of Europe gets to have their choice (which I’m personally not bitter about. I’m happy NoE fans are happy).
Let’s add a nail to that coffin, shall we? As the October 22nd release date is a day away and the reviews start pouring in Nintendoworldreport.com has confirmed that unlockable bathing suit costumes have been censored out of the America release. According to some reviews, the unlockables have been left in the European release (thanks, Ziddy) We’ve all played games with bathing suit costumes — Tales series, Hatsune Miku, and Dead or Alive, to name a few — that have kept their Mature rating and players still had access to all the costumes. So my only conclusion to this is that NOA wants to end the Fatal Frame franchise for their region and move on. They are going to give you whatever they want and not take any of the fans outcries into consideration.
We’ve teamed up with Operation Zero months ago to spread awareness and have hosted a few call-in days where fans call NOA and ask for a physical release in their region. Fans have erupted with support for not only the Wii U, but for a franchise they have cared about for awhile, Fatal Frame. The problem? Here in the West, Fatal Frame will not grow it’s fan base, it will not keep the support of long standing fans, it will be given as little promotion and support from Nintendo of America as possible, and why is that? Because Nintendo of America has killed the Fatal Frame franchise in the West. So gamers and fans are left to accept the hand outs of a company that couldn’t care less about what they have to say.
[Author Edit] Both NoE and NoA have taken the unlockable costumes out. I didn’t make a firm stance on this in the article because we received several different sources stating different information.
[Author Edit 2] Oprainfall reader, kingofe3, has shared a video confirming that Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has been censored further than what we have previously gathered. The video below shows first the original Japanese version of a scene from the game and second showing scenes from the European/American version of the game being heavily censored.
Fatal Framefatal frame maiden of BlackwaterFatal Frame Vproject zero