Project Zero: Lunar Eclipse Mask arrives for the first time in Spain and the West in general since its debut in 2008 for Wii. It is part of the revitalization of the saga that Koei Tecmo is carrying out and which includes the production of a film or the remastering of Project Zero: Maiden of the Black Water in 2021; We imagine that all this is aimed at releasing a new original installment, but for the moment the publisher has not revealed any further details.

Lunar Eclipse Maskknown at the time by Project Zero 4 any Fatal Frame 4it is a survival horror who was close to leaving Japan but stayed at the gates, which multiply the value of this reroll; It’s not just that it will arrive on modern systems and with slight graphical improvements, but for many it will be the opportunity to discover a “lost” game.

An “unforgettable” horror

In our impressions we already talked about it Project Zero in which Goichi “Suda51” participated (no more hero, chainsaw lollipop) in a collaboration involving Tecmo, Grasshopper Manufacture and Nintendo, who for years financed and co-developed this saga on their consoles; Some time later, Koei Tecmo would regain the rights to its publication. history tells us about the disappearance of some young women during the Rogetsu Kagura festival, and although they were rescued, their life changed completely: they lost their memory. Tormented by this incident, two of the girls are murdered and the rest decide to return to this mysterious island to find out what really happened there, even if it is not exactly a safe task.

Along Lunar Eclipse Mask let’s control several characters with one gameplay classic in Project Zero/fatal frameto mean, third-person exploration to solve puzzles with mechanisms or obtain keys that allow us to advance in the story. But unfortunately for visitors to this place, the area is teeming with spirits and many are hostile. Here the Camera Obscura comes into play, it will not be the only equipment in the game to avoid danger, but we will leave the surprise for those who haven’t played it yet -, a camera that allows you to take snapshots of peaceful specters to add points to the game’s currency or damage aggressive ghosts. The action goes to first person and depending on the angle, reel or other improvements applied to the camera, this damage will be greater or lesser. The game rewards certain moments, like taking a photo when the specter attacks us, so it’s a system that rewards the player who takes a risk.

This is the basis of Lunar Eclipse Mask and the series This delivery is not the best, consensus generally agrees that this tribute is for Project Zero 2– but not the weakest either. If we only talk about the horror aspect, Lunar Eclipse Mask opts for the psychological, is not one of the Project Zero more explicit, which can be more or less effective depending on each player. The motion control hurt a lot, which in this re-launch has been adapted although it still allows the use of the sensor, on platforms that offer the option, for photos with the Camera Obscura- and the result is a little better and consistent with the rest of the series, but with many nuances. Movement speed becomes extremely slow – running here is equivalent to walking in any other game – and the camera tends to freak out a bit in tight spaces, which is for the most part.

It is true that these particularities of the gameplay contribute to the horror, but we recommend being clear about what this version is about: a remaster, not a remake in the style of the latter resident Evil. Koei Tecmo has not modernized almost anything in a game that reveals its origin in more aspects than the graphics, something that on the one hand has good things in the approach of survival horror traditional, for example- but also bad, like that discomfort that makes us fight against the spirits and the block itself in moments of greater tension, something that is sometimes very frustrating.

To tell you the truth, there are some new features in this remaster. It’s him photo mode, with the typical options of filters, frames, blur settings, etc. which can be useful in combination with new costumes to unlock. We already told the opinion in the previous contact: they are curiosities for fans and collectors, but there are many appearances that simply take us out of the subject; walking among bikini-clad ghosts turns this elegant Japanese horror story into a festive erotic B-series production.

The other change in the game, besides the control, is the graphics modifications. Not only is resolution and performance improved, characters have been given a facelift for detail.approaching Maiden of the Black Water. The lighting and cooler color palette have also been tweaked, which changes the feel of the game a bit, but only if you liked the original version. Koei Tecmo knows that improving image quality is not necessarily a positive thing in this game, which is why they applied noise and dirt effects so that stepping into a dimly lit room makes us cautious. We would have liked to keep the art direction of the first version even more suffocating – but this one isn’t necessarily worse, just different.

However, visual enhancement does not affect all charts equally, and the settings are still rather bare, with simple geometry and, most notably, some pixelated textures confirming that there isn’t a lot of retouching to the environment. As it’s an adventure with first-person view for many moments or with camera changes when opening doors, all surfaces – walls, paintings, decor – make a rather bad impression at close ranges, and that’s something we’ll see. constantly. It’s not that it’s a serious flaw if we know the ambition and pretensions of this remaster: it makes up for the appearance, but it’s still below what was seen in its sequel and it’s inevitable to see the leap in quality between different graphic elements.

conclusions

Project Zero: Mask of Lunar Eclipsesand it’s a good horror game and although the passage of time is noticeable in the graphics, control – even if it improves the original version – and design, its virtues are as effective as the first day: the feeling of permanent insecurity, the setting and the tricks to terrify. It brought some improvements to the saga’s formula that at the time were interesting and anyway, any fan of Project Zero must play it; Of course, it’s not as new as many have been waiting for nearly a decade, but for Western audiences who haven’t played it yet, this remaster is a perfect opportunity to discover it.

We performed this analysis on its PS5 version with a code provided by Renaissance PR.