Unlike Fatal Frame, this game was NOT based on any urban legends. Although, the ritual used in this game incorporates the same basic idea of choking some poor bitch, but then tossing her body in a large deep pit instead of using blood spilled for some ropes.
Like Fatal Frame, this game features two different characters that you can play as. Of course, you can’t choose who. You play as both Mio and Mayu Amakura who, while roaming the woods as kids, get in a little trouble as Mayu falls down a steep hill. Now, with a permanent limp, Mayu follows some strange red glowing butterflies deeper into the woods with the other character following behind. Eventually, the two of them come across a now abandoned village, finding a scrap newspaper article about someone who went to visit this place. But, that person never returned.
During their exploration, Mayu randomly falls into a trance and wanders off on her own, leaving you (as Mio) to go follow. Mio eventually learns more and more of the “Crimson Sacrifice Ritual,” and the failure called “The Repentance,” which killed off everyone. Kinda like the first game, there are a series of underground tunnels which lead you closer to where the dark ceremony takes place. The ritual consists of two twins chosen at birth. One must choke the other to death, and the one that died is supposed to stay in the village as their soul is turned to another one of the red butterflies.
With the help of Sae, one of the previous twins' ghosts from the last ritual, Mio tries to find Mayu. When they discover her, Mio and Sae notice some old note left by the folklorist who went missing which concerns who gets strangled in the ritual.
In the canon ending, you find Mayu at the sacrifice site. Mayu lies on the altar and grabs Mio’s hands making her put them on her own neck. Mio goes along with the whole thing and strangles her twin. Then two of the ghosts that were waiting around grab the now dead twin and toss her lifeless body into the Hellish Abyss. Mio finally notices what she did, but sees a new butterfly emerge from the large hole in the ground. After the credits roll, you see a picture of Mio sitting on a bench by herself at the new lake (which used to be the village). She now has a bruise in the shape of a butterfly on her throat for a reminder marking that she’s the living one.
The gameplay has no real difference to the original game. You mainly control Mio, but in some short scenes, you have the occasional use of Mayu, complete with a jittery gray video filter to show that SHIT JUST GOT REAL and that she has a bad case of A.D.D. whenever she follows the red butterflies. Just like the previous game, you follow after her and get clues by taking pictures of more of those weird paranormal things that show you where to go next. Luckily, unlike Fatal Frame, you get an unlimited amount of Type-07, which makes its first appearance in this game. However, since it’s a low number, the strength is also low. That means the damage done against ghosts pretty much sucks, and just like the previous game, if you get hit by a ghost, it takes out at least half of your health.
The healing items in this game are still the same as the previous one, just more scarce. I mean REALLY scarce. What makes it less helpful is that with each chapter, you basically only search one building, and with each chapter the next building gets larger. Still, even in that building you barely come across healing items. You can, just like the other game, find special items for your camera to give them special functions. However, unlike the other game, they added in a few new ones. Along with other new stuff you can do in camera mode, such as moving while aiming. This is slightly useful, but not a lot since you move slower while in camera mode. Speaking of the camera, don’t ask me HOW the Camera Obscura made another appearance in this game. Thankfully, this time you can find your way around easily with the map. The save points finally show up on the damn thing, which is even more useful if you want to find the nearest place to store your progress.
After finishing the game, you can play it over again in New Game +. This lets you keep your camera's abilities from the previous game, and unlock more bonus content like costumes. But honestly, who the hell cares about playing the same game for costumes? One of the extra features is a bonus called Mission Mode, where you get challenges such as killing a ghost under a certain amount of time, or a large amount of points in one shot.
The game was also released on Xbox with some other modes, like playing through it all in First-Person. It also includes a shop where you can buy more healing items and film. (Which to me breaks the 4th wall)
Overall, the atmosphere is just as good as the first game, with its dark elements and odd camera angles. The sound is about the same from the last game, so nothing really new to add about it. The controls seem to respond a bit better than the first one, but I’m starting to get tired of how slow all of these characters move. IF YOU’RE BEING CHASED, YOU FUCKING RUN!!!
If you liked the first game this one would be worth a play through, but it’s not really that scary (this is coming from someone who laughs at murder/mystery movies). You may jump a few times if you don’t notice a few of the ghosts sneaking up on you when you’re in 1st person.
The ending was fucking ridiculous. I really can’t put into words much else about it. It was just shit for all that work I put in.
Lasting Appeal: 3
Overall Average: 6.4