Hey, can you guess what came in the post today? Well, I would hope so considering you read the title. So, I'm now the proud owner of Project Zero 2: Wii Edition. I much as I would like to own the 4th game, this is still a fantastic treat from Nintendo and Temco and will sit nicely along side my copy of Shattered Memories, Obscure 2, and, I guess, Resident Evil 4.
This was actually my introduction to the series. At the time me and best friend were going through a massive obsession with horror games, which I'd always enjoyed anyway (Resident Evil 2, Dino Crisis, and Silent Hill in particular), so when saw this with it's cover we were curious and brought it - or rather I brought it and my friend came over that night.
You two are going to haunt my dreams aren't you?
My god, it was glorious. Genuinely scary, fantastic atmosphere, great and engaging story that makes you want to keep pressing on, with some nice twists. However, it did have issues, overly dark environments, very stiff controls (even by survival horror standards), confusing level design, which wasn't helped by the fix environmental camera, and some bullshit puzzle which had you pressing X on everything before you found the right item to solve it.
So, anyway, now Nintendo (whom it turns out actually co-owns the right to the franchise) has released the Project Zero 2: Wii Edition. I was thought, since I had it a day early, it might be fun to go through it and see how it compares to the original. How does this remark improve (or perhaps ruin) the Playstation version. So, consider this another test blog - so without any delay - enjoy this read!
Project Zero 2 Compare
Playstation 2/Nintendo Wii
Cover art – Playstation version is better, simple and striking. It’s ominous and intimidating – those twins freak me the fuck out! The Wii version and generic and boring – poor show designers! Japanese version isn’t too bad, but that’s only because it comes in a black box – speaking of which – where the fuck is the special edition version? You let me down Nintendo! That all said, the back of the box has a terrifying face staring at you – which is freaky – remember that pant-wetting scary cover of the Japanese ring? Sort of like that.
best cover, hands down
Striking and unnerving!
Come on guys, you can do better than this!
Not bad, but not great either.
Manuals (fuck you, manuals are awesome!): Nice and full in the Playstation version, with 19 pages for the English instruction. The Nintendo version is sparse, but coloured. From a presentation and layout stand point, Wii is better. From a content stand point – Playstation version is better – though it does give some minor spoilers – bad Playsation!
Wii version of the game has a new mode, the Haunted House Feature – that’ll be fun :P
• FMV Playstation has an odd glow over the faces and screen – too bright, with a weird haze quality – some might prefer it this way, but for my money is give an odd, surreal quality to the game, rather than offering a contrast.
• FMV Wii muted, looks natural, no flitters. Animation is also much better. The contrast has effect when you enter the Village.
• Nintendo version breaks the game into chapters with a style not too dissimilar from Resident Evil 4. Playstation version has a little title appear in the lower left hand corner.
• Text boxes are presented in the same way.
• Little prompt telling you the name of each house for the Wii version, which is a nice touch considering how much back tracking there is.
• First major cut screen is much grainer and the dirtier on the Playstation version. I prefer it that way, Nintendo version is a little too clean and crisp. Also, the Playstation version has fantastic shot of the Mayu’s face as she having the version. Half her face is covered in shadow, save for her eye which it far more striking. This is work really well and comes across as quick unnerving. Good stuff.
• As far as character animation goes Nintendo Wii version wins hand down. It’s the little touches, like seeing Mio and Mayu drawing her arms around herself and slightly crouches in a fearful motion. Facial animations are also better, conveying more emotion – you can see when the characters are scared. The character movements are also more natural, giving a great juxta-potion to the unnatural movements of the ghost, making them feeling more intimating.
• Oddly the camera zooms in really closely to the player character on the Wii version, thankful this is fixed when you start moving. Still odd mind. Scratch that – Camera is control by the point. Moving it up or down with adjust the position. Actually, this grants an excellent level of depth and freedom when scanning the environments. Definitely a plus.
• Opening door in the Wii version requires you to make a little motion as if you were opening the sliding door. Oddly enough though, this really affective. There is a feeling trepidation as your character places her hands on the door and waits for you to open it. Because of the excellent sound design you can hear something on the other side. I can’t really put this into words, you need to play it to understand it. On the Playstation version, you press the button and that’s it – it’s a disconnected motion. Not so on the Wii version. I think I can put it best like this. Happy Video Game Nerd once said
“A great horror movie is when you shout at screen – “What are you fucking doing? Don’t go in there! A great horror game makes you realise you have to go in there!”
That’s what this game does, but that little detail of physical movement from you, it suddenly has so much more impact. However, if you think this might get tedious, you’d be wrong. Once it’s been done once, then it will automatically open. It’s the first time that game smile and waits for you. Fan-fucking-tastic.
• So far the voice acting for the Playstation 2 version is much better, sounds more natural
• Lip synching off on both versions.
• Voice acting much better in Playstation version.
• Music and sound is stellar on both version, really helping create a creepy and tense atmosphere. Hearing the soft frighten cries and whimpers in the house is genuinely unsettling and creepy; the Wii version seems to slightly more presence in the sound department but not by anything major.
• Seriously, the sound design in the Wii version is fantastic, so very oppressive and foreboding.
Intro and Game Mechanic Conveyance
• Instruction prompts on the Nintendo Version, giving you a run through the basic controls. You have new moves, including the ability to side step. A flick either the remote or nunchaku will cause your character to turn 180. The controls in the Wii version are, unsurprisingly better, offering more control. On the Playstation, square and triangle are the only real buttons compares prior to getting the camera.
• Because of the over the shoulder view, it much easier to see where you are going, moving path finding not as tedious.
• The Playstation screen is too dark – making it very hard to see things. No prompts what so ever, must press the buttons and find out how the game works.
• Nintendo Version has a save point at the beginning and a prompt to tell you pick up. Do think a prompt is needed, considering the object glow should be enough indication that it is of interest – still this is but a minor gripe. Playstation plays a small ingame cut screen. Oddly in the Playstation you find a handbag with the news paper cutting inside. In the Wii game you find a news paper cutting and no handback.
• Playstation environments are very, very dark – it’s a very hard to see anything.
• News paper cutting click in the Wii version is 2 text boxes, Playstation 2 has 2, but they are separated into two sections with an image of the cutting as a dividing point. Here is what they say –
Wii: - Newspaper Cuttings – P1
Fears Mount for Missing Surveyor
Concern was growing yesterday for a surveyor who appears to have gone missing while visiting the proposed site for the Mizukami Dam.
Masumi Makimura, 26, is believed to have gone to survey historical landmark die to be flooded by the construction of a dam. It is now five days since he was last seen.
Wii: - Newspaper Cuttings – P2
The search for Masumi Makumura (26), the surveyor who has been missing since the 4th, was abandoned yesterday. Yesterday marked the ten days since Mr Makimura went missing while surveying the proposed site of the new Mizukami Dam.
Playstation 2 – Newspaper Cutting 1 –
With start for All God’s Dam approaching, Masumi Makimura (26), a geological surveyor dispatched to the area, has gone missing. Mr Makimura went to the area to investigate the site that would be submerged once the dam was built, but hasn’t been heard from for five days.
Playstation 2 – Newspaper Cutting 2 –
The Search for Masumi Makumura (26), the surveyor who has been missing since the 4th this month, came to a close yesterday. Mr Makimura had been helping to conduct a deological survey for All God’s Damn. As of yesterday, he has been missing for the ten days.
After reading these papers extracts you get a picture of a couple, which the Playstation version identifies as “Couple” the Wii Version Indentifies them as a “Young Couple”
• If you leave the game, Wii version, running and not do anything you get a cool little static effect over the screen. Same with the Playstation version. Once you’ve entered the village you’ll get a freaky face appearing and disappearing. In the Playstation version is a women face staring briefly at you. In the Nintendo version you get glimpses of what looks like the face from the original Project Zero box.
• Another prompt from the explaining the menu. Bring up map toggle by pressing, brings up the menu by pressing -.
• Playstation version by pressing triangle for menu and select for map.
• Slight Dialogue chance after reading the extracts, nothing too major though.
• When character sees a scare sight, a slight static filter goes over the screen. If this increases, similar to Eternal Darkness and their sanity effect, I don’t know.
• More Dialogue chance – so far, Playstation dialogue and script seems better.
• Playstation has fantastic atmosphere, but Christ I had forgotten how hard it was to see... anything. These environments are darker than Eric Cartman’s soul!
• Osaka house, Wii version has a new cut screen.
• Wii atmosphere is also very good and it’s also nice to be able to see where I’m actually going. Actually, I never how nicely designed this house was on the Playstation version, but I guess that’s fixed cameras for you.
• Difference again, in Playstation version you find “Women’s Notebook 1” in the main room for the Osaka house. Not so in the Wii version.
• The touch is found really early on Wii version, this should be very helpful – in fact, it used to find
hidden items. Considering some of the later puzzles in the game, this could add a nice dimension. Touch is found with the Camera on the Playstation version. However, I still got there yet, meaning more dark environments for me – how the hell did I navigate these levels way back when? Curse you fixed environment camera, CURSE YOUUUUUUU!!!
• Enter new room on Wii version, new prompt. Investigating Objects – press A to Investigate curious points! Oh really? I’m glad you’re here to tell me these things – because, you know, it’s not like it’s fucking obvious. A little common sense dear designers, it’s all I’m asking – I’ve been pressing A to interact with objects – in fact there is no read why you couldn’t have had this prompt when I was back in the forest and found the new paper cuttings.
• Okay, find designers you win! So this is a little bizarre. Turns out you have to hold A and watch the character reach out for the object. This might seem odd, but given the animation, I have a suspicion that this will be used later on to try and make me jump – geez, looking forward to that!
• Find Woman’s Notebook 3 – slight chance in what’s written but nothing too major.
• Find I can investigate a mirror in the Wii version. Sure enough, I was right. Actually, to the games credit, this does form tension really nicely. Again, I have to give props to the excellent sound direction.
• In the Wii version, we get a brief cut screen. By this I mean, we see one of the ghost pass in front of us. The character stops and back off, slightly. We have no control here. That might sound annoying, but it really isn’t. Mio and Mayu are scared. If you were in a cursed village I highly doubt you’d be rushing forward to investigate that apparition. Okay, perhaps you would if you Jonathon Holmes – but that’s only because there is nothing in existence that will want to hurt Holmes – he’s too nice!
• Hmm, okay, this is odd. Go to a door where Mayu said she saw a figure go into the room (see above). Rather than flee madly in opposite direction, I go to investigate. However, I get the hold A prompt? Perhaps, it’s because I know there is something there? Too early to say yet, but it’s an interesting choice.
• Door opens to reveal that.... nothing is there – however, I’ve played and beaten this game in the past so I know what’s coming next...
• Playstation version get stuck behind Mayu and can’t more, talk about annoying. Find herbs and camera. Jesus Christ on a Raptor is it dark – I cannot see for shit. I have to say, this was biggest compliant when I played it way back when and I’m glad Nintendo and Temco have fixed this problem, while retaining the important atmosphere.
• On the Wii version I enter the room and have cut scene play also immediately. However, this might be wrong. Since I’m writing this as I play it, both games at once, I’m having to pause the Wii game and take it to the home menu (static get annoying when you trying to write). Once I continued, the game seemed to think I was still holding A down – so it’s possible that that’s what triggered it. Cut scene was great and dramatic. I now have the Camera Obscura –Bring it ghoesties!
• Finally get free from Mayu on the Playstation version find Touch and Camera together (thank you!) cut scene play. Little change in dialogue, nothing major. But once again, the grainer and dirtier look of the Playstation game seems better – but I’ll agree that’s a subjective point – some might prefer the Wii cut scenes. Anyway, find herbs and Lady’s Note Book V.
• Camera controls are easy enough on the Playstation, press Circle, get into focus then tap R1 or X depending on which you prefer. Time to rumble with our first Ghost “The Door Lady!”. One snap dead.
You're going to be complete bitch, aren't you?
• I may now leave the room and Mayu says the smartest thing she’ll say all game, “Let’s get out of here!” – No shit Sherlock, do you have any other profound revelations for me? No? Okay then.
• Camera controls are bit odd for the Wii. Okay, see if can follow this. Hold B to bring Camera up, so far so good, use Wii point to move up and down, sounds standard. Okay to turn the Camera left or right, you need to use the analogue stick on the nunchuka. However, this is also how you move your character backwards and forward in Camera mode. Again, not a deal breaker just a little odd. Let’s see how that holds up. Tangle with the ghost (again the graphic are much, much, much better in this game). So is the interface for the camera. I can also hold Z to have lock on, smart choice by the designers there.
• Damn these whispers and this eerie are annoying as I'm writing right this... Hold on a second. Why is it still playing this music and those creepy whispers? I killed the ghost....
• OH FUCK YOU NINTENDO AND FUCK TEMCO! YOU CHANGED THE FIGHT!!! FUCK!!!! GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY SISTER!!! BACK! BACK I SAY!!! NO I DON’T WANT A FUCKING HUG!!!
Yep, you're a complete bitch.
• Ghost goes down with 2 shots. Fuck you Nintendo, that was mean, but well played at the same time! So you’re ghost encounter is changed. Bastard.
•Here is a good place to end I think.
Well there you have, seems Nintendo and Temco are serious about this remark. So far it’s very good. The controls feel fresh, the environments are much better and easier to navigate. Combat also feels nice and hectic. However, this only the beginning, what about those diaries I’ve been finding? Hmm.
If people want more of these kind of blog regarding comparing this remark to the original let me know and I’ll continue. In the mean time I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Till next time dear reader. read