Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

The mythical horror saga returns to Xbox with an unprecedented installment in Europe.

After the release last year of the remaster of the fifth installment in the saga, Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, Koei Tecmo returns once again with a remastering of the fourth title in its series known as Fatal Frame in the US, Zero in Japan and Project Zero in Europe. This title is Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. Originally released exclusively in Japan for the Nintendo Wii in 2008This is one of the best valued installments of the entire franchise in narrative terms. However, both first-time players in this franchise and those who are not, should take into account that it is a rather crude survival horror in terms of its controls, with very old-school mechanics and an irregular rhythm that will test our patience. throughout their about ten hours long.

Horror made in Japan

Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse narrates the horrifying events that occurred on Rougetsu Island, a fictional place where five girls disappeared who were rescued exactly ten years before the events of the game. Now that they’ve grown up and two of the five have mysteriously died, the three surviving victims of the original event, along with the detective who rescued them in 1970, return to Rougetsu to investigate what exactly happened all those years ago. Of course, it’s not long before all of our leads are itching to run like hell out of there.

In Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse we take control of the four characters involved throughout the game’s short campaign, as we slowly make our way through the dark corridors of the complex we started out in while solving a bunch of environmental puzzles and using our Camera Obscura and a Spirit Stone Lantern for fend off attacks from a creepy collection of ghosts and specters made in Japan. In addition to using your camera and flashlight to scare away and kill off enemies, you’ll also be rewarded for being quick to capture images of various harmless apparitions that appear throughout the scene as you move from one objective to another.

Half remastering

As we said, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was released exclusively in Japan in 2008 and was developed by Tecmo and Grashopper Manufacture (private study sweat51, developer of the No More Heroes series). It is undoubtedly great news that the title finally sees the light of day in the West so that fans of the series can enjoy it. However, it must be said that this is not the best of remasters. Yeah, graphics have been retouched, a very cool photo mode has been added, lighting has been improved and the whole looks much better. Mask of the Lunar Eclipse continues to feature a ton of low-quality textures, and overall, the title continues to show signs of being a game released 15 years ago, constantly giving the impression that more could have been done to justify the remastered moniker.

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Aside from a lick of paint and a few extra sound effects here and there, this is the exact same game from 2008, and as a result, retains many of the issues as in its original release. Character movement is excruciatingly slow, even when holding down the sprint button, making it a real pain to retrace your steps at times. There’s a quick turn action that can be performed by pressing either stick, but turning around to face whatever is attacking you at any given time still cumbersomeespecially when constantly switching between normal view and the Camera Obscura viewfinder, thanks to the slowness of the camera controls and the aforementioned speed of character movement.

Nerve proof mechanics

The aforementioned control system makes combat moments and exploration in general result frustratingly clumsy and slow. However, if you can forgive these kinds of gameplay issues, you can still get plenty of fun thanks to an immersive story, oppressive atmosphere, and the ever-interesting Camera Obscura mechanic that’s a hallmark of the series.

Yes, as much as we complain about the clunky aspects of control and movement in this franchise in general (just as it was in the first games in the Resident Evil saga), there is no denying that using the Camera Obscura to attack and destroy some really scary apparitions is a lot of fun. In addition, using the different lenses and types of film that you will find on the stages offers us a combat with many options. Waiting until the last moment to take a photo and initiate a “fatal frame” shot, a high-damage capture that allows you to continue with photo combos, can be something that causes more than a tachycardia at first, but over time it’s a very satisfying thing. Couple this with the J-Horror movie-influenced style and haunting atmosphere. of the whole thing, and you will have one of the most terrifying titles currently on the market.

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It’s a shame more effort hasn’t been put into improving the controls for a more modern audience, as the constant slowness of slowly moving forward and backward through the game’s handful of small locations, the frustration of repeatedly traversing the stages only to find more closed doors and barriers that prevent progress, make the experience somewhat frustrating at times. I understand that slow movement and difficult controls are part of the game when it comes to survival horror, since it’s what makes the fights so tense when you fight to position yourself in time to repel your enemies, but it is it could have done something to smooth over a control scheme that irritates far more than it should. As if this were not enough, Koei Tecmo once again leaves the title untranslated into English as it happened with Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, so if you want to play it you will need a certain level of English. We can enjoy a English or Japanese dubbing, plus English and other language subtitles like German or French, which makes the English fan wonder why it doesn’t also come in their language.


Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is a very interesting title if you’re a fan of horror and if you are able to accept its slowness, its somewhat crude game mechanics and its somewhat repetitive exploration. The story manages to captivate due to its bad vibes, it has some very successful scares, the mechanics of killing ghosts with the camera is as fun as ever and it has that special touch that makes this franchise considered cult. As far as the remaster is concerned, however, beyond a small visual improvement, it seems that More could have been done to make this remastered version of the game feel like a more up-to-date survival horror experience and somewhat more polished than it is.

Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse


  • Some visual improvements like improved lighting and character models
  • Camera Obscura-based combat remains unique and engaging
  • Attractive story and a setting capable of making your hair stand on end
  • Scares better achieved than in many current horror movies


  • The controls and the game system will frustrate more than one
  • Character movement speed is tedious
  • Remastering that leaves many doubts, especially in terms of graphic improvements
  • totally in english

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