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XBox Reviews: Project Zero


Project Zero Screenshots

The Final Say!

Project Zero
 - reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 21 May 2003
Review Score: 7/10
Not based on an average 
Distributed By:

From expecting great things from this title I was only mildly intrigued at this title to be frank.  After playing Resident Evil and Silent Hill 2 that I may gladly point out that I have completed these titles.  The resulting expectation from Tecmo was not founded.  Sure there is a few parts that are quite disturbing and the fact that you are only armed with a spiritual camera instead of a chainsaw does add a little suspense and imminent tension.  The story is not as compelling as Silent Hill 2 and it does not have the same aura of quality seen in Resy.  So I might just add that if you have low expectations of this title you may be surprised at how ok and not revolutionary it all is.

Project Zero Features

  • Players 1
  • Custom Soundtracks
  • Genre: Horror
  • Rating: MA+
  • Dolby Digital

Miku and her family are endowed with a special sixth sense whilst being great for parties and all are not what you may call socially acceptable.  She is found to be a little weird by society and it is only her brother that accepts her freaky ways.  The brother Mafuya mysteriously disappeared whilst searching for his mentor who he thought was in the Himuro Mansion.  Miku bound to her brother and friend, goes to find him.  Miku uses her sixth sense to investigate the house and finds’ that it is full of ghosts and has fallen into disrepair. 

The spin off with this title as has been mentioned before is that you only use an antique camera to dispatch of ghostly foes.  This is done very well and it needs to be too, as there are no weapons to speak of.  The way this is done is by turning into first person view and snapping away.  Control of Miku can be done while in this mode with the right analogue stick.  This is done ok except that if a ghost approaches from the side there is going to be delay in reaction to it.  This is because the viewfinder is fairly small.  Upgrades can be accumulated gradually by buying them with the points acquired from dealing with the ghosts. 

The puzzles in the game are a little inconsistent difficulty-wise.  Some are easy but some are done by sheer luck and intuition. The puzzles are not as hard as Silent Hill 2 as collecting objects and so many bits of information enough to fill a book on short stories are provided to aid direction and plot. These snippets of information are a bit annoying as there is just so much of it. The only ones that have the appropriate information are not tagged so you may find yourself shuffling through the countless books in your possession to find a code number character and so forth.  

The different approach of the title is not as different as first seems.  The camera trick is the only truly innovative part of this title.  Snapping away on the camera can reveal doors and you can see through the door in some cases.  The real pitfall with the title is whilst being scary in some parts reminiscent of the film “Ring” it no where near as compelling and addictive as Silent Hill 2.  You may find after playing the game for a while you’ll end up rushing between save points to end a gaming session. 

If you are keen on the survival genre then I would highly recommend renting before buying as the slow pace and long drawn out action could leave you reaching for the exit button.  The testing time for these kinds of games is the after playing period and whether there is still intrigue about the story and atmosphere.  This reviewer has not been convinced thus far and the story about looking for a lost brother does not really enthral me much.  Breathe a sigh of relief James Sunderland and Jill Valentine.  Its inability to connect with the player in the way it is illustrated, is not enough unless personal experience is similar to the story. 

The graphics are still very much like the PS2 version, again disappointing. The majority of the visuals are played down to enhance the gritty feeling of being in a haunted mansion.  The music is adequate with a few ghostly voices into the microphone for good measure.  The voice acting is inconsistent with some good and not-so memorable parts.  The tape recorder provides some truly morbid audio and other bits are too obtrusively without the needed talent to really get the adrenaline flowing. 

Overall Disappointing but not altogether hopeless.  The various rendered cut-scenes are placed well throughout to enhance the experience.  The atmosphere is no where near as morbid as Silent Hill 2 and this is what usually intrigues the player to keep playing, the fear factor. It is too low but younger gamers may find a connection with the character and story.

- Alex Cuming

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