GAME NAME: Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
DEVELOPER(S): Tecmo Koei
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): 29 June 2012
If you’re reading this review in the hope that you’ll see something impressive when it comes to the capabilities on the 3DS you’ve most definitely come to the right place. There’s a lot here to wow your retinas. Now, if only it was a ‘game’.
This glorified AR tech demo comes from the folks who brought us the soil-your-pants Project Zero franchise. Instead of tying the story up with their titles in the past this sees players interacting with a spirit by the name of Maya. After losing her memories she’s somehow ended up in the Diary of Faces, a 16-page AR booklet that comes packaged with the software, and it’s up to you to discover who the Woman in Black (the villain) is to set Maya free.
It’s here where the interactions with your surroundings become a literal affair. Players are required to take snapshots in the booklet, but also in their virtual and real-life surroundings, to help uncover the horror that lies ahead. Aim your 3DS cameras at the required page in the memoir and two circles appear. Line them up to see an event take place. The initial concept will blow your mind as it’s initially very immersive and impressive to see how images appear over the booklet that you’re holding in your hand right in front of you. It awesomeness extends when you have to turn the booklet in a certain angle or direction to make events take place or use one of the new in-game camera lenses to unveil hidden events, or when you have to place your hand over a bloody handprint to activate something.
Battling and defeating spirits comes down to turning on one spot to find it appearing at random in your lounge or bedroom and then powering up the reload meter when aiming at the spirit once found. Once the reload meter is full and the capture circle turns red it’s your chance to press the left or right shoulder button to capture the spirit and cause damage to it’s HP gauge. Miss it and your camera receives its first crack on the screen. Five cracks and it’s game over. Though this sounds like an absolute blast there are major concerns.
Spirit Camera is exceptionally short and you’ll finish it within three hours. Then there are lighting issues. The room you’re playing in needs to be well lit. The 60W globes will not suffice – you basically need direct sunlight. This in return demolishes any of the horror undertones you might expect. It’s also not a game that works for people on-the-go. Spirit Camera requires you to constantly stand up and spin on one spot while the game can not be played without the booklet. If ever there was a game that broke the on-the-go handheld rules this would be it.
If you’re looking for software that will show off your 3DS with a bit more substance then there are plenty other games to choose from in the 3DS library. It’s best you stray away from this memoir as it’s more cursed than you might imagine.