Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir Review
Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Tecmo Koei, Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: April 13, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Blood, Violence, Suggestive Themes

There are still chilling moments to be had though. Walking through the haunted house elicits a sense of helplessness, and I personally got a chill using the Spirit Photography minigame, where I took a snapshot of my backyard which revealed a dark figure in the distance. I then took a picture of the same location and the figure had moved closer, and the third shot showed him a mere two feet away. Creepy.

Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir Screenshot

The music and effects are so close to being perfect that I really want to ask the developers why they couldn't add a little bit more to make it so. The background orchestrations are perfectly somber and reserved, shrieking the strings at just the right moments. But it's the moans from the spirits and eerie laughter from the masked boy that are truly disturbing. If you can brave putting on some headphones (and hope nobody sneaks up behind you), you'll probably more fully enjoy the disturbing backdrop.

The issues come with the limited voice acting. It is done superbly, just not completely. Maya will begin to talk to you, and then halfway through the conversation you have to resort to subtitles. Also, you collect voice files throughout your journey, but instead of being vocal recordings, they are simply brief notes.

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In the end, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir is summed up as a tragic shame. The game offers up incredible potential, both for new creative possibilities in design and in unorthodox but engaging controls using the AR and camera feature of the 3DS. However, after the few short hours it will take to have done everything possible, you'll agree that the forty-dollar purchase price was the true horror of the game.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: April 18, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
It's somewhat creepy, but doesn't look realistic, and thus is not as disturbing as it could have been.
4.0
Control
Although the camera controls are not perfectly fine-tuned, they're still an orthodox but engaging variation of the norm.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Except for unfinished voice work, the rest of the game sounds perfect.
2.0
Play Value
Clever ideas, I just wish there were more of them.
3.3
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • The included "diary of faces" is a gateway into the game's absorbing Story Mode. When viewed through the lenses of the Nintendo 3DS camera, each page of the book displays a variety of augmented-reality experiences.
  • Some pages of the book come to life in the form of video segments that reveal past events and shed light on the game's central mysterious storyline. Others appear to send spirits floating into players' real-world surroundings. Some page even summons players to virtually enter a haunted house where Maya is hiding.
  • Additional modes let players use the system's camera in spooky ways. In Spirit Photography, they can take photos at their leisure and watch as haunting visions appear within the pictures. Spirit Check lets them snap pictures of themselves and their friends to uncover the eerie spirits that surround them. In Spirit Challenge, they can put their own face or a friend's face on a spirit and then battle it.
  • Players can also use the notebook with their Nintendo 3DS system to face other challenges involving a mix of memory, hide-and-seek, and other gameplay elements, all with a supernatural twist.


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