Real: Another Edition Impressions

Tecmo knows something we don't: The world is full of ghosts, and you need a camera phone to see them.


TOKYO--Tecmo Lab--Tecmo's Japan-based experimental branch--has devoted much of its energies to the mobile space recently, with a few startling results. The most innovative game to come out of Tecmo Lab in time for the Tokyo Game Show is Real: Another Edition, a camera game that is closely related to Tecmo's Fatal Frame series for consoles. In many cases, leveraging console properties for use on the mobile platform has led to disappointing results, but Real: Another Edition approaches the problem of packing console gaming onto handsets from a very creative direction. Luckily, the results of this experiment prove to be a lot of fun.

Real: Another Edition, which we demoed on yet another FOMA i900 handset, attempts to thrust you into the world of Fatal Frame by putting you at the controls of your very own ghost-fighting camera. Take a picture with your phone's camera, and Real: Another Edition will place a spectral visitor somewhere in the picture--superimposed over your math professor's forehead, for instance, or maybe standing in line to play Dead or Alive Ultimate. At this point, you actually enter your photo to root the wayward shade out of your memento. The screen goes dark, and you switch to a first-person viewpoint to hunt the haunt. You get an auto-targeting cursor that focuses on the ghost, and your attack grows stronger the closer they come. If you time your shot just right, you can capture him or her with a single press of the action key.

There are more than 70 different spirits to collect in Real: Another Edition, and each time you nab one, it will send a "txt message" to your mailbox that may offer clues on where to find the next ghost--or simply insult you. The game has an interface that is based on a FOMA phone's base-level menu, complete with Camera, Inbox, and Web options. Real: Another Edition's online features haven't been completely implemented at this point, but Tecmo personnel confirmed that you will be able to post your ghost collection online.

Tecmo employees also confirmed that the company is working to get Real: Another Edition to the US mobile market, although they are currently unable to set a time frame. This game's release in Japan roughly coincides with that of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly for the Xbox, so perhaps American mobile gamers can look forward to a US release as soon as the necessary handset technology becomes available.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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