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Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly launching May 7 on PSN, director discusses focus on story

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Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly, the second game in Tecmo's survival horror franchise, will be available May 7 on PlayStation Network, and series director Makoto Shibata stopped by the PlayStation Blog today to discuss the game's origins.

The PSN version will be a PlayStation 2 Classic, so it will run like the original game did in 2003 and will not include the extra content that appeared in the Xbox-exclusive Director's Cut version from 2004. A Wii remake of Fatal Frame 2 was released in Japan, Europe and Australia last year, but a North American release has yet to be announced.

According to Shibata, many Fatal Frame players were too scared to finish the game. The developers didn't make the sequel less scary as a result — in fact, it's regarded as the scariest entry in the Fatal Frame series, and one of the scariest games ever made. Instead, said Shibata, "We shifted our attention to making the storyline more interesting, to encourage such players to overcome the scariness in wanting to see the end of the story."

Shibata added that the sequel's story was based on a "scary, magical and traumatic" dream he had after the conclusion of development on the original Fatal Frame. It made him think about the "never-ending loops of thoughts" that are characteristic of psychic horror: ghosts and spirits never appearing in the same location, or appearing in the same way.

"The more times you play through it, the more different outcomes you'll feel every time as a result," said Shibata. "This is actually a reflection of what happened when I was trying to figure out the meanings behind the dream I had mentioned earlier on. This never-ending illusion is something which has been reflected in the game."