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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (Haunting) Grounds For Recommendation
This is a title that has been intriguing me ever since I first got wind of it, and now that I've got my hands on a copy I can safely say it lives up to the hype. Haunting Ground is a disturbing, gothic masterpiece with gorgeous visuals, unnerving use of sound/music and a deeply engaging plotline.
Like the Clock Tower games, Fiona Belli (the protagonist) spends much...
Published on 30 April 2005

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spooky fun for those who like feeling vunerable
"Haunting Ground" seems to be championing the sub-genre of survival horror established by the "Clock Tower" series...in fact this game has "Clock Tower 3" written all over it. That was a good game, but repetition's not always a good thing. Still there are lots of impressive features to this game that make it fun to play.
The main character of the game is a young girl...
Published on 4 May 2005 by A. Griffiths


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spooky fun for those who like feeling vunerable, 4 May 2005
By 
A. Griffiths "Adrian" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
"Haunting Ground" seems to be championing the sub-genre of survival horror established by the "Clock Tower" series...in fact this game has "Clock Tower 3" written all over it. That was a good game, but repetition's not always a good thing. Still there are lots of impressive features to this game that make it fun to play.
The main character of the game is a young girl called Fiona who finds herself waking up in a huge castle after a car accident. Why is she here and why are strange characters pursueing her around the massive building? These are the questions you must ultimately uncover answers for, but there is a whole lot of running and puzzle solving to be done before then.
I say running, because for the most part, that's what you are going to be doing. In this game, the main character does not attack her foes. Like "Clock Tower" before it, if an enemy appears you are faced with a few options which consist of running for your life, hiding, or finding hot spots in the castle where one-off retaliation actions can be sprung. This is on the most part well implemented, plus the chase situations seem more perilous than those in "Clock Tower", as the baddies seem far more persistent and less easily fooled in this game. The mechanics of panic are very similar, with Fiona getting more frightened the closer the pursuer gets and the more near-misses she withstands. Expect to see the screen shudder and the colours to drain as Fiona starts to lose her cool, culminating in a total washout of colour and blurring of the picture if she loses it totally. In this condition, Fiona will run at random and fall over most of the time...if you let things get this bad, you're pretty much looking at Game Over, as the baddie will more often than not close in and finish off our heroine for good (particularly nasty death scenes in this game - relying mostly on sounds and your imagination). Cleverly, the use of hiding places is only randomly successful, as Fiona might successfully hide in a closet on one occasion, only to find that the enemy doesn't just walk past the next time she's in it, but comes right up and opens the door!
Luckily there are curative items that you can use during chases to alleviate panic and injury, plus of course one major feature that I haven't even mentioned yet - Fiona has a pet dog! Well, it's not really a pet. Fiona befriends the animal early in the game, and he becomes her constant companion. Now this aspect of the game I really like. Fiona has several commands that she can give the dog (Hewie), and it's up to you to decide when, and which things to say and do to get Hewie to provide help. It's during chase sequences that Hewie shows his real worth, as Fiona can set him on the enemy to bite and attack while she gets away. He also helps with some puzzles, requiring some lateral thinking from the player as he can go into small spaces where Fiona can't fit, and she can also go places (climbing ladders, for example) where he can't follow. So expect a bit of fun in working out how to get both your characters around the castle when needed.
On that note, the castle is a beautiful environment and quite large, although it's very oddly designed, and I don't mean intentionally. Sure the place is creepy and has traps and dead ends that make Fiona's life more of a misery than it already is, but it feels like the designers just built the required rooms and chambers and then linked them up with long passages to suit the gameplay, without a thought as to how this would make a realistic building as a whole. If you look at the in-game map, it resembles a maze for lab rats more than a real building! ( A bit like the mansion in the original Resident Evil, which had loads of rooms completely inside the building with bizarre shapes and no windows). However, as I said, the cosmetic look of the place is wonderful, and the same goes for the characters. Fiona is absolutley beautiful, and her face moves realistically to portray happiness, sadness and fear when required. It's almost a given now that seeing the Capcom name on a game means the graphic quaility is going to be above average, and you can definitely see that company's almost "in house" style and standard present here. Hewie is also wonderfully rendered, and has a real life of his own. Much enjoyment comes from training him with constant commands, and watching him explore, sniff around or just lie on the floor if he gets bored - a great character and with perfect AI - responsive, but prone to whims of his own. I couldn't resist having Fiona stroke him and tweak his ears all the time - I'm sure I spoiled him!
This is not a game for action fans - you won't be using any weapons or firepower here. The constant chasing can be quite wearing, as it can take a good few minutes to escape, which often results in you running a long way away from where you want to be, and backtracking all the way back again to carry on looking at that puzzle. It's also a very lonely game, there castle is totally devoid of life apart from Fiona and Hewie, and there are a mere handful of NPC's, and that includes enemies (there is only one enemy after you at a time). Luckily the two main characters are so appealing that you will enjoy the growing companionship of a girl and her dog, and hope they both make it though alive.
In closing, it seems to me that this whole game is an expansion of the final level of "Clock Tower 3" (which was also set in a castle), and is something of an exercise in refinement for the game creators, who are hoping to make the ultimate version of their unique survival/run away-horror brand of gameplay. It succeeds, but it's thanks to the new addition of dog-related game-play that it really comes alive.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (Haunting) Grounds For Recommendation, 30 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
This is a title that has been intriguing me ever since I first got wind of it, and now that I've got my hands on a copy I can safely say it lives up to the hype. Haunting Ground is a disturbing, gothic masterpiece with gorgeous visuals, unnerving use of sound/music and a deeply engaging plotline.
Like the Clock Tower games, Fiona Belli (the protagonist) spends much of the game completely unarmed, reliant on sheer wits and her cainine companion Hewie to defend her against the dangers lurking inside the castle. The relationship dynamic between the two characters is very life-like indeed, as Fiona can issue a number of important commands to Hewie in two different modes, Normal and Battle. If Hewie ignores her or misbehaves, Fiona can scold him in order to teach him discipline. The dog does not follow you unfalteringly from the moment you meet with him, his trust must be gained over time, through praise and careful training, which adds an extra challenge to gameplay.
The 'Panic Mode' feature is also interesting. As Fiona does not have a 'health meter' or HUD as such, one must determine her condition by examining her physical state such as stance, movement and even visibility. Her stamina can be restored over time by getting her safely out of harm's way or using certain restoration items. Some artifacts can even be refined in an alchemy laboratory to create new ways for Fiona to defend herself, such as concoctions that temporarily stun her foes so she can escape et cetera.
Not only are the puzzles in the game thought-provoking, but avoiding detection from enemies requires a large amount of stealth and stategy. Fiona can hide in closets/under beds/under tables until the coast is clear, or she can duck into the shadows and wait. If she IS detected, she can also use elements of her surrounding environment to cease her enemies' pursuit for a time (or she can simply order Hewie to attack the on-coming foe to buy her time to avoid danger).
This title has been a most refreshing change of pace from the various disappointing action-based survival horror games released of late, but it certainly isn't for those expecting a frenzied, gun-toting gore fest.
With it's beautiful graphics, innovative gameplay features, slick control system and multiple endings, Haunting Ground's suspenseful, sinister atmosphere and delicate moments of terror will satisfy many horror-hungry gamers. A must-have addition to anyone's collection.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Acta Est Fabula, 25 May 2005
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This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
Haunting Ground is one of those survival horrors 'with a difference' - a sub-genre which has flourished since the proliferation of Resident Evil titles, the success of Project Zeroes 1 and 2, and the ever growing shadow of the more intelligent and thoughtful Silent Hill titles. The difference here is that Fiona, the game's perky protagonist, is weak and feeble, and has absolutely no means of attacking anyone or anything herself. Seeing that she's now stuck in a castle being chased by a bevvy of unknown antagonists then, she'll need all the help she can get - and this comes in the form of a German Shephard, Hewie.
What we get, then, is a Clock Tower style game in which you must tip-toe around, solve the traditional puzzles, and run and hide whenever you are discovered by the local madman. Or woman, as that may be - the game excells early on with the introduction of the deliciously confusing Daniella, a character who will never truly be topped after she departs from the main thrust of the action.
Combat is handled by giving commands to Hewie, and after a short period of confusion this becomes second nature. You can also make him search, sit, shake hands with you, run away and other things, along with being able to praise or criticise him as need be. The Hewie / Fiona partnership is a strong one - playing as a helpless Fiona, you are almost pitifully reliant on Hewie, and as such you become quite endeared to him: his presence is calming and reassuring in a game which frequently comes very close to being terrifying.
But then again, it's just survival horror. The characters play out their parts in rusty voices, and the script is just a tad short of being 'cleverly concealing', and is instead annoyingly incomplete. I've completed the game, and I'm still not sure why everyone was after Fiona to such an extent. Unless, that is, they were attracted to her: Fiona is one of a relatively new breed of young, nubile, underdressed and over-sexualised protagonists who, for all their failings, rake in the pundits merely for their feminine qualities. It's questionable as to whether the average male player feels more inclined to protect Fiona because she's a scared young girl, or because she's a sexy young thing.
Well, whatever works for you. I have no shame in admitting I spent more than a fair few minutes deciding exactly which outfit to put her in, but what's more important is that I spent a good few days fully engrossed in an entertaining and involving game. It's easy to be genuinely worried about Fiona and, by the end, it's easy to see why Haunting Ground has been flying off the shelves to a far greater extent than Capcom considered possible - it's successful on almost every level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars scaryy., 5 Feb. 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
Haunting ground involves an 18 year old girl called Fiona Belli, she wakes up from a car accident involving her parents and finds herself locked in a gothic castle not knowing if her parents are still alive. The first enemy is Debilitas, he chases you most places and you have to outsmart him. He has a mind like a 5 year old so its quite easy. If Fiona gets too scared the screen changes to "panic mode" and makes things alot more tense. She stumbles and falls over and the music in the backgrounds quite scary. It really gets my heart racing but i try not to let it get to me. The easiest way to get away from enemies is to hide until theyve gone. There'll be tons of optional hiding places throughout the game for you. Most of the time i stop playing cause im too scared but i end up going back to it after a few minutes, its like addictive. The story line is just amazing and its really realistic im proper pleased i got it. I hope this gives you some idea of Haunting ground, if you get it good luck. x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortes Fortuna Juvat, 25 May 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
I adore this game! I bought it as a one off, not expecting much, but I've become addicted to it. The use of background music is superb and I found myself relying mostly on audio cues to see if I was safe to move anywhere. I love most of the characters too, Daniella being my favourite being so beautiful yet unfeeling and sees herself as incomplete, and each of the stalkers chasing styles is different. Treat Hewie (your dog) well and train him up as fast as you can, you'll need his help and he'll need your love so be nice ok :D Once you've completed the game you'll get a secret room with art, music, cutscenes, a character gallery and alternate costumes for you and Hewie. Yeah you're pretty defenseless but I didn't find this a problem at all. The environments are lovely and there are traps littering the castle so beware.(As the title of my review says "Fortune favours the brave!) You'll find it pretty easy to outwit your first stalker Debilitas as he has the mind and intelligence of a child and will get clumsier and more frustrated if he can't find you (plus his footsteps are pretty loud). Daniella remembers where you tend to hide, will close doors to confuse/slow you down and can hide in closets to wait for you, or she'll wait outside the door for you to come out ion your own (plus the worst thing is she'll often double check a room so ignore coast clear signs unless you want to be stabbed by a large shard of glass). Riccardo is so creepy, seriously once you realise why he's chasing you you will not want to be hanging around! Plus he has a gun. A gun. He'll shoot your dog till you come out sometimes (the git) and in the worst ending, well just nope. Then there's Lorenzo, you won't know much about him near the beginning but he'll help you along...to begin with. Luckily he'll leave you alone for long periods of time to explore. This game definitely has replay value and even has hard mode for those who didn't feel hunted enough on a first playthrough. I love how the screen begins to saturate the more panicked Fiona feels and hidden or easily overlooked cutscenes or items can set her off. You'll even feel her heartbeat through the controller. There's no panic meter or stamina meter so you'll have to keep a close eye on her and Hewie to make sure you can withstand an encounter with a stalker (run and hide if you can't!) It's like a violent hide and seek game which I've fallen in love with. (If you want a bit of a preview Cry has done a Let's Play on youtube but don't spoil it for yourself okay? :D)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding taken me 2 years and i still have not completed it, 8 Aug. 2010
By 
J (England, Manchester) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
To start of this game is very slow but alot more scary then as it continues gets less scary but always holds the "factor" of where is the next clock (to save game) or the next hiding place so DANIELLA does not slap me and slice me up or trying to run away from a perv trying to rape and make babies AND kill you all at one time but as i was saying it starts slow since you have no attack except from dashing into them and kicking which does not do much time to get away so the best bet is hiding in obvious places like behind curtains etc *the only hiding place i think would be invalid is the table in the basement at the start since theres no cover and her feet show* later on after being hugged by a fat of lard who calls himself a gardener you find a dog with a pitchfork in its leg releasing this dog sends you backk upstairs leading to debilitas who then HEWIE hurts him and he plods away crying lmao

BEAR IN MIND THIS GAME I HAVE DONE 10 HOURS OVER A COUPLE OF YEARS but i was only little like 9 or something took me a while to do so and i've not completed it

Boss Battles:
These are fairly easy requiring you to solve a few puzzles for you to be locked in a room to either kill by shaking your wrists and telling hewie is a good boy killing them or requiring you to push objects till they get shish kebabed lol their fairly easy and straight forward BEARING IN MIND THEIR IS A HARD MODE

Puzzles:
They vary since some are terribly straightforward while some take days of thought also files actually are worth reading in this game giving you coloured hints etc but if you stuble into the wrong room you can die!!!

AI:
They are really clever on normal mode and on hard even smarter running and making most hiding points invalid after you use them so running is a must.

Items:
They calm you down or run film or even make a golem do the YMCA so typing SALTATIO will make fiona restored of energy

Overall: since im 15 now i still enjoy this game since when you reach the end you will not be able to remember how to do the beginning which gives it huge amounts of replay value i come back to it alot it must be capcoms finest game in my eyes 110% 10/10 buy it!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally different type of game, 11 Mar. 2006
By 
Bill Morris "Jazz Dragon" (St. Albans, Herts England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
I have not played any of Capcom's games (like Clocktower) before, so when I got this it was a breath of fresh air from the hack and slash stuff I usually get (I was in fact going to buy Prince of Persia: TTT before my mum intervened and picked this out, so, thanks mum.) It's so weird not being able to do anything to an enemy except attempt to get your dust trail in their eyes. Yeah, you have to run away from everyone if you value your life - and I mean that: Daniella has serious issues.
The game actually does scare you, which is so much harder to achieve in a game than a movie. A lot of this is being scared of what you can't see. It's almost paralysing when Hewie starts growling and you know that this is your early warning, that something's coming but you don't know where from, that you might run past a door and it's THERE... But believe me, it's worse by far when you're being chased by Debilitas, who was originally cast as the cave troll in Lord of the Rings (now you now..) Daniella is slower than Debilitas, and at least she's hot. He, on the other hand, is not, even if you give a shave and a haircut. He's just so big and freaky that you want to run away rather that fight, which is basically what the game is all about.
Good luck trying to get rid of the sod, by the way. He can run faster than you, and will catch you up if you stop for anything unnecessary, like because you've run out of juice and can now only limp along in a pathetic girly way. If you can, get a retaliation point or hide, cos he's hard to take down if you're just doing it as you are, with no hench boots to help. Once you do have the hench boots to help, then you need to run away from Daniella. She's very slow. I mean, she walks after you. But if you get into a dead end situatation (oh, I'm good) with her, then she hacks at you with an impossibly durable bit of double glazing. It takes two hits to send you into complete panic, and if you fall over and get caught, then you can finally see what all that alcohol has been doing to the liver. For some reason, the maid seems to take a particular interest in this as well. Like I said, issues. Trouble at home?
Yeah, so. This is a really good game, but hard hard hard. It will require you to think and feel in order to get past things that would simply be a matter of waving a sword around in other games. It's probably the best made game I've ever played. I haven't finished it yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars SCARY AS HELL!!!, 23 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
I loved this game it is like CLOCK TOWER 3 but with some improvements and a very disturbing story witch I like but the only flaw is when you sometimes tried to hide from the enemies when you play further it gets harder but it is still a good horror game.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very Confusing, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
It's a good game but the manual and cover are printed in english and when I went to play the game all the text comes up in german so I don't understand what the clues say when I go to observe something in game. :-/
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 22 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Haunting Ground (PS2) (Video Game)
Thank you for the prompt dispatch! The game itself works perfectly well and I am presently to fend of Little Miss Psycho Maid at the moment, thanks again!
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Haunting Ground (PS2)
Haunting Ground (PS2) by Capcom (PlayStation2)
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