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Siren: Blood Curse

Siren: Blood Curse

Siren: Blood Curse

Siren: Blood Curse, known in Japan as SIREN:New Translation , is a survival horror video game and the third installment in the Siren video game series. Developed for the PlayStation 3 by Project Siren, a development team of SCE Japan Studio, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, the game follows a cast of interconnected characters as they try to survive a cursed village somewhere in Japan. Blood Curse first became available in Japan for the PlayStation 3 on July 24, 2008 whilst it became available on the PlayStation Store in North America and Europe on exactly the same date. It later became available on the PlayStation Store in Australia on October 29, 2008 and for the PlayStation 3 exactly one day later in the same country. It became available for the PlayStation 3 in Europe on October 31, 2008 and on the PlayStation Store in Japan on December 11, 2008.

Blood Curse is a "reimagining" of the first installment in the series, Siren, with many alterations to structure and content, along with most of the gameplay improvements introduced in Forbidden Siren 2.

Siren: Blood Curse Plot

On August 3, 2007, an American TV crew visits the area of Hanuda Village, Japan, a mountain village that vanished completely in 1976. At night, Sol and Melissa stumble upon a Mana ritual, where Yukie Kobe is murdered as a sacrifice. Suddenly, Howard Wright intervenes, allowing Miyako to escape unharmed. Howard then runs to find help; instead, he encounters a policeman who tries to kill him. Howard manages to kill the officer and escape, discovering that the man is already dead. As Howard crosses a bridge, an ominous siren shakes the mountain, and the policeman—a Shibito—reappears and shoots Howard in the chest. He falls into the river below. Meanwhile, Yukie resurrects as a Shibito and attacks the camera crew, separating them as the siren wails.

Howard later wakes up downstream, having somehow survived the gunshot. He is briefly assisted by Amana, though they are separated when a Fly Shibito knocks Howard down and carries Amana away. Sam reawakens at the Hanuda mines, and reunites with Melissa for a short time. Meanwhile, Bella, hiding in the Saiga Hospital, tries to call for help; this draws in Sol, now a Shibito, who attacks Melissa shortly afterward. Howard later encounters Miyako and Seigo Saiga, recognizing the latter from the ritual, before attempting to escape Hanuda with Miyako. Later, Sam meets Saiga; Melissa reunites with him. As they leave, Saiga decides to kill himself after Yukie—his fianceé—appears again. The Monroes later encounter Bella—who, to their horror, died and has become a Shibito.

While this is happening, Amana recovers her lost memories, remembering that she is to bring the god Kaiko into the world. She subdues Howard, and takes Miyako away into the Shibito Nest. Howard pursues them, but is too late: Miyako had already been sacrificed. Delving further in, Howard encounters the Shibitos of Sam and Bella, as well as an insane Melissa, who shoots and kills him. Inexplicably, Howard's and Bella's deaths cause a time loop. The player returns to the point where Howard, alive, first encountered Amana. This time, Howard, remembering her actions from the previous timeline, runs away from her; and Amana, now retaining her memories, doesn't follow.

In this timeline, Sol and Sam reunite in the Hanuda mines; while Melissa finds Bella, safe and sound, in the hospital. However, Sol dies after he and Sam are surrounded, and Melissa dies while saving Bella from a maggot Shibito. Saiga, getting a strange sense of déjà vu, briefly protects Bella from more Shibito before uncovering an ancient Mana text. Later, Sam, who got separated from Sol earlier, finds the text, discovering that the events they were experiencing were all predestined. Howard, meanwhile, recalls that Miyako had melded her blood with his to prevent him from becoming a Shibito himself, and goes of in search for her. At the same time, Bella leaves from hiding in a house, and narrowly escapes from Melissa, now another Shibito.

Upon meeting with her, Howard remembers the events of the previous timeline. Miyako explains to him that the village is currently caught in an unending time loop, and that they must release the "other power" to stop it. They succeed in breaking the seals, but Amana appears, knocking Howard unconscious and kidnapping Miyako. Afterward, Saiga arrives and carries Howard to the hospital, and has Bella (who had seen the whole thing) come along. When Howard comes to at the hospital, he meets Bella and discovers Saiga "experimenting" on a Shibito. Later, Saiga heads to the Hanuda Mine on his own, where he fights Yukie (now a mutated Shibito) and retrieves an artifact called "the Uryen". At the same time, Howard and Bella arrive at the Shibito Nest to find Miyako and Sam. Howard, Bella, and Sam all enter the core of the nest, where they see Amana sacrifice Miyako in the red sea, summoning an otherworldly monster—Kaiko. As the others escape, Amana stays, horrified by Kaiko's form: something has gone wrong again.

Just then, Saiga arrives with the Uryen—the "fruit" that Amana was supposed to use to resurrect Kaiko in its true form. Kaiko impales Saiga, who dies as he unleashes the Uryen's sacred fire down upon them. Howard gets separated from Bella and meets Sam, who had sent Howard the message that brought him here. After asking Howard to keep Bella safe should he find her again, Sam traverses the Shibito Nest core. He encounters Melissa and Sol, each now a Maggot and Spider Shibito, respectively. As Sol corners Bella, Melissa intervenes, saving her daughter. However, all three wind up falling through an orange void, much to Sam's horror. Howard, meanwhile, heads back to the area where Miyako was sacrificed, where he finds Miyako's spirit looking up at him in the reflection of the red sea. She requests that Howard make the village disappear, and he falls into the water.

Howard enters "Inferno" (いんふぇるの?), where he encounters Saiga's spirit. After giving him the Uryen, Saiga battles Howard as a test. Howard defeats Saiga, and the doctor leaves behind a sword for Howard to use. Amana then appears, and offers herself up to resurrect Kaiko's true form: a mass of floating insect parts. With Miyako's spirit guiding him, Howard turns Saiga's sword into a vessel for the "other power", which the Uryen's flame unleashes. Now able to fight the deity, Howard works with Miyako's spirit to see through Kaiko's illusions and destroy it. After succeeding, Amana returns, saying that the ritual has succeeded before walking away. Meanwhile, Sam falls into another orange void, which deposits him into Hanuda in 1972, after the village was washed away in a flood. He comments that "verything must be repeated so that Bella can exist forever", and remembers Howard, ensuring that the events of the game would repeat. According to in-game files, Sam's reason for saying this is because Amana is actually a grown-up Bella, who'd fallen into the past and became the priestess that would bring Kaiko into the world.

In the epilogue, Howard approaches Hanuda's Shibito, while listening to the song "genocide" by ikd-sj on his music player. The camera reveals that he is armed with guns, Saiga's sword, and the Uryen. Activating the Uryen, Howard begins to destroy the village—his "promise to Miyako."

Siren: Blood Curse Gameplay

In Siren: Blood Curse, the Link Navigator from previous games is replaced by a series of twelve chronological episodes, each containing parallel and intersecting chapters for different player characters. Each chapter consists of either a cutscene or a mission, the latter being where gameplay mainly takes place.

The main gameplay of Blood Curse generally involves controlling a player character from a third-person perspective. The player must complete missions to progress the story, while evading the Shibito, the game's main enemies. The series' signature "Sight Jack" ability operates in an automated split-screen mode, allowing the player to see through the eyes of others while continuing to play normally. Sight jacking is imperative to surviving in the game; the player can only discover clues to their next goal or target through this ability. Common actions (e.g. yelling, trap-setting) are each assigned to a button on the D-pad, while special actions are executed by approaching an object and pressing the X button. The player can enter a pause menu that includes a three-dimensional area map, current objectives, and more.

Blood Curse puts an emphasis on stealth gameplay. When the player enters a Shibito's vicinity, a heartbeat-like drum will sound to warn the player. Shibito are usually found standing guard at certain points, preventing entry; or patrolling the area on a set path. Should the player get a Shibito's attention, it will attack the player until the latter's death. It is possible to knock a Shibito out for a small amount of time; however, it will eventually resurrect and attack again. If the player manages to successfully hide from an alerted Shibito, it may give up and resume its idle activity. The player can fail a mission for dying, failing to protect someone, or (in Bella's case) being discovered by a Shibito.

Characters are generally unarmed at the start of a mission, making them easy targets for any Shibito who see them. The player can only carry one weapon at any time. Weapons include shovels, pistols, rifles, and a katana. Guns require not only reloading, accomplished by tilting the controller, but also aiming down the sights without a conventional reticule. In the game's final episode, the player will gain control of the Uryen (宇理炎?), which can burn enemies with its sacred flame. Until they can arm themselves, however, the player must avoid combat if need be by staying hidden (For some characters, like Bella, the player will not be able to pick up any weapons). In some situations, the player must brace doors to prevent Shibito from entering; in others, they must hide to sneak past a Shibito following a patrol route.

In the Archives catalog, the player has access to audio recordings, videos, and documents collected by fulfilling certain conditions in an episode. The Archive includes a record of the weapons found throughout the game. The documents can uncover story details hinted upon in the episodes.

Siren: Blood Curse received generally favorable reviews. On aggregate websites, it averaged 76.90% on GameRankings based on 39 reviews, and 78/100 on Metacritic based on 42 reviews. IGN gave the game a score of 8.4/10. GameSpot's Carolyn Petit gave Blood Curse a 7 out of 10, praising the sight jacking mechanic, while noting repetition in locations and controls.

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die includes Siren: Blood Curse as one of its titles.

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