If they could do it in a different way then I want them to keep it. 2's shrine maiden and ritual was very different from 1's and made for a very interesting storyline. 3's is somewhere in the middle. It's interesting in and of itself but I feel some of the details about it are a little weird such as the priestess being a voluntary position despite the imminent threat, as well as Reika's storyline being unnecessarily similar to Kirie's storyline make it a little more muddied than it should be.
Spirit Camera does a very good job at keeping similar aspects, but does things in a very interesting and new way with a fantastic antagonist that I don't have any problem with it being as short as it is. It might even have benefited from being as short as it is due to them not trying to arbitrarily extend the gameplay and story experience in order to make the game longer.
5's storyline bored me to tears for how much of it felt like a shallow and overextended going through the motions of aspects from previous games' storylines. And while I like Ouse I feel that her character didn't benefit from having a forced and un developed love angle thrown into her storyline. The ritual and the history of suicides itself is a very interesting subject matter and I feel her storyline would have been better had yuukon not been tacked onto it with very flimsy plot justifications. The love angle itself I'm not against on principle, but if they were going to have Asou of all people be her love interest they should have devoted far more time to their relationship than they did. That said they did make the correct choice of not having her feelings for Asou be the reason the ritual failed. It's a bit of uniqueness that I appreciate and feel 5 as a whole would have benefited by having more of.
If they are going to stick with Shrine Maidens and rituals then I'd like for them to come up with completely different reasons for the ritual to be taking place and for everything messing up. Fatal Frame 4 did this very well by having virtually none of the elements of the past games in its storyline and it didn't suffer for it. Having the ritual be about curing a disease caused by a portal to the other side rather than simply to seal the portal itself, and not having any sacrificing at all was a very interesting and well done experience. I'd be more than happy with them keeping these series staples so long as they come up with fully unique details for why things ended up happening the way they did. But there's no point in coming up with new details if they have needless resemblances to previous storylines like in 3, or are half hearted and not well thought out like in 5.
I don't want the series to move away from rituals or shrine maidens but in order for the series to not feel stagnated they need to move away from the maiden falls in love and becomes incompatible with the needs of the ritual. If you're going to have the maiden fall in love with a character who isn't in the background like with Kirie's love then you need to actually show them falling in love in more than just a cutscene or two. It needs to be the main focus of the storyline and can't be something sidelined till the very end otherwise it makes the whole thing feel rather pointless.
If it needs to be a love story spend a considerable amount of time on that aspect otherwise don't do it at all, do something other than the maiden falls in love as the reason the ritual failed (granted 5 technically didn't do this), have the reason the rituals take place be something other than simply sealing a gate. It isn't the rituals or the maidens that need to change, it's the reasons for having the rituals and the maidens that need to be changed to keep things interesting. As long as they do something new and unique like they did with 4 then I think that will be far better than getting rid of these aspects entirely.
Edited by AnimalLover47999, 04 November 2017 - 05:57 AM.