By Benny Carrillo / June 30th, 2016
The Corpse Party series is pretty infamous and deservedly so. You’ve probably at least heard of the title. So if that’s the case, why are we seeing another release of the first game and on the Nintendo 3DS, of all places? Well the main reason I would assume is to let players who haven’t played the game yet and only own a 3DS a chance to experience it for themselves. Another reason? This could be the definitive version of the game for a few reasons, but first let me explain what Corpse Party is for those of you who don’t know.
Corpse Party is in my opinion an example of a perfect horror story. I ended up having to play through the PSP release and its sequel Book of Shadows in a week to prepare myself for our review of Corpse Party: Blood Drive and that did not seem like work at all. The basic premise is that group of friends stays after school one day to say farewell to a friend of theirs who will be transferring soon. The group decides to do a ritual with a paper doll that will allow them to stay friends forever. You know, kind of a like a good luck charm. However, an earthquake hits, the floor splits open, and suddenly the group finds themselves separated and trapped in the hellish nightmare that is Heavenly Host Elementary. What follows are not happy times. That said, don’t approach this thinking that the game is full of visuals containing blood and gore. It’s not, Corpse Party instead plays on your psychology.
See, I am not a person who likes a lot of horror games as blood and guts just creep me out. It’s one reason I sadly have never played Saya no Uta, I just don’t know if I could take it. Corpse Party though, takes the approach of letting your mind’s eye create the visuals. Yes, people will die, bad things will happen, and you will probably be crying at certain times. But the game lets the narration paint vivid and disturbing pictures of what’s going on. It’s a very effective storytelling method. That’s not to say there aren’t disturbing things that happen. I haven’t even mentioned the “Wrong Ends”
See the game is divided into five chapters. Each chapter is basically a game in itself with its own save files. Your goal is to wander the halls of the school and reach the end of the chapter. This isn’t easy as you’ll need to do some puzzle solving and keep careful track of where you’ve been and where you need to go, all while avoiding certain traps. If you can reach the end, you’ll beat the chapter and move on. Sometimes, though, you’ll reach a Wrong End. These are basically special game overs, and this is where a lot of that descriptive narrative I mentioned comes in. You will cringe as the game describes some of the horrible ways you die. Then there are the times when what’s happening to the sprites on the screen ties into the narrative. Suffice to say, play this one in the dark at your own risk. This does bring me however, to the one of the improvements this time around, the graphics.
The character sprites this time are improved from their original PC release. When the game was remade for the PSP the backgrounds were touched up, but not the sprites. While it didn’t ruin the game at all, it was kind of noticeable. This time the sprites are touched up as well, which helps them match the scenery a little more. Another addition are four next extra chapters which are unlocked as you progress through the game. The extra chapters in Corpse Party are there to flesh out some of the background elements of the plot and characters. In the PSP release there were ten, this brings to total to fourteen. With all that said, let me give my final thoughts.
Despite already having played this game, I am more than willing to plop down the money to play it again. The addition of the new chapters is one reason, but the game is just that good. Despite the fact it can at times be a very depressing tale, there’s an underlying theme of redemption and hope as you get closer to the end. This is also reflected in the soundtrack which will be included with the “Back to School” edition of the game. To me this makes this a must own for any 3DS horror fan, but if you want another take, check out our review of the PSP version of Corpse Party and see why we love this game so much.
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