Corpse Party (3DS) Review

Corpse Party (3DS) Review

Those who know my work will know that I absolutely love horror games. Every October, I like to go on a marathon of spooky games. This year, the tradition became compromised by the October release of Paper Mario: Color Splash, but there was a spooky level in there, so I’ll let it slide. Last year, I discovered Corpse Party, the interactive novel that, aside from a few personal gripes with the tone, was actually pretty spooky. Well, just in time for Halloween, Team GrisGris’ update of Corpse Party: …Repeated Fear has made its way to the 3DS, and is even better than before!

Corpse Party (3DS) Review 1If you’ve read my review of Corpse Party last year, feel free to skip this bit, but for those who didn’t (or don’t want to) here’s a quick recap of the story:

Eight unlucky high school students and one unlucky TA get caught in some ghostly mishaps after they perform the Sachiko Ever After ritual, which is supposed to bind them as friends forever but instead traps them in the spookiest alternate dimension imaginable. Our heroes have to unravel the spoopy mysteries before the vengeful spirits of murdered children pick them off one by one.

The story in Repeated Fear is shot-for-shot identical to the previous iteration, as is the gameplay, but that’s not a bad thing since it’s a good story and a well executed game. What separates the 3DS version of Corpse Party from both its predecessors is its presentation. The 3DS Corpse Party has been recreated almost from the ground up with improved environments, character models, and visuals that add an extra layer of fear to the whole thing, better adapting the interactive novel to a visual medium.

Extra details like full character profiles that emote and add body language brings much more visual depth to the characters, and the addition of detailed frames and semi-animated cutscenes make the game more striking and unnerving. Even the music has been improved, and while I still feel it shifts the tone a bit, it feels more thematically appropriate (like how “Thriller” feels like a horror-themed pop song).

Corpse Party (3DS) Review 4My only gripe with Corpse Party’s presentation is how it didn’t incorporate the 3D in any real way. One thing I’ve anyways enjoyed about top-down perspective games on the 3DS is how they create this unique aesthetic—almost like a board game come to life. Without it, Corpse Party feels noticeably flat.

There’s honestly not much more I can say about it without repeating everything I’ve already said in my previous review. Corpse Party on 3DS is an improvement on an already excellent game. If you’re looking for something spooky to play for Halloween, this is definitely worth a purchase.

Corpse Party (PC) Review

Corpse Party (PC) Review

I am an unapologetic fan of the horror genre. Some of my favourite video game memories come from late nights playing Resident Evil in my basement, the controller being passed back and forth between me and a buddy because we were too scared to keep going. In fact, the only reason I bought my PS4 was to have P.T to play around Halloween; that’s right, I spent $500 on a demo and to this day, I do not regret it. Apparently, while horror had all but disappeared from the AAA industry, a creepy little game called Corpse Party was being released on the PSP, with one on the Vita only last year. It was my further joy to learn one was heading for Steam, with one for 3DS coming in the summer!

I was a little disappointed with Corpse Party. When I had initially started following it, I was under the impression that this would be the version I had seen coming out for the 3DS. However, the PC version of Corpse Party is a re-release of the updated version of the original Corpse Party subtitled Bloodcovered (the 3DS version being an updated version of the updated version of Bloodcovered titled Bloodcovered: …Repeated Fear). So the game I expected was not the game I got, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Corpse Party Review (PC) 2

Corpse Party (Or Corpse Party: Bloodcovered if we’re being accurate) tells the story of 8 unlucky high school students and one unlucky TA who on the one particularly spooky night, decide to perform the Sachiko Ever After ritual which will supposedly bind them as friends forever. However, since their high school was built over the remains of an Elementary school where a bunch of murders happened, naturally they get sucked into another dimension where the vengeful spirits of the former students seek to kill our heroes, one at a time.

As far as plots go, that’s actually pretty good blending elements of anime with the slow, psychological style of Japanese horror, in a setting that’s reminiscent of Silent Hill. Throughout the game you’ll control each of the different students, exploring the haunted school in a top-down RPG style, searching for clues to the mysterious events in the Heavenly Host Elementary School and trying to find a way out. The choices you make will determine whether you live or die and Corpse Party does have some pretty disturbing scenes played out like a semi-RPG interactive novel, being described in gory detail.

I’ve often said creepy imagery always comes off creepier in the 8/16 bit style and Corpse Party does make use of some pretty nasty stuff, but being an early build it’s not as polished and it’s Chibi, RPG sprites never take things too far. Some of the original Japanese voice acting does up the spook-factor, adding a greater sense emotion and drama to the story, although the spell is broken slightly when the anime elements of the story creep in.

Similarly, the game’s tone is kind of all over the place and keeps the game from being as scary as it could be. At times the atmosphere can be quite unnerving, and the accompanying music or ambience can increase the tension, but then as you’re exploring the school the game’s accompanying theme sounds like a spooky version of the “turnabout” theme from Phoenix Wright. 

Overall, Corpse Party felt a bit like Deadly Premonition. When the horror was on, it was really on, but the strange shifts in tone and sometimes comical delivery of the story kill any sense of tension the game may have had. It’s not bad by any means, but I would recommend waiting for the 3DS version. Based on what I’ve seen of it, it looks darker, the music has been adjusted to create a creepier atmosphere, and new anime cutscenes add a graphic detail to the 16 bit aesthetic. Skip this Corpse Party and wait for the Corpse After Party.

Get Ready For A Corpse Party On 3DS

Get Ready For A Corpse Party On 3DS

Nintendo has long been known for its Mario parties, but it will soon be host to a party with terror and copious amounts of blood.

Corpse Party, the long-running, cult survival horror franchise focuses on helping a group of high school students escape from a haunted elementary school.  While mainly released on the Sony handhelds (with one exception on the 3DS in Europe). However, a recent ESRB post shows that the newest iteration of the game will find it’s way to localization on the 3DS.

This will be a welcome addition to the 3DS’ solid library as a survival-horror game featuring a 16-bit aesthetic, RPG and action elements, and, as written in the ratings summary ” Some interactions can lead to sequences that depict acts of violence: a character repeatedly stabbed with a pair of scissors; a character stabbed with a knife. Violence is also described in the text (e.g., “The third victim was stabbed in the left eye an indeterminate number of times”; “Buckets of blood spilled out from my head. I’m sure it was hell to clean up later…”). Blood is frequently depicted near corpses and when characters are injured.”

The ratings summary goes on to describe the game’s more R-rated themes, saying “the game includes some suggestive references in the dialogue (e.g., “Big t*ts does it for you, eh”; “If you don’t, I’ll email you a beautiful crotch shot—so watch out; “He grabbed me and forced me down, then began unbuttoning my blouse…”). In one scene, bathing characters are depicted with soap bubbles covering their chests and genitals. The words “f**k” and “a*shole” appear in dialogue.”

As a long lover of the survival horror genre, and as a vocal proponent of seeing Nintendo break out of their comfort zone and provide more “mature” content on their platforms, I am incredibly excited for this weird and scary game.