Title: Corpse Party
Developer: 5pb Games, XSEED
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 556 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes
Survival Horror is one genre of games that the PS Vita doesn’t have a lot of. If you look into the library, you just won’t see many games with horror themes, and even less with the PS Mobile closure that’s happened. There are some indies you can dive into like Poltergeist and some nice backwards-compatible games like Resident Evil 1-3 and Silent Hill. As far as native games are concerned, though, the Vita is lacking horror titles.
The future is a bit brighter for this genre. Later this month, Resident Evil Revelations 2 will be coming to the Vita and PSTV and later in the year will be the localized launch of Corpse Party: Blood Drive. With Corpse Party coming, it’s important to note that it is a game that is to be played only after playing the previous games, as story has always been the main focus of the series. As such, I am beginning my slew or prelude reviews. Here is my official review of the PSP title, Corpse Party!
The story of Corpse Party takes place in Kisaragi High School, where a group of students and their teacher are celebrating one student’s goodbye before they move to a new city. At the end of this celebration, one suggests they perform a Friendship Charm to always be together. As the 9 of them perform this charm, however, something goes wrong and they find themselves in the midst of an earthquake and waking up in a strange new school.
Upon investigation, the separated group slowly realizes they’ve been transported to a school they know from the past that is now filled with hauntings, ghosts, curses and more paranormal activity. They must then try to find the others in this multi-dimensional nexus and find a way out before they are killed by the very place and ghosts that brought them there in the first place.
Corpse Party is a well-known horror title because of how chilling the plot is. Your first run through the game will bring surprises and shocks from the very first chapter as the creepy atmosphere and twists and turns will put you on edge and gasp as you get to know the characters and the possibly grisly fate that may await them.
Corpse Party is a 2D adventure game that was originally a project within the RPG Maker software. Despite this, the game is not an RPG in any way, shape, or form. Through and through, it’s a horror-themed adventure game with puzzle elements thrown into the mix.
You will progress through the game in chapters, switching control between sets of characters, depending on how the story is unfolding. One moment you will be controlling one pair of characters and after a story scene, you’ll switch over to a different pair in a different area of the nexus. As such, the story is what keeps you riding through the game. Your goal will always be to find and trigger the next story event.
This comes in three methods: Exploration, Puzzle-solving, and Evading Enemies. Exploration is key to finding what everything is and where everything is. Many chapter sections will have certain puzzles that need certain items to activate. You may need to find a nail-puller from one room and backtrack to your classroom to open a nailed cabinet to find an item you need to trigger the next story event. It pays to look and inspect everything you come across. If you don’t inspect some things, even notes on the ground, some story events will not unlock and you’ll get stuck.
Evading enemies is the final sequence. In many story sequences, you’ll be attacked by the many curses and ghosts occupying the nexus. In this game, you have no way of fighting ghosts and many of these sequences will result in instant death where you’ll be seen going through grisly death sequences. So in these sequences, you’ll have to be quick on your feet to escape.
This also brings up saving the game. You can find candles around the school you can use to save your game. However, don’t be too reliant on them. There are some sequences where you only have a single chance to activate story sequences. If you go into a room and feel like you’re about to get a hard sequence, do not go back and save. Many of these sequences will make it so you cannot re-enter the room afterwards. It’s important to save, but don’t over-worry about it.
All in all, the game is fairly lengthy for an adventure game solely around storyline. Past all 5 chapters of the game, you should be spending about 8-10 hours, depending on how quickly you can find your way around. There are also some Extras for you to look into for more story and background.
Since this was made with RPG Maker and is a pretty simple game to play, the controls aren’t anything to confuse you. Since this is a PSP title, there are no touch controls and the L/R controls are extended to L2 and R2 on the PlayStation TV. However, you do not need to worry about this because Corpse Party doesn’t have L and R functions.
The D-Pad is used to move your character around the environment and the X button is used for interacting with characters and objects. Square can take away the HUD when you’re in a scene and Triangle can be used to pull up the menu to Quick Save or check your HP and inventory. Circle can cancel out of a menu option. Overall, it’s very simplistic with controls.
The visual presentation was pretty basic when it came out, being an RPG Maker title. The game has 2D visuals as well as drawn artwork scenes. Most of the visuals come over well, but the character models and portraits during scenes have noticeable fade and blur when you’re playing. One could argue it was intentional for the game’s atmosphere, but it’s really not. It doesn’t look terrible, but it’s noticeable.
The other part of the presentation that isn’t so good is that the game has some lag moving into new rooms. In many rooms you will enter the room and immediately be able to move. In other rooms, the game will glitch for a second before it will let you move. This wouldn’t be noticeable if other rooms didn’t transition fine. It’s a small annoyance.
Corpse Party was proof that a game didn’t have to have 3D visuals to be creepy and chilling. While there are some downers with the visuals being blurry, and random lag in rooms, this game has an immersive story that any anime and horror fan can easily be swallowed into while waiting for the inevitable release of Blood Drive.