After the school festival Kisargi Academy’s class 2-9 must say goodbye to their cherished classmate who is transferring schools. To always stay together -in spirit, anyway- they perform the Sachiko Ever After charm. Unfortunately, the charm is a ritual that transports the eight students and their teacher to the separate nirvana of Heavenly Host Elementary school: a school that looks like, well, a corpse party. As you play through the game you experience horrors that have taken place in Heavenly Host Elementary School and hope your characters make it out alive. Descriptive passages and complex puzzles make the game a horrifying, yet challenging experience. Through the game, you must discover the mysteries and events that occurred within the walls of the Heavenly Host in an attempt to make your escape.
Graphics are presented in 2D sprite graphics and 16-bit style, with top down game play and hand drawn anime-style portraits. Unlike the remastered PSP version, character design does not look fully finessed and you don’t get those extra creepy shots that make your skin crawl. Sorry, there also aren’t any fan service shots either. The gore also isn’t overly visually represented. Most of the text guides you through the grotesque so the graphic simplicity works well with the visual novel style of storytelling.
Corpse Party includes the original sound track and voice acting. For those who have played Corpse Party: Blood Covered on the PSP you’ll note some subtle differences with voice portrayal and characteristics, some original voices are better (Morishige), and some make you appreciate Blood Covered (Ayumi). Background music fits the tone of the story, and when you get those horrible moments of silence you can’t help but wish for the background music to kick back in. Floors creak, ghosts echo ominously through the building; tension is built very well throughout the game. Even as an experienced Corpse Party player myself, the music still gets my heart racing. The best way to play this game is with a set of headphones in dark room… if you dare.
Replay ValueWhat I love the most about Corpse Party games is that they are not easy. One wrong move and it’s a horrific end for your character. Even after having played the game before, I still managed to get a wrong end! For the completionist, you’ll find yourself trying to obtain all the endings; wrong or right. And trust me, there are 20 different endings to experience. For those new to the franchise; good luck! You’ll be more than satisfied knowing you made your way to the end after all those horrible, horrible wrong endings.
The original PC version of the game is the best choice for players not interested in the overly extensive back story and character development. Even without the creepy anime portrait cut scenes, the dialogue and description is so well done, your imagination fills in the gaps for you. Essentially, you get the game without all the filler which is nice when you just, you know, want to play the game.
Are you brave enough to face the ghosts and horrors or Heavenly Host Elementary School? Let us know what you think!