Category Archives: Corpse Party

NCG Reviews: Corpse Party Blood Drive Nintendo Switch

Corpse Party is easily one of my favorite horror games with its jump scares, ambient background noises, and chilling story.  The story follows a group of students who are spirited away into another dimension and trapped in a haunted school filled with hate, agony, despair, and murder. Corpse Party plays as a survival horror action game mixed in with visual novel elements.  You follow multiple characters as they try to survive the horrors of Heavenly Host Elementary School.  There are four installments to the Corpse Party series, Corpse Party: Blood Covered (PSP), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP), and Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PS Vita/Nintendo Switch), and a last installment, Corpse Party: Dead Patient (PC) which released in October 2019.  Having already played all of the previous titles, I was stoked to jump back into Corpse Party: Blood Drive on my Nintendo Switch.

Corpse Party_Blood Drive - Key Art

Story 

Blood Drive takes place a few weeks after the events of Book of Shadows where Ayumi and her friends believe they have destroyed Heavenly Host and Sachiko’s curse.  They discover that not only does Heavenly Host still exist, the curse of Heavenly Host is spreading into the real world and has become more malevolent than ever.  Tricked into thinking the Book of Shadows can revive her dead friends, Ayumi goes back into Heavenly Host to retrieve the Book of Shadows and, once again, try to destroy Heavenly Host for good.

I highly recommend playing Blood Covered and Book of Shadows before playing Blood Drive, or, at least reading the story/watching a walk through beforehand.  The events in Blood Drive constantly refer to the events of Book of Shadows so you might feel a bit lost without the prior knowledge.  If you opt to skip out on the former games, Corpse Party: Blood Drive does an OK good job or reiterating the previous story to you, but it might be difficult to follow on its own.

Corpse Party_Blood Drive - Switch 01

Game Play

If you’re new to the series, game play is very straightforward but does not hold your hand past earlier tutorials.  You have no map. You pretty much wander around the school until you hit the right point for a cut scene or obtain the correct item. It is important to read the dialogue because that is the only way you’ll find clues to the next location or object you will need to obtain.  Picking up from visual novel aspects, your interactions also determine the fate of your character.  Talking to the wrong spirit or picking the wrong action can lead you to a bad ending. Choices must also be made on the fly as you only have seconds to decide your next course of action. Failure to make a decision in time will result in the automatic selection of the bad choice and ultimately the “Wrong End”.

Heavenly Host itself is also a complete danger zone.  If you’ve played the previous titles and missed out on Blood Drive, the school no longer simply poses obstructions and ghosts to stop you from proceeding.  You can’t run haphazardly through the hallways because there are shards of glass, piled of debris, holes, and living flesh organisms that inflict damage to your character. Running is also limited. Running too much can cause your character to run out of breath and stop completely to catch it –which is terrible when you’re running away from something. My major upset about the game is not only the missing map feature, but the inability to control the camera.  There are many scenarios where I’ll lose my character behind a wall or struggle to see the obstacles in my way.

Corpse Party_Blood Drive - Switch 02

The game doesn’t hold back on the horror either.  Frequently, you’ll find yourself afraid to go into classrooms or walk down certain corridors because of a lurking entity.  If you happen to run into a bad situation, getting a “Wrong End” will never be a pleasant experience.  The writers did a wonderful job describing and depicting the torture and gore your character would suffer at the hands of an unforgiving ghost. Not only that, but Corpse Party offered a lot of jump scares. Yes, they were cheesy, but when the face appears in the hole you are looking through you can’t help feeling a shudder.

Blood Drive isn’t played as a continuous story, either.  You go through Chapters, each chapter containing one part of the story.  You can re-visit the chapters through the home screen.  This is a nice touch, in case you want to go back and find anything you may have missed.

Graphics

Blood Drive on the Nintendo Switch looks fantastic! The animation looks great on the Switch and the character models are much cleaner.  With cleaner graphics, it makes the obstacles of Heavenly Host a bit more difficult to avoid because they don’t stick out as much as they did in the Vita version. Otherwise, the port to the Switch is absolutely stunning!

Corpse Party_Blood Drive - Switch 04

Audio

One thing I never really liked about Corpse Party games is the audio.  At times you can sense the director was trying to inject a sense of distance between characters based on sounds (i.e. voices coming from the distance), but this doesn’t work very well with the way the graphics are presented.  There’s a contradiction between the characters on screen and where the voices come from.  Some instances, the characters will be standing next to each other on screen, but their voices will indicate one is nearby and the other is across the room. It’s a weird quirk in the series, but I think it’s something that would have worked best if it was an audio-only telling.

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Verdict

Pros: The port over the Nintendo Switch is absolutely stunning! If you haven’t played the title on the Vita, it is absolutely worth picking up on the Switch.

Blood Drive isn’t my favorite entry in the series (you can read my original review to get my thoughts) but it does come with a lot of jump scares and horrific scenarios.

Cons: There was no fix to the audio and camera angles can irk your nerves while playing.

I would give the Switch version an 8 out of 10.

Score

Have you played any Corpse Party titles? Is this something you would pick up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

Corpse Party: Review

The horrors of Corpse Party make their way to the PC.  Originally a Japan only release, the original version of Corpse Party hit North America April 25th, 2016 for the very reasonable price of $14.99.

Story
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

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.

Audio/Music
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.

Verdict
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!

More Corpse Party horror to hit North America

More Corpse Party horror to hit North America
Along with the re-release of Corpse Party for the Nintendo DS, Corpse Party will also receive a digital release on Steam for the Windows PC version of the game on April 25, 2016. Finally localized, you can pick up another retelling of the horrific events at Heavenly Host Elementary School for $14.99.  The game will include new features, original art work and voice acting, and a retelling of the “Tooth” chapter fromCorpse Party: Book of Shadows.  Like every Corpse Party game, the Steam release will include multiple endings, and definitely a lot of “Wrong Ends”, for more replayability.  I’m hoping to see more releases of the Corpse Party franchise come to America.  Are you guys ready to see if you can survive Heavenly Host once more? 

Corpse Party is Making It’s Way To The 3DS

Originally On PSP
XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today revealed its plans to release brand new versions of the much-lauded horror adventure, Corpse Party, for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems and Windows PC, both with exclusive content never before seen outside of Japan. Originally developed as an independent title by Team GrisGris, and previously released by XSEED Games for the PSP, Corpse Party is a chilling visual novel-style experience that takes players on a terrifying journey where each step could be their last.

This summer, Corpse Party will receive a limited ‘Back to School Edition’ physical release for Nintendo 3DS priced at $49.99, which will include high-quality miniature figurines of characters Naomi Nakashima and Seiko Shinohara, as well as a soundtrack CD containing nearly 80 minutes of music from the game not previously featured on the ‘Songs of the Dead’ compilation, including three tracks exclusive to this Nintendo 3DS version. In addition to the limited ‘Back to School Edition’ physical release, Corpse Party will also see a digital release in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS for $29.99. Remastered from the 2011 PSP game, the Nintendo 3DS rendition of Corpse Party will feature redrawn, high-resolution character sprites, newly arranged music tracks, and 3D art stills, as well as four new Extra Chapters exclusive to this version that provide insight into lesser-shown characters and plot elements previously left unexplained.

Be sure to check out our review of Corpse Party: Blood Drive released on the PSVITA last fall. Also don’t forget to watch the Trailer and Screenshots Below of Corpse Party.


Corpse Party:Blood Drive Review

Corpse Party: Blood Drive Review
By Stellar.Ice

A lesser known JRPG horror game, Corpse Party has been one of the scariest games I’ve ever played (coming in right after PT).  The story follows a group of students who are spirited away into another dimension and trapped in a haunted school filled with hate, agony, despair, and murder. Corpse Party plays as a survival horror, action game mixed in with visual novel elements.  You follow multiple characters as they try to survive.  There are three installments to the Corpse Party series, Corpse Party: Blood Covered (PSP), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP), and Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PS Vita).

Story (Note: Some spoilers ahead)

Blood Drivetakes place a few weeks after the events of Book of Shadows where Ayumi and her friends believe they have destroyed Heavenly Host and Sachiko’s curse.  They discover that not only does Heavenly Host still exist, the curse of Heavenly Host is spreading into the real world and has become more malevolent than ever.  Tricked into thinking the Book of Shadows can revive her dead friends, Ayumi goes back into Heavenly Host to retrieve the Book of Shadows and, once again, try to destroy Heavenly Host for good.

I highly recommend playing Blood Coveredand Book of Shadows before playing Blood Drive, or, at least reading the story/watching a walk through beforehand.  The events in Blood Driveconstantly refer to the events of Book of Shadows. This put me at a loss, because although I had played Book of Shadows, the version I played did not follow Ayumi and Naomi into Sachiko’s estate so references regarding Book of Shadows were lost on me. I felt like I missed a major piece of the Corpse Party story.

I was surprised to see so many unique characters in Blood Drive.  Most of the new characters seemed to possess supernatural powers which made them out of the ordinary.  While the new characters give Corpse Party a new supernatural element, I think they are overdone.  I enjoyed Blood Covered because these were ordinary people placed in an extraordinary circumstance which tested their limits.  Characters with “special abilities” kind of felt like a cheat.  Super powers tend to be a salvation.

Graphics

Corpse Party is a mixture of 3D top down game play, and visual novel. The top down game play is very similar to Blood Covered,however, at times the 3D made the camera feel awkward. Since you can’t control the camera certain walls block your view so you can’t really tell where you were walking or whether or not something was in front of your character. Sometimes, the game would also glitch and enemies would get stuck in certain areas (not that I’m complaining). Since I played Blood Covered, figuring out the map wasn’t too difficult, however, you are not given a map so you need to get a sense of the school on your own. Fortunately, the map isn’t so large that you’ll get lost. While the graphics aren’t super detailed, the game does a good job depicting the horror that occurs within the schools walls. Corpses, bloodstains, rickety floors, mysterious symbols, creepy audio, and excellent text description make the school a petrifying place to be.

Music

If you’re brave, I recommend putting on your headphones and playing in the dark.  Groaning, creaking floors, breathing, frantic ghosts –you’ll be a much braver player than me! As a horror game, Blood Drive delivered well on the music.  Background music often set the tone for the game, getting louder where needed and dead silent to build tension when necessary.  The audio worked in some ways and failed in others. While creators attempted to create 3D audio, which puts voices far away when the characters are far away, and clear when the characters are close up, I felt that sometimes the “distant” character audio felt out of place, particularly in scenes when they are approaching another character.

Gameplay

Gameplay felt very straightforward but does not hold your hand the entire way.  You have no map. You pretty much wander around the school until you hit the right point for a cut scene or obtain the correct item. It is important to read the dialogue because that is the only way you’ll find clues to the next location or object you will need to obtain. Nothing is highlighted in bold for you.  I often found myself walking around the darn school for nearly an hour, getting killed by ghosts multiple times, before realizing that I was simply walking the wrong way.  This aspect was frustrating, but at the same time rewarding. I felt particularly thrilled that the final boss fight forced me to actually write down clues (on a piece of paper) and decipher when to use them. [Note: If anyone gets stuck on the final fight, I’m more than willing to give you a few hints!]  There are many places in the game where you’ll think “How the hell do I get past this!” to figuring it out and thinking “Gee, it was really that easy?” Choices must also be made on the fly.  Making the wrong decision can, of course, make another “Wrong End”.

The school itself is also a complete danger zone.  You can’t run haphazardly through the hallways because there are shards of glass your character can get hurt on or holes in the floor your character can fall through. Running is also limited. Running too much can cause your character to run out of breath and stop completely to catch it –which is terrible when you’re running away from something.

The game doesn’t hold back on the horror either.  Frequently, I found myself afraid to go into classrooms or walk down certain corridors because I knew there would be a ghost waiting for me. Often, I’d have to confront ghosts and discover whether or not they were good or bad, but first, I’d wander the school before even approaching them. Long story short, I spent a lot of time running through the school trying to shake off evil entities hot on my trail. Getting a “Wrong End” was also never pleasant.  Writers did a wonderful job describing and depicting the torture your character would suffer at the hands of an unforgiving ghost. Not only that, but Corpse Party offered a lot of jump scares. Yes, they were cheesy, but when the face appears in the hole you are looking through (yah, duh, of course something would appear there) you can’t help feeling a shudder. Random faces appear in windows, and the loading screen –oh gosh the loading screen!

 Long story short, the fact that the game didn’t hold my hand the entire time, I was led to many “Wrong Ends” and “Game Over” screens. Over, and over, and over again, but I still enjoyed it.

 
Replay Value

The game has so-so replay value.  With each chapter you clear you unlock a Special Chapter, which is essentially side stories about characters that are not really touched on within the game.  I like this extra feature because I get to meet characters from pervious games, however, when finished I’m not quite sure I’ll pick up the game again. Of course, as a completionist, I may pick it up to unlock all the trophies.

Verdict

Despite not knowing the events of Book of Shadowsand the frustrating amount of “Wrong Ends” I got throughout the game, I had a lot of fun playing.  I love how tutorials were kept to a minimum and how I had to figure a lot out for myself.  Story wise, this wasn’t my favorite installment of Corpse Party. Again, the new characters detracted somewhat to the story and then the out of this world, catastrophic events just felt like too much. I love the basic scenario: What would happen if you got stuck in a haunted school? How would you survive? The camera was somewhat glitchy, but not enough to be overly distracting and the ghosts were pretty darn creepy! Loading screens were also pretty slow, and staring at the creepy ghost face while the chapter loaded felt somewhat unsettling (that darn ghost face!) As I said before: Play this game with headphones and in the dark—it’ll be sure to scare your pants off!