Fun fact: My original intention was to actually make a retro briefiew out of this game but, when I was gathering information to write this article, it turned out that the PSP version of this game was actually released on 2010 so I can’t really call it retro. I’d set that invisible “retro wall” when a game gets 10 years of age and it’s still 4 years from now. Am I overthinking this too much? I thought so.
Like I mentioned already this game I’m reviewing originally came out on the first playstation portable but I recently replayed it in its downloadable form for the playstation vita. The game is a horror adventure with plenty of “cutscenes” full of text to read but it’s still not a straight up visual novel.
The game will have you controlling your characters from a top down perspective gathering objects trying to solve different puzzles and triggering events that will make you advance through the story. There’s also enemies or hazards that can (and will) kill you if you don’t avoid them. Another important aspect of the gameplay resides in the player choice. At certain points, the game will give you different options to choose from and the fate of the characters will depend on those.
The main drawing point of this game resides on its story. It starts like a pretty cheesy school drama typical from an anime. A group of friends have stayed late at school telling ghost stories, they even tell the story about how under that school there used to be another one that had to close down because of some tragic events happening. Then in the middle of the night an eartquake happens and the class they’re in crumbles. When they wake up they find themselves inside that haunted school the stories talked about. The intro is a little cliche, has some cheesy laughs but then it’s when the spiral of horror starts.
I shouldn’t (and won’t) get into details but the game gets pretty dark pretty fast. Every chapter is more grim and twisted than the one before and what seemed a pretty typical teenager horror story turns out to be way more adult than you’d expect.
The good thing about having retro style graphics is that they can’t age any more than what they already were. The game has a 2D pixelated style for the top down perspective and shows some nicely drawn portraits for the characters as well as some art to display some scenes like in a visual novel. If this game were to be made for the vita instead of being an emulated version of the psp game, the only difference you’d find would be that the texts would look a little sharper with its superior native resolution so no big loss there.
The sound department gets a props for the moody music however I didn’t enjoy the voiceover of the game that much. It’s just personal taste but I think that the game would feel even more atmospheric without the sometimes annoying voices of the japanese teens.
Things I liked
- Story: The game starts a little cheesy but then it gets quite serious in no time. The game is also pretty gruesome as well and some of the stuff that will happen to the characters you won’t forget.
- Scary: If you thought that a game with pixelated graphics couldn’t be scary, think again. The game is very immersive and it even delivers some interesting jumpscares you probably won’t be expecting from a game like this.
Things I didn’t
- Clueless: The game doesn’t hold your hand at all on its progression and that wouldn’t be that much of a problem if it wasn’t for how specific the game demands you to do things. For example you won’t be able to grab a vital object you find until you trigger a certain event. If you get stuck, which you probably will at some point, you can always check a walkthrough but where’s the fun in that?
Who’d like this?
As a game, this might not be the best ever. To be honest, Corpse Party isn’t that much fun to play but the game will hook you for its deep and gruesome plot. If you’re a fan of narrative-heavy games and more specifically horror games, you have to give this game a chance.