Short Version: Corpse Party for the 3DS is the definitive version of the original Corpse Party. It is a well developed isometric horror game about a group students trapped in a haunted school, and it succeeds in offering the perfect horror experience in an unexpected package. If you like horror experiences and have a 3DS then get this game.
Long Version: These days it seems that more and more developers are working on the seemingly impossible task of create truly immersive experience that trick the end user into a false sense of realism. Most devs have used the emerging VR technologies in an effort to achieve their goals; however, not all these efforts are successful, or available due to the relatively infantile nature of VR…
…but is VR the only way to truly immerse a gamer? I don’t think so.
Makoto Kedōin and Team GrisGris of the Corpse Party games have been immersing gamers for years in their well designed horror experiences, and keep in mind that their games are not the most graphically intensive titles. Corpse Party for the Nintendo 3DS is one of those games that most may overlook, assuming that it’s just a simple sprite based game that has no place in the modern gaming space, but they’d be wrong. Corpse Party is one of the most immersive games I have ever played, and I think it was thanks to the style of the game that I was so easily fooled into a false sense of comfort just enough to be completely nonplussed by it. It does more with audio, and it’s well written story than most other titles, and I hope I can relay to you why I think that is so immersive by the end of this review.
What is Corpse Party?
Corpse Party is a linear horror monster adventure game with some role-playing elements. It is played in a third-person view, top-down perspective. Players are tasked with exploring the haunted school grounds for a means of escape. To fulfill this task, characters must interact with the environment and surroundings such as picking up objects, talking to other characters, and inspecting documents while avoiding enemy-like entities…… Blah, Blah… more wiki stuff… So, the story is centered around a group of students, and their teacher that find themselves in a haunted school after performing an occult ritual that was supposed to keep them together forever, or something like that. I’m not gonna confirm or deny the validity that synopsis, because I like to think that this is a game that should be entered without any prior knowledge of that plot. A plot that is both engrossing and terrifying at the exact same time.
This terrifying aspect is further enhanced by it’s perfect delivery of music and sound. The games music primarily consists of a strangely upbeat chiptune that plays on a loop during the exploration sections, and a mixture of chilling music & sound effect that dominate the story sections littered throughout the game. One might assume that this mixture wouldn’t be as significant as I’m making it out to be, but you’d be wrong in that assumption. The reason I say this is because the upbeat music is supposed to keep you relaxed enough to build confidence. Confidence to explore. Confidence to let your let your guard down. This false confidence is then extinguished by the sudden chills of the unknown. When the music changes it’s sudden. Almost like a car without rear view mirrors driving down the highway and then suddenly stopping in the middle lane. The driver is unaware of of what’s behind him. It may be nothing, or it may be a 50 ton truck ready to reduce him to an indistinguishable mixture of metal and flesh. This is what it’s like to play Corpse Party on the 3DS. This is what it’s music is like.
The game also has some very nice voice acting for the story segments, something that was not present in the original. During my time with the game anticipated listening to the characters talk to each other about their past, love interests and other things that you’d expect students to discuss. Each voice actor/actress delivered an astounding performance that truly surprised me.
lets just say I’m not accustomed to voice action on my 3DS…
P.S. Make sure to use high quality headsets or earbuds in a dark room for best experience… If it so happens to be a stormy night and the power goes out then you might want to try reading watching a movie on your phone instead. ~warning may be based on true experience.
Graphically this version of Corpse Party looks arguably better than the Steam version it is based on, and it also has much more developed story elements including dialog that was not present in the original. It’s basically a remaster with some director’s cut elements placed in there for good measure. The sprites and environment are not as detailed as the steam version due to the low resolution of the 3DS’ screens; however, that’s not really noticeable on a smaller 3DS sreen. Which is why I said that the graphics are arguably better on the 3DS. That, and the updated character art used for story sections. It’s completely been remastered with a more anime look to it, which really shines. Characters look more lifelike and appealing, and there are even other visual effects that are present in this version that add even more to the experience. Overall the visuals are a mixture of old and new that blend well together to give you an accessible, yet rewarding experience.
So who is a game like this for?
Corpse Party for the 3DS is a game that 3DS owners who like horror games and movies should have in their collection. It’s very immersive thanks to the plot, audio and seemingly simplistic visuals that effortlessly draw you in, and keep you interested from beginning to end. It’s the best version of the original Corpse Party to date, and well worth it’s price tag. If you are easily scared or not into horror related content, then this is not the game for you.
A copy of Corpse Party for the 3DS was provided by XSEED Games for this Review.