I’ve never been this terrified playing a game. That is, early on. The beginning of Corpse Party is great at getting the player into the creepy setting. The music, the story, all of it…the creepy factor is through the roof. Having played the first or second games is not necessary as the game’s story does a great job of catching the player up. In traditional XSEED fashion, the game is translated wonderfully with only a few mistakes throughout and the ones that I found were just spelling errors that slipped through the cracks. There is no English dialog, but all of the Japanese dialog is exceptionally voice acted. In fact, the biggest selling point of the terror is the main character’s acting. I got a genuine sense of terror from Ayumi Shinozaki who serves as the game’s protagonist this time and I don’t understand a single word of Japanese. That says a lot to me.
That terror doesn’t last for too long though. After a bit, you switch to a different character who is more spiritually inclined so that the game can teach you some other mechanics. This girl, naturally, isn’t afraid of shit. It did a great job of spoiling the established mood from earlier. Another tactic employed by the game to kill the mood is unnecessary and long load screens. These aren’t even load screens that lead to heavy dialog or cut scenes. They’re just going from one part of the floor to the next or to a different floor. This is so much worse when you’re running from something and you get a loading screen that lasts 20-40 seconds. The pace of the game suffers greatly from this odd loading. On the flip side, the move to 3D has given us a very effective flashlight. You wouldn’t think that it would, but the limited view and the way the flashlight creates real-time shadows and how those shadows play games with your mind is just perfect.
As I said, you don’t need to have played previous games, but having done so will make you more familiar with the main characters and lore. That said, the other games are quite old, so I’m not afraid to set up the story of this game. In the first game, Ayumi got all her friends to perform a black magic ritual at their school which resulted in half of them dead. This time, Ayumi feels bad about what she did and how their friends are gone, and someone shows them a way to get back to where their friends died, implying that they can resurrect their friends. Satoshi Mochida, the main character from the first game protests to this, but Ayumi fucks shit up again and they get stuck back at Heavenly Host and must find their way out. Another group, lead by the girl that isn’t afraid of shit must also find their way out, but…this is Corpse party. You know people are going to die.
There are quite a few different endings in this game, and that’s good because it’s easy to do something wrong and wind up dead. What’s more is that there is a very long campaign with multiple side missions. There are there are 17 chapters total, 10 main story with 7 EX or side stories. It should take you between 20 and 30 hours to complete, so for those looking for value, it’s quite lengthy. If you are a Corpse Party fan and sitting on the fence, I’d have to say that you should probably take the plunge. Despite the still screens looking bad, the game is quite good in motion and the flashlight and shadows are great additions that will truly freak you out.