The PSVITA has been the primary way to play the beloved Corpse Party series for the last decade. While we here at Honey’s Anime have enjoyed the horrors of Heavenly Host Elementary, there has always been the realization that one day the PSVITA would disappear and we’d be left with newer consoles/handhelds to play on. Thankfully, as of late, ports of Corpse Party games have been released on the PC—via Steam—and it’s allowed us to play updated versions of the games we loved. Now another Corpse Party game has been re-released but not just on Steam. Corpse Party: Blood Drive has made its way to the Nintendo Switch and you can sure as heck bet we re-entered the hell awaiting us in the ghost filled halls of Heavenly Host with smiles on our faces. Is this port of Corpse Party: Blood Drive worth playing though, especially if you played it on the PSVITA? We find out in our full review of Corpse Party: Blood Drive for the Nintendo Switch!
What to Expect
Corpse Party: Blood Drive acts as the finale to the Heavenly Host story having you once more enter its nightmarish halls. Assume the role of several survivors of this hell and try to put an end to the curse that runs through the veins of this haunted school. Unlike the last entry—Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, Corpse Party: Blood Drive returns to original form as you explore the world via a third person perspective. Solve puzzles, avoid ghosts waiting to suck your life dry and survive numerous traps as you try to end this horror! Besides the main chapter—boasting 11 chapters—Corpse Party: Blood Drive also includes several extra episodes giving closure to side-characters and telling untold stories from other survivors/lost souls. Welcome back to Heavenly Host Elementary where learning has finished but death has resumed its session.
Ayumi and several of her classmates from class 2-9 survived the experience of being sent to Heavenly Host Elementary, but they weren’t without loss. Friends died and curses followed some of our survivors. Ayumi tried using a powerful book called the Book of Shadows, but in doing so, she caused a new curse to be unleashed and the book disappeared from her very hands. Unfortunately, the book seems to have made its way back to the corrupt halls of the strange Heavenly Host Elementary and Ayumi knows that only she can regain it and try once more to save her friends! Ayumi will return to the very place she desperately tried to escape in this final tale called Corpse Party: Blood Drive!
If you missed out on the PS Vita versions of Corpse Party and/or the PC releases of Corpse Party, let’s get you up to speed. Corpse Party focuses on a group of high schoolers who end up trapped in a haunted elementary school—the setting might seem silly but Corpse Party is far from silly 95% of the time—and must fight their way through ghosts of killed kids and others trapped in this nightmarish realm. Corpse Party: Blood Drive is the third installment of the main Corpse Party series focusing on Kisaragi Academy’s class 2-9 and ends the story of the Heavenly Host Elementary tale. Akin to the first title, Corpse Party: Blood Drive has players taking control of several characters via a top down 3rd person perspective. Your goal: survive the horrors that will soon launch at you from various directions. Accomplishing this task might seem tough, but in Corpse Party, survival is possible for those up to the task!
Corpse Party: Blood Drive has players solving puzzles, running from various baddies and trying their best to avoid getting a coveted “bad ending” which almost every chapter has. For the majority of Corpse Party: Blood Drive, you’ll control Ayumi Shinosaki, one of the original survivors of the first Corpse Party game and the one responsible for causing some curses to be let loose in our world at the end of Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. You’ll often be thrown into almost two gameplay themes while playing Corpse Party: Blood Drive. One half of the game consists of an almost visual novel-like set up where you make choices that can—and often—affect later elements of a chapter and what happens to a character. The other half is the top down/3rd person perspective where Corpse Party: Blood Drive becomes a genuine survival horror title having you find items in various areas, solve usually semi-intuitive puzzles and escaping from dangerous ghosts and traps. Corpse Party: Blood Drive succeeds in every aspect it throws at the player due to having an engaging cast of characters—that are trope-like at times—as well as a narrative that immerses you in their hellish situation. The gameplay for Corpse Party: Blood Drive also hits all those necessary high notes by testing players to think outside the box sometimes with puzzle solutions and to constantly back track through spooky hallways, rooms and settings to find a key item they most likely combed over.
Visually, Corpse Party: Blood Drive blends two distinct art styles together. During the story elements, there’s a true anime theme to characters and you’ll often see extremely detailed CG stills. While exploring environments, you enter a chibi/sprite art style which also works well. Many are usually taken aback when they see Corpse Party: Blood Drive look almost cute with the chibi character models but once they see the spooky—and very well detailed—settings they begin to realize Corpse Party: Blood Drive is far from cute.
Usually we don’t talk about sound design by itself, but Corpse Party: Blood Drive is one of the few games where sound is truly perfected. The beauty of hearing ghostly screams and panted breaths of survivors is spine chilling and when you have headphones—get some good ones for Corpse Party: Blood Drive and thank us later—the sound is amplified by having Omni-directional themes. Play Corpse Party: Blood Drive late at night with the lights off and headphones on and tell us later you didn’t jump the first time you heart one of the ghosts whisper out in Japanese from what seems like over your shoulder and into your ear. Corpse Party: Blood Drive nails the sound design with haunting tracks and some wonderful voice acting that makes this horror experience that much better.
Now, if you have played the original PS Vita version and are wondering what’s different in the Nintendo Switch port, we can tell you now not too much has changed. The Nintendo Switch version retains all of the previous elements of the original game but does increase the visuals/framerate. This makes some of the more intense sections more stable and gives Corpse Party: Blood Drive a more modern look. Add to that too the ability to play Corpse Party: Blood Drive on the go or on your big screen TV—if you have the original Nintendo Switch not the lite—and you can experience a whole new way to play this horror title! Corpse Party: Blood Drive might not do much different on the Nintendo Switch but even fans will find reasons to re-enter the nightmare for just one more go.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
While the Nintendo Switch port of Corpse Party: Blood Drive doesn’t do much more than make the game look more up to date, that doesn’t degrade the overall experience even slightly. Corpse Party: Blood Drive now looks better and for a game that was nearly perfect originally, this update is just what fans want. Plus, if the rumored Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient Episode 1 is truly coming soon, playing Corpse Party: Blood Drive now is a good time to enter the true sequel with some understanding of the overall narrative. Fans of Corpse Party: Blood Drive will no doubt want to buy Corpse Party: Blood Drive without us recommending it to them. However, if you missed out on the PS Vita version of this amazing horror title then here’s our final comment. You absolutely must buy Corpse Party: Blood Drive for easily one of the best horror series of all time!
Truly amazing narrative that wraps up the tale of Heavenly Host Elementary and class 2- of Kisaragi Academy nicely
Great puzzles to solve and some truly engaging survival horror themes
Wonderful use of audio to really make you feel the fear all around you
Being able to switch between portable and docked gives you a new way to play Corpse Party: Blood Drive
Upgrades visuals and framerate make Corpse Party: Blood Drive feel just a bit more modern
Not much has been added making it hard to recommend to fans who have played the PS Vita version to rebuy Corpse Party: Blood Drive
Still has the weaker “bad ends” of the series
Honey's Final Verdict:
We’ve always been die-hard fans of the Corpse Party games which might make us a bit biased at times but equally makes us harder on these titles as reviewers. Corpse Party: Blood Drive might not be the best of the three games—the first one still feels perfected in our hearts—but is definitely a close second and for good reason. Whether you’re an anime horror fan or just a fan of survival horror, Corpse Party: Blood Drive is the perfect title to sink your teeth into for an overall great time! Plus, Halloween is coming up so why not try out Corpse Party: Blood Drive during this spooky season? Are you excited to play Corpse Party: Blood Drive or do you have some reservations? Comment below to sound off as we always love hearing from you readers! For even more game reviews and all things otaku, keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!