- System: PC
- Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA Inc.
- Developer: MAGES, 5pb
- Release Date: October 29, 2018
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Visual Novel
- Players: 1
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
As we mentioned above, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows plays quite differently than the first main entry in the franchise. Rather than explore Heavenly Host—the main location of the game—in an overhead perspective, players will investigate various areas and such as if they were playing an interactive visual novel. This doesn’t mean all of the elements of the original are completely gone though. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows still retains some elements of the original, but we’ll explain that as we talk more in depth about the gameplay.
The main draw of Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is the visual novel themes. Scattered across eight chapters, players will make choices that lead to different endings—wrong ends and a one true ending—as they engage in that chapter’s specific tale. The choices you make usually involve deciding to look closer at a specific area or to do something silly, but these result in wrong ends that are fun to witness and occasionally provide some of the darker elements to Corpse Party: Book of Shadows.
Also returning from the original Corpse Party is the Darkening. Heavenly Host is a cursed school filled with horrors from corpses—just look at the game’s title—to scary notes and strange traps. If players continuously activate these events, their Darkening Meter—which can be seen from the menu—fills and causes the player’s character to see various creepy images, hear voices and even might lead to wrong ends during some chapters. It’s often hard to max out the Darkening gauge to 100% without trying hard to do so, but the effects, even at low numbers, can make a creepy hallway turn even worse when you begin to hear footsteps approaching you from behind or sounds that weren’t there as you previously trekked through that spot.
Exploration in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is where the game falters only slightly. We truly loved the original Corpse Party and how it allowed players to enter rooms and even run from ghosts/baddies when events activated. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows removes this in favor of the visual novel aesthetic which means players can only move using simple look options and a map that allows movement through hallways—that all look the same—and classrooms. This visual novel gameplay feature was removed in the final Western installment in the Corpse Party franchise—Corpse Party: Blood Drive—which makes returning to Corpse Party: Book of Shadows a bit harder for those who want a bit more immersion in their horror experience. Though trust us, folks, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is still a terrifying game even if the images are still. Expect some graphic content that pushes that M rating to its literal limits.
With Corpse Party: Book of Shadows’ move to the PC, we had hoped some elements of the base game would be changed, and while there are some minor changes,—visuals are now HD, Steam achievements and PC controls—everything else remains the same. Unlike the Corpse Party game for the Nintendo 3DS, which added some new events to the original title, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is the same PSP game. You’re still getting the impressive audio that makes voices and sounds appear to be right behind you or next to you—especially if you’re wearing headphones which is a recommendation by us and the game. We did love the ability to play Corpse Party: Book of Shadows on a monitor versus the tiny PSP screen, but we feel a few extra chapters could have been added for incentive to players who beat Corpse Party: Book of Shadows numerous times before.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Excellent horror story with a wonderful cast of characters and numerous tales to be told that were unseen in the original
- Enhanced visuals and gameplay/keyboard support make Corpse Party: Book of Shadows for the PC a definitive way to play
- Still retains the wonderful sound design that will make you constantly turn your head in fear as you play
- No new features outside aesthetic ones means this port is just that, a port
- The visual novel theme might not appeal to those who played the first and last game
Honey's Final Verdict:
What are your takes on Corpse Party: Book of Shadows? Have you played the original version and are still going to buy this one or are you going to pass on it? Comment below to let us know as we always are curious what you guys and girls are thinking! Be sure to keep stuck to our hive for even more video game and anime reviews curtsey of us here at Honey’s Anime!