Developer: Team GrisGris
Release Date: 11/22/2011
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Based off of a popular manga in Japan, Corpse Party delivers a great and haunting story with memorable characters in a very haunting setting. Several school kids perform a cult type ritual called the Sachiko Charm as a gag. They don’t realize that the charm is part of a sadistic and horrific murder of four school children including the girl the charm is named after. They get thrown into a parallel dimension of Heavenly Host Elementary and must find a way to appease the ghosts or get stuck there for eternity. What the children go through is horrific and gut-wrenching, but that is the beauty of Corpse Party.
Forget about gameplay and everything else because this game is all about the story and atmosphere. I have to give the developers props for bringing across such a scary game with such simple graphics as a 2D survival horror with low-quality sprites and the occasional well drew anime shot. The game is disturbing mainly in the well delivered Japanese voice acting and just the raw terror and gore in the game. There are buckets of blood, severed heads, and mutilated bodies everywhere, but mainly in textual descriptions more than anything. The game really doesn’t do much in terms of visuals so you solely rely on the great script to get the horrific images. Some scenes are just black with only voices and text to go by, but it still brings across the feeling of sheer terror.
This is possible because you go through everything with these kids and the things that happen to them are just horrific and extremely sad because you really get attached to everybody. The game, however, is also lacking in gameplay because you only run around pressing X on everything trying to find items to unlock new areas. The school is the same through every chapter, but it just changes and blocks certain areas off or adds new areas. The game is pretty easy to navigate and understand until you get to chapter 3 and then it all falls apart and requires a guide. Everything has to be done in an exact order or you wind up with “Bad Endings” and it’s game over. While each bad ending is different you get frustrated when the game takes you through 20 minutes of gameplay only to realize it was all part of the bad ending. There even a glitch that won’t let you get all the school tags to unlock the extra chapters. I really hate how the game has to be played out an exact way and not to mention during certain scenes you can die by selecting the wrong choice, but there are saves throughout the game that help remedy this a bit.
While the game is lacking any type of gameplay at all you will still be satisfied with the excellent story and characters. This is the only thing saving Corpse Party from being another terrible attempt on the PSP, but being so late in the systems cycle is a surprise. If the game had better graphics, or maybe just more anime cut-aways, the game would be one of the best on the PSP.