Will You Join The Corpse Party?
Outside of the Silent Hill franchise, there haven’t been many PSP games that have scared gamers quite like XSeed’s Corpse Party. A game that combines Asian supernatural and North American gore-horror elements, Corpse Party is like a 16-bit interactive amalgamation of modern and classic horror.
It’s part Ju-On: The Grudge and part Saw. It’s part Ringu (Ring), and part Final Destination. It’s a game in which no protagonist is safe, no character is left untouched by the curse of vengeful spirits and mad men. It’s a game that takes players down a horrific (and downright savage) reality where any and every choice can lead a characters demise.
Will you join the Corpse Party?
Originally developed by independent Japanese developers Team GrisGris back in 1996, the game became an underground favorite among adventure and horror game enthusiasts. Players who grew up on games like Capcom’s Sweet Home and Human’s Clock Tower found another independent treasure. Yet despite winning awards with their game, it received no remakes nor sequels until now.
In 2010, 5pb (a Japanese game manufacturer) released a Japan-only PSP and mobile game called Corpse Party: BloodCovered which met with critical and commercial success. This prompted XSEED Games to port the game to North America for more horror-philes to enjoy. It’s a 2D game telling a 3D story. Don’t mistake it for a cartoony game, some of the deaths are quite detailed, with others leaving the horrific imagery to the players own imagination.
As the plot goes, Heavenly Host Elementary was once a school that built a community, yet has since been demolished after a number of its students were viciously murdered. Now, a new school has built on the same site called Kisaragi Academy.
Corpse Party tells the story of a unlucky group Kisaragi Academy students and staff who unknowingly call on every vengeful spirit as a result of wrongly invoking the “Sachiko Ever After” charm. As a result, all of those involved are brough into an alternate space, back to where Heavenly Host Elementary still stood; back to where all the murders took place.
Players take control of a number of characters throughout the game’s five chapters. With each chapter having two to four controllable characters at once. As mentioned earlier, Corpse Party is a horror adventure in the same vein as Clock Tower, so every one of the player’s decisions carry weight within the game world. One decision made half an hour before could result in a grisly death for the character being controlled.
The gameplay consists of exploration and item collection with the occasional puzzles thrown in. Players examine things in the environment using the “X” button. Corpses found within the halls of Heavenly Host carry clues that can lead to answers to the mystery and work as a collection mini-game (in which the ID tags of those who have died in the school are found and kept.)
The deeper into the story the players get, the more mysteries there are and the more tension builds. Decisions made earlier in the game lead to consequences that affect the lives of those still alive. Supernatural apparitions intensify and the evil in Heavenly Host become stronger. If that wasn’t horrible enough, those whose mind has been touched by the curse become violent killers themselves. It’s up to the last remaining characters to solve the mystery of the cursed location in order for all of them to escape the nightmare.
Heavenly Host Elementary has sent you an invitation.
How will you die?