|Release: January 15, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p||Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language|
This is a title dependent on its overbearing sense of dread. While playing it, each move through the school is accompanied by the fear that it will lead to an irrevocable mistake, each decision fraught with the danger that it might prove terminal. These don’t serve to punish one’s progress, since the game allows the player to save at almost any time, even mid-decision. The tension is still there, though, because the results of one’s decisions can border on traumatizing. I really didn’t want to take a step and find out I’d been beheaded with piano wire, or ripped apart by Sachiko, my skull crushed by Yoshikazu and his giant hammer. Maybe that’s just me, and others will actually derive perverse pleasure from the myriad means by which it is possible to meet one’s end. It’s certainly necessary if players hope to get the most out of the game.
Unless one has a completed save of the original Corpse Party to import into Book of Shadows, the eighth chapter of the game, Blood Drive, can only be accessed if one achieves every possible ending in the other seven chapters. For those who beat the original Corpse Party, the bonus chapter will open up after receiving every true ending. Blood Drive directly continues the plot of the original Corpse Party, and is also the source for the titular “Book of Shadows.” It’s really just a prologue for an upcoming Corpse Party game of the same name (not to be confused with Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient, which is developer GrindHouse’s current focus). That it thus ends with numerous threads unresolved is not at all surprising.
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is not a game for everyone, or even for all horror fans. It will appeal to those in the very narrow center of the horror/visual novel Venn diagram. Those people, however, can expect an extremely well-written, disturbing set of mostly-disjointed tales that are united by the terror they propagate.
Date: February 4, 2013