Geek Revolt

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows Review

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Corpse Party: Book of Shadows isn’t a full-blown sequel. It can best be described as a companion piece; it fills in some of the first game’s holes, and gives us a few “what if” scenarios. It also plays differently than its predecessor. It drops the sprites and goes with a visual novel-esque approach. That’s a major change, but the story and grizzly deaths are what made the original so entertaining, and Book of Shadows stays true to its roots.

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Title: Corpse Party: Book of Shadows
Genre: Visual Novel/Point & Click
Developer: Team GrisGris
Platforms: PSP and PS Vita
Price: $19.99
ESRB: Mature
Release Date: January 15 2013 [/toggle_box]

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PRAISE:

  • Visual Novel Meets Point & Click – Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is part visual novel, and part point and click adventure. It’s a departure from the originals gameplay. The right trigger takes you from room to room, and the analog stick scans the area for points of interest. Some rooms trigger unavoidable events, and you’ll often be faced with tough decisions.
  • 8 Chapters, Multiple Endings – There are 8 chapters, and each has multiple endings. I won’t go into detail about their stories because they’re easy to spoil. Just prepare to be traumatized…
  • Japanese Horror Fans Rejoice – This sticks close to Japanese horror mythos. There are creepy children, quick flashes of gore, curses, etc. Your appreciation of the stories presented in this game will directly tie into your love for Japanese horror.
  • Sound Design – Play this with a good pair of headphones. The sound design is immersive. It’s like you’re really in a haunted schoolhouse. The floorboards will squeak, you’ll hear faint whispers, and the music makes you feel like something is always lurking in the shadows. This is a good thing because — something is always lurking in the shadows!
  • PS Vita Support – Don’t own a PSP? No problem, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows supports the PS Vita too. Just don’t expect any extras like trophies. It’s still a PSP game at heart.
  • Save Anywhere – Oops — you killed your best friend! No worries just save before tough decisions, and then reload if you make a mistake. It’s like real life! Seriously, this feature comes in handy.

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AWKWARD SILENCE:

  • Japanese Audio Only – This doesn’t bother me, but I have to mention it. The audio is in Japanese, and you have to read subtitles. Sure, an English audio track would have been nice, but this is a $19.99 PSP game. It’s super niche – spending money on an English dub would’ve been wasteful on Xseed’s part.
  • Lots of Backtracking – Backtracking is the name of the game. You’ll go from room to room looking for clues, and some chapters take place in the same locations. Sometimes it makes you want to bump into a ghost and scream, “Please, just kill me now!” And they’ll probably say, “Okay!”

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WELL-DESERVED CRITICISMS:

  • Scary? – Nothing made me drop my PS Vita and run out of the room in terror. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows can be too predictable at times, and the static backgrounds break immersion. The sound design takes you to creepy locations, but the stiff visuals drag you back to reality. A fully 3D environment to explore would have solved this problem. The game is still disturbing, though. It just isn’t what I would classify as “scary”.

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CONCLUSION:

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is an acquired taste. The average gamer won’t make it past the first chapter. It’s not a hard game; the problem is it’s not a traditional one. Sure, you make choices and click on objects, but most of your time is spent reading text. Do you love visual novels? Do you own the first game? If you answered yes to both questions then this is worth a look.

[box_light]We believe that the score is the least important part of a review. It’s tough trying to assign a numerical value to an experience. Is there really a difference between a 7.5 and an 8? Gamers place too much importance on arbitrary numbers. This is why our scores are hidden by default. Only look at them if you absolutely need a number between 1-10 to see if a game is worth your time. You can read our review guidelines here.[/box_light]

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Gameplay: 6
Story: 7
Graphics: 6
Sound: 9
Replay Value: 8
Overall: 7

Good – This game probably won’t win any awards, but it’ll keep you entertained, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters – it’s worth a look. [/toggle_box]

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "26-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."