Genre: Survival Horror | Players: 1 | Developer: Team GrisGris, 5pb
Corpse Party is a horror title game with the most humble of beginnings. While most games, even niche titles, have a large development team and a hefty budget, Corpse Party was originally created using RPG Maker software. The title was such a success that it was given a high quality remake, and was later remade again for the PSP. While full voice acting, new music, and CGs have all been added into the game, it retains its simplistic, SNES level graphics.
At the start of Corpse Party, characters are transported into a strange, hellish school building from which their appears to be no escape. In every room there are new horrors, with scares ranging from the obvious (ghosts jumping out at you) to slightly more subtle (cabinets filled with hair). One of the biggest impacts are the various corpses that line the school. Every corpse can be examined for a name tag, and many contain a little note that lets you know what they went through before they died. While this is fairly creepy, it's also quite heartbreaking, especially when you come across the bodies of elementary schoolers.
There are no battles to be found in Corpse Party, and the only gameplay consists of exploration, solving puzzles, and running away. In spite of this, it's surprisingly challenging. There were a couple of scenes I had to play over and over again in order to successfully evade death. None of the puzzles are frustratingly hard, and as long as you save frequently and don't get too scared to explore certain rooms, you should be able to make it through without many problems.
Corpse Party's biggest strength and biggest failing is its story. I was gripped by the tale from start to finish, and while I saw some of its twists coming, others took me completely by surprise. Unfortunately, even the game's best ending isn't that satisfying. The story is continued in a sequel, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, but the game has yet to be translated, meaning that English speaking gamers may be left frustrated.
Corpse Party offers an incredible amount of content for its price tag. There are a massive amount of endings and additional content that can be unlocked, and it's the sort of title I can see myself going back to again and again. If the sequel does get an English release, it's a game I'll be able to recommend wholeheartedly.
If you'd like to play Corpse Party in English, your only option is to download the title via PSN.There is a PC version of the title, and I sincerely hope XSEED releases it on Steam in the future. This is a terrific title, and I'd love to see it attract an audience beyond PSP owners.
4 eyeballs turned to soup out of 5