Corpse Party

There is a party and every body is not invited!
John Fox - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Strong Violence: 16-bit blood and gore. Very gruesome text descriptions of violent acts.

Occult Content:Some magic charms used and occult symbols present. Ghosts and possessions.

Strong Language: Fairly common uses of bad language, some usage of strong language.

Sexual Content: Some sexual references, a bath scene with 16-bit rear nudity and partial nudity in anime bath still.

Other:Mention of urine and vomit. Some positive elements.

Warning: Corpse party is rated M for Mature and contains disturbing elements. The author has included pictures and descriptions of the offensive content found in the game for the review. Because of this, those who are easily unsettled by disgusting and disturbing content are advised to not read the review.

One night a group of high school students are cleaning up from the annual cultural festival. As one of the students Mayu is moving the next day the resident occult fan Ayumi suggest they all perform a charm she found on the internet, one that would cause them to stay friends for the rest of their lives. Something goes horribly wrong during the spell and they are magically relocated to Heavenly Host Elementary School; a school infamous in history and one that was demolished many years ago. Soon they find that the school is haunted by the ghost of child murder victims and they are separated from one another, each residing in a different and separate school dimension. They must rely on each other to survive these dangerous conditions and try to escape this horrible school. But what went wrong with the charm and how did this ghostly school get created in the first place?

Created by Team GrisGris, translated by Xseed Games and available exclusively for the PSP on the Playstation Network, Corpse Party is a game that puts players in the shoes of various victims of the backfired charm and must explore the haunted school and survive the horrors within. Gameplay is best described as a more interactive visual novel or a story focused adventure game. The player moves around Heavenly Host Elementary School examining objects and running into the various terrors of the school. Once in awhile there is a puzzle or you must avoid a ghost, but mostly you are exploring the school trying to trigger the next story sequence. Thankfully Xseed did an excellent job with the translation and the story itself is very suspenseful and interesting. The biggest pitfall to this translation is that all the names are in Japanese and some of them are very similar. Also many of the girls look much alike, so it is hard to keep track of who’s who.

The graphics are 16-bit “SNES” style with high quality character portraits and anime stills shots to supplement them. Voice acting is in Japanese and is very good, at least to someone who does not speak the language. Music is excellent and changes as the game goes on or to fit the atmosphere. The sounds effects are superb. They were recorded with the use of headphones in mind and while wearing them, players can experience ghosts whispering in your ear, screaming voices floating around the room or the distant talking of a person several feet away. This really adds to the overall experience and atmosphere of the game.

Violence:

Violence comes in three categories. The 16-bit graphics which are the graphics shown as the character explores the school. These graphics can be bloody and gory. Though it is not very detailed thanks to the nature of the graphics, players will experience characters being sliced in half, a corpse smashed against the wall, a mutilated body and various other brutal murder and suicide victims.

The more detailed anime still shots and character portraits used throughout only show blood, but still have such intense scenes as a character being hung by a rope, a little girl being strangled, a small ghost girl with a missing eye, a ghost with a missing head and ghosts with no tongues.

The most detailed violence comes in the form of text and the included audio. Though not much is shown (they are sometimes supplied with anime stills which only show blood), the player will experience such incidents as a firsthand account of the brutal murder and dismemberment of elementary kids with a pair of scissors, accounts of cannibalism, a person being buried alive and a character having their innards spill out of their body. These descriptions can be extremely intense and disgusting and are definitely not for the faint of heart.

During the game the player also collects school tags of various victims. These show the 16-bit corpse of the person as well as a brief description on how they died.

Language:

D*mn, h*ll, b*stard, a*s, g*damnit, b*tch and the Lord’s name in vain are used when things get intense, which is to say fairly frequently. F*ck and s*it are less common, but still read around a dozen times in total. Some more rude language such a “crap” and “freaking” is also used.

Sexual Content:

One female character remarks on another female character’s good looking butt a couple times . It is unclear if she is just admiring it, just teasing her or if she is attracted to the girl. Once, as a joke, the same girl teasingly says that she will send the other girl a crotch shot with her cellphone; this is never shown. Some accidental touching of male/female private parts are mentioned, but not shown. One man tries to force his attention on a women and starts to unbutton her blouse before she gets away, again not shown. Brief non-descriptive mention of child rape and molestation is given as the reason for the school’s low attendance. One girl briefly tells her brother that she is romantically attracted to him, though nothing comes of it and the brother looks to her just as a sister. A couple anime still panty shots. Also the school girls wear short skirts.

There is one bath scene in which a male and female sibling are bathing together that shows 16-bit bare buttocks with a still anime scene of them naked, but their sensitive areas are covered by their hands, arms and steam. The older girl teases her younger brother and tickles him, jokingly asking him is he wants any milk, he replies by calling her a pervert.

Occult Content:Characters engage in a charm– a spell that gets them trapped in the school. Ghosts inhabit the school who suffer a never-ending pain that they experienced upon death. These spirits can be good or evil. Some characters and corpses are possessed by spirits, the mysterious “darkening” or are mind controlled by the evil forces of the school. One girl is an occult fan (her sister is briefly mentioned as a medium) and the save points are the candles the girl has for her occult rituals. Part of the story revolves around a group of people who are studying the occult surrounding the school. One girl collects scented beads that she thinks has specific lucky charm like properties. One room contains a pentacle supposedly used for witchcraft, but exactly what it used for is never mentioned. A circle-less pentagram (upside-down 5-pointed star) is used to switch between characters late in the game. Nothing explicitly demonic is ever mentioned or shown.

Other:

Sometimes the characters throw up or run into vomit or urine, though its depiction is never graphically detailed. One part of the game has a little girl waiting to use a bathroom for an extended length of time.

Positive Elements:

Despite all the highly disgusting and disturbing things the player experiences, the game surprisingly has some redeeming qualities. The first is the warning against dabbling in the occult. Though the characters eventually use a charm to their advantage, everything that has happened to them is because of the charm they used at the beginning of the game. The game does not glorify the occult and shows (albeit in a fantastic way) what can happen to those who dabble in it.

Also shown is the importance of looking after your fellow man. The characters require each other’s support and help to survive in the school. At least one “wrong” ending shows the terrible things that can happen without one person looking out for the other. One theme in the game is that while they may not be able to change their fate, at least they can die in the comfort of one another’s presence. Also shown is the importance of self-sacrifice.

The game also shows hate and revenge in a very negative light. Finally it has the best example of the power of forgiveness I’ve ever run into in a video game.

Does the above redeem the game and make it worth playing? No, but it is nice that the game is more about watching teenagers die in horrible ways like much of the horror genre.

Because of the inherently disturbing and disgusting nature of the game, as well as the lack of gameplay, this game is not for everyone, or even most people. Like a party held by the stereotypical weird kid, this is a party every body may be invited to, but most will not want to come.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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