Developers: Team GrisGris
Publishers: Team GrisGris
Plot: Satoshi wakes up with his little sister, determined to protect her from whatever evils are lurking in the darkness.
The opening to this episode is hauntingly amazing. Two brand new characters are introduced, previous students to be transported to this plain of existence, only for them to be butchered. The catch is that we never see what kills them, only the pitch black of your PSP screen, accompanied with their screams of mercy. That is how you bring gamers right back into the nightmare, after their wait for the third chapter.
After a quick exploration of how Naomi is coping with Seiko’s suicide, we are taken to this chapter’s heroes, Satoshi and his little sister, Yuka. Most of us having been waiting for the moment where we could get to handle Satoshi, as he is the more traditional hero of the group. He is dependable, righteous and easily relatable, as he is looking out for his little sister. Even Yuka is much more likeable than Ayumi, when it comes to the girl you end up looking out for. Yuka doesn’t break down and cry as much, despite her young age, nor does she ever turn on Satoshi in this nightmare. As a player, we are also fixated on helping Yuka endure this nightmare. We have seen what horrors lie in wait for the previous characters, but we are unsure that Yuka will be a part of that. On one hand, surely the game designers wouldn’t unleash suffering upon this little girl, who hasn’t even hit double digits with her age. But there is always a niggling feeling in your mind that Corpse Party hasn’t been afraid to push expectations before. Yuka is always at risk, so we instantly begin channelling Satoshi’s desire to look out for his little sister. The game also uses this for one gut-wrenching plot development, which marks the point where the panic really does settle in.
Chapter Three also tackles plot a little more as well. Chapter One set up the premise, introducing the haunted school. Chapter Two widened the universe around us, by throwing in the true emotions of the spirits and the murderer lurking around the school building. We now had a creepy setting to wander around in. Chapter Three finally begins to answer some burning questions. The charm comes back into play and we can begin to see a faint way out of this nightmare. While Corpse Party did run on the futility of trying to escape, that was getting a little old, so it is rewarding to finally see a way out. Also, I was getting a little worried that this would be one of those stories where everyone ends up dead, which is one of my pet hates when it comes to story developments. Also, the isolated feeling begins to fade away. It is surprising that you have spent all this time looking for survivors and when this chapter finally gives you some, you are unsure whether to even trust them. We know that Seiko and Ayumi had their minds warped by the curse on this building, so we begin to wonder if the other characters that we haven’t seen since the opening in Chapter One have been affected since we last saw them too. It is an interesting dynamic in the game and adds yet another threat to watch out for.
This chapter does begin to show a drop in quality, sadly. The wandering around a haunted house gets old fast, especially when the next objective is never quite clear. Yuka needs the bathroom desperately, but other than that, we are given no clue to what we need to do next. One moment needs you to purposefully kill yourself, totally reversing anything we have learned in the previous chapters. That isn’t a fair thing to ask of the gamer. We do get some new locations to explore and that is quite an exciting moment, but it gets old a lot faster than you would have thought. This felt like the longest chapter we’ve handled yet, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, because I felt that Chapter Two managed to fit more content into the time-frame they had been given. Also, the ending felt a little weak, compared to the last two major shocks we were given. The build-up here is fantastic, yet when it fizzles out over a more exposition-based cliff-hanger, you cannot help but wish you could immediately go to the next one. You will feel cheated out of a proper Corpse Party adventure. This chapter does the job well, especially with moving the story on, but as the middle part of this five part drama, this is probably the weakest entry yet.
Final Verdict: Chapter Three moves the story along well, even if this does sacrifice other high points of the series.