Developers: Team GrisGris
Publishers: Team GrisGris
Plot: The true identity of the killer revealed, the scattered group vow to find Yuka, still in the hands of a psychotic student, appease the evil spirits and return home.
It was a long time ago since I started playing Corpse Party. Back in Chapter One, it was a cult horror game on the PSP that was praised on its terrifying dark material. However, as I went further into the chapters, it became more than a ghost story. Corpse Party eventually gets to the point where it is a sprawling epic, spanning across these five chapters, with some great characters, trapped in this nightmarish plot.
The story gets a lot more in-depth here. Chapter Five is tasked with tying up all of the loose ends and we have a lot to get through. Kizami is still at large, we have Naho, who gets a lot more back story added to here and then there is the actual spirit. Last chapter revealed the killer to actually be one of the child ghosts, Sachiko. We begin uncovering her past that led her to her evil nature and that unlocks a lengthy back story that adds to the gruesome horror of what we are witnessing. As a result, these ongoing stories make Chapter Five the longest chapter yet. It feels like hours of gameplay here and at times, it becomes quite tiresome, as we hit another long sequence of text, detailing exactly what is happening. However, others might appreciate the time taken to making the conclusion of the story worth the long wait. Despite some pointless side-steps, covering Ms. Yui and Morshige (in the end, they end up bringing very little to the final chapter), the characters are exciting to follow. Naomi gets a massive sequence facing her demons, along with a surprising twist. Ayumi stands up for herself. In many ways, it is the male leads that don’t develop as much, but they are also given some decent material. Perhaps the one missed trick the writers leave out is connecting the dots between certain potential relationships. A love story might have been the uplifting finish Corpse Party seems missing in the final few scenes.
The problem with Chapter Five is that it forces me to look upon the five chapters as a whole and review it as a full game. While Corpse Party is a good story, it makes for a pretty lousy game. Despite being the longest chapter yet, ironically, I never felt too in control of the story. Other than a set of choices in the final part of the game, which feels a little more like a pop quiz than any sort of hard-hitting decision, we rarely do anything more than do what the story tells us to do. Cue more wandering around the same old hallways, looking for the next dropped item that unlocks the door that takes us to another chunk of back story. You really need to invest in the ghost story to get much enjoyment out of Corpse Party. Thankfully I did, but it still means I don’t feel comfortable claiming it is the stand-out game the internet has been making it out to be. Saying that, there are some cracking little set-pieces, when the game finally allows you to start taking control of the game. The final boss fight with Kizami is a terrifying chase that plays on the fact you are playing with Yuka, the youngest and most vulnerable character in the game. There is also one fantastic creepy moment with an anatomical skeleton. Corpse Party doesn’t tend to rely on jump scares to get the atmosphere it wants, but that one trick might make you squirm in your seat slightly.
Final Verdict: The finale is worthy of the long wait, but this is more story than game. Good, but if you didn’t like chapters one to four, don’t expect to enjoy this one.