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Corpse Party | review | game | Lollipop

Corpse Party

By Mike Delano

Corpse Party is a shining example of doing a lot with a little. The serviceable but primitive sprite-based graphics make many SNES RPGs look like Battlefield 3 in comparison, and the intermittent anime cutscenes won't impress anyone who has played a game since the days of Sega CD. Yet, this absorbing horror play about a group of young Japanese students trapped in a creepy interdimensional school is more affecting and a lot more memorable than games built with ten times the manpower and resources. In each of the five main chapters, you guide a different group of students around the decrepit building, learning of its gruesome history as well as more about each other by advancing dialogue boxes. Along with a few puzzles, that's about all is there is sink your teeth into from a gameplay standpoint. Where it really shines is in the macabre plotlines that put high school students through the wringer, like a Saw movie. The vengeful spirits and all-around bad vibes of their surroundings drive the characters to death, dismemberment, and suicide at every turn, but the writers and voice actors carry it off well and have a knack for knowing when to insert some dark humor (a conversation involving "ass medicine" certainly stands out). During a holiday season of ever-ballooning budgets and spectacle, Corpse Party is a powerful reminder that there are more ways to make an impact than just opening the checkbook.


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