[Halloween Horror Review] Corpse Party: Blood Drive

by EdEN, Owner

It’s Halloween, and that means it’s the perfect day for reviewing a horror game! It’s time to dive back into Corpse Party thanks to Corpse Party: Blood Drive, the latest entry in the series. This time around we get to experience Corpse Party like never before thanks to a move to 3D!

While some members of Kisaragi Academy’s class 2-9 returned from their trip to the hellish, otherworldly elementary school known as Heavenly Host, many did not.

Class president Ayumi Shinozaki attempted to use an ancient tome called the Book of Shadows to resurrect her deceased friends once before, but only compounded the tragedy in the process. And now the book has been lost.

Or has it? When a spiritual photograph turns up, suggesting the Book of Shadows may now reside in the tattered remains of Heavenly Host, Ayumi becomes obsessed with finding it so she can make one last attempt to set things right.

Picking up two months after Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, Corpse Party: Blood Drive serves as the definitive conclusion to the long-running Heavenly Host story arc. Featuring dynamic lighting, 3D sound, highly detailed environments and a variety of new gameplay systems, this is a Japanese horror experience not to be missed!

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After the events of the first game and of its sequel Book of Shadows, the survivors of Heavenly Host are trying to get back to their lives, trying to act as normal as possible after all the horror and suffering from their time in the hellish school terrorized by Sachiko Shinozaki. Unfortunately, all of those who died while in Heavenly Host have been entirely erased from reality, as if they had never existed in the first place. But the survivors KNOW they were real, and some of them have a hard time adapting to a life without them.

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Two months have passed since the events of Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, and Ayumi Shinozaki seems to have been cursed after trying to use the black magic of the Book of Shadows. With her sister dead after she sacrificed herself to make sure her younger sister survived, Ayumi gets a visit from a member of the W.I. (the Wiccan Institute) and organization that her sister Hinoe was part of. After an exchange, Ayumi’s curiosity is picked and she decides to investigate this, and after visiting a veeery creepy apartment finds a pair of magic stones imbued with dark magic that can when brought together can be used to once again visit Heavenly Host. That’s right, even after all of their efforts Heavenly Host still stands in another dimension, and now there are new victims that have fallen for the dark powers of this accursed place. If Ayumi can find the Book of Shadows, she can use its power to bring her friends back from the dead, and it turns out that the Book of Shadows is inside of Heavenly Host..

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Not wanting her friends to be dragged back into Heavenly Host, Ayumi sets out to visit the horrible school along with Misuto Kiriya, a misterious young man who definitely knows more than he’s telling. After arriving at Heavenly Host, she realizes that things have changed at the school. The air is heavier, danger looms around every corner… and Ayumi is all alone because Misuto is nowhere to be found. Can Ayumi find the Book of Shadows and exit Heavenly Host before the worse happens?

The change to 3D graphics does introduce a small problem for the series because load times change the pace of things. Using the menu is something I wouldn’t advice because just entering and exiting the menu will take you around 15 seconds or so, and for every submenu you enter, add another 7-8 seconds to enter said submenu and another 7-8 seconds to exit the submenu. So yeah, stay away from the menu since you won’t need to check anything in there anyway unless you suffer a lot of damage.

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Speaking of damage, you must be careful during your time in Heavenly host because there’s a lot of hazards that can prove to be very dangerous to your health. There will be broken glass all over the place, debris, spots on the floor where you can fall in and receive damage, as well as some nasty tentacles that will come up from blood-covered patches of the floor. If you are damaged, then you better find some bandages to heal each character in your party because if someone’s health is gone it’s game over.

Something else to consider is your Darknening level. Your Darkening will rise with every action in Corpse Party: Blood Drive that includes a supernatural component. For example, checking dead bodies for Corpse Tags (which are required for a trophy) will increase your Darkening level for every body you find, finding an evil spirit will also raise your darkening level, as well being caught by the tentacles. There are special “pure” statues that can be used one time to remove all darkening from your characters, so be sure to identify where each of the statues can be found.

Corpse Party Blood Drive - 4

Corpse Party: Blood Drive is a great continuation of the series and the jump to 3D makes the atmosphere feel even more depressing and dangerous than before. The loading times are something that you’ll have to deal with but as long as you stay away from the pause menu you’ll be fine. The gore isn’t as heavy as the first two games, but the game is an overall good package. Don’t forget that there is a highly limited physical edition that includes a 2 CD soundtrack and an art book for the series along with the physical copy of the game, so act fast if you want to add it to your collection!


This review is based on a digital copy of Corpse Party: Blood Drive provided by XSEED Games.

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