Review: Corpse Party (3DS)

Everybody’s coming, leave your body at the door…

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 11/10/2016 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Strong storyline; genuinely creepy; visuals are a great compliment to the gameplay; love the lack of combat; incredible sound production
Poison Mushroom for...
Tedious retreads after dying; anime tropes might annoy some, along with the lack of battling

Corpse Party should be familiar to diehard PlayStation Portable owners, as the series has been around for quite a while now. Corpse Party on 3DS, however, not only marks the series’ first foray onto a Nintendo portable, but a Nintendo console, period. I was delighted to see the series make its way to a Nintendo handheld, as I loved playing it on PSP back in the day. Thankfully, Corpse Party is right at home in its new environment, and will provide plenty of shivers and scares for players who give it a go.

What sets Corpse Party apart from other, similar Japanese RPG fair is its refreshing lack of combat. Rather than face enemy after enemy to grind experience points and beef up a party of characters, Corpse Party instead tasks players with roaming the dilapidated halls of an eerie school solving puzzles and collecting items. For those seeking action of a more traditional fair, this is not a game that will deliver; Corpse Party is of a decidedly different flavor than what most will have become accustomed to.


To cleanly summarize what Corpse Party is, think of it as being more like a visual novel along the lines of 999 but with more physical control over player movement. The game revolves around a pack of school kids who have been locked inside a separate dimension after performing a ritual. Their new setting is a much deadlier and drearier school than the one they left behind, and surviving the ordeal is not guaranteed. The narrative is compelling and provides for some genuine scares here and there; I didn’t quite jump out of my seat while playing, but I could have cut the tension with a knife, at least.

As far as storylines go, it’s imperative for a visual novel or game such as this that depends so much on its narrative for the story to be well executed and entertaining, and Corpse Party delivers on both fronts. Some of the rather tired tropes of anime and manga do rear their head here-right off the bat, one of the male characters “accidentally” gropes a female character, resulting in some all-too cliched talk about touching her chest, and all the other nauseating (to me, at least) naughtiness that has become so synonymous with Japanese entertainment of this ilk. For most, it won’t matter, but if it annoys you like it annoys me, it’ll be a bit irritating.


Graphically, this isn’t the prettiest game on 3DS, but Corpse Party does maintain a consistent visual style that plays well with the tone that the game is going for. The visuals are eerie and lend a great deal to the atmosphere. They might not win any awards, but I applaud Corpse Party for maintaining the visual aesthetic that I’d seen it with back when it first came West on PSP. The audio is also particularly triumphant; it’s been recorded in 3D and, when experienced with headphones, is something to behold. The only lingering gripe that I still have with this game is that sometimes the narrative can be a slog to get through when repeating segments. The ability to zip through some of it to catch back up to the last point that I died would have been welcome.

Corpse Party is a great, different game, one that a system as far along in its life cycle as 3DS greatly needs to keep things fresh. If you’ve been looking for something off the beaten path, I highly recommend picking this one up. So long as you’re willing to forego traditional battles and aren’t irritated by cliched anime tropes, Corpse Party has an engaging story and unique style of play that should keep you glued to your 3DS for quite a while. Play it in the dark for extra anxiety!

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