Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PS Vita) Review
- Creepy exploration of a haunted school, for the first time in 3D
Not so much?
- - Too much dialogue waffle to wade through
- Slow loading times, even for the pause screen
Despite my initial optimism, Corpse Party Blood Drive was a massive disappointment.
t’s time to return to Heavenly Host Elementary School! The survivors of the events of the previous Corpse Party games find themselves caught up in a new set of events that send them back to this creepy other world – can they survive a return visit and unravel the last of the school’s mysteries?
The Corpse Party series takes to the Vita for the first time in this, the conclusion to the Heavenly Host Elementary storyline. Having always intended to play the earlier games, but never having got around to it, I was looking forward to this chance to jump on the franchise bandwagon. Unfortunately, I found myself sorely disappointed.
The game is divided into a series of chapters which unlock sequentially, and can be replayed individually if you’re the kind of person who likes to collect bad endings. Quite a lot of your time will be spent reading through interminable blocks of dialogue – as a fan of JRPGs, I’m no stranger to lengthy cutscenes and lots of dialogue, but this felt like too much even for me. The characters are variously either annoying or shallow, and listening to line after line of their internal monologue leaves much to be desired.
The actual gameplay aspect of Corpse Party involves searching through Heavenly Host Elementary, a haunted school filled with a range of hazards, from tripwires and broken glass to ghosts who will hunt you down and kill them. Talismans will banish the ghosts, but these are limited in number, so often times you’ll have to run and hide. Your flashlight will let you look around, but beware, for the batteries will eventually run out. Exploring the school is often quite stressful – which is clearly exactly what the creators were aiming for.
Unfortunately, the in-game interface leaves a lot to be desired. There’s no heads-up display to indicate your health or flashlight level, whilst using any kind of restorative item requires you to go into the menu. Fair enough, you might think, except that the loading times are so awful that just entering or exiting the menu screen takes a good 6-10 seconds each time. The overall feel is quite clunky and unresponsive, which detracts even further from the actual gameplay.
Unlike the previous games in the series, Corpse Party Blood Drive uses 3D locations and character models. The visuals aren’t particularly complex or sophisticated, but they do the job.
Despite my initial optimism, Corpse Party Blood Drive was a massive disappointment. Although the gameplay is suitably stressful, the lengthy loading times and turgid, never-ending dialogue make the game feel bloated and slow. Unless you’re a long-time fan who is desperate to see the next chapter in the story, avoid this mess and just buy the first game on PSN instead.