This is a review for Corpse Party on the Nintendo 3DS. Currently there are three versions available for the 3DS, a digital version (MSRP $29.99), standard retail version (MSRP $29.99), and a “Back to School” edition (MSRP $49.99). Our Corpse Party review will cover the standard versions of the 3DS game.
Corpse Party for the Nintendo 3DS provides the system with an unique horror mystery adventure that is hard to compare to any other games on the market. The story centers on a group of Japanese high school students that find themselves trapped in a creepy elementary school called Heavenly Host Elementary. Within the cursed halls of this elementary school the game’s main characters find good & bad spirits, blood / gore and a deadly mystery to uncover. The main goal of the game is to escape the Heavenly Host Elementary (which is anything but Heavenly) without receiving a “Wrong End”.
Gameplay in Corpse Party is like a mixture of Phoenix Wright and other DS / 3DS mystery games. Searching the hallways and different rooms of the Heavenly Host Elementary you’ll attempt to locate clues that can help the game’s characters escape. Corpse Party contains portions of puzzle solving and out of-the-box thinking, which should please fans of the mystery genre. Some Decisions made by the player can have immediate consequences, which will require the player to start-over from their last save. When playing my review copy I experienced over a dozen “Wrong Ends”, most of which we’re based on a poor choice I made earlier in the game. This can make it difficult to find the right ending in the game. Strangely enough I found myself eager to start again, as the story while not entirely scary does provide some intrigue and depth to the characters. Even after I found a dozen “Wrong Ends” I still found myself wanting to play more and more – almost binge gaming until I found the game’s end! The game controls like most adventure mystery games on the DS / 3DS. Walking around the creepy school of Heavenly Host is easy enough, but locating different objects or clues that can help the students escape is not always as transparent as it should be. Also, some of the design choices for the different stages or areas in Corpse Party can make it difficult to figure out where to go or what to do. Oftentimes a certain path to a new location can only be discovered after walking every last pixel before the player gets a “there it is!” moment.
Even after I found a dozen “Wrong Ends” I still found myself wanting to play more and more – almost binge gaming until I found the game’s end!
The music and sound of Corpse Party is on-par with other horror / mystery games. Many areas have a weird transition effect on the music, which is meant to clue-you-in on something unique or important when moving among the games different areas. The special edition “Back to School” version comes with a music CD with 41 of the games music tracks. Some of these are fit the game very well, while others not so much.
Graphically the game is what you’d expect from a 2D horror game. I didn’t mind the games simplistic top-down view graphics, though I was disappointed by the designers not using more of the 3D from the 3DS’s top screen. The Heavenly Host Elementary felt designed to look as creepy as possible, and for the most part I feel the designers did a good job. While the game won’t win any awards for looks it does provide a chilling example of a dilapidated school with a cursed past. Other things like the character art and still frames that propel the story are well designed. Even these elements made me feel like their should be more use of the 3D effect on the 3DS. While the gameplay itself is nothing original, it’s helped by the creepy factor throughout its five chapter story.
Readers beware, Corpse Party for the 3DS is a game for adults only. Rated ‘M’ for Mature, Corpse Party earns its rating for many reasons. The game is overloaded with blood and gore, along with some pretty racy dialogues between the game’s different characters. The “Back to School” edition also comes with character toys that have very small parts, so not recommended for kids.
In conclusion if your looking for a new mystery game or horror game than Corpse Party for the Nintendo 3DS may be for you. I did enjoy the unique story that was told, but don’t feel that the gameplay drives the genre forward, in-fact it seems to be stuck in the past. The staging in the game is dependent on the player discovering the right clues at the right time, and will most likely lead to some “Wrong Ends” over the coarse of a playthrough. While Corpse Party doesn’t win any awards for originality in gameplay or graphical beauty, it does provide one of the most unique stories to the 3DS system this year.
Corpse Party Nintendo 3DS Review Score
- Gameplay : 8 / 10
- Graphics : 6 / 10
- Replay Value : 9 / 10
- Music & Sound : 8 / 10
- Final Review Score : 7.7 / 10