Corpse Party Book of Shadows Preview

Corpse Party Book of Shadows Preview

Next week sees the release of XSeed Games’  highly anticipated sequel/prequel to PSP’s Corpse Party. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows tells multiple stories set during, before, and after the events of the original game.

Last year, I gushed about how much I loved the original Corpse Party for the PSP. Corpse Party was an old-school survival-horror adventure that combined Asian supernatural and North American gore-horror elements, and a 16-bit retro look to portray an interactive amalgamation of modern and classic horror. Now that the sequel is almost upon us, I think it’s high time to take a look at why you should pick up Corpse Party: Book of Shadows for your Vita.

Learn about Corpse Party: Book of Shadows for PS Vita after the break.

Set in first-person mode, this point-and-click horror game helps ressurect the classic genre to the PS Vita.

However, Book of Shadows isn’t the Corpse Party you remember. In fact, it features a brand-new play style; the game is now a point-and-click adventure game set in a first person perspective. Of course, like the first game, every decision you make in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows determine your characters’ fates and game endings. Like in the first game, those decisions you make earlier in the chapter, or things you say can have a positive or negative effect on the story. Just in case that wasn’t alarming enough, some of the choices you need to make are timed, increasing tension and urgency. Those who choose unwisely will meet certain death. (Oftentimes in grisly fashion; heed this warning)

Speaking of characters and endings, those of you who’ve played through the original Corpse Party will know that a number of the cast didn’t make it through the ordeal. Thankfully, Book of Shadows re-introduces your favorite ones (even the ones who perished) and further humanizing each for maximum empathy. You’ll learn more about each character’s backstory and what drives them. Some chapters are even set in alternate realities where characters have knowledge of what is to happen; this gives the you a chance to perhaps change your character’s fate.

Each of your decisions can lead to your salvation. Or certain, grisly death.

Since Corpse Party: Book of Shadows plays like a traditional adventure game, you take control of your character in first-person perspective in “Search Mode.” Here you’re free to examine and interact with objects, talk to people, and pick up important items. You control the red targeting reticule around a room with the analog stick; if the reticle turns blue, that means that the item or person can be interacted with.

New to the series is the “Darkening” meter. Every time you interact with or encounter horrors within each of the game’s locations, the Darkening meter raises just a little bit more. The higher the meter climbs, the more distortions, and crazy, creepy stuff creeps up on you. And once it’s at a certain amount, your characters can even go crazy and you’ll lose control of their decision-making abilities. They’ll most likely react unpredictably when faced with more horrors. It feels a lot like the insanity effects from the Gamecube’s Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.

The higher your “Darkening” meter climbs, the crazier you become.

One of the best features of the original Corpse Party was it’s audio effects, soundtrack, and full-Japanese voice-overs. Book of Shadows continues this by keeping the original Japanese soundtrack and v/o. As well, you’ll notice improved 3D audio effects (especially when you’re playing with headphones on).

One final thing, if you still have your original Corpse Party save on your PS Vita, then you’ll be able to unlock the final chapter of Book of Shadows a lot easier. Titled “Blood Drive,” the final chapter continues the story two weeks after the end of end of the original game. Introducing a new, and more frightening location, this new story has the remaining survivors facing a threat more evil than Heavenly Host. If you thought the suffering was over, think again.

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is coming to the PlayStation Vita (via PlayStation Store) on January 15, 2013.

For more information on Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, check out the Official Website.