Can’t tell whether to take this seriously or not
Every horror movie buff will tell you that you can’t have a movie that’s full of suspense the entire way through, and horror novels are no exception. To keep the player guessing, there has to be some breaks every once in a while to alleviate the air and bring a bit of ease back into the situation. Book of Shadows, and its predecessor, instead go completely irrational with how to relieve some of that tension. One minute, you could be watching a female classmate get her head smashed in with a bucket full of lead, and the next you could be talking about ass cream or high-school crushes. The characters themselves feel utterly disconnected from the reality that they could die at any moment. Perhaps in those final moments before death all Japanese high-schoolers can think about is ‘dat ass’.
Too repulsive for some audiences
It takes a certain kind of constitution to stomach what lays inside the walls of Heavenly Host Elementary School. Beheadings, corpse explosions, corpses bleeding out on the ground. All of these are constant themes in Corpse Party and most certainly not for the faint of heart. For those that are easily disturbed by the sight of blood, I can’t recommend staying away from this game enough. There’s a particular audience out there that can appreciate gore and slasher films and I’m sure even they might feel a curdling in their stomach at some of the descriptions in Book of Shadows.
Sadly, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows relies far too heavily on knowledge of the first game to properly stand alone. Much of the story development revolves around seeing events from the first game, either as past or present, and then changing them through different means. It expands on themes and events that are fully presented in the first Corpse Party but only glossed over or even remotely hinted at in this entry. Book of Shadows feels more like an expanded version, perhaps even a Director’s Cut, than a true sequel. Fans of either the horror or visual novel should find enjoyment in Book of Shadows, as will players that enjoyed the first title in the series. That being said, Corpse Party is still a little too slowly paced for just about anyone to pick up and play. While not as refined as titles like Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, I recommend Book of Shadows to players that wish to appreciate both entries in the series as one cohesive ongoing story.
[Editor’s Note: Corpse Party: Book of Shadows was reviewed on the Sony PlayStation Portable. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Corpse Party: Book of Shadows Review,