Reviews: Corpse Party
I love Corpse Party! Usually I stay away from the horror genre, but this game has captured my heart. In most horror stories, characters and their development tend not to be the focus. This is definitely not the case in Corpse Party, as plenty of characters (even ones who don't get much screentime) are incredibly memorable and interesting. They're not just there to do stupid things and get strongarmed into bad descisions by the plot, but they actually come off like people making plausible decisions for the situation they're in. You can understand and sympathize with their emotions, and they react realistically to what's going on around them. The story is pretty solid. It fits togather like a puzzle, with you gradually collecting pieces during the course of the game in order to get the big picture. Each new revelation hits hard. The gradual procession from the confused helplessness of chapter 1 to the "taking charge of the situation" vibe in Chapter 5 is done very well, and it feels pretty awesome, too. The bittersweet ending suits the story well, despite being pretty darn depressing. The graphic style is an interesting choice, as it allows enough detail to be shown to show what's going on, but leaves a lot to the imagination. It also lets a scaredy-cat like me play it without getting TOO freaked out, while still being pretty freakin' terrifying. Personally, I find one of the things that really shines about the game is the collection of name tags. Many, many students have died in the school, and the game allows you only scraps of information about these people in the method of their death, the placement of the bodies, and sometimes even notes they wrote before they died. It feels like so much more has been going on behind the scenes as you try to piece together their stories. "Show, don't tell" is in full swing here, and boy does it make your mind work. Basically, this game is great! I reccommend it to anyone, even if you normally don't like horror games :) If you think you're too much of a wuss, try it anyways! It's worth it, I promise.
Corpse Party: Musume
So, Corpse Party is a good game, with good characters and a good story, along with being chilling, but in a very Fridge Horror way that leaves it up to interpretation. It's a very specific kind of writing like this that keeps fanworks and interest in the game alive. And then Musume came along. So, first things are first: Unfortunate Implications abound. I would say that I have a pretty dark sense of humour. I laugh at dead puppies and I like a good joke involving a life falling apart. But this... Dude, Not Funny! I stopped counting the panty shots - of 16 year olds, +1 pre-pubescent girl, around the 180th. Ayumi's ass gets more screentime than her, and the scene when Naomi gets raped in the bathroom by a bunch of overly ridiculous... bathroom hands, after an insect crawled into her panties, WHILE Yuka was wandering around in a minidress without any panties on... It made me physically sick. Then I ended up looking at the artist's other works. Lolicon, Squick, humour that not only fails to cross the line, but instead throws it out and takes Refuge in Vulgarity... all sorts of nasty shit that gets Manga and Anime its reputation as "kiddie porn and mechas" from pretty much everywhere but Japan in a lot of people. So, two major characters are introduced: Miyu, a young transwoman, and some asshole. The author decided to Kill The Transwoman First, so Miyu gets tentacle raped to death. This would be Black Comedy Rape, if not for the fact tat Ayumi, Naomi, Yuka and Miyu herself had gotten at least 20 pantyshots amongst themselves by now, where it simply vaults into pure Squick. And the other guy resists grabbing Ayumi's ass, while justifying his lust as being "a normal guy". There are two problems here: He isn't villianous. Sexually harrasing girls is considered normal, and he can't help it because he's a man. Ayumi's ass gets an entire page dedicated to it. I may seem incredibly hung up on all of the Unfortunate Implications and Fetish Retardant for things I didn't even know people fetishised, but I read the whole thing. And it stays shitty throughout. It's all a vehicle for tits and panties, with pages dedicated to talking about the girls' panties, and ridiculously kitschy, Narmy pin-ups every few pages. Just horrible.
A chilling game that Needs More Love
I am not a fan of games that are supposed to be scary. Naturally, I had to play this game, because apparently I am a masochist. I first heard of this game when I stumbled on the page for it on this very site. Curious, I attempted (in vain) to find more information about the game and its story. To my frustration, I found almost nothing beyond this site and some walkthroughs in Japanese and Chinese, neither of which are languages I speak. I resigned myself that this game would be forever obscure. Then, in September (or October) 2011, I learned that the game was going to get an English release. I was elated and downloaded it as soon as I learned it was available. The game surprised me. I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I didn't think it would actually, truly scare me. And yet, there were at least three points during my play that I felt my heart pounding fast. All three of those times I had to redo because I ended up failing in my panic. There were a couple CGs that made me twitch in surprise because I didn't see it coming. The characters are believable and sympathetic. I always dreaded getting a Wrong End, because I knew that even if it didn't show me the actual death, there was going to be a description telling me exactly what is happening to the character and it is never pleasant. Ever wondered what it'd be like to be Buried Alive or have your tongue or your eye cut out with a pair of scissors? The game doesn't actually show it happening (a small mercy), but it makes sure you hear it and lets you know exactly what is going through the unfortunate character's head as it happens. It ends up feeling a lot more personal and uncomfortable when you're seeing a character's thoughts in their final moments, particularly when it's happened because you messed up. It really is an amazing game that combines the graphics of old school video game sprites with the amazing storytelling of a visual novel. If you're looking for a couple good scares, you should give it a play. The party can always use a few more guests. (That was a bad pun, I apologize)