Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PS Vita) Review

By Luna Eriksson 25.01.2016

Review for Corpse Party: Blood Drive on PS Vita

A couple of months after the Heavenly Host tragedy where several people lost not only their lives, but also their very existences, Ayumi thinks she has found a way to revive them. Therefore, she chooses to return to the dreaded place to retrieve the Book of Shadows once more and use it to revive her friends. However, new dangers lurk at Heavenly Host and it is more treacherous than ever before. Follow Cubed3 into the school of lost souls!

There is a special place in every gamer's shelf for a couple of soft-horror titles. There is nothing that compares to the cold shiver that runs down the spine after a good scare. The adrenaline rush of exploring dangerous places where no one knows the lurking place of the next horror adds a lot to the experience, and the occasional scares that happen will feel both terrifying and rewarding at the same time for fans of the genre.

Therefore, it is a little bit sad that Corpse Party: Blood Drive rarely manages to get truly scary. While it has both the setting and the elements to make a good horror game, it doesn't quite get there. There are surprises, there are unexpected deaths, and there are jump scares during the exploration parts. Sadly, it is difficult to get scared when so little build-up is made.

Horror succeeds based on the build-up for its scares. This means setting the mood for them before they happen, something that Corpse Party: Blood Drive fails with. The problem is all the comic relief and cute scenes that leave the player in a warm mood. While it creates a beautiful contrast to the terrifying Heavenly Host, it also drains the horror like a ghost drains the sanity out of their victim. It is problematic when, in between what could have been a beautiful setup and a good scare, there are these moments of jokes and cuteness.

Because of this, it might be better to see this game as a story that takes place in a horror setting rather than a pure horror title, and the case is closed. Behind the low-value horror rests a pretty good and, at times, very beautiful story with a lovely and diverse cast of characters all tied together in this Heavenly Host mess.

Screenshot for Corpse Party: Blood Drive on PS Vita

The Extra Chapters, which often do no more than give backstory and completely ditch the horror elements, quite ironically become the strongest parts of the game. They focus more on the good elements, like the characters and how they interact with one another, often in heart-warming or sad stories about their background. That the most memorable parts of Corpse Party: Blood Drive are found here truly shows how weak it is as a horror title, but how strong it is as a weird sort of slice of life visual novel.

However, when looking past the fact that the game fails to be scary, its other problems start to become less and less transparent and start to take shape before the player's eyes. One of the main concerns is the high number of loading screens required to do anything at all. Opening the inventory? Loading screen! Closing the inventory? Loading screen! Changing room? Loading screen! Watching a cut-scene? Loading screen! In the middle of a cut-scene? Loading screen! Yeah, the point was clear a while ago. There are loading screens no matter what is being done, and they will pop up at least once per minute during gameplay and last for several seconds each. Besides ruining the atmosphere - further damaging the game's value as a horror title - they are also slowing down the gameplay experience more than needed.

While it is easy to want to love Corpse Party: Blood Drive, its flaws as a horror title will likely leave pure horror fans disappointed. If gore is desired, there are other places to go rather than watching chibi-looking models get their heads cut off. It isn't scary and will not fulfil any gore-searcher's interest. However, it does, at times, make for a very heart-warming piece of life story...until the loading screens start to pop up again and again.

Screenshot for Corpse Party: Blood Drive on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


Corpse Party: Blood Drive fails to be what it aims to be. The setting is there, the elements are there, yet the horror itself is not. The atmosphere gets ruined time and time again by weird anime tropes. While these moments are truly enjoyable for those that they are aimed at, they could have been passed on entirely to the extra chapters for those who are looking for these kinds of things. Thus, fans of horror could enjoy a terrifying story, without the setups for the scares getting disrupted. When able to look past this flaw, the frequency of loading screens will become more and more taxing on the experience, leaving a horror title that can be truly enjoyed almost exclusively by fans of slice of life visual novels. It's, in other words, a mess.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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