Metascore
67

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Jan 23, 2013
    58
    Does Japanese horror porn sound appealing to you? Well then this is right up your alley, and you're probably going to enjoy it regardless of its relative quality as a game.
  2. Jan 24, 2013
    70
    Despite its sometimes tedious gameplay, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a rare horror game that manages to deliver on its intention to frighten its players.
  3. 84
    Not a game for everyone, or even for all horror fans. It will appeal to those in the very narrow center of the horror/visual novel Venn diagram. Those people, however, can expect an extremely well-written, disturbing set of mostly-disjointed tales that are united by the terror they propagate.
  4. Jan 30, 2013
    73
    Book of Shadows holds plenty to love if you enjoyed the first game, but the wavering quality holds it back. Think of it like a good book; you turn the pages with fervor, awaiting the next big reveal, but the problem is you're yawning through boring parts just as much.
  5. Feb 14, 2013
    75
    Rather, you'll want to avoid playing a game in public that features a scene just a few minutes in that seems like it could get you put on some kind of sex offender registry. Instead, download Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, turn off all the lights in your house, put on some good headphones, and enjoy. And try not to play before meals, because it's definitely going to spoil your appetite.
  6. Feb 15, 2013
    80
    Scary and modern in all the right ways, Book of Shadows preserves the feel of its predecessor while improving on its aged gameplay and graphics.
  7. Mar 24, 2013
    72
    Wobbly in the gameplay department, it still packs an eerily disturbing punch. [Apr 2013, p.79]
  8. Jan 24, 2013
    75
    Book of Shadows is a very interesting game. I do enjoy good visual novels, and for the most part, this game tells a rather compelling tale. Granted, it won't be for everyone, but if you don't mind a good amount of gore and some really creepy set pieces, then this game will not disappoint.
  9. Feb 1, 2013
    70
    A few changes made by the development team keep Corpse Party: Book of Shadows from being truly great. It's just as creepy and disturbing as the last game, but it feels like it's held back by being a much more rigid visual novel.
  10. Feb 13, 2013
    40
    Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is definitely not for everyone. People who enjoy a heavy dose of Japanese in their horror stories and who don’t mind that they are playing a video game that doesn’t have much game in it will be able to enjoy Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. As for me I found the storyline to be entirely too juvenile and non-sensible.
  11. Jan 25, 2013
    70
    Book of Shadows employs a point-and-click mechanic and objects that can be interacted with are highlighted with a blue hue. It's still tedious, but at least the days of mashing the X button over every pixel in a Where's Waldo-esque fashion are over.
  12. Jan 28, 2013
    60
    Grotesque and disturbing, and that's not just in terms of the tawdry use of Japanese schoolgirls but the result of a flawed but oddly effective horror game.
  13. There's enough gore-spillage here to satisfy that Japanese horror hardcore. [Apr 2013, p.109]
  14. Feb 7, 2013
    50
    With exceptions, even fans may find these tales of woe and terror far to easy to put down, and never pick up again.
  15. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    The follow-up to Corpse Party is Book of Shadows, an adventure packed with tons of dialogues, creepy music and the traditional Japanese visual-style. It's worth the try if we didn't have the time to try the first one out.
  16. Mar 21, 2013
    48
    Does a good job of encapsulating the unique feel of Japanese horror, but only the most dedicated fans of the genre will persevere through the excessive description and dull mechanics in order to unlock every ending here. [Issue#229, p.83]
  17. Jan 19, 2013
    70
    For $20, it's about the price of a graphic novel, which is exactly what it is. So if you can stomach the gore and overall obscurity, then this super niche PSP title may be worth a checking out.
  18. Feb 11, 2013
    60
    As a standalone game for newcomers to the franchise, the story will leave you baffled compared to someone who would have experienced Corpse Party, and in that regard, looking at its way of storytelling comes off as a disjointed tale of horror that can give you a gloomy (in the right way) and uneasy time. However, I see it this way – go play the first Corpse Party and see how you feel about it. If you want more, then jump into Book of Shadows and enjoy it for what it is.
  19. 90
    A literary masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of video games being legitimate art with its suspenseful, thrilling, and unique narrative that takes the horror genre to a new level. It is a classic for those Halloween fright nights but just make sure to double check the doors are locked when you turn the lights out.
  20. Feb 2, 2013
    60
    Corpse Party: Book of Shadows has its moments from a storytelling perspective, but it would have benefited from more interactive features. There's some morbidly creative horror for readers to sink their fangs into, but don't expect to encounter any believable characters or award-winning wordsmithery.
  21. Feb 4, 2013
    60
    As it stands, this sequel simply continues what the original started, taking no real risks and reaping no real rewards.
  22. 62
    In the end after investing a lot of time I liked Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, but I think most would agree it is merely an average to just above average game that belongs in the “cult favourite” category.
  23. Feb 25, 2013
    70
    As an interactive video game it’s pathetic. Barely any gameplay, static visuals, and annoying voiceovers mean it gets old very quickly. However as an interactive novel it’s second to none. It’s grotesque, beautifully engrossing and certainly a great horror flick.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    8
    Ok, after reading a couple of disappointing reviews from critics who did not grasp what this game is about (I'm looking at you IGN), I felt compelled to write an honest review that really breaks down what this game is about.

    This is a Japanese game developed by Team GrisGris/5bp. and the good guys at XSEED Games are the ones responsible for publishing and localizing this game here in North America, and I must say, they made an EXCELLENT job with the localization. Tom Lipschultz from XSEED Games was the man who almost single-handedly translated the whole thing from Japanese to English, and he really nailed it. It's very difficult to translate Japanese to English with all of its meaning, but in this game, you really don't feel like anything is missing in the dialogue from the original Japanese release, so a great, great applause to XSEED Games (Tom you're the man) for the flawless localization.

    First things first before getting into the core review, this is a horror VISUAL NOVEL game, meaning there's only reading most of the time. Ok so with that said let's get into the review.

    This game is a direct sequel to "Corpse Party: Blood Covered" (or just "Corpse Party" as it it's known here in NA), so it's strongly recommended that you play the first entry before playing Book of Shadows or you'll not know what's going on even before the main screen appears (there's a small introduction that continues one of the first game's endings). The game's story focuses on complementing as well as continuing different endings from the first game, and giving more screen time to characters that were overshadowed before, so you'll feel right at home with the scenario. The main story is divided in chapters that are each focused around different characters and their experiences on Heavenly Host, making each chapter unique and fresh. I really won't get into details regarding the story, but I can surely say this: You'll be hypnotized reading and reading and reading for hours.

    The gameplay on this game is like this: You explore levels/rooms in a first person view mode, in which you move a cursor around to inspect points of interest, which then lead to the characters to activate the voiced dialogue and advance the story, think of it as the Zero Escape series but without a strong emphasis on puzzles and a more brutal story. There's also points where you need to make a decision (some of them have a countdown) that will greatly affect what kind of ending do you get, but worry not, you can save anytime at any point in the game, and to top it off, there's a "skip text" function, so you'll never worry having to read the same thing over and over, which is a wonderful addition from the previous entry.

    The audio in this game is TERRIFIC, there's a really talented voice cast in this game. (If you watch anime you will probably recognize a voice or two). The voice actors really convey exactly what they're going through in this game, making the characters really feel alive. But it's not only the voice actors that shine on this game, it's also the ATMOSPHERIC sound quality, which is one of the things this game emphasises on. You'll hear everything that's going on in the haunted place known as Heavenly Host, from sadistic children laughs, the ceiling creaking, footsteps, and all those sounds that put your ear on edge, so, playing with a good pair of headphones will make the experience a real feast for your ears (in more ways than one). Take note that this game is fully voiced in Japanese, so for those of you that like to hear how the characters sound in English, or dislike the language, sorry, but you'll have to stick to reading.

    Also this game offers certain bonuses for clearing/progressing in the game, like: CG Galleries, Audio/Sound gallery and some special words from the Japanese Voice Actors (fully translated of course). If you played the first game and you have the save file on the Vita/PSP you're playing on, the game will recognize the save file and add special bonuses, even more the reason to play the first entry before giving this one a try.

    With all that said, there is of course, a certain audience that will fully enjoy what this title has to offer, and some others will probably enjoy it but not how it's supposed to be. If you're easily offended by anime style gore and sometimes meticulously detailed brutal scenes, then you will be thrown back and probably never return. But if you like reading a very good story, with good characters, and enjoy a very unexpected and nicely crafted scenario with an overall superb sound, then you'll definitely enjoy this offering from Team GrisGris and 5bp.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 9, 2013
    9
    Was there any mistake when it came to marketing? This is not Corpse Party 2. This entry is for the Hardcore Corpse Party fans playing through the first game over and over again. It's a Visual Novel with point and click parts, many hard decisions to make and various endings. So, if you're not familiar with the story of Corpse Party, even some parts are a retelling of the original story, you will be hopefully lost in Book of Shadows like it's protagonists.

    The writing is well written (what's wrong IGN?) and the voice acting is awesome. Of course, Book of Shadows features, like the first game, only japanese voice acting.

    There isn't much to say. If you're fascinated by Corpse Party, dive deeper into the world of hell. A great soundtrack combined with really strange images will make you shiver more than one time. Experience the 7 short stories taking place in an alternate Universe or conclude arcs from the first game.

    So, grab you PSP or Vita (you can even import your save game from the first game and receive a few goodies) and enjoy one of 2013 probably most underrated games. But remember: This is a Visual Novel. So don't blame the game if you was not informed good enough. Oh, and again, you have to play the first part to understand Book of Shadows.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 29, 2013
    8
    Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is not quite as good as the first game, but it is a solid entry in the series which wraps up the plot of the first game. The story is interesting, even if it does omit crucial plot details, more or less blatantly assuming the player has played Corpse Party. The worst thing I can say about it, is that it clarifies ambiguities the player may wish had not been clarified. Book of Shadows is far, far bleaker than Corpse Party. After a shocking twist ending, the the game points forward to a sequel titled "Blood Drive" which will hopefully bring closure, and perhaps a brighter conclusion to the nightmare. Full Review »