Jan 24, 2013Ok, 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.… Expand
Jan 23, 2013What a waste of money. I was shocked to see that there was a continuation from the first and I kept asking myself "How could there be?" Well simple, it says it gives some more details at what happens before and after some of the events from the first. That does not matter, what does matter is that it is NOT a game, it is a movie/book. You might as well have no interaction at all, you only get to pick between two choices sometimes. The story makes no sense at all. It starts out as everyone going back again which is never explained to how all these people came back to life and doesn't even explain the ending level. Yet why should it explain anything? If you see the so called "ending" you'll know why. I does not offer anything to the first title and does not explain a single thing about anything. Cash in, pure and simple. Fan of the first, then stay far away from this. . . very far.… Expand
Jan 29, 2013Corpse 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.… Expand
Apr 9, 2013Was 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.… Expand
Jan 29, 2013I loved corpse party: Blood covered , but book of shadows is.......weak.
Seal ,and Demise are decent chapters.
Encounter and Purgatory are a totally waste of time.
Shangri-La, Mire and Tooth , are just ok.
Blood Drive is the only chapter i could recommend if you really wanna see what happens after the first game.
The game is scary but blood covered was better in every aspect.
Feb 14, 2014How do you take a game that was already pretty slow, had awful writing and barely any gameplay? Corpse Party: Book of Shadows shows you how; remove almost all elements of gameplay from the previous game, increase the length of the reading ten fold and design a terrible navigation system that is almost as slow as reading the game to begin with.
How bad is the writing? How much more reading is there compared to the last game? The developers added in a fast forward function simply so you could avoid the actual story and simply get to the decision making parts of the game. That is how bad it is, it's so terrible the developers realized it and added a way to circumvent the only thing that makes a visual novel a visual novel, the reading.
I was slightly interested in the whole concept of alternative realities and the concept of saving people's lives from the first game that died, but there's less of alternative realities and more of just the same people dying as before.
I don't know how they managed to make it so much worse then the first one, but they managed to do it. I am glad I didn't actually pay for this game, I would have burnt it in the fireplace in a fit of rage. They could have had something really nice on their hands and they fumbled it up even worse then imaginable.… Expand
Apr 2, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's not all that bad, but as a follow up to the first corpse party game it's disappointing. This time around it's a point and click game where you move from room to room with the most generic map system I've ever seen. The ratio between gameplay and pressing X through dialogue is about 20 to 80 percent, sometimes I almost forgot there was any interactivity. The sections you do play are very easy and don't require much thought at all. To add insult to injury, everywhere you go looks the exact same as everywhere else with only a few exceptions, so exploration feels pretty gimmicky. They literally use the same drawing for most of the hallways and even most of the rooms, they're just mirrored like we wouldn't know the difference. The story is equally shallow, at least for most of the scenarios. The first 7 chapters of the game don't even take place in the official canon of the story, and even though the voice acting and writing stay very true to the first game, the stories aren't nearly as motivating. 6 out of 7 of them end horribly no matter what choices you make, which betrays what was so good about the story of the first. The sense of urgency when you or a friend are in danger dies pretty quickly once you realize that the characters are only there as bait for torture porn. And the explanation for it is a joke, basically just 'they die because they're destined to die.' The only chapter that adds anything to the original story is the final one but it's hardly worth going through all the trouble just to unlock it. I will say that it does do a good job of tieing back to the original story and explains a few things, but it's short lived and sequel baits on a cliff hanger. Can't in my right mind recommend it.… Expand
Mar 21, 2013Does 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]