This Sure Isn’t Heavenly Host
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient is in a rather curious predicament in that, much like its own name, I’m not even sure if it’s alive at this point. I know that that might sound a little harsh, but I promise that I didn’t say that to be mean. And I’m sure those of you who have been following the series already know what I’m talking about. You see, this is the first Corpse Party game to be released episodically. Now, given the fact that almost the entire series is chapter-based in the first place, this shouldn’t be a big deal. But, well, this game isn’t exactly getting updated regularly. It first came out in Japan, what, six years ago? They only just got the second chapter a few years back, if I’m not mistaken, and that was alongside a total revamp of Chapter 1 due to it not meeting developer standards. So, am I happy that we finally got Corpse Party 2? Of course! The more, the merrier. I’m just saying that I won’t be holding my breath for this game to get a full release any time soon (which isn’t XSEED’s fault at all, so please don’t get mad at them). And, hey, at least what we do have is pretty neat.
Happening far away in both time and distance (at least I’m assuming so) from the hellish halls of Heavenly Host Elementary school, Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient follows the story of one Ayame Itou—high school student and amnesiac extraordinaire. Ayame’s story begins not with the tearing apart of a paper doll of any kind, but, rather, by waking up strapped to an operating table—which is already pretty horrifying in itself. Unaware of where she is, what she’s doing on an operating table, where she is, or even who she is, Ayame frees herself from her surgical captor in order to begin wandering the halls of the hospital that she soon realizes that she’s trapped in—Amare Patriarcha Crucis. Unfortunately for Ayame, however, it seems as though bad luck just isn’t done chasing her—as she soon realizes that Amare Patriarcha isn’t just a hospital, but the site of a terrible incident which, having been forcibly plunged into it herself, will hold in store for her nothing but tragic occurrences and life-and-death struggles.
Corpse Party 2 is not Corpse Party. That may sound obvious—after all, it’s its sequel—but it goes beyond that. I’m not sure that everyone will agree with me on this, but, in my opinion, Corpse Party is the goings on at Heavenly Host. It’s the Sachiko Ever After ritual. It’s the students at Kisaragi. You get what I’m saying, right? Up until now, it’s been the same cast of characters doing much of the same thing, and that’s what makes Corpse Party what it is. That and the stomach-churning gore, that is. And, while Corpse Party 2 most certainly brings in plenty of nasty goings-on, the fact that it’s so far removed from the rest of the series in terms of plot almost makes it feel like it isn’t really part of the Corpse Party series at all. I am aware, however, that I’m making all of these judgments based upon the first chapter of the game. However, as Chapter 1 and EX Chapter 1 (which doesn’t provide much, but does let you walk around as Satoshi for a few minutes) is currently all we have, then that’s what I’m going to base everything upon. Also, Team GrisGris, what’s up with the lack of voice acting? Good, plentiful voice acting has essentially become a staple of the Corpse Party series, and the fact that it is mostly absent in this game is a bit worrying.
Corpse Party 2 is fairly straightforward as far as horror/adventure titles go, and, I suppose as far as most Corpse Party titles go as well—making its gameplay feel more connected to the series than its story. The basic premise of the game is exactly what you’d expect from something like this—travel around a spooky hospital while looking for answers and trying not to get killed in the process. And, since 99% of what’s in this hospital—be they zombie, ghost, or armed security guard (yes, seriously)—would rather you stopped that whole “being alive” thing, they’re not going to make your journey an easy one. For the most part, gameplay isn’t terribly difficult in terms of survival. While the game’s (purposefully) poor lighting can make actually seeing certain enemies tricky, the fact that most of them are slow to react and take a few seconds to start moving after attacking makes staying alive relatively easy. …Which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how difficult you like your horror games to be.
A horror game just isn’t a horror game without a few puzzles. I mean, yeah, it’s a trope, but it’s a trope that I happen to find appealing. Fortunately, Corpse Party 2 leaves players with nothing to worry about in that department. While certainly not the centerpiece of the game, the puzzles that Corpse Party has scattered around not only feel unique and fun but don’t detract from the atmosphere. Ironically, Corpse Party 2, despite being developed first, seems to do better than Blood Drive when it comes to setup. Each area of the hospital feels different, and the puzzles that players need to solve are more than just looking around for a specific item, and then looking for a specific place to use said item (although there is that, too). Again, I’m not entirely comfortable making these statements apply to the entire game—as part of it is literally still in development—but Chapter 1 certainly sets things up nicely for the future.
To Be Continued…?
I’m not sure when Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient will grace us with its second chapter, nor when, or perhaps even if, the game itself will be finished. In the meanwhile, however, Chapter 1 serves as an interesting, albeit slightly detached Corpse Party appetizer that has me hungry for the full course.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed); Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc.; Developer: Team GrisGris; Players: 1; Released: October 23, 2019; ESRB: N/A; MSRP: $9.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient given to Hey Poor Player by the publisher.