PSP owners were introduced to Corpse Party by XSEED Games back in 2011. It was a horror game that utilized the anime style for characters and environment. Very recently, XSEED has brought another title to this series titled Book of Shadows with the intent to delight us once again to its suspense-filled narration. Now, both PSP and Vita owners can take part in this anime adventure.
If you never played this type of game before, Corpse Party is all about the students who will have to survive in a school that happens to be haunted. In Book of Shadows, the gameplay basically involves pointing and clicking as you search around for objects and navigate through your environments. There is a cursor on the screen that changes from red to blue when you come across an object that you can interact with. You’ll be going from one spot on the map to the next as you bear witness to the horrific deaths of your classmates.
Controls in Book of Shadows is really a no-brainer here. But there are mainly two sets of button configurations to keep in mind. While you’re in conversation mode, you choose your responses with the X button, activate the menu with the triangle, pop up the history log with square, and whip through the dialogue with the right trigger. With those commands in mind, you won’t have a problem proceeding with this game.
When you are navigating and searching around, the buttons are little different, but they’re still easy to get used to. The d-pad serves to move your cursor around, X serves to interact with objects, circle to cancel, and the left trigger allows you to activate the map on your screen. In the latter, you’ll be able to move to another area. Because you don’t have to worry about moving your character around directly or avoiding any incoming objects, it’s a very calming affair when it comes to the controls.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be playing a peaceful game for long. On the contrary, the atmosphere and overall feel behind Book of Shadows is that of anxiety and trepidation. Thanks to all the bloody corpses depicted in great graphical detail, you’ll be taken away by its work of art while at the same time feel sickened by its goriness. During gameplay, the screen tends to go darker whenever your character starts to lose her sanity. In terms of the visuals, Book of Shadows does quite well in keeping you at the edge of your seats.
Adding to the game’s atmosphere are the outstanding audio effects. If you tack on a set of headphones, you’ll get the 3D sound that will enhance your experience. The heart heavily beating and the occasional glass shattering add to the shock factor. You’ll most likely forget that you’re playing a game presented in an anime type of design.
Book of Shadows will take you across eight chapters, which could require ten to twelve hours of your time to complete. However, if you take into account the fact that each chapter has both a good and bad ending, you’ll most likely be enticed to play this game through a few times if you’re a completionist. In fact, with over thirty different endings available, you may be wondering what other possibilities are there in terms of the characters’ fates.
Book of Shadows isn’t your typical game as it takes on more of a visual novel approach. Although this may be unappealing to a player that expects some shooting and/or exploding action, it does demonstrate that a lot of sweat and blood (literally) have been placed in this game. There will be numerous moments that will be very disturbing especially when you have anime characters getting slaughtered and such. And that’s what makes it appealing! Corpse Party: Book of Shadows proves to show that you don’t need heavy action sequences to make an uplifting gaming experience. If you have the guts for its terrifying content, you can enter the PSN store and get it for $19.99, that is if you dare to!