As someone who’s never played any of the Corpse Party games ever, I half-expected Corpse Party: Blood Drive to be a silly anime game making fun of the horror genre. However, I was pleasantly surprised. As it turns out, Corpse Party: Blood Drive can get incredibly eerie when it tries.
The demo started me off in the middle of an abandoned, and supposedly haunted, high school. I took control of a young girl named Ayumi, I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was supposed to be looking for, but the nice folks over at the XSEED booth told me to just go crazy with it and see if I could find anything creepy. So I did.
Blood Drive‘s controls are very simple, and Ayumi has no way to fight off the evil spirits that she comes across in the school unless she has a talisman on her. If you don’t have a talisman, however, you’ll have to run away as soon as it spots you. You can also hide from the spirit by entering a closet. When inside the closet, the screen will flash a certain color as an indication of how close the spirit is to you. If it flashes red, that means it’s right outside the door. If it flashes green or blue, that means you’re still a comfortable distance away from the spirit. However, if you happen to be in the spirit’s line of sight when you hide in the closet, the spirit will be able to pull you out and drain your health.
Aside from just running away from spirits, there is also a number of traps laid out in school. You’ll come across trip wires and broken furniture that can drain your health as well. To add to the overall creepiness of Corpse Party: Blood Drive, there are also puddles of reddish goo in the school. If you step on them, there is a slight chance that Ayumi might get accosted by demon tentacles.
The graphics in Blood Drive aren’t very impressive at all, but the music and the lighting effects did a great job of conveying the horror it wants to portray. The fact that you’re almost completely defenseless certainly makes the game a little scarier as well. The only complaint I had was that the loading times fell a little bit on the longer side. The high school is segmented into various floors and rooms, and they’re all demarcated by loading screens. It’s odd becauseBlood Drive doesn’t exactly look like the most graphically intensive game on the PS Vita, and it doesn’t particularly strike me as the kind of game that would require 15 second loading screens.
Aside from that, Corpse Party: Blood Drive still feels like a surprisingly scary horror game that deals with witches, sorcery, and magic. The folks over at XSEED have informed me that even though Blood Drive is a direct sequel to Book of Shadows and is the final chapter in this particular story arc of the series, it includes a quick recap of the events prior to the game and will be easy enough for newcomers to jump right in.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive will be made available for the PS Vita some time this fall.