Just What Kind of a Party is Corpse Party?

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Just What Kind of a Party is Corpse Party?

So you’ve taken an interest in Corpse Party, have you? Perhaps you were intrigued by the launch trailer, or laughed at the name when you saw it mentioned on your favorite gaming news site (or hilarious webcomic?). Perhaps you’re a fan of survival horror games, or visual novels, or point-and-click adventures… or perhaps you simply enjoy Japanese horror movies like The Ring and The Grudge, and are always looking for your next fix.

Regardless of why you’ve taken an interest or how you got to this blog, there’s one thing that most likely holds true: You have very little idea what Corpse Party actually is.

Corpse Party for PSP

Our launch trailer focused on the most important aspects of the game – those being its unsettling atmosphere and its dark-as-night storyline – but did very little to indicate exactly how it’s played. So, let’s dig a little deeper and find out exactly what horrors await, shall we?

In the broadest terms, Corpse Party is a horror adventure game. You play as an ensemble cast of seven senior high school students, one junior high school student and one senior high school English teacher. The game’s story is split into five chapters, each of which focuses (more or less) on one particular subset of these characters as they explore a haunted, otherworldly elementary school in an attempt to find some way out without dying or losing their minds. Their efforts are thwarted at every turn not only by those responsible for this ethereal school’s existence, but also by the vengeful spirits of other students just like them who were drawn into this dimension against their will and met with unfortunate (and usually quite gruesome) ends.

Corpse Party for PSP

Many have posited that Corpse Party plays out like a visual novel, but that’s really not the case. While some scenes (such as the unlockable “Extra Chapters”) consist purely of dialogue-driven cinematics, most of the game is fully interactive, allowing you to walk around and explore Heavenly Host Elementary as you see fit, carefully examining objects and piecing together the sordid history of the school at every turn. There’s no combat, per se, but you are often confronted by hostile paranormals or potentially fatal environmental hazards and must make decisions on where to go, how to proceed or what to say. The wrong decision will either immediately or eventually lead you down a path toward one of the game’s vast multitudes of “Wrong Ends,” or bad endings – generally long, drawn-out and meticulously detailed death scenes brought to life through a combination of 2D sprite animation, full-screen art stills, meaty, squishy sound effects and high-quality Japanese voice-acting (recorded binaurally to create the illusion of 3D sound, making headphones an absolute must!).

Corpse Party for PSP

Occasionally, you’ll find yourself being chased by a malevolent spirit (or two, or three), and the game never makes it very easy to get away. You’ll often need the perfect blend of dexterity and innovative thinking to survive these ordeals – not just running for your life, but also trying to find some way of escaping a room that really, really doesn’t want to let you leave. In one such instance, getting caught by your pursuer means being shoved into a shallow grave and slowly buried alive as you listen to one of the game’s strongest characters suffocating and retching under endless shovelfuls of dirt, begging for his life for almost five solid minutes before the last gasp of breath escapes his mouth and the “Wrong End” music plays. Wrong, indeed!

So no, this is definitely much more than a visual novel. Though Corpse Party’s gameplay ultimately exists as a vessel for telling an intensely creepy, gory and unsettling mystery story, there’s always something new to see, some new psychotic spirit to escape or some new puzzle to solve. And with over 80 corpses of your predecessors to find, three proper endings to achieve and a whopping twenty-four “Wrong Ends” to witness (and believe me, morbid curiosity will make you want to see them all, even if they’re hard to watch!), you’ll surely be scarred for life long before you ever put this game down.

Watch for its release in the PlayStation Store this fall… and prepare to sleep with the lights on for a while (not that it’ll help!).

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63 Author Replies

  • I am not a fan of horror games/films but love horror books/comics/mangas. So I am taking a risk here but I think the sound and the music that gets me so I can mute it. The subject of murder children is very, very touchy but I think the game would not have the same effect if it was a haunted high school. Thanks Xseed for taking this risk and I hope for no bad press.

    • Sound plays a huuuuuge role in establishing this game’s atmosphere, actually. I wouldn’t recommend playing it muted, as you really wouldn’t be getting the full effect.

      …Though I guess that’s kind of what you were counting on, huh? ;)

      I’d still suggest giving it a try *with* the sound at first, though. It really wouldn’t be the same game without it.

  • First of all the game looks great

    does xseed has plans to release a new wild arms?

    • Media Vision would need to create a new Wild Arms game first. Remember, we’re just the publisher: we don’t make games, we just help bring existing Japanese games to the English-speaking world.

      If Media Vision were to create a new Wild Arms game, though, we’d be overjoyed to work on it. We’re all big fans of the Wild Arms series here!

  • I will for sure be getting this when it comes out. I want to know with Corpse Party coming out does this mean that XSeed plans to bring out other 5PB games too? I so want to try Steins;Gate. I heard that was a great game & so I really want to be able to play the game.

    Also will XSeed still be making games for the PSP for a little longer? I know with the Vita coming out soon time is running out for bringing games out of Japan. But there is still so many great ones that have not come out yet that I want to play. So would there be any chance for Over my dead Body & Dangan Ronpa?

    Also is there any hope for the game When the Seagulls Cry coming? Be it for the PS3 or PSP versions.

    • We’ve had a very good experience with 5pb thus far, and would love to work with them again in the future. We’ll definitely be exploring the possibility of localizing some of the other great games they’ve published.

      Regarding the PSP, we’ve already announced another PSP title for release this winter (Grand Knights History), and will most likely continue releasing other PSP titles even after that, until such time as the system becomes completely nonviable. Which, hopefully, won’t be for a long time yet! Both of the titles you listed are ones that have been suggested to us before, and they both seem like great games. We’ll definitely be keeping them in mind.

      Regarding When the Seagulls Cry/Umineko no Naku Koro ni, the likelihood of that game receiving an English release is fairly slim, as the sheer amount of text that would need to be translated is absolutely massive. The amount of time, energy and money required just to edit that much text, much less translate it, would be staggering.

      It’s a great game, though, so if an opportunity were to present itself, we may consider it. But it’s probably not something we could realistically do, unfortunately.

  • From what I can tell, This game sounds a lot like an underground indie game called “Ao Oni”. But I could be wrong and it plays completely different.

    • Hmmm… intriguing! I’ll have to look into this “Ao Oni” game of which you speak, as I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of it before.

      Thanks! ;)

  • Darn shame I can’t play this on ps3 and since I don’t have a PSP I won’t be getting it.Looks like a fun game too.

    • PSPs can be acquired on the cheap these days, and there are a LOT of great PSP games out there. Might be a good investment!

  • So… just to let you know… this blog post got me interested in the game. That and I watched the trailer… what’s the price point?

  • Cool that it’s PSN exclusive. Though I haven’t read of you guys offering swag, NISA would likewise be bringing the Black★Rock Shooter game as download-only, as a code along with the kit (kinda like LocoRoco 2). While this does mean more memory management in the short-term, this really is great in anticipation of the Vita. Just be sure not to lose rights to it! *huggles the bits and bytes of Brave Story*

    • Corpse Party is an independently-developed game and a completely original property — a true labor of love from the developers — so I think the chances of it vanishing from the PlayStation Store in the future are slim to none.

      Brave Story was a bit of an unusual situation, I believe, as the game was a followup to a highly popular anime movie in Japan, meaning its rights were very tightly guarded. I don’t think you’ll be seeing that happen for too many other games from us — or too many other games in general, really.

      …Hope not, anyway! We hate to see a good game go down ourselves.

  • even in a dark brothel?

  • This is looking very cool! I’m a fan of the Y’s and Trails in the Sky games you’ve put out and it looks like this is one to watch as well.
    I know it’s quite off topic, but is the followup to Trails in the Sky in the works yet or is it on the back burner until current projects are completed? (I LOVED IT and I NEED MORE :D )

    • That’s OK, we get this question a lot. ;)

      I can’t really go into any detail on Trails 2, except to say that we haven’t forgotten about you Trails fans. The second game is an enormous project — far and away the most enormous project we’ve ever undertaken (I just mentioned on our forums yesterday, in fact, that you could fit the script for at least 12 Ys games into the amount of text used in Trails 2!) — and as you might imagine, we can’t devote all of our time to it or we’ll release nothing else in the interim and go out of business long before it’s done!

      So it’s in the background, and it’s on our minds… but it’s a long way from being finished, and its ultimate fate is unknown. Just be patient and keep buying our games, and keep your fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and we’re able to release Trails 2 sometime in the future.

      Sorry to be so vague, but the project is so far from completion, and its future is so ambiguous, that vagueness is all I have to offer right now.

  • Seriously? Another PSP release? Can’t you guys ever do something on the console?

    • What’s wrong with the PSP? The PSP is awesome! Still my favorite gaming system, even after all these years.

      Plus, remember: We go where the good games are. And right now, the vast majority of quality Japanese titles that haven’t seen an English release are on handheld systems. And those games that aren’t tend to be unavailable for licensing, unreasonably expensive to license or have already been licensed by someone else.

      The PSP is an absolute goldmine of extremely high-quality Japanese titles right now, and we’re not about to leave English-speaking PSP gamers starved for content when there’s a mouth-watering feast overseas, you know?

  • Hi Tom:

    Great to see you again; will definitely pick up this game to support you lovely Xseed folks!

    PS: Is Ms. Jessica Chavez still around? Maybe you two can do a video walkthrough for the blog some time???
    Thank you!

    • Oh, she’s definitely still around! Feisty as ever, too, that one. ;)

      Do you mean a walkthrough for Corpse Party, or just a walkthrough in general, for ANY game?

  • You guys never stop delivering awesome games!

    Thank you!

    Just when I think I could put my PSP games down, then games like this come up and i’m like.
    PSP’s still got it :)

    Thanks again for bringing awesome RPGs to us!

    • Thanks for the kindly words! We always try to bring Japan’s best to the west. And the PSP is absolutely on fire right now!

  • I was really looking forward to this title when I saw this, and reading the article made me want it even more. But I don’t have a PSP and can’t afford one at the moment. Is there any way it would be going onto the PS3? I would love to play this game!

  • I’ve played the japanese demo of courpse party and it’s sequal.

    the game it’s self starts off with a séance gone wrong in an abbondanded school.

    they used parts of the opening movie for the game. hope the keep the song for the opening movie and add subs for the song.

    I’ve also played the sequal’s demo and it was a visual novel

    @scea eufloria has been on steam scince 10/20/2009

    • The song is 100% intact, but no subtitles, I’m afraid. We felt they’d detract from the visuals. We should see about posting a translation of its lyrics online, though — definitely something to look into.

      As for the sequel, it’s actually not a visual novel, it just kind of feels like one at first since the first hour or so of the game is nothing but dialogue. Eventually, though, you are given control of your character, and the game becomes something of a mix between a first-person dungeon crawler and a point-and-click adventure game.

  • I HATE TRAILERS THAT NEVER SHOW GAMEPLAY. it makes it feel like the game $ucks, yes i could be wrong (not saying it $ucks) just wish they would stop doing that unless they post 2.

    • At the time this trailer was made, we had no English build of the game, so we had no choice but to show cutscenes. In addition, the game is very story-centric, with its major emphasis being on characters, plot progression and atmosphere — so a trailer that introduces these aspects of the game is, in this particular case, much more indicative of the experience you’ll have than a gameplay trailer would be.

      Our next trailer will show gameplay, but I firmly believe this trailer is a very good example of what you can expect from the game. If you’re intrigued by what you’ve seen, then chances are, you’re going to love Corpse Party.

    • Actually, to be more specific:

      “In addition, the game is very story-centric, with its major emphasis being on characters, plot progression and atmosphere.”

      Corpse Party may not be a visual novel, but it’s very much based in the traditions of the Japanese visual novel genre. And I’m not sure how much you know about visual novels, but as the genre name may imply, they’re almost more novel than game. They exist to tell a story, and for the most part, as long as you like that story, that means the game is a good one.

      Again, this is not a straight-up visual novel — it has plenty of gameplay on top of its cutscenes. But the gameplay is very much secondary, with the story taking center stage from beginning to end.

      Read the contents of the blog for an exact description of how the game plays, and I think you’ll agree that the trailer we provided is actually a pretty good choice for a title like this.

  • “In short, this is a game for horror and mystery fans. The things that happen in the game are absolutely repulsive… but they’re very much meant to be. You’re supposed to be disgusted by this game. It’s supposed to be hard to play, and give you nightmares… and personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. ;)”

    Thank you, Tom. Your honesty is refreshing. I do love horror stories and movies, I was thinking the object of the game was possibly to mutilate kids, and I’m happy to be wrong. Given your description and what you’re trying to convey, I’ll definitely give it a shot. Thanks again.

    • Oh, yeah, no worries there. We’d never release a game where the object is simply to mutilate children. That wouldn’t exactly reflect well upon the company, and I kind of doubt our parent company would be very happy with us either. ;)

  • Looks really good, my kinda game. If only my PSP wasn’t in a different state.

  • Hi again Tom:

    I was thinking of a brief “highlight” video of the main components of Corpse Party, but surprise me (ie. any video type will do!).

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my earlier comment!

    • We’ll certainly see what we can do, but no promises! We’ve got our hands full with other games, as you might imagine, so a regular trailer may have to do. ;)

  • As much as I appreciate well thought out games… and while they may be good on PSP.. I still feel it’s a shame that they don’t wait and hold off for VITA because it has so much more potential. I feel as though all these PSP releases are just a way to milk the PSP Brand dry, untill they can begin the real work and sales for VITA.


    • I don’t think anyone’s “milking” the PSP brand at all. You just have to consider the intended market for this game. Corpse Party was created by the Japanese, for the Japanese — and in Japan right now, the PSP is absolutely the hottest platform around. If you’re a small Japanese developer and you want to reach the biggest possible audience without breaking your budget, the PSP is an obvious choice.

      In addition, since the Vita has virtually full backwards compatibility with PSP titles downloaded from PSN, it really doesn’t make sense for publishers to give up on PSP development. After all, Corpse Party will theoretically be available for playing by anyone who owns a PSP *and* anyone who owns a Vita. And if the game were developed exclusively for Vita instead, half that market would be gone — all the people who owned PSPs but couldn’t afford Vitas would be left high and dry.

      The only reason I could see for canceling a PSP project and switching it to Vita is if the project would benefit from the Vita’s extra power. But honestly, I really don’t think a Vita-enhanced Corpse Party would be any scarier or more engaging than the PSP version already is.

  • To correct myself, it was Patapon 2 that opted for retail copies to be purely download codes (which really threw me off in regards to some used copies I saw in…Wal-Mart, I believe).

    On that note, I’ve come to realize Corpse Party will have some more visibility by being in the PlayStation Network Exclusives section, now occupied PSP-side by thirty-eight others. Not too shabby chances, I’d wager.

    @apoco (#64) – While I’d agree for many games (Birth by Sleep, anyone?), something like Corpse Party seems like it’d just have a sharper resolution. I’m fine with it being on PSP. And besides, we’ve concretely known about Vita for, what, maybe two years? Games could have been in development for as long, and localization on top of that. We’ve still got a few solid PSP games trickling through, and I’d wager not for want of Vita-lization.

    • The retail + download code approach is an intriguing idea, and one we’d love to explore at some point. We’ll definitely keep our eyes open for any opportunity to do so that may come our way.

      And indeed, we’re hoping Corpse Party will stand out amongst the other offerings on PSN quite nicely. It certainly should be an eye-catching entry, especially if people stop to read the description. ;)

  • I hope corpse party does well enough to justify the sequel making it over here. on the side notes I am so looking forward to grand knights history as well. and you have my eternal thanks for the lunar release on the psp a little while back. between corpse party and fate/stay extra I might not leave my psp anytime soon. ^_^

    • I really hope we can do the sequel as well. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is an excellent and decidedly unique follow-up to the original game (rather than taking place before or after the events of the first game, it takes place DURING them), and would be tons of fun to work on.

      And thanks for the kind words! We’re looking forward to the release of Grand Knights History ourselves, as we can’t wait to see how the online war progresses in the western world… and Lunar was a real blast for us to work on, so it’s always great to hear that people enjoyed it!

  • I am so going to get this!
    this looks like it will be an awesome game. Thanks for the great games you let us play Xseed!

  • I don’t get you folks who think every PSP project upcoming should be ditched for a system we don’t even have a ballpark release date for (Vita). As long as this is the current system nobody is “milking” anything. Me thinks your just one of those people who a) like to complain about everything and b) see anything resembling capitalism as an evil conspiracy. I don’t plan on getting rid of my PSP until it’s no longer supported or fun to play. Not just because there is something newer. Is Sony “milking” for releasing legacy PS1, Japanese imports, and PS2 remakes? No, simply because there is a demand for it. That’s how sales works. We want, they sell, we buy or don’t buy.

  • will this be for PS Vita?

  • This game looks absolutely amazing.

    I also love you guys put in the effort for surround sound (puts on 7.1 surround sound headset).

    I can’t wait.

  • …and now I realize it’s PSP only :(

    • Hey, it’ll play on Vita too! ;)

      And to be fair, the binaural 3D audio in this game wasn’t our doing, but 5pb’s — the Japanese publisher. But they did a fantastic job with it!

  • sweet thanks Tom.

  • just head about this game today, and already cant wait for it to come out D:

  • i wonder if xseed will ever develop its own rpg should be epic sense they know what to look for in a good game :)

  • If the story is good then I might check it out sometime down the road. The game has a nice opening. And I hope there going to be some more news about Grand Knights History soon.:)

    • Progress is being made on GKH, slowly but surely. I’m certain we’ll have more news on that one sometime in the near future!

  • How big will this game be? The reason I ask is because I only have a bit less than 1GB left on my memory stick, but I’m not too keen on buying another one unless it’s really needed (in other words, I will only buy a new memory stick if “Corpse Party” is larger than 1GB.)

    In any case, it is very nice to know that you guys are localizing this game (gosh, I have been waiting for this to happen ever since I first caught news of it last year.) So, will you guys also localize “Corpse Party: Book of Shadows” at some point in the future, too (I know PSP games are not very well-supported in the West, but since it’s you guys, I believe you can work something out, right?)

    • You should be fine with 1 GB, as the uncompressed file size of the game is right around 775 MB — which means the PSN size will most likely be smaller still. Can’t give you an exact number until closer to release, but I’m betting it’ll be in the 400-600 MB range.

      As for “Corpse Party: Book of Shadows,” that really all depends on how well the first game sells. If it sells well, then we’ll absolutely pursue the sequel — I’m chomping at the bit to work on it, personally, as I had an absolute blast working on the first one. So keep your fingers crossed for the first one to be a success, and spread the word as best as you can! ;)

  • By the way, being a huge fan of morbid visual novels (and anything similar), I would like to ask if you guys have any interest on localizing the PS3 remakes of Umineko no Naku Koro ni? (With the first part released in Japan on December of last year and the second part this coming December.) I guarantee that if you do, I’ll be pre-ordering them as soon that they show up on Amazon.com. Or suppose you guys also plan on releasing a collector’s edition for both of them, I will be pre-ordering both those and the regular versions, too (no reason not to support a company that caters to your interests, after all.)

    • Umineko is a fantastic series of visual novels, but they are *extremely* wordy. The sheer amount of time we’d need simply to edit the text, much less translate it, makes it an unlikely choice for localization, as it would be difficult to justify the time and the costs associated with such a massive undertaking.

      It’s not outside the realm of possibility, of course, as we’re definitely fans of Ryukishi07’s works here. But being a fan and being able to justify a huge project like this are two very different things!

      It would be awesome to work on that title, though, to be sure.

  • Will the other Corpse Party games be translated as well?

    • There is only one other official Corpse Party game, and if this one does well for us, we’d love to work on it.

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