Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko's Hysteric Birthday Bash
Developers: MAGES. Inc., 5pb
Publishers: Xseed Games, Marvelous USA, Inc.
A (surprisingly) canonical “midquel” to Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, taking place sometime during the course of those games, Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash recounts the bizarre events of vengeful ghost girl Sachiko Shinozaki’s one-of-a-kind birthday party held in the otherworldly school where so many lives have been lost in previous games: Heavenly Host Elementary.
The game plays out as a visual novel, divided into eight main chapters that each detail a different activity or cluster of activities. Player decisions determine which of the game’s endings is attained, with only one true ending from each chapter leading into the next. Surviving to the end will require thinking like Sachiko and making the choices that will please her the most…but with the fewest casualties.
Dark Comedy and Nonstop Fanservice
Put on a play, make a movie, attend a mixer, run a race, cook some curry, and more! Indulge Sachiko’s whims, and see new sides of fan-favorite characters in the process.
28 Endings Later
Player decisions lead to one of 28 endings, including countless bizarre deaths.
Extra Chapter Presented in Traditional Horror Style
Complete the game to unlock a traditionally styled Extra Chapter detailing the tragic backstories of new characters Azusa Takai and Ran Kobayashi.
Japanese Voices Like You’ve Never Heard Them Before
All original actors reprise their roles, but take them to new and unexpected places…
Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko's Hysteric Birthday Bash - Launch Trailer
Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko's Hysteric Birthday Bash is an interesting divergence from the usual gory terror of the Corpse Party franchise. It's also a gargantuan crossover event that might leave players feeling lost or confused if they aren't caught up on every piece of Corpse Party media so far. Still, despite the somewhat daunting amount of catching up you'd have to do if you wanted to be totally in the loop, the latest Corpse Party is a wacky and absurd treat that any visual novel fan is sure to get a kick out of.
All in all, this is an interesting title in the Corpse Party series, but it’s not something for everyone. It’s an almost entirely lighthearted story mixed with pure visual novel gameplay. If you enjoy the other games in the Corpse Party series, understand what you like about them before dipping into this game. If you’re looking for horror then this game won’t be for you, but if you enjoy the characters enough to be willing to watch them in a parody, you’ll be able to have a lot of fun with this title.
As I said before, if you have no experience with the Corpse Party franchise, there’s nothing to debate here – do not play this game. For fans of the series, though, I still don’t think I’d recommend this game. Between the weak storytelling and pointless nature of the narrative, I can’t say that it’s worth your time.