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Barring a few minor issues here and there, Corpse Party: Blood Drive continues to be one of the most enjoyable visual novels I’ve played. It’s campy, gruesome, a little fanservicey…so a lot like the scary movies I grew up with through a different cultural lens.
If you ask whether Corpse Party: Blood Drive is a “good game”, the answer would have to be “not really”. The story is engaging and the characters are all fairly unique in their own rights, and there’s enough back story given to you in-game and in the dictionary you get that you shouldn’t feel too lost while playing. Unfortunately the game takes a hit for how infuriating the chase mechanics can be. Especially when coupled with some often rather vague directions and arbitrary backtracking that doesn’t always make sense as to why it was needed in the first place, and Corpse Party: Blood Drive just can’t squeeze itself out of a really mediocre feeling. It’s a nice sort of wrap-up to the series, or at least the “Heavenly Host saga”, as a sequel series has also been released recently in the west, “Dead Patient”, which you’ll probably see pop up on the review site shortly after this, so it does round the series out for those who’ve followed it this far.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive still has almost all of the same issues with its core gameplay, but the PC version is the definitive way to play the final chapter of the horror series.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive feels imbalanced between its exploration and visual novel aspects. Luckily, what I did enjoy, I got engrossed in, and there are moments of genius in both segments. But ultimately, the exploration feels like an afterthought compared to the visual novel component. It's definitely hard to recommend unless you're already a Corpse Party fan.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive is a visual novel that gets two crucial points right: its plot and its high quality writing. Quite the saviours, as the gameplay experience ends up getting harmed by a lack of player guidance and the use of 3D models feels entirely out of place of the game's theme. Nevertheless, those looking for an engaging plot and a detailed, descriptive writing that will keep the player focused for long hours have a good option in the form of Corpse Party: Blood Drive for the Nintendo Switch.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Despite the strong story and its interesting characters, the gameplay is very clearly of a game out of time, and so feels out of place on the Switch. It's difficult to recommend, especially to newcomers, but fans of the franchise may find good reasons to visit, even if for nostalgia alone.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive is the very definition of a mixed bag. Its 3D exploration aspects never quite work and just when you're finally able to settle into playing the game, it suddenly switches back over to another visual novel stretch. Combined with poor pacing in the game's early hours and a lack of any options to help explain the events of the prior games to new players, it feels like Corpse Party: Blood Drive struggles to decide what it wants to be, and despite the occasional show of strength in its writing and characterisation, it ultimately results in a frustrating, inconsistent experience.
The best parts of Corpse Party: Blood Drive is when the scenario demands only one playable character, isolated in a Twilight Zone Japanese meat-high-school. When these insufferable adolescents banter with each other, it clashes with any semblance of dread or horror.