Coming off of the recent PC release for Corpse Party Blood Drive comes the sequel installment of Corpse Party: “Dead Patient”. Set in a hospital and not the well known Heavenly Host school, join Ayame in her trek through a seemingly abandoned hospital, soon discovering that she only wishes it were abandoned.
For those of you who know Corpse Party, or maybe have played Blood Drive before coming to this, first up you should know this is only for chapter 1, and chapter EX1, and that this isn’t really a “direct” sequel. Gone are the days of creeping through a school full of murderous ghosts, now you trek through a hospital full of murderous zombies. While some characters from the previous series make an appearance, Corpse Party 2 is focused on a completely different cast of characters, with the lead role being given to Ayame, a high school girl that awakens strapped to an operating table with no memory of what was going on prior to her waking up. As you guide Ayame through the hospital, looking for a way out, you quickly discover that the hospital is overrun with zombie-like creatures.
While the story may be standalone from its predecessors, the gameplay remains quite similar. As you explore the hospital, you will come across items to gather, and collectibles to find. Unlike in the previous installments, items are “equipped” instead of used through opening the item menu, although you can still do so for healing items. Also in a step away from the last series, I felt that there was more of a focus on the puzzle solving aspect rather than the exploration/survival, but that may only be because it currently only consists of one main chapter.
Puzzles are, for the most part, intuitive, if not easy, so you shouldn’t be pulling your hair out too bad, and backtracking is stated in-game, giving you a sense of direction when trying to find out where to go. With handy notes indicating your current goal, generally a destination, no longer will you spend an hour looking for a key to the science lab only to find out that the ghost you just talked to before the one you’re currently talking to had it, and just didn’t give it to you. Yes I’m bitter about Blood Drive, go away.
The art style as well is similar yet different, still going with the 3D isometric and chibi characters, but with a different, and very noticeable, difference after coming from Blood Drive. The music is also pretty well done, giving that spooky atmosphere that you’ve come to love and expect, just with a different flavour. I particularly liked the credits theme during the true end. Those new to the Corpse Party franchise may not understand when I compare to Blood Drive, but let me tell you that enemies in Blood Drive were relentless little pricks. Dead Patient sees enemies more as an… ascended nuisance, of sorts.
Yeah you can only take three hits, but most of the enemies are ridiculously slow, and the most common ones can watch you hide in a closet and will basically just shake it a few times and then waltz off. And no, they don’t follow you through doors anymore. What they do have is what basically amounts to stealth mode when the lights are out, and a sheer swathe of compatriots ready to chew you to bits. Thankfully stamina isn’t really a thing other than a sound effect, at least that I was able to figure out from playing normally, and it can be quite amusing to throw a can and distract the presumably undead hordes.
What isn’t so entertaining is that the game may take an hour for you to start playing, depending on your usual set-up. For whatever reason I could only get Dead Patient to run while steam was in Big Picture Mode while Dead Patient itself was windowed. Also, despite having exclusively controller based input directions, I couldn’t get a controller to work, instead having to rely on the ‘Z’, ‘X’, ‘C’, and ‘S’ buttons for actions and Esc for the pause menu. Interestingly enough, if you go to throw a can and then use the menu to cancel out, there will be a permanent white circle indicating where your throw would have been attached to the same “coordinates” of wherever it was when you cancelled out. I.e. if the circle was on tile X:3, Y:4, it would be on that same coordinate on the next screen.
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient shows a lot of promise, and while I did really enjoy it, it only really took off towards the very end. Overall, Dead Patient is just too short with only one main chapter to really give it a true rating, although I found it quite enjoyable. While chapter 2 onward has been in development limbo for far too long, I would really like to see the continuation of this series. If you’re looking for something a little longer to tide you over after the last Corpse Party, unfortunately Dead Patient isn’t going to take long, as I clocked in at just barely over an hour and only missed a single collectible, but at least I had fun doing it, and hopefully you will too.
XSEED Games, Marvelous USA
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Article by Richard