Corpse Party: Blood Drive – Review
Follow Genre: Horror, Visual Novel
Developer: GrindHouse
Publisher: 5pb, Marvelous USA
Platform: PS Vita, PS TV
Tested on: PS TV

Corpse Party: Blood Drive – Review

Site Score
Good: Mood, Atmosphere, Story, Cute yet scary
Bad: Inconsistencies, Graphical quality is sometimes below standards of the PS Vita, Sound quality
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (4 votes cast)

One would imagine something named Corpse Party would be a rather stiff event, but in reality spirits have run quite high over the last few games. That being said, the party is about to turn dead, as the Heavenly Host saga will come to an end, ready for burial. We dived back into the world between the dead and living once more, hoping to finally fix everything that went wrong. Beware, even though the characters may look cute, it’s not recommended to end up at one of their parties.



As this game is pretty much all about the story, we’ll keep it rather minimalistic, as it would otherwise ruin the fun, as well as the great storyline this game has to offer.

Ayumi Shinozaki is one of the few survivors of what took place after she practiced black magic, in the previous installment of the series. Even though she has the chance to pick up her life again, she can’t forget about the lives lost in the incident, especially the life of her sister. It also seems that everyone else doesn’t even remember some of the victims, as if they never existed in the first place. Wearing this crutch together with a small group of friends is starting to become heavy on Ayumi, which results in her not being able to let it all go and try and become happy.

Nonetheless Ayumi realizes she can’t do much about it, deciding to cut her losses and do an attempt to go back to school and pick up the shattered puzzle she calls life, at least only for a while. When a mysterious figure appears in her room, claiming she does have the power to do something about it all, Ayumi is determined to find her friends and perhaps even a way to get them back to the world of the living. All bets are on the moment she hears of a way to head in the Heavenly Host, the place where evil lurks, but also the spirits of her friends and sister. Unknowingly, in the meantime young students get murdered by a mysterious force, as the bodies show no signs of violence, yet their back is snapped in half.

Most of the story is presented with the use of visual novel sequences. This makes the story rather pleasant, as it often feels like reading an exciting horror book. It’s only a shame the creators always use the same text windows and font, even though some portions are said out loud, whilst other are not. Of course, voice acting is used for the actual spoken dialogue, but seeing this game is mainly intended to be played on a handheld, it’s not always possible to crank up the volume. Users who play the game at home on a PS TV, will have less problems with this ‘issue’.


Other than that, it’s quite fun to see proper character development, making sure that some characters will surprise you from time to time, or prove to be totally different than they might seem at the beginning.


It’s easy to say that Corpse Party: Blood Drive never really uses the full potential of the PS Vita (or PS TV in our case), as things look rather simple. The visual novel aspect of the game has several nice drawings inserted, whilst the text window looks rather cheaply done. Nonetheless, the overall visual novel portions are presented in a decent fashion, albeit very true to the genre, as nearly everything is very static. Whilst this is quite common with older visual novels, it’s regrettable that emotions or actions aren’t portrayed most of the time, which could have made this aspect of the game that much better.

The actual spooky part of the game, in which you’re able to roam around, left us with rather mixed feelings. While the characters themselves look quite simple, yet adorable, except for a few creatures, they proved to be a bit stiff. Whilst one would rather be ‘a stiff’ in the realm of the dead, as no harm could come to you anymore, the lack of emotions and details the characters have, take a bit away from the otherwise spooky atmosphere. The environments in spirit realm also look a lot better than those in the normal world, and they prove to have very nice textures and details, making these surroundings stand out. The dark grittiness and the light of your flashlight make for a very cute but atmospherically decent game.



The music is quite good in portraying the overall dreadfulness the characters find themselves in, whilst having a few more upbeat tunes when the situation calls for it. Nonetheless, as far as eerie music goes, the game tends to set the proper mood, giving you the chills when needed, especially with some of the sound effects used when looting certain items. Even when halfway through, some sounds that should actually be rewarding, as you find new items, remain rather creepy.

Voice acting in Blood Drive often feels a bit off, not due to the quality of the voices, but rather the overall quality. At times it seems as if the actor/actress was standing too far away from the microphone, or that the voices were recorded in someone’s living room, as things often sound too quiet, distant or a bit distorted for you to fully enjoy the acting.


Corpse Party: Blood Drive is a mix between a visual novel and a horror adventure/puzzle game. This means you’ll be scrolling through text during each chapter, often followed by running for your life in the ‘Heavenly Host Elementary School’, which is infested with spirits and dark beings.

The visual novel aspects speaks for itself, as you’ll only be scrolling through one text window after another. Sadly the game does not offer any conversation options when plowing through the story content of the game, but then again, the story alone will suffice greatly to keep you entertained.


When you’re able to explore the outside world or the Heavenly Host school, things will remain rather simple and straightforward as well. You’ll be able to interact with many objects, either gaining new information or picking up items or simply using/activating specific things. You’ll mainly be exploring to find your way out of the Heavenly Host school, as you’ll often only roam around in the ‘normal world’ areas for a few minutes, before it switches to visual novel scenes again.

Inside the Heavenly Host school you’ll have to solve puzzles, in order to reach progress, whilst avoiding harmful traps, murderous spirits and other obstacles that will envelop you with darkness, making you turn on your friends if it consumes you. To solve puzzles, you’ll often need items, or pass an enemy which is pretty much ready to slay you on the spot. The latter can be overcome when hiding and listening to the sound of your foe, estimating how far he has gone (also a color indication with flash on the screen). You’ll have to do this, while keeping in mind your flashlight will not stay lit forever. Other than these base mechanics there is not that much to do, but all in all it proves to be sufficient in this type of game.

A rather big annoyance is the fact that you’ll have to go to the pause menu in order to see your HP, or check other specifics. While it’s only a minor annoyance that you’ll always have to open your pause menu, it’s the loading times that make it very tedious and atrocious, just like the many other loading screens you’ll come across during your playthrough.

Truth be told, the survival mechanics are simple, straightforward and in its own way enjoyable. It’s still easy to say that the overall forte of this game remains its story. The active sections of the game do however build up the mood quite well, especially seeing you can make wrong decisions which result in your rather gruesome death. This might be one of those few games where you actually want to see your horrible fate from time to time, just to see what the game has in store for you.



Corpse Party: Blood Drive makes sure the series goes out with a spiritual bang. While the overall simplicity of the action sequences and the static appearance of the visual novel aspect might scare away potential buyers, the story value is pretty much off the charts. This seemingly B horror movie/game proves to be rather great, with enough eerie moments, even with its cute characters. If you’re a fan of the series or the overall genre, it’s definitely worth it, given the few flaws the game has.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Corpse Party: Blood Drive - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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