Developer: MAGES. Inc., 5pb.
Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc.
Franchise: Corpse Party
Release Date: Apr 11, 2019
Edited by KnightAvenger
The Corpse Party franchise is known to be one of the best horror-themed visual novels on the market, with how gruesome and dark it is, along with the level of story-telling it presents to the player. There is one game in the line up of Corpse Party titles, however, that took a risk on being more comedy-based with some subtle hints of horror: Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash. Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is an midquel created by MAGES. Inc and 5pb, released by XSEED Games and Marvelous USA, Inc.
With a subtle countdown, the story for Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is an odd one, as it is the first time we see the devs try and make the game funny while retaining the scary horror and gore vibes the series is known for. The story itself focuses on Sachiko, the seven-year-old ghost character somewhere in between the original Corpse Party
and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, as she is counting down before going quiet and reawakening happy, like a normal seven-year-old. What follows after is a celebration of her birthday, with the entertainment being performed by the characters from various games across the series, including some from Corpse Party: Blood Drive, a game made but a few years after this one.
This is one of the few times that, while I felt the story being as random as it was benefited the overall, I still found a few things that felt out of place for me. The first and most obvious issue was the inclusion of characters from a game still two years from release, which threw me off. I am glad, on one point, they included them, if only for select chapters to bring continuity to the series, but on the same point, if you haven’t played Blood Drive, you might get lost with some of the characters. My other big issue was the mechanic used to get past chapters three and five. I like choices, especially since this game allows for some very funny wrong endings, but when making certain choices is the only way to get past a chapter and that isn’t made clear, it feels downright unfair to the player. I went through chapter three at least three times and chapter five closer to seven times before I figured this out and it drove me up the wall.
Taking a cue from what I have seen in Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient, the visual style of Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash follows many of the later games in the series, with higher visual quality to that of an anime than the pixel art of past games. I felt the upgrade extended heavily into the backgrounds as well, as many prior scenes that did see reuse had brighter visual hues and more details on smaller things like a broken floorboard, cabinets, even chalkboards. This upgrade also allowed for characters to show more visual distraught or even glee in some cases, which was a nice touch, as prior games did this well enough but didn’t hit that level of impact.
As soundtracks go, Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash does diverge from prior games, which had a heavy focus on the creepy tones and sounds to include happy and sometimes cheerful sounds. The soundtrack itself is very half and half, keeping some of the scary and creepy undertone songs from prior titles when needed, yet allowing for some more peppy and happy songs when they fit into the birthday theme events of this game. The sound effects were pretty spot on as well, with only a few effects really feeling out of place in the overall grand scheme of things.
After visiting this creepy but forced birthday party, I can happily say I found Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash to be a different experience than prior entries, even if some of the comedy elements didn’t really click as well as they could have. The original but still creepy story, many gag wrong endings, step up in visuals, and change in pace made this game feel like its own unique experience in the Corpse Party universe.
- The original, but still creepy story
- Over 10 different wrong endings to discover
- Visual upgrade from past games overall
- Use of the choice mechanic to beat certain chapters felt unfair to the player
DarkLunarDude gives Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash a score of 7.8 out of 10.0 (78) Moé Blobs
For $19.99 (USD) on Steam, I can easily recommend Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash to fans of the series and those who like horror visual novels, as the comedy does brood on the dark side from time to time.