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Monday, August 31, 2015

Corpse Party -THE ANTHOLOGY- サチコの恋愛遊戯♥Hysteric Birthday 2U

♪♪♪ Hysteric Birthday! Hysteric Birthday dear good god what have you done with Corpse Party 5pb! Hysteric Birthday TOOO U!!! ♪♪♪

Oh what can I say about Corpse Party -The Anthology- Sachiko no Ren'ai Yuugi♥Hysteric Birthday 2U that hasn't already been said? First of all, I have to say this game's title is a bit too short. 5pb marketing should really take a lesson from D3, the makers of 夏色ハイスクル★青春白書 ~転校初日のオレが幼馴染と再会したら報道部員にされていて激写少年の日々はスクープ大連発でイガイとモテモテなのに何故かマイメモリーはパンツ写真ばっかりという現実と向き合いながら考えるひと夏の島の学園生活と赤裸々な恋の行方。~.

Anyways, putting the short title aside, let's get right into the heart of things, shall we?

This game is scary alright, but not for the reasons you might think...
16 years since the doujin release of the original venerable Corpse Party on PC98 and this is where 5pb is gonna take the series eh? Those brutal deaths, the tense feeling of dread as you explore the decrepit halls of Tenjin Shougakkou, 16 years since the series inception all culminating into... cross-dressing BL...

......alrighty then.............

Remember when I said Book of Shadows really cut down on scary and upped the fan service? HA! Turns out 5pb was just getting started. Yeah, yeah, we all know this is a spinoff title but really, Book of Shadows was also pretty much a spinoff title EXCEPT for the last hidden chapter. And JUST like Book of Shadows, there is an extra chapter in Hysteric Birthday that is actually part of the main story and even introduces a couple new characters. Characters whom I suspect will show up in Blood Drive (still need to play that one). Interestingly, the new characters just pop up out of nowhere from the beginning making me think I must have missed some comic or other spin-off media. Nope, it was just the weird way they ordered things.

Of course, unlike Book of Shadows, this game doesn't even try to be scary or even serious as it's basically a weird horror-themed comedy filled with the awkward fan service you've come to love from 5pb but powered up. Seriously, like Super Saiyan level 3 power levels. I'm not even exaggerating here.

At least the game lets you know what you're getting into in the very first chapter
Really, this game couldn't be farther than what you'd expect from a Corpse Party game. The developers must have realized how broken the exploration menu system was from Book of Shadows. So instead of fixing it or better yet, going back to the top-down 2D style, they removed it completely, making this a 100% vanilla adventure game (what non-Jhipsters call visual novels). At least it's easier to play than Book of Shadows as it still has all the usual features you'd expect from adventure games such as auto mode, etc without the crappy room navigation.

To be honest, I actually enjoyed playing this game for what it was. It was weird sure, but you can't help but laugh out loud at various parts of the game because it's just so RIDICULOUS. Let me just throw in a phrase to give you a rough idea: "Death by butt suffocation". I'll leave the rest to your imagination for any future Jhipsters that may want to play this game. Frankly, I'm shocked that this game DIDN'T get localized. I'm sure if it came out today, Xseed would have gone for it. After all, they only localize games for gameplay and not fan service, right? YA RIGHT.

I guess sex sells... SHOCKER
Anyways, I had fun with this game. The music isn't as good as even Book of Shadows but it still had some gems, especially this throwback track from the original PC98 version.

16 years later and still just as good

By the way, the part of the game where this music plays was hilarious and was definitely the highlight for me as a wannabe retro hipster. I would say if you have a weird sense of humor and willing to try something different, Hysteric Birthday 2U is definitely not the worst adventure game you can pick. I certainly enjoyed it more than Book of Shadows and of course they did the usual sneaky trick of including the only relevant (canon?) chapter as an "extra" that requires playing through the entire game to unlock.

Score: 3 butt wrestling matches out of 5 (26 hours to complete)

People who are looking for the original Corpse Party experience best just check out Corpse Party 2 Dead Patient for PC. Unfortunately, only Chapter 1 has been released forever ago and I'm still waiting on that one. In the mean time, I can only hope 5pb finally gets down to business in Blood Drive. As much as I enjoyed Hysteric Birthday, I think I'm more than ready for a REAL Corpse Party game next time.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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