Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash was an interesting take when viewed in parallel with the other Corpse Party releases that fans like myself really enjoyed. It’s a lot more cutesy and fun in nature, and not really about the scare factor and horror that the previous entries focused on. Being a lover of all things visual novels and a huge fan of the franchise, I was dying (pun intended) to dive in to this hysteric birthday bash and see what it was all about!
Title: Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: MAGES, Inc.
Available On: PC
Reviewed On: PC
Release Date: April 10, 2019
Game Provided By XSEED Games for the Purpose of This Review
First and foremost, it was fun to see everyone from the previous entries together and alive. Even characters that had smaller parts aside from the main cast were there, which was a nice touch. Everyone starts off by waking up in the Heavenly Host auditorium. At that point, Sachiko fills us in that today is her birthday, and she wants to celebrate! Of course as the girl who controls everything and has the power of bringing the dead back to life.. yeah, you better do what she asks or you may just find yourself dead again. Which, funny enough, she is not afraid to remind you.
There are multiple chapters you’ll be progressing through as you undertake different playthroughs. Technically, there are ten chapters altogether, each one with multiple things to do and with a different feel to it. Sachiko will want to see different plays be presented, such as The Phantom of the Opera (which was my favorite chapter!), The King and I, and several more. Another chapter will see you partaking in a quiz, where if you score over 400 points, you’ll win a prize. Another chapter focuses on a cooking competition that was rather fun. Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is like playing multiple mini-stories or games all in one, and I really enjoyed that aspect.
After each chapter concludes, you’ll be sent back to the title screen, as they are separated. At first, I thought I did something wrong. Thankfully I didn’t, and I really started to enjoy this feature because much like the norm in visual novels, depending on your choices you can ultimately see either a good ending or a bad ending for each chapter. If you end up making a mistake or not liking the ending you received, you can easily just replay that specific chapter without having to go through the whole game again. While it isn’t a huge deciding factor in terms of overall enjoyment, it was a nice little addition that I found myself enjoying more and more as the story progressed onward.
Throughout the stories, you never play with one set character. In most common visual novels, you have a main protagonist and stick with him or her throughout the entire sequence of events. This time, you move between characters depending on what is going on and which story is actually being presented at the time. While I somewhat enjoyed this, I also somewhat disliked it at the same time. Unless you’ve recently played through the other Corpse Party games, it gets somewhat confusing and hard to remember each person as it constantly jumps around and has different people talking. It’s nice because you aren’t stuck with just one person and their personality the entire time, but it may take until the third chapter or so to finally remember who everyone is so that you fully understand the character you’re currently playing as. It doesn’t really impact the game in a negative way by any means, but a portrait of the character when they’re speaking would have solved all issues I had with this.
If you’re a fan of Corpse Party, you’re going to enjoy this latest entry. If you’ve seen trailers of the game and think it looks fun and you have no prior knowledge of the series, or if you’re just a fan of visual novels, you’ll probably end up thinking this is fun. Please keep in mind that jumping in to this is not recommended unless you’ve played through the prior games, as you won’t really understand who anyone is. That being said, I still think there’s fun to be had if you decide this will be your jumping in point for the Corpse Party series. Just make sure you go back and play through the previous games too, because they’re worth it!
Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is a welcome addition to the series that focuses more on the fun instead of the death we’re used to seeing. If you want to be scared and have read up on Corpse Party but somehow stumbled upon this one, maybe start with the earlier games in the series. But if you’re already a fan and want to see more of the beloved characters and see how they act more like themselves and not when they’re fighting to survive and not die.. you’ll love this! One thing that really stood out to me was the humor found in this one. For a franchise having so much heartache and despair, it was a great change of pace to be able to smile and laugh with the cast. Plus, there’s a whole different side to Sachiko besides just her normal terror-self. I really did enjoy this game and I even linked my tablet to my PC using the steam link app just so I could play it around the house. So that’s saying something! Are you ready to hang out with Sachiko and the poor souls of Heavenly Host Elementary?