We’re finally gonna do it. We’re finally releasing a Corpse Party game in time for Halloween.
We tried to do it with Corpse Party, and then again with Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, and both times, we got held up by QA or mastering issues or… SOMETHING… and wound up missing the big day – by 2+ months, even, in Book of Shadows’ case!
But this time, we’re actually going to make it. Who needs a Friday? Who cares about the 31st? Tuesday the 13th is where it’s at! Mark your calendars, American gamers, because that’s when the fear sets in… Yes, that is now the official, not-placeholder-but-really-real North American release date for Corpse Party: Blood Drive on the Vita!
As the release draws ever nearer, though, more and more questions from excited fans begin to roll in, so I’d like to take a moment and address a few of them in as much detail as possible. Let’s start with the big one, because I’ve been asked this more times than I can count now:
Do you have to play the previous games to understand the story in this one?
At E3, I addressed this by telling people, essentially, “it’s complicated.” And it is, because the answer is kind of “yes,” but with a “but.” Corpse Party: Blood Drive directly follows the events from Corpse Party: Book of Shadows’ chapter 8, opening right around two months afterward. Players are expected to know what happened in both previous titles, and Blood Drive is not shy about spoiling those events suddenly and without warning if they don’t.
However, it’s because of those spoilers that I can’t just give a straight “yes” to this question. Playing Blood Drive without having played through all of the first Corpse Party game and at least chapter 8 of Book of Shadows first is not recommended, but the writers did attempt to accommodate for those players who haven’t by giving very brief flashbacks or expository nods to important events from the previous titles. I really do mean “brief,” as only the absolute bare essentials are covered – but we’ve had two internal QA testers play through the game without ever having touched a Corpse Party title previously, and while both were a bit lost in the very beginning, they quickly latched on to the small bits of information presented and more or less pieced together what they needed to know before too long.
I would still VERY STRONGLY RECOMMEND playing through both Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows prior to even beginning Corpse Party: Blood Drive, however, as you’ll get far more out of the experience that way, and will also refrain from spoiling yourself on some of the more shocking events from the previous titles. (And to quash another rumor that’s been going around, no, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is NOT just a remake/retelling of Corpse Party; it’s an anthology of short stories that take place either before, during or after certain events from Corpse Party, and while some of these stories are non-canonical alternate-universe tales, four of the eight are very much part of series canon, and the other four still help develop characters in ways not found elsewhere in the series. It’s an awesome game, and I highly recommend giving it a look!)
And speaking of giving it a look, we’re making that easier than ever for you guys: as of this coming Tuesday, both Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows will be 50% off on the North American PlayStation®Store (not in Europe, I’m afraid – sorry! – but both games are readily available on the EU PSN for a modest price anyway, so don’t let that stop you!). They’re PSP games, but they’re both fully compatible with the Vita and PSTV too, so if you’ve been missing out all this time, now is absolutely your best chance to catch up before Blood Drive’s debut next month.
What about 2U?
Corpse Party The Anthology: Sachiko’s Game of Love ~Hysteric Birthday 2U~, generally just referred to by fans as “Corpse Party 2U,” is very much the elephant in the room, as it’s a PSP Corpse Party game we skipped over on our way to Blood Drive. Set between Book of Shadows and Blood Drive, 2U is a romantic comedy spinoff of the Corpse Party franchise (no, seriously) that’s played entirely in visual novel format.
Although technically (sort of) canon, we elected not to localize 2U because it was just too radically different from the Corpse Party we’ve come to know and love, and we were pretty sure it would’ve been eaten alive out in the marketplace. (Sad, yes, but you know it’s true!)
And at least for as long as it remains a PSP-exclusive title, I’m sorry to say that the 2U ship has definitively sailed – we have no plans to localize it.
What does that mean for Blood Drive? Well… not much, honestly. There are some minor references to 2U in Blood Drive, but they’re more or less just nods – there’s a necklace Sachiko’s wearing, a ghost who chases Yoshiki around while calling him “Knight,” and Ayumi getting a sense of déjà vu upon entering Heavenly Host’s gymnasium, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. Sure, there are characters first seen in 2U who make a return appearance here, but they’re reintroduced in Blood Drive as if you’ve never heard of them before – which makes sense, since the events of 2U aren’t actually remembered by any of the series’ main cast.
Basically, no story elements from 2U have any direct impact on Blood Drive in any way, since despite being canonical, 2U is still very much a “gaiden” – a side-story. It’s not part of the main Heavenly Host arc, but rather a diversion from it. So if you’re worried about skipping 2U, don’t be – the Heavenly Host story, as a whole, is meant to be gleaned through Corpse Party, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows and Corpse Party: Blood Drive. Everything else is just gravy.
I’ve also seen some people expressing concerns about statements made in my previous blog post on Blood Drive, so to address those:
Is the game going to be censored, or isn’t it?
People were worried by the fact that I left an “out” for us last time when I said the game wouldn’t be censored “barring any ESRB complications,” interpreting this to mean that we planned on censoring the game after all and just blaming the ESRB for it or something. But y’all are just paranoid, because there was never any hidden agenda – and there were no ESRB complications whatsoever, so if you were worried, don’t be! Corpse Party: Blood Drive is coming to you with no censorship of any kind, 100% confirmed.
Will the 2-CD set accompanying the Everafter Edition include all the vocal themes?
Yep! We weren’t sure at first, but it’s now confirmed that all vocal themes from Corpse Party, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows and Corpse Party: Blood Drive will be present and accounted for – though the opening themes will be presented in game-length versions only (partially due to space, as both CDs are right around 79 minutes in length, so the long versions simply wouldn’t fit on the discs!).
I made one erroneous statement last time around, though, that I’d like to correct now: the 2-CD set does indeed include the full score to Corpse Party: Blood Drive (as best as I can tell, anyway), but it does NOT include the full score to Corpse Party: Book of Shadows as previously stated. It includes the majority of music from Book of Shadows, and I’d previously thought this to be the full score, but it turns out there are numerous tracks we were unable to license for inclusion. Basically, our CD set includes every track from Book of Shadows that was present on the soundtrack CD included with the game’s Japanese LE, but nothing beyond that. Sorry for any confusion!
Will you be offering the same pin-jack mascots and art cards as the European LE?
‘Fraid not! Our buddies at Marvelous Europe have a more online store-centric infrastructure in place for selling ultra-limited editions like this, so they’re able to offer things we couldn’t in our more retailer-centric infrastructure.
In other words: We couldn’t mass-produce these for inclusion in the LE box without breaking the bank, so we respectfully bowed out of the race and let them have their high-end Heavenly Host Edition.
We hope you guys can understand, and will still appreciate the Everafter Edition as-is with its roughly 160 minutes of music and its art book featuring over 100 pages of content! It’s really quite a package, especially considering it’s our first ever physical offering in the Corpse Party franchise.
And finally, two other questions (both related to one another) that I hear a lot of people asking:
Will Blood Drive include all the content patched into the Japanese release? And will it be PSTV-compatible?
Yes, and yes. All patched content (including infinite battery mode) will be available from the start, right on the game card (or PSN download). And since the Japanese game was Vita TV-compatible from the very start, too, there’s no reason to believe our version won’t be PSTV-compatible from the start as well – just make sure you have a good sound system, or else you’ll miss out on all the sweet binaural 3D audio scares!
Hope you’re all super-psyched for this, and can work Corpse Party into your Halloween plans for the year. And hey, if you’ve got any good stories of being scared out of your gourd by one of the Corpse Party games, we’d love to hear them! Pop on over to our Facebook or official forums, or write up a blog entry of your own and drop us a tweet with the link. Knowing that we helped make your nights a little more sleepless would bring great joy to our blackened hearts. Mwa ha ha…