Title: Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash
Developer: MAGES. Inc., 5pb.
Release Date: April, 10 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
As someone who is a fan of the Corpse Party series, I was very excited when the localization of Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash finally happened. Although I was a bit hesitant at first given that this game is unlike the other entries in this series so far, I found that it had a nice mix of horror and comedy at the same time, even with a little bit of added romance.
I would like to mention that Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is a midquel between Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, therefore there might be possible spoilers mentioned in this review. This game also requires you to know about the characters beforehand, so it’s strongly suggested to play Corpse Party before starting Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash as it also contains spoilers if you didn’t play the base game. Although you are able to understand the happenings fine, even without having played Book of Shadows, it still might get confusing since events from this game are getting mentioned in Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash as well.
Sachiko Shinozaki is turning 7 once again. Since it’s her birthday, she intends to throw an unforgettable birthday party with her victims from the previous Corpse Party game. For 24 hours, they have to try to entertain Sachiko, in order to get away alive — There is even a juicy reward as she promises to let them be in the same universe for tomorrow when the horror continues. Together, they have to go through all sorts of party games Sachiko forces them until her birthday is over. The story also introduces a couple of new characters as well.
After having played Corpse Party and Book of Shadows, I needed a bit of time to get used to its theme of comedy. Every chapter is entirely different from each other, which means that not every chapter will be every reader’s cup of tea. It’s, for this reason, that I found myself not really getting into some of the party games, but I ended up enjoying the themes of the chapters instead. While comedy is the main genre of the game, it doesn’t fail to deliver on a touch of horror as well.
With that said, even though I enjoyed its comedy aspect, I found myself not really caring for some characters, more specifically, the brand new characters that were added. Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash made me chuckle a lot because of its parody, although some jokes can feel a little forced. You are only following the characters playing some random games because they were forced to, but there aren’t any new insights to who they are or their personalities. With that said, I found it a bit disappointing that the character development fell so short in this game. Now, you could say we already know the characters and their relationships, while that is definitely true, the game felt a bit dry since the interactions between the characters are always the same. Certain people are always insulting and hitting each other, while others are overly affectionate. I have to admit, it was pretty funny in the beginning, but I got slightly annoyed at the way of the game’s humor after a few hours ran up the game’s runtime.
Although the game is mostly comedic, there are also a few serious moments in Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash. Without spoiling too much, Sachiko is only a little girl as well who failed to become an adult. I really enjoyed its premise of showing that even if Sachiko was murdering a bunch of kids, she is still a child inside herself — who can be extremely adorable and innocent.
Like in its previous games, the next chapter only gets unlocked when you completed the true end for a chapter. A lot of chapters also contain bad endings as well as dead-end endings. I found the true ending was quite hard to get for some chapters and I had to try out a lot of possibilities to finally be able to get the desired ending. It was a bit tedious and I would have wished for a skip-to-the-next-choice option as I was skipping the text for hours until I was able to figure out the right combination of answers.
In Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash there is no gameplay at all, unlike the previous games. This game is entirely a visual novel, so all you do is reading and making decisions at times. As someone who enjoys visual novels, it is not a big deal, although it might put off others.
Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is indeed a top-notch visual novel. It uses the same art style as Book of Shadows and the voice acting is superb like in its previous games as well. I would also like to mention that the text speed and the voice acting are perfectly timed with each other when it is left on the default settings. I really enjoyed this feature as I always get confused whether I am able to go on with the text or the voice is still not done talking.
In the end, while Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is a bit too comedic for my taste, it still managed to make me chuckle plenty of times. I really enjoyed its premise as it is very refreshing compared to its previous entries. As aforementioned, Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is very unlike the previous games and therefore, with its focus on visual novel storytelling and parody-of-itself themes. Yet, I can still recommend it to everyone who is a fan of the Corpse Party series or simply liked its characters and can’t get enough of them. — After beating this game, I officially became a Sachiko fangirl.
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