One would think that after the events of The Coma: Recut, someone would have destroyed Sehwa High. However, here we are again to continue where the previous game left off in The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters. This entry builds on systems and adventure elements of its predecessor while expanding the scope of the nightmare. No, you don’t need to play the first title to understand the story, but characters do reemerge. Still, the game does give you a quick recap of the previous events this is your first time jumping into the series.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters begins by introducing a student by the name of Mina. Like most girls her age, she is conflicted about several things in her life and trying to hold it together in public. However, one night she ends up poking her head somewhere that she shouldn’t and enters a “Coma.”
When she awakes, her entire school has been transformed into a haunted house full of dismembered bodies and spiritual demons. While trying to figure out what’s going on, she runs into her teacher, or who she thought was her teacher. This leads Mina to leave the school grounds and explore other buildings to learn more about the state of the world and possibly get back home.
The opening of the story does a great job of making the player think that this is going to be an easy time. While introducing the player to various mechanics and systems, it has a tendency to make you feel comfortable, which is right around when it would throw something out there that can kill you. The game’s broader scope was an impressive endeavor, and the developer used these new stages to detail more about this world and how Mina found herself in it.
Mina is not strong, but she isn’t a pushover either. She confronts a lot of tough situations with courage as she uses any tools that she has access too, even if that means running and hiding for her life. There are several items at your disposal that can heal or increase stamina. These items can be easily found during exploration.
Still, the developer also includes items in vending machines, which I felt was a bit of overkill in that you can simply stock up whenever you want using found money. Also, the game has a lot of save points scattered around the map, which makes it a little less scary to take damage or try out some crazy idea that might get you killed. When being chased by an enemy, hiding comes with a quick-time event to avoid detection. I actually didn’t mind this as it kept the intensity up.
Enemies in the game start off a little weak, and it’s not until about the third stage where they begin to hinder your progression. This increase in difficulty takes a while to kick it, but when it does, it ramps up quickly as your way of approaching situations must change.
Things like running casually through the streets become a thing of the past as you must take gameplay a little slower in case an enemy is waiting at the end of the alley. Similarly, the game requires you to listen to the footsteps of the enemies to get an idea of where they are. It does create a sense of annoyance because you have places to be, but it sets the mood quite well.
The stages in The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters change throughout the game, but the level design is kept reasonably similar in each area. Players run from left to right and access various rooms and different floors. To progress the game, players need to find things like keys and sort out light-puzzles. It’s completely straightforward and doesn’t become too complicated even in the later parts of the game. This is a nice balance given that if the exploration was any more complicated, the added layer of enemies killing you around every corner might make it drag on a bit too long.
Exploration in the game also leads to some secrets, and those who collect the right materials can even create traps and new weapons to get through enemies. It’s an excellent reward for those who read the dialogue carefully and explore the various rooms.
The world and characters all look fantastic. The developer improved immensely on the character illustrations both in-game and during story scenes. I love the comic book style cutscenes as well that paced the story’s narrative and built up an excellent sense of panic. Sound design is also impressive, featuring voiced dialogue an incredibly immersing soundtrack, which changes during for each area.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters brings the series to a whole new level of quality. The adventure is tense and nervewracking as you are forced to utilize whatever tools you can find to avoid timely death. While the pacing of difficulty is a little off at times, there are more than enough items to get through the game.
The straightforward nature of the quests might make the later parts of the game predictable, but the story delivers in the end. Developer Devespresso should be proud of the adventure horror that they’ve created here, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
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