CORPSE PARTY: BOOK OF SHAD­OWS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - JOE GRIF­FIN

16 cert, XSEED Games, PS Vita (also PSP)

If noth­ing else, Corpse Party: Book of Shad­ows could win an award for the most ac­cu­rate ti­tle. The Ja­panese hor­ror game is strewn with ca­dav­ers and has its share of dark cor­ners. It opens with an ar­rest­ing, dis­turb­ing se­quence that tells of Naomi, a once-vi­brant teenager who’s per­ma­nently scarred by para­nor­mal events, start­ing with an ill-ad­vised dab­bling in the oc­cult. Book of Shad­ows looks and sounds im­pres­sive, with some creepy ideas, great il­lus­tra­tions and a de­cent J-hor­ror story. But even for a point-and-click game it feels niche: It’s subti­tled, there are reams of ex­po­si­tion and a twee back-story be­fore the game­play and hor­ror be­gins. The less said about the du­bi­ous school­girl les­bian sub­plot the bet­ter. There is, how­ever, much to en­joy in this at­mo­spheric and un­nerv­ing story that mixes body hor­ror, ghost story and para­noid psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller.

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